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. 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! 

Mare Chapman, author of Unshakeable Confidence: the Freedom to Be Our Authentic Selves
Thursday, May 25, 7:00 pm at Boswell

"I don't trust myself and I'm always worrying about what others think of me"... Does this sound familiar? With astounding clarity, Chapman identifies the gender conditioning women receive from the moment of birth. Offering a feminist perspective on how women are culturally conditioned to disconnect from their authenticity and power, the book guides the reader through an intimate journey in applying mindfulness to cultivate connection with authentic self and gain the freedom to live with unshakeable confidence.

This warm and practical book explores the ways women lose themselves in relationships and shows how they can regain connection with their true selves through mindfulness. The book is beautifully designed to follow Chapman's popular nine-week meditation class that trains the mind, heart, and body. It builds on "Ownwork" practices the reader can use in formal meditation sits or informally, in daily moments like sitting in the car or waiting in line. Each chapter includes easy-to-follow Check-Ins and Practice Sections leading the reader toward gentle yet unflinching connection with one's own direct experience.

About the Author: Mare Chapman is a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher in private practice since 1983. Mare finds mindfulness to be the most transformative tool for handling the gamut of life's challenges with greater ease and stability. Also trained in interactive guided imagery, Mare brings a holistic approach to her work. In 1976 she founded and directed the Yahara House, the first non-profit in Wisconsin to offer day treatment services to adults with chronic mental illness.

Aja Monet, author of My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter
Saturday, May 27, 7:00 pm at Boswell

My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter is poet Aja Monet’s ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters - the tiny gods who fought to change the world. Textured with the sights and sounds of growing up in East New York in the nineties, of school on the South Side of Chicago, and of the olive groves of Palestine, these stunning poems tackle racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy.

Angela Y Davis says, “Aja Monet’s poetry off­ers us textures of feeling and radical shifts of meaning that expand our capacity to envision and fight for new worlds. From Brooklyn, USA to Hebron, Occupied Palestine, we take a feminist journey through rage and serenity, through violence and love, through ancient times and imagined futures. This stunning volume reminds us that conflict and contradiction can produce hope, and that poetry can orient us toward a future we may not yet realize we want."

About the Author: Aja Monet is a poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry, and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title. She is the author of ­The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture into community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project.

Sunday, May 28, 3:00 pm at Boswell

Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have touted Chicago as a “world-class city.” The skyscrapers kissing the clouds, the billion-dollar Millennium Park, and the Michelin-rated restaurants, tell one story. Yet swept under the rug is another story: the stench of segregation that permeates and compromises Chicago. Though other cities, including Cleveland, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and of course, Milwaukee, can fight over that mantle, it’s clear that segregation defines Chicago. And unlike many other major U.S. cities, no particular race dominates; Chicago is divided equally into black, white and Latino, each group clustered in various turfs.

In this intelligent and highly important narrative, Chicago native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city’s South Side, her essays showcase the lives of these communities through the stories of her family and the people who reside there. The South Side highlights the impact of Chicago’s historic segregation—and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.

About the Author: Natalie Y. Moore is the South Side bureau reporter for WBEZ, the NPR-member station in Chicago. Before joining WBEZ, she covered Detroit City Council for Detroit News. She worked as an education reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a reporter for the Associated Press in Jerusalem. Her work has been published in Essence, Black Enterprise, and the Chicago Tribune. She was awarded the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library and Foundation in 2017.

Wade Rouse writing as Viola Shipman, author of The Hope Chest
Wednesday, May 31, 2:00 pm at Boswell

The discovery of one woman's heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again.

Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn't feel like herself. She can't navigate her beloved home, she can't go for a boat ride, and she can barely even feed herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn't want to imagine life without his wife of nearly fifty years, but Mattie isn't likely to make it past their anniversary.

But when Rose, Mattie's new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple's life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother.

