Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Select 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. This is our only location. Don't let a yellow pages tell you otherwise. 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. We're also pretty much on the southernmost tip of Lake Drive.

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!

Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher, author of One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Geonomic Medicinealong with Dr. Alan Mayer
Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Please join us at Boswell for an event with Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher, authors of One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Geonomic Medicine, the breathtaking story of a young boy with a never-before-seen disease, and the doctors who take a bold step into the future of medicine to save him—based on the authors’ Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting. At this event, we're pleased to also host Alan Mayer, the pediatric gastroenterologist who treated Nic Volker and first proposed diagnosing the mysterious disease with a complete gene sequencing. 

In this landmark medical narrative, in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher chronicle the story of Nic Volker, the Wisconsin boy at the center of a daring breakthrough in medicine—a complete gene sequencing to discover the cure for an otherwise undiagnosable illness. At just two years old, Nic experienced a searing pain that signaled the awakening of a new and deadly disease, one that would hurl Nic and his family up against the limits of modern medicine. For years, through false starts and failed cures, Nic holds on to life, buoyed up by his mother’s fierce drive to get him the care he needs. But when even the world’s experts are stumped by Nic’s illness, His doctors, including Alan Mayer, who will be in attendance this evening, came up with a radical, long-shot plan, to use the Human Genome Project to save Nic's life. 

Mark Johnson Bio: Mark Johnson is a health and science reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he has worked since 2000. He was a member of the Journal Sentinel team that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting on the Nic Volker story in 2011. He is also a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has won numerous other awards for his reporting. 

Kathleen Gallagher Bio: Kathleen Gallagher is a business reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she has worked since 1993. She was a member of the Journal Sentinel team that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting on the Nic Volker story in 2011. She was also part of a team that won the 2006 Inland Press Association award for explanatory reporting.

Alan Mayer Bio: Dr. Alan Mayer is a pediatric gastroenterologist currently in practice with GI Associates, LLC and affiliated with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He received his medical degree and PhD in molecular biology at Cornell University, completed residency training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and subspecialty training at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has authored over 30 research articles and book chapters in molecular genetics and intestinal development.

Thursday, June 2, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell
“You are a complete disappointment.” On his deathbed, Mike Edison’s father gasped those words to his son—and that was just the beginning of his devastating salvo. For anyone who has ever suffered from parental bullying, You Are a Complete Disappointment is the often-hilarious yet intensely heartbreaking memoir from the former High Times publisher will provide both solace and laughter. At our event, Edison will be accompanied by “World’s Greatest Piano Player” Mickey Finn, “Beatnik No. 1” Bob Bert (ex-Sonic Youth), and his own Rocket Tone Theremin

It begins with a child’s hunger for love and acceptance and continues through years of withering criticism, perverse expectations, and unfounded competition from a narcissistic father who couldn’t tolerate his son’s happiness and libertine spirit. Edison takes us on a warped suburban odyssey that pulls no punches when it comes to growing up in the 1970s and ‘80s — Ronald Reagan, the Rolling Stones, abysmal family dinners, sex, drugs, terrified parents, and Jewish guilt are just the beginning of an adolescence forged in equal parts of self-exploration and needless doubt. In the spirit of Augusten Burroughs by way of Jeannette Walls, Edison’s memoir is a candid, devastating, and deeply funny read that is also potent lesson in growing up to be the person you want to be, not the person you were told to be.

About the Author: Mike Edison is the former editor and publisher of High Times magazine. He also worked for Hustler. His books include the celebrated memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go and the sprawling social history of sex on the newsstand, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! More recently he collaborated with Joe Bastianich on his New York Times bestselling memoir, Restaurant Man, of which writer Bret Easton Ellis has said, “The directness and energy have a cinematic rush . . . not a single boring sentence.” Edison has worked for Hustler and was a high-paid gun-for-hire for Penthouse Letters. Edison lives and works in Brooklyn.

Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased: a Memoir
Friday, June 3, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell
This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Pride and Diverse and Resilient.

When Garrard was a 19-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents and forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend Love in Action, a church-supported conversion therapy facility that promised to cure him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on intense Bible study, he would potentially emerge heterosexual, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in God for his brush with sin. But it didn’t quite go that way; instead Garrard went on a harrowing journey on his search for identity, love, and understanding, and emerged on the other side transformed.

Kirkus Reviews called Boy Erased "a sharp and shocking debut memoir."

About the author: Garrard Conley’s work has been published in The Common, The Madison Review, and other publications. He’s been a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar and a Elizabeth Kostova Foundation fellow. He currently teaches at the American College of Sofia, Bulgaria.

