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!


Nick Petrie, author of Light It Up, in conversation with Bonnie North
Tuesday, January 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Nick Petrie’s third Peter Ash thriller launches at Boswell, with the award-winning writer in conversation with Bonnie North, cohost and producer of 89.7 WUWM’s Lake Effect. This event is cosponsored by Crimespree magazine.

Combat veteran Peter Ash leaves a simple life rebuilding hiking trails in Oregon to help his good friend Henry Nygaard, whose daughter runs a Denver security company that protects cash-rich cannabis entrepreneurs from modern-day highwaymen. Henry’s son-in-law and the company’s operations manager were carrying a large sum of client money when their vehicle vanished without a trace, leaving Henry’s daughter and her company vulnerable.

Then, when Peter is riding shotgun on another cash run, the cargo he’s guarding comes under attack from hijackers and he narrowly escapes with his life. As the incidents mount, he has to wonder: for criminals as sophisticated as these, is this money really worth the risk? And if not, what about his cargo is worth more?

About the author: Nick Petrie’s debut The Drifter won both the ITW Thriller award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and was a finalist for the Edgar and the Hammett awards. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Formerly a Milwaukee-area home inspector, Petrie is now writing full-time.


Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, authors of Zenith, in conversation with Tiernan Bertrand-Essington (The BookTuber)
Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

It started as an ebook. The first chapter of Zenith was released in 2016 and became a #1 New York Times bestseller. Now for the first time, the complete first novel of The Andromeda Saga has been released, full of action, fantastical intrigue and steamy star-crossed romance. It's a YA sensation, great for readers 14+. Boswell is hosting the two coauthors on the book’s second day of release.

Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader. But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation - and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past. Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship - or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

About the authors: When Sasha Alsberg is not writing or obsessing over Scotland, she is making YouTube videos on her channel, Abookutopia, which has had more than 36 million views. Lindsey Cummings is also the author of The Murder Complex duology and The Balance Keepers trilogy.


Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists, in conversation with Boswell’s Daniel Goldin
Thursday, January 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

If you’re wondering what will be your favorite book of 2018, we have a suggestion. The Immortalists started making the rounds of Boswell’s reading piles over six months ago and we had five booksellers love it so much they submitted recommendations to the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next program. With booksellers around the country equally enthralled, it’s no wonder that Benjamin’s second novel was just named the #1 Indie Next Pick of January 2018.

Here’s the story. It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. In search of one thing they can know for sure, the Gold children sneak out to hear their fortunes. Though the siblings keep the dates secret from one another, their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco. Dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. As Boswell’s Jen Steele says, “The Immortalists is a phenomenal story that will draw you into each sibling’s life and leave you hungry for more.”

About the author: Chloe Benjamin is the author of the novel The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and was longlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She is a graduate of Vassar College and holds an MFA in fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We should note that The Immortalists was also among the six books featured in the 2017 Book Expo Buzz Panel.


Geoffrey Carter, author of The P. S. Wars
Friday, January 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Longtime educator Geoffrey Carter offers a fictional indictment against the corporate takeover of public schools in his first novel. The story pits the faculty and students of Custer High against EduNet, a private operator. And leading the charge for Custer is Dave Bell, a veteran teacher, who vows to protect the integrity of public schools from being compromised.

As is the case for many privatization battles, whether the bounty is schools, prisons, roads, or other government services, the community is forced to take sides. The story brings to life many of the challenges that public schools are now facing. And while not every privatization story has a villain that is quite as ruthless as EduNet, it could, with a few tweaks, be pulled from today’s headlines.

About the author: Geoff Carter grew up attending public schools in the Milwaukee area, graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Communication Arts, and has a PhD in English. He has been teaching English in Milwaukee Public Schools for 28 years in both traditional and non-traditional settings, working almost exclusively with at-risk students, and is an active member of MTEA, the local teachers’ union.


