Upcoming Events

Details for our upcoming events are below. You can find a line listing of other confirmed author appearances at the bottom of the page.

If you want to hear about events in your in box, sign up for our email newsletter or the Boswell and Books blog. And, you can always pre-order or reserve a signed copy of your favorite author's new title if you can't make an event!  

Eighth Anniversary Celebration with Liam Callanan, contributor to My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop in conversation with Daniel Goldin
Saturday, April 29, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

This updated edition, published for the first time in paperback, includes all-new essays to celebrate eight additional stores. My Bookstore is the enthusiastic, heartfelt, sometimes humorous tribute by 92 known authors to their favorite independent bookstores.

In My Bookstore our favorite writers-from Elin Hilderbrand, to John Grisham, to Ann Patchett-express their adoration and admiration for their favorite bookstores and booksellers. Boswell’s Daniel Goldin and Liam Callanan will discuss eight years of bookstore collaboration. And Callanan will also preview his April 2018 novel, Paris by the Book, yes, a year in advance.

About the Contributor: Liam Callanan is the author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and Listen. Additionally, he serves in the English department at UWM and was previously the chair as well as coordinator of its Ph.D. program in Creative Writing.

Eugenia Cheng, author of Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics Sunday, April 30, 3:00 pm, at Boswell

Imagine something small enough to fit in your head but too large to fit in the world-or even the universe. What would you call it? And what would it be? How about...infinity?

In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng answers this question by taking readers on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert's hotel-the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don't mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night-she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Along the way she considers weighty questions like why some numbers are uncountable or why infinity plus one is not the same as one plus infinity. She finds insight in some unlikely examples: planning a dinner party for 7 billion people using a chessboard, making a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough all tell you more about math than you could have imagined.

An irresistible book on the universe's biggest possible topic, Beyond Infinity will beguile and bewitch you, and show all of us how one little symbol can hold the biggest idea of all.

About the Author: Eugenia Cheng is the author of How to Bake Pi, in addition to being a Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sheffield. She has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has been featured in The New York Times.

Amy Goldstein, author of Janesville: An American Story
Monday, May 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post reporter delivers an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.

This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory closes but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.

Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville where the nation's oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America's biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, and job re-trainers to show why it's so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class.

This event is cosponsored by Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

About the Author: Amy Goldstein has been a staff writer for thirty years at The Washington Post, where much of her work has focused on social policy. Among her awards, she shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been a fellow at Harvard University at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Janesville: An American Story is her first book.

Educator’s Night with John David Anderson, author of Posted
Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

We're excited to host our first Educator’s Night of 2017, focusing on great picture books, early readers, and