Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Selected upcoming events below. Visit our upcoming event page for a more complete listing.


You're on the Boswell Book Company page and our guess is that you want to know where we're located and how to get a hold of us. Here are the basics:

Our address is Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211. The store is located on the same block as the Downer Theater, up the bluff from Lincoln Memorial Drive. We're north of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and south of UWM. 

Our phone number is 414-332-1181. Sometimes you'll see other numbers appear on your phone when we call you, as we have multiple lines. This is our only number that has a classic exchange--EDgewood, if you are into these things.

Our email contact info is info@boswellbooks.com, if you'd like to place a special order or get basic info about an event or are wondering about our hours.

Speaking of hours, we're open 10 am to 9 pm from Monday through Saturday, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday. We're closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are about five holidays where we're open 10 am to 5 pm, plus we sometimes close early for events and meetings. You can assume that if we have a ticketed event in the store, we're closed to the public around 5:30.  

We've heard that after location and contact info, the reason why folks visit websites like ours is to find out about events. We keep our events on one upcoming event page, but some highlights are listed below, generally our ticketed events, but sometimes a few others are included.

And the third reason folks visit is to order books. Our site search engine is not as good as some of our well-financed online competitors, but it will do. One of the nice things we like to point out is that you can check inventory and even the subsection of the book, but be aware, the number does not take into account customer holds, receiving errors, and general misshelving. As we like to say, we just need one person to put a book back in the wrong place for it to be lost forever, or at least until we do our next section check. Our system allows you to put a book on hold without first registering an account. Try it!


André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name and Enigma Variations, in conversation with Suzanne Jurva
Monday, February 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

We are thrilled to present André Aciman, the author of Call Me by Your Name, as well as the just-released paperback edition of Enigma Variations. This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance as well as the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival. Our event will feature a conversation between Aciman and Suzanne Jurva, discussing Call Me by Your Name’s long journey (ten years) from page to screen.

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. André Aciman's critically acclaimed debut novel is a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.

The film version of Call Me by Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, has been nominated for three Oscars including best picture, best actor (Chalamet), and best adapted screenplay (James Ivory). It is currently playing at the Downer Theatre.

About the Author: André Aciman is the author of Enigma Variations, Eight White Nights, Harvard Square, and the memoir Out of Egypt, and is the editor of The Proust Project. He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and lives with his wife in Manhattan.

Suzanne Jurva is Director of Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance. The creator of the research department at Dreamworks SKG, Jurva has been a feature film development executive on many Academy Award nominated and winning films, including Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, and The Prince of Egypt. She is also an award-winning documentary director and producer..


Tom Miller, author of The Philosopher’s Flight
Tuesday, February 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

From a Wauwatosa native turned Madison ER doctor and now debut novelist, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art.

18-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy - an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service, a team of flying medics, Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. He hones his abilities and wins the respect of his classmates. Then he falls for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers - and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

About the Author: Tom Miller grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He graduated from Harvard University and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh. While writing The Philosopher’s Flight, he worked as a travel guidebook writer, EMT, and college English instructor. He's now an emergency room doctor in Madison, Wisconsin.


Charles Finch, author of The Woman in the Water
Wednesday, February 21, 2:00 pm, at Boswell

Enjoy a special afternoon with Charles Finch, who takes readers back to Charles Lenox’s very first case and the ruthless serial killer who would set him on the course to become one of London’s most brilliant detectives. In the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Finch pits the young detective against a maniacal murderer who would give Professor Moriarty a run for his money.

London, 1850: A young Charles Lenox struggles to make a name for himself as a detective…without a single case. Scotland Yard refuses to take him seriously and his friends deride him for attempting a profession at all. But when an anonymous writer sends a letter to the paper claiming to have committed the perfect crime, and promising to kill again, Lenox is convinced that this is his chance to prove himself.

The writer’s first victim is a young woman whose body is found in a naval trunk, caught up in the rushes of a small islets in the middle of the Thames. With few clues to go on, Lenox endeavors to solve the crime before another innocent life is lost. When the killer’s sights are turned toward those whom Lenox holds most dear, the stakes are raised and Lenox is trapped in a desperate game of cat and mouse.

About the Author: Chicago-based Charles Finch is a graduate of Yale and Oxford. He is the author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Inheritance and A Beautiful Blue Death, which was nominated for an Agatha Award and was named one of Library Journal’s Best Books of the year. The National Book Critics Circle just named Finch 2017 winner of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing for his work at the Chicago Tribune.


Joseph Cassara, author of The House of Impossible Beauties
Tuesday, February 27, 7:00 pm, at Outwords Books, Gifts, and Coffee, 2710 N Murray Ave

Boswell is pleased to cosponsor a special evening with Iowa Writers Workshop grad and debut novelist Joseph Cassara, in conjunction with Outwords Books, Gifts, & Coffee. The House of Impossible Beauties is a gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s. The story is inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza, made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning.

It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.

As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.

About the Author: Of Puerto Rican and Italian lineage, Joseph Cassara was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds degrees from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 pm (note time), at Boswell

American doctors are experiencing the worst crisis since the dawn of western medicine. They are losing their autonomy, their health, and a good part of their income. Their burnout rate has reached critical proportions. They are retiring early or leaving the field altogether. The suicide rate is rising. Essentially, doctors are dealing with their own silent killer disease - unrelenting stress. In this scenario, patients will also be losers.