Benjamin Ludwig, author of Ginny Moon
Tuesday, January 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Meet Ginny Moon. She's mostly your average teenager: she plays flute in the school band, has weekly basketball practice and reads Robert Frost poems for English class. But Ginny is autistic. What's important to her might seem a bit…different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, singing along to Michael Jackson, taking care of her baby doll…and crafting a secret plan of escape.

Ginny has been in foster care for years and for the first time in her life she has found her forever home. After being traumatically taken from her abusive birth mother and moved around to different homes, she is finally in a place where she'll be safe and protected, with a family who will love and nurture her. This is exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for. But Ginny has other plans.

Told in an extraordinary and wholly original voice, Ginny Moon, just named one of the ten best books of the year by Library Journal, is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant. 

About the author: A former English teacher and new-teacher mentor, Benjamin Ludwig holds an MAT in English education and an MFA in creative writing. His novella, Sourdough, was the recipient of the 2013 Clay Reynolds Prize for the Novella. Ludwig’s inspiration for Ginny Moon came from his own daughter, and the stories of other parents whom Ludwig met while attending Special Olympics basketball games.


A book club discussion and video chat with Alex Prud’homme, author of The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act
Thursday, January 25, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

This book club is free and open to all and is sponsored by the Smith College Club of Milwaukee and Seven Sisters Together. There will be a discussion of The French Chef in America, and after attendees get a chance to weigh in, the group will be joined by the author, Alex Prud’homme, via Skype.

Here’s a little more about the book. Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew Alex Prud’homme, tells the story of the remarkable woman who found her true voice in middle age and profoundly shaped the way we eat today. The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her French chef persona and reveals her second act to have been every bit as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

About the author: Alex Prud’homme is Julia Child’s great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, My Life in France, which was one of two books adapted to create the film Julie & Julia. He is also the author of France Is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child. Prud’homme’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair.


A ticketed event with Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
Wednesday, January 31, 7 pm, at UWM Student Union, Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd

Boswell and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union, present an evening with Colson Whitehead, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 7 pm.

Tickets to the general public are $19 and include admission to the event, all taxes and ticket fees, and a signed paperback edition of The Underground Railroad. Tickets are available at whiteheadmke.brownpapertickets.com or you can order by phone at 800-838-3006. UWM students, faculty, and staff can also purchase tickets at the UWM Student Union Box Office at a special discounted price. Limit of two tickets per person.

From Ron Charles in The Washington Post: "Since his first novel, The Intuitionist, the MacArthur 'genius' has nimbly explored America's racial consciousness - and more - with an exhilarating blend of comedy, history, horror and speculative fiction. In this new book, though, those elements are choreographed as never before. The soaring arias of cleverness for which he's known have been modulated in these pages. The result is a book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era."

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, The Underground Railroad received the National Book Award for fiction, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The book was an Oprah book club selection and a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Colson Whitehead is also the author of The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. A recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.


Saturday, February 10, 3:00 pm, at Marquette University’s Varsity Theatre, 1326 W Wisconsin Ave, just west of downtown

REDgen, Marquette University, and Boswell Book Company present an afternoon with pioneering physician Nadine Burke Harris. This visit is conjunction with the release of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, which reveals how childhood stress leads to lifelong health problems and what we can do to break the cycle. Dr. Burke Harris’s event has proven to be so popular that it has already been moved to Marquette University’s Varsity Theatre. This event is free but registration is required. Please register here

Through storytelling that delivers both scientific insight and moving stories of personal impact, Burke Harris illuminates her journey of discovery, from research labs nationwide to her own pediatric practice in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point. For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the innovative and acclaimed health interventions outlined in The Deepest Well will represent vitally important hope for change.

About the Author: Nadine Burke Harris, MD, is founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point. She is the subject of a New Yorker profile and was the recent recipient of a prestigious Heinz Award in 2016, among many other honors. Her TED talk, "I Was Thinking Too Small," previewed the subject of The Deepest Well, her first book.


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
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.

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.