About the Author: Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother's name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, The Charm Bracelet, which has been translated into nine languages.

Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fisherman

A striking debut novel about an unforgettable childhood, The New York Times has crowned Obioma "the heir to Chinua Achebe."

Told by nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of the book's characters and readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen is an essential novel about Africa, seen through the prism of one family's destiny.

Interesting to Know: Obioma is the winner of the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Debut Author), finalist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and winner of the 2015 FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award for Fiction.

About the Author: Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Transition, and The Millions, among others. Obioma has lived in Nigeria, Cyprus, and Turkey, and currently resides in the United States, where he teaches Literature and Writing at the University of Nebraska. The Fishermen is his first novel.

Ladies Night Out featuring
Colleen Oakley, author of Close Enough to Touch, Karma Brown, author of In This Momentand Amy E. Reichert, author of The Simplicity of Cider
Saturday, June 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Join Boswell for an evening of literary delights, featuring three great authors.

Close Enough to Touch: Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she's allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world and the people in it that she's been hiding from. New from the author of the acclaimed Before I Go comes an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

In This Moment: Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes. Soon Meg's picture-perfect life is unravelling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she's been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?

The Simplicity of Cider: Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family's apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother's attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land. The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.

About the Author: Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer and author of the novel Before I Go. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor in chief of Women's Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire. Close Enough to Touch is her second novel.

About the Author: Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and author of the bestsellers Come Away With Me and The Choices We Make. In addition to her novels, Karma's writing has appeared in publications such as Redbook, SELF, and Chatelaine. In This Moment is her most recent novel.

About the Author: Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie, loves to write stories that end well with characters you'd invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her local library's board of directors.

A ticketed event with Sheryl Sandberg , co-author of  Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy in conversation with Jane Hamilton
Monday, June 5, 7 pm, at the Riverside Theatre, 116 W Wisconsin Ave 

Join Sheryl Sandberg, co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, in conversation with Jane Hamilton, as they talk about building resilience and moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks.

Here's a little more about Option B, which was written with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant, and will be released April 24, 2017. After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are steps people can take to recover and even rebound. Option B combines Sheryl's emotional insights and Adam's eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Sheryl will share what she and Adam learned together about helping others in crisis, developing compassion for ourselves, raising strong children, and creating resilient families, communities and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to ordinary struggles, allowing us to build resilience for whatever lies ahead. They will discuss the capacity of the human spirit to persevere... and to rediscover joy.

You can purchase your ticket, here.

About the Co-author: Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook. In addition to Option B, Sandberg is also the international best-selling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Prior to Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She previously served as chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department and began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She received B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard University. Sandberg serves on the boards of Facebook, The Walt Disney Company, Survey Monkey, ONE, and Women for Women International, and also chairs the board of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation.

About Jane Hamilton: Jane Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in Harper's magazine. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel. It and A Map of the World were both named selections of Oprah's Book Club. Of her latest novel The Excellent Lombards, now available in paperback, Ann Patchett wrote: "This is the book Jane Hamilton was born to write, and it is a book that thrilled me to read. The Excellent Lombards is, in fact, magnificent."

Please note that there is no autographing line for this event.

Steven Nadler and Ben Nadler, co-authors of
Tuesday, June 6, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

This entertaining and enlightening graphic narrative tells the exciting story of the seventeenth-century thinkers who challenged authority, sometimes risking excommunication, prison, and even death, to lay the foundations of modern philosophy and science and help usher in a new world. With masterful storytelling and color illustrations, Heretics! offers a unique introduction to the birth of modern thought in an entertaining graphic novel format.

Contentious and controversial philosophers like Galileo, Descartes, and Newton fundamentally changed the way we look at the world, society, and ourselves, thus overturning everything from the idea that the Earth is the center of the cosmos to the notion that kings have a divine right to rule. More devoted to reason than to faith, these thinkers defended scandalous new views of nature, religion, politics, knowledge, and the human mind.