David S. Pederson, author of Death Comes Darkly
Saturday, June 4, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Set in 1940s Milwaukee and Lake Geneva, Detective Heath Barrington and Officer Alan Keyes team up to solve the mystery of an eccentric millionaire. Their search for clues uncovers long-buried secrets of the weekend guests, all the while keeping secrets of their own, including a mutual attraction.

The story begins with Barrington getting a call from his mother. She worries about him keeping his job as a detective, even though the war is over, and Heath no longer has to worry about his flat feet getting in the way of a career. She asks why he’s not married at the ripe old age of 32, and why he’s dining with Aunt Verbina, having tea at the Pfister, no less. But Barrington can’t visit his parents that coming weekend, because he’s gotten an odd invitation to spend the weekend in Lake Geneva from one Dexter Darkly, with that offer extended to his wife or companion. Darkly read about Barrington’s work in solving a previous case, and would like nothing more than to meet. But the weekend won’t go well for Darkly, and there is no shortage of suspects.

About the Author: David S. Pederson was born in Leadville, Colorado, where his father was a miner. Soon after, the family relocated to Wisconsin, where David grew up, attending high school and university, majoring in business and creative writing. He relocated to New York, Massachusetts, and eventually back to Wisconsin, where he currently lives with his longtime partner and works in the furniture and decorating business.


Paul Goldberg, author of The Yid, in conversation with Joel Berkowitz
Monday, June 6, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell
This event is cosponsored by the UWM Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies

Moscow, February 1953. A week before Stalin's death, his final pogrom, "one that would forever rid the Motherland of the vermin," is in full swing. Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But Levinson, though an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and his shocking response to the intruders sets in motion a series of events both zany and deadly as he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of a tyrant.

Levinson's cast of unlikely heroes includes Aleksandr Kogan, a machine-gunner in Levinson's Red Army band who has since become one of Moscow's premier surgeons; Friederich Lewis, an African American who came to the USSR to build smelters and stayed to work as an engineer, learning Russian, Esperanto, and Yiddish; and Kima Petrova, an enigmatic young woman with a score to settle. While the setting is Soviet Russia, the backdrop is Shakespeare: A mad king has a diabolical plan to exterminate and deport his country's remaining Jews. And wandering through the narrative, like a crazy Soviet Ragtime, are such historical figures as Paul Robeson, Solomon Mikhoels, and Marc Chagall.

About the Author: Paul Goldberg first heard a Moscow myth about Jews using blood for religious rituals when he was 10, in 1969. By the time he emigrated to the US in 1973, he had collected the Moscow stories which underpin The Yid. As a reporter, Goldberg has written two books about the Soviet human rights movement and co-authored (with Otis Brawley) the book How We Do Harm. He is editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter, a publication focused on the business and politics of cancer. He lives in Washington, DC.  

A story and photo opportunity with Arnie the Doughnut, star of Arnie the Doughnut and other adventures
Tuesday, June 7, at 3:30 pm, at the Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Drive
Join us at the Cudahy Family Library for a sprinkle-filled afternoon with Arnie the Doughnut, the rising star of such many adventures. We’ll have a storytime, activities, and plenty of opportunities for your little ones to take a photo with Arnie.
In his eponymous debut, Arnie waits in the bakery to be chosen by hungry customers. He looks like an average doughnut--round, cakey, with a hole in the middle, iced and sprinkled. He was made by one of the best bakeries in town, and admittedly his sprinkles are candy-colored. Still, a doughnut is just a doughnut, right? WRONG! Not if Arnie has anything to say about it. And, for a doughnut, he sure seems to have an awful lot to say. Can Arnie change the fate of all doughnuts--or at least have a hand in his own future? Well, you'll just have to read this funny story and find out for yourself.
Also just out in paper is Invasion of the Ufonauts, in which Arnie is shocked when he hears his neighbor Loretta Schmoretta tell news reporters that she was the victim of an alien abduction. And not just any aliens--aliendoughnuts from outer spastry. Arnie thinks this is a ridiculous story--that is, until he gets abducted! Arnie must think fast in order to rescue his fellow doughnuts and the townspeople from the alien invaders.

Boswell will bring books for sale to Cudahy Family Library, just south of Layton Ave, or you can bring your own from home. Don’t forget to “dough the right thing” and come visit Arnie in Cudahy!

How to Get to the Cudahy Family Library: From either I-43/I-94 or 794, take the Layton Ave exit east to Packard Ave. Go south on Packard to the library. Easy, right?