In his new book - Healthcare 911: How America’s Broken Healthcare System Is Driving Doctors to Despair, Depriving Patients of Care, And Destroying Our Reputation in The World – renowned Wisconsin neurologist Bhupendra O. Khatri explains the causes and consequences of this urgent problem.

“I cannot over emphasize the seriousness of this situation,” says Khatri. “In this era of corporate takeovers, it is becoming almost impossible to maintain a private medical practice. Many physicians, who are now employees of hospital and insurance companies, are pressured to see more patients in less time, bring computers into exam rooms, and spend many hours entering complicated codes into patients’ electronic health records - all of which interfere with quality patient care.”

About the Author: Bhupendra O. Khatri M.D. is the Medical Director of the Center for Neurological Disorders, one of the largest MS Centers in the US. He has won numerous awards for his compassionate care and research in the field of multiple sclerosis.


A ticketed event with Kelly Barnhill, author of Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories
Thursday, March 1, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd, River Hills

The Women’s Speaker Series, produced by Milwaukee Reads, presents Kelly Barnhill, the Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories is a stunning first collection of acclaimed short fictions, teeming with uncanny characters whose stories unfold in worlds at once strikingly human and eerily original.

By an author hailed as “a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), the stories in Dreadful Young Ladies feature bold, reality-bending fantasy underscored by rich universal themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope. When Mrs. Sorensen’s husband dies, she rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable mate in “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch.” The World Fantasy Award–winning novella “The Unlicensed Magician” introduces the secret, magical life of an invisible girl once left for dead.

Tickets for this event are $29, $24 for members, and include admission to the event, refreshments from MKE Localicious, and a copy of Dreadful Young Ladies. Visit lyndensculpturegarden.org/kellybarnhill or call (414) 446-8794 for more info.

About the Author: Minnesota’s Kelly Barnhill is the author of four novels, most recently The Girl Who Drank the Moon, winner of the 2017 John Newbery Medal for the year's most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. She is also the winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Parents' Choice Gold Award, and the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Award, and has been a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award, the SFWA Andre Norton Award, and the PEN/USA literary prize.


A ticketed event with Anita Shreve, author of The Stars Are Fire
Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 pm, at Elm Grove Woman’s Club, 13885 Watertown Plank Rd

The Friends of the Elm Grove Library, in conjunction with Boswell Book Company and the Elm Grove Library, present an evening with the wonderful Anita Shreve, beloved author of The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water. Shreve has charmed Milwaukee-area audiences over many years, first with her visits to the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops and then at Boswell Book Company, and we’re excited to welcome her back. Her new novel is set during the Great Maine Fire of 1947, the largest in the state's history, and features Grace Holland, a young mother trapped in a loveless marriage.

Tickets are $18 and include a paperback copy of The Stars Are Fire. Tickets will be available at the Elm Grove Library and through Boswell at shreve.brownpapertickets.com. For this event, there is no gift card option, but The Stars Are Fire makes a great gift. Also note that a portion of every sale goes back to the Elm Grove Library Foundation.

We’re so glad to be partnering with the Friends of the Elm Grove Library for this event with Anita Shreve, who has been a regular visitor to the Milwaukee area since the days of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. As Mary Pols wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “Long before Liane Moriarty was spinning her Big Little Lies, Shreve was spicing up domestic doings in beachfront settings with terrible husbands and third-act twists. She still is, as effectively as ever, this time with a narrative literally lit from within.”


A ticketed event with Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion, in conversation with Jane Hamilton
Monday, April 23, 7:00 pm, at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd

From the brilliant author of The Interestings, which sold half a million copies, comes The Female Persuasion, an electric, multilayered novel about ambition, power, friendship, and mentorship, and the romantic ideals we all follow deep into adulthood, not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be. And here’s something even more exciting - author Meg Wolitzer will visit appear for a ticketed event at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, presented by Boswell Book Company. She'll be in conversation with Jane Hamilton, the beloved author of The Excellent Lombards and A Map of the World.

Want to know more about The Female Persuasion? Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at 63, has been a central pillar in the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer, madly in love with her boyfriend Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place, feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and toward the future she’d always imagined.

Tickets are $30 and include admission, parking, and a copy of The Female Persuasion. Tickets are available at wolitzer.brownpapertickets.com. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated back to Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. While there is no gift card option for this event, don’t forget that The Female Persuasion makes a great gift, and it also would be a welcome donation to your favorite school, library, or nonprofit.


A ticketed event with Christopher Moore, author of Noir
Wednesday, May 2, 7:00 pm, Boswell

The absurdly outrageous, sarcastically satiric, and always entertaining New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore returns in finest madcap form with this zany noir set on the mean streets of post-World War II San Francisco. Elisabeth Clark in Library Journal raves: " Fans of noir film and fiction will find a lot to enjoy in this loving genre tribute, and those already familiar with Moore's books will simply be in love."

Think Raymond Chandler meets Damon Runyon with more than a dash of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes All Stars. It’s all very, very Noir. It’s all very, very Christopher Moore.

Tickets are $30 and include admission and a copy of Noir. Tickets available at mooremke18.brownpapertickets.com. In lieu of the book, an $18 Boswell gift card is available on the night of the event only.

About the Author: Christopher Moore is the author of fifteen previous novels, including Secondhand Souls, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and Lamb.


Check out a more complete listing of our upcoming events here.