A brilliant account of the most brilliant periods in philosophy, Heretics! is the story of how a group of brave thinkers used reason and evidence to triumph over the authority of religion, royalty, and antiquity.

About the Co-author: Steven Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include Spinoza: A Life, which won the Koret Jewish Book Award, and Rembrandt's Jews, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Madison.

About the Co-author: Ben Nadler is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and an illustrator.

Wednesday, June 7, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Hurrah! David Sedaris has a new book! As close to an actual memoir as possible, Theft by Finding features Sedaris's entries from the diaries he's kept since 1977. Devoted fans have wondered about the moments that are revealed in these pages: meeting Hugh, the first book deal (and tour), Sharon Sedaris's death, and his decision to stop drinking.

Tickets are already sold out for the talk portion of our event, but don't you worry! Anyone who has the desire to meet Mr. Sedaris can do so at Boswell on June 7, though admittedly by the time we get to everyone, it might be June 8. After the line is finished for the ticketed attendees, we'll start with everyone else. Will he sign Theft by Finding for you? Yes! Will he sign any of his backlist for you? Yes! Will he sign an anthology or magazine where he had a contribution? Yes! Will he say hello to you even if you don't want anything signed? Yes! We'll stay as long as it takes, and all you need is patience. Our suggestion? Bring something to read.

Attendees are allowed to bring books from home. Mr. Sedaris will sign (and personalize!) anything he has written, including magazine articles, but he will not sign any books penned by other writers. If you do not have a book, you may still enter the signing line if you’d just like to say hello to Mr. Sedaris. And lastly, Boswell will remain open until everyone has a chance to meet Mr. Sedaris.

Please note that there is no gift card option for the talk portion. And also note that as is always the case for David Sedaris events, we ask that there be no photos or video at this event. 

About the Author: David Sedaris is the author of numerous books including:  Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4.

Amy Thielen, author of Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir  in conversation with Kyle Cherek
Thursday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City's finest kitchens, she grew up in a northern Minnesota town home to the nation's largest French fry factory, with a mother whose generous cooking dripped with tenderness, drama, and an overabundance of butter.

Inspired by her grandmother's tales of cooking in the family farmhouse, Thielen moves north with her artist husband to a rustic, off-the-grid cabin deep in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads her to the sensory madhouse of New York's top haute cuisine brigades. But, like a magnet, the foods of her youth draw her back home, where she comes face to face with her past and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions.

Amy Thielen's coming-of-age story pulses with energy, a cook's eye for intimate detail, and a dose of dry Midwestern humor. Give a Girl a Knife offers a fresh, vivid view into New York's high-end restaurants before returning Thielen to her roots.

About the Author: Amy Thielen is the author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook The New Midwestern Table and the host of Heartland Table on Food Network. A former New York City line cook, she now speaks and writes about home cooking for radio, television, and magazines, including Saveur, where she's a contributing editor. She lives in rural Park Rapids, Minnesota.

About Kyle Cherek: Kyle Cherek is host of the Emmy-nominated television show Wisconsin Foodie, beginning its seventh season on PBS. Kyle has made regular appearances on The Travel Channel and Food Network, and is a frequent media contributor to Public Radio, NPR, and NBC. His widely-acclaimed video web series, Chef Talk with Kyle Cherek, features candid, forthright and often amusing conversations with some of America’s most engaging chefs.

Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
Monday, June 12, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It's a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.

Boswellian Caroline adores The Leavers and has this to offer, “Deming Guo’s first six years of life were spent with his immigrant mother in New York, then China with a grandfather he’s never met, and America again. After his mother disappears from her job at a nail salon, Deming is adopted by two professors and dropped into what feels like an alien, all-white suburb upstate. This pattern of early upheaval sets Deming — now Daniel Wilkinson — on a path marked by difference and isolation. As Deming’s story unfolds, his mother’s side of the story gradually comes to light, filling in holes and ripping others open, until finally, side by side, their disparate journeys form one complete portrait of the resilience of the spirit. This is a heartbreaking, poignant, beautiful book that will stay with you for a long time.”