Peter Geye, author of Wintering
Tuesday, June 7, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell

A highly acclaimed novelist now gives us a true epic: a love story that spans sixty years, generations’ worth of feuds, and secrets withheld and revealed.

The two principal stories at play in Wintering are bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding, northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota - instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d done this once before, more than thirty years earlier in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his eighteen-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme - winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters - as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs’ journeys of discovery.

It’s certainly something Gus has never forgotten, nor the Devil’s Maw of a river, a variety of beloved (possibly fantastical) maps, the ice floes and waterfalls (neither especially appealing from a canoe), a magnificent bear, the endless portages, a magical abandoned shack, Thanksgiving and Christmas improvised at the far end of the earth, the brutal cold and sheer beauty of it all. And men hunting other men.

Now, with his father pronounced dead, Gus relates their adventure in vivid detail to Berit Lovig, who’d spent much of her life waiting for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled over the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire saga of a town and region they’d helped to form and were in turn formed by, relentlessly and unforgettably.

Richard Russo, author of Empire Fools and the just release Everybody's Fool, offers this praise: “The last time I read a literary thriller so profound Cormac McCarthy’s name was on its spine. But Peter Geye is his own man and Wintering is as unique and menacingly beautiful as its Minnesota borderlands setting.”

About the Author: Peter Geye was born and raised in Minneapolis, where he continues to live. His previous novels are Safe from the Sea and The Lighthouse Road.


A ticketed evening with Emily Giffin, author of First Comes Love
Friday, July 15, at 7:00 pm, at Boswell.

Boswell Book Company is pleased to present a ticketed event with Emily Giffin, author of seven bestselling novels, including her latest, First Comes Love. Tickets are $28, including admission for one and a copy of First Comes Love, and all taxes and fees, purchased via Brown Paper Tickets*. On the night of the event only, a $20 Boswell gift card is available in lieu of the book. Don't forget, a signed copy of First Comes Love makes a great gift.

This event is cosponsored by Milwaukee Magazine. Editor Carole Nicksin will be introducing our author.

Her newest story is about two sisters whose relationship has been ruptured by a family tragedy, the death of their 25-year-old brother. Now Meredith is a married attorney, while Josie is a single teacher, but each wonders whether their life choices were good ideas. When Josie breaks the news to the family that she wants to have a baby at 38, the familiy is further fractured. Is there any way this family can become close again?

Emotionally honest and brimming with Giffin's singular insight and humor, First Comes Love is a richly crafted story about family, forgiveness, and finding the courage to follow your own heart - wherever that may lead.

Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she quit her job to write full time. Based in Atlanta, Emily is the author of seven New York Times bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You're With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, and The One and Only. 

*Don't like to order online? You can also call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006.

In addition to this handy dandy website, you can get your Boswell news fix by vising our blog (www.boswellandbooks.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/boswellbooks), and following us on Twitter (@boswellbooks). Thank you for your support--we wouldn't have a bookstore without you!

Whether it's because of a 6 am newspaper review or a midnight recommendation from a friend, you can order the great books you want, from us, online 24/7. 

Come visit and let our booksellers, with their encyclopedic knowledge of books past, present, and even future, make customized recommendations based on your reading tastes. Not chatty? Browse our shelves and ever-changing displays to your heart's content (or until we close for the evening). Know that a book is coming out from your favorite author and want it the day it lands? Pre-order from us and we'll have it waiting for you.

Speaking of your favorite authors: Since 2009, we have been presenting award-winning authors, bestselling scribes (before and after hitting that #1 spot), and local writers launching first (second, or third) books. And don't forget that we bring Boswell to you, with events at area libraries (more than a dozen), museums, nature centers, restaurants, and theaters. We've had events at a distillery, an ice cream shop, and a record store, to name a few,  Don't miss out! Subscribe to our twice-monthly e-newsletter via the column to the right or visit us on Facebook. You can request autographed copies of books by any author we have coming, though we try to have signed copies available after the event, too.

For more details on authors and their books check out our upcoming events page for a complete list of confirmed appearances.

If you can’t make it in, or it’s before/after hours, be sure to check out Daniel’s (daily post) blog, Boswell and Books, or the booksellers’ (occasional post) blog, The Boswellians. You can also visit our Boswell Books Facebook page. Our Twitter handle is @boswellbooks. Thanks for checking us out. We hope to see you in the store soon.

Daniel Goldin, with Amie, Anne, Barb, Caroline, Chris, Conrad, Jane, Jason, Jen, Kelli, Olivia S, Olivia V, Pam, Peter, Scott, Sharon, Teasha, Tim, and Todd.