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!

Micro & Memoir, Poetry & Prose: Robert Vaughan, author of Funhouse, Ben Tanzer, author of Be Cool, Caitlin Scarano, author of Do Not Bring Him Water, and Lee L. Krecklow, author of The Expanse Between
Monday, August 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Micro: Robert Vaughan leads roundtables at Red Oak Writing in Milwaukee. He also teaches workshops in hybrid writing, dialogue, and playwriting at places like The Clearing in Door County. He was the co-founder of Flash Fiction Fridays, a radio program on WUWM, where he premiered local flash fiction writers, and also featured writers from America and abroad. His new collection Funhouse is a delightful creative take on the form of short stories. Kirkus Reviews calls Funhouse “a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read.”

Memoir: Chicago-based Ben Tanzer is the author of Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award, Lost in Space, and The New York Stories. He has also contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor, and Men's Health, serves as Senior Director, Acquisitions for Curbside Spendor. Tanzer’s Be Cool turns the microscope on the human phenomenon of being cool. With snapshot looks and comical insights into why humans are always stressing their cool factor, Tanzer explores his own experiences in a work that Wendy Ortiz calls “fresh, deep, funny, and unexpected.”

Poetry: Caitlin Scarano is from Milwaukee, at least for now, where she is completing a PhD in poetry. She has an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was the winner of the 2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in the Best New Poets 2016 and The Best Small Fictions 2016 anthologies. Her new collection, Do Not Bring Him Water, focuses on the lines that separate life’s clashing dualities and how delicious and dangerous it can be to walk them.

Prose: Milwaukee-area writer Lee L. Krecklow’s debut novel is The Expanse Between. Krecklow earned the 2016 South Million Writers Award for his short story “The Son of Summer and Eli.” Other stories have appeared in Oxford Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and The Madison. His new novel tells the story of a reclusive writer desperate for inspiration. The writer obsessively begins to watch his neighbor for details of her life, but when her life takes a turn he doesn’t like he’ll take matters into his own hands to keep the story on track.

Augustus Rose, author of The Readymade Thief
Tuesday, August 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell presents an evening with Augustus Rose, the first novelist whose debut was named an Indies Introduce title by the American Booksellers Association. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, 17-year-old Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the facade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.

We’ve had four great reads on The Readymade Thief, with our buyer Jason calling it “such a great journey!” and Boswellian Kay praising it as “a very unusual, totally engaging thriller.” In addition, Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore wrote: "The Readymade Thief is my favorite kind of book: an improbable one. The novel is a map of things--urban exploration, secret societies, the city of Philadelphia, Marcel Duchamp, very possibly the Home Alone movies--and if those things don't seem to fit together, well, that's the magic of the improbable book, and the transmutation of obsessions, by energy and intellect, into something wholly new: a novel that's unexpected, uncategorizable, unputdownable."

About the Author: Augustus Rose is a novelist and screenwriter. He was born in the northern California coastal town of Bolinas, and grew up there and in San Francisco. Rose teaches fiction writing at the University of Chicago.

In Tandem Theatre prevents a talk about and scene preview of All the Great Books (Abridged)
Wednesday, August 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Join us for a scene preview from In Tandem Theatre as they present All the Great Books! (Abridged). An English class eagerly awaits graduation until they realize they haven’t passed their final exam! The drama professor, student teacher, and gym coach team up to get them through all the great works of literature – in 90 minutes flat -  as the literary canon explodes in this hilarious, high-energy comedy!

All the Great Books (Abridged) opens at the Tenth Street Theatre on Thursday October 5th 2017. The play is directed by Chris Flieller and features actors: Ryan Schabach (professor), Chris Goode (student teacher), and Doug Jarecki (coach).

Purchase tickets for the play here.


A ticketed event Nancy Pearl, author of George and Lizzie, in conversation with Kathleen Dunn 
Saturday, September 9, 7:00 pm at Boswell

Boswell and Wisconsin Public Radio presents a special evening with Nancy Pearl, in conversation with Kathleen Dunn. You've loved Pearl and Dunn's conversations on the radio, and now here's your chance to enjoy an evening of book talk live at Boswell. Pearl is coming to Milwaukee for the publication of her very first novel, George & Lizzie.

Here's a little more about the new book. George & Lizzie have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be. George grew up in a warm and loving family, his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom, while Lizzie grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love.

Over the course of their marriage, nothing has changed—George is happy; Lizzie remains…unfulfilled. When a shameful secret from Lizzie’s past resurfaces, she’ll need to face her fears in order to accept the true nature of the relationship she and George have built over a decade together. With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George & Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments.

Tickets are $29 and include admission and a book. $5 of each ticket will be donated back to Wisconsin Public Radio. We'll have a $19 Boswell Book Company gift card available in lieu of the book on the night of the event only, but don't forget, a signed Nancy Pearl book makes a great gift. Pearl will sign backlist and pose for photos. And if you're not able to come, we'll hold your copy of George and Lizzie for up to six months.

About the Author: Nancy Pearl is known as “America’s Librarian.” She speaks about the pleasures of reading at library conferences, to literacy organizations and community groups throughout the world, comments on books regularly on public radio stations around the country, and hosts a monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl. Among her many honors and awards are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal; and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. She also hosts a monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl. Born and raised in Detroit, she received her master’s degree in library science in 1967 from the University of Michigan.

This event is cosponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

A ticketed conversation with Stephen King and Owen King, authors of Sleeping Beauties
Saturday, September 30, 8:00 pm, at the Riverside Theatre, 116 W Wisconsin Ave

Alas, our event with Stephen King and Owen King is sold out. Please sign up for our email newsletter to hear about other exciting upcoming author events.

A ticketed event with Rick Riordan, author of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3: The Ship of the Dead
Sunday, October 8, 4:00 pm, at The Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St in The Third Ward

Rick Riordan only does one week of touring per year and we are thrilled to announce that this fall, one of those stops will be in Milwaukee! Boswell presents an afternoon with Rick Riordan, in collaboration with Bartolotta Catering and Events at the Italian Community center. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 16, Noon CDT.

Tickets are $24.00, including admission, all taxes and ticketing fees, and a signed copy of The Ship of the Dead. Each attendee must have a ticket to this event. Please also be aware that there is no meet-and-greet or signing line after the event. Alas, there is no companion ticket or gift card option. Remember that a signed copy of The Ship of the Dead would make a great addition to your school or public library’s permanent collection.

Here’s a little more about The Ship of the Dead. Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fighting. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough? And Magnus's biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god Loki?

This is a rare chance to hear a talk from Rick Riordan, dubbed “storyteller of the gods” by Publishers Weekly. Rick the author of five #1 New York Times best-selling middle grade series with millions of copies sold throughout the world and collaborated with John Rocco on two bestselling collections of Greek myths for the whole family. Don’t forget, tickets go on sale August 16 for this event on Sunday, October 8, 4 pm.

A ticketed event with Kate DiCamillo, author of

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc’s Books & Company, and Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company present a very special event with Kate DiCamillo, the author of many books for children, including Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which received Newbery Medals.

Tickets are $22.00 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of DiCamillo’s latest picture book, La La La. A signing will follow the talk. There is no gift card option for this event, but don’t forget, La La La will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.

Kate DiCamillo is not just one of the most acclaimed children’s book authors writing today - she’s also one of the most beloved. Her events are incredibly popular and it’s hard to walk away from her presentations without being moved to tears. DiCamillo only does a handful of public speaking events in the United States each year. Boswell and our two partners are excited to be one of those select events, bringing fans the first metro Milwaukee event with DICamillo in five years.

In La La La, a little girl stands alone and sings, but hears no response. Gathering her courage and her curiosity, she skips farther out into the world, singing away to the trees and the pond and the reeds, but no song comes back to her. Day passes into night, and the girl dares to venture into the darkness toward the light of the moon, becoming more insistent in her singing, climbing as high as she can, but still there is silence in return. Dejected, she falls asleep on the ground, only to be awakened by an amazing sound. She has been heard, at last. With the simplest of narratives and the near absence of words, Kate DiCamillo conveys a lonely child’s yearning for someone who understands.

While an unlimited of La La La can be signed and personalized, attendees are limited to three backlist titles (from home or bought at the Wilson Center), one of which can be personalized. There is no gift card option for this event, but don't forget, La La La will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season. Here's another link for tickets

About the Author: Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for children, including Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux, both of which received Newbery Medals. Her other middle grade titles include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn-Dixie, and Raymie Nightingale. She is also the author of two chapter book series, one featuring Mercy Watson, and the other, in collaboration with Alison McGhee, starring Bink and Gollie. She is also the former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a First Stage production opening January 12.

Ticketed Event: Fill the Shelves with Alexander McCall Smith, author of The House of Unexpected Sisters
Thursday, November 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell and the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library announce a very special event with Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and other titles featuring Precious Ramotswe, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, 44 Scotland Street, and many other beloved titles. Tickets are $29, including admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of The House of Unexpected Sisters. $5 from each ticket to this event will be donated back to the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.

Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. But with the generosity and good humor that guide all her endeavors, Mma Ramotswe will untangle these questions for herself and for her loved ones, ultimately bringing to light important truths about friendship and family - both the one you’re born with and the one you choose.

This event is the launch of the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Fill the Shelves program. Fill the Shelves is a wonderful way to donate a book into library circulation, complete with a bookplate indicating you as the donor. Purchase one of the selected titles at Boswell, featured from November 16 through the end of 2017, and we’ll handle the details. You’ll even get a donation acknowledgement from the Friends.

About the author: Scotland-based Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels and a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers

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