Interesting to know, The Leavers won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction, a prize awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

This event is cosponsored by OCA-Wisconsin.

About the Author: Lisa Ko's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Apogee Journal, and The Asian Pacific American Journal. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, and Blue Mountain Center, among others.

A ticketed event with Scott Turow, author of Testimony in conversation with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich Sunday, June 25, 2:00 pm at the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd

The Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center and Boswell Book Company present a ticketed appearance with Scott Turow, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, returning with a page-turning legal thriller about an American prosecutor's investigation of a refugee camp's mystifying disappearance. For this event, Turow will be in conversation with Mitch Teich, executive producer of WUWM's Lake Effect.

In Testimony, former prosecutor Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his law career, his wife, Kindle County, even his country. Still, when he is tapped by the International Criminal Court - an organization charged with prosecuting crimes against humanity - he feels drawn to what will become the most elusive case of his career. Over ten years ago, in the apocalyptic chaos following the Bosnian war, an entire Roma refugee camp vanished. Now for the first time, a witness has stepped forward: Ferko Rincic claims that armed men marched the camp's Gypsy residents to a cave in the middle of the night - and then with a hand grenade set off an avalanche, burying 400 people alive. Only Ferko survived.

Boom's task is to examine Ferko's claims and determine who might have massacred the Roma. His investigation takes him from the International Criminal Court's base in Holland to the cities and villages of Bosnia to secret meetings in Washington, DC, as Boom sorts through a host of suspects, ranging from Serb paramilitaries, to organized crime gangs, to the US government itself, while also maneuvering among the alliances and treacheries of those connected to the case.

A master of the legal thriller since his first novel, Presumed Innocent, and continuing through his most recent work, Identical, Scott Turow now returns with his most irresistibly confounding and satisfying novel yet.

Tickets are $30 and include admission, a copy of Turow's novel Testimony, and all taxes and fees. $5 of every admission goes back to the JCC. 

Please note the group sales option: buy 10 or more tickets and the price drops to $27. And yes, there is a Boswell gift card option. You can choose a $20 gift card in lieu of the book, usable at Boswell on June 26 or later.

If you buy a ticket and can't make it to the event, we'll have a signed copy waiting for you at Boswell for up to six months after the event.

About the Author: Scott Turow is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including Identical, Innocent, and Presumed Innocent, and two nonfiction books, including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and Vanity Fair

A ticketed event with Adriana Trigiani, author of Kiss Carlo

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc’s Books and Company, and Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company present their first literary collaboration, an evening with Adriana Trigiani, beloved by millions of readers around the world for her bestselling novels, including All the Stars in the Heavens, The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Big Stone Gap series, the Valentine trilogy, and Lucia, Lucia.

Adriana Trigiani’s latest novel, Kiss Carlo, explores the vibrant, complex Italian-American experience in a dazzling novel that brings to life the golden years of post-war America, a celebration of ambition, risk, love, reinvention and one remarkable family with a secret. Adding to this mix, Trigiani, per Kirkus Reviews, “uses the motifs of the Bard's plays -- orphans, star-crossed lovers, family feuds, and mistaken identities” to create “A delightfully sprawling comedy full of extended families, in all their cocooning warmth and suffocating expectations.”

It's 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they're surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a rematch.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife's orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more--more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his Peachy that he's been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare's greatest comedies, Kiss Carlo brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani's consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

Tickets are $32.00 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of Trigiani’s latest novel, Kiss Carlo. A signing will follow the talk.

About the Author: Adriana Trigiani is the author of sixteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker’s Wife; All the Stars in the Heavens; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; and the memoir Don’t Sing at the Table; and the soon to be rereleased cookbook, Cooking with My Sisters. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time, and she wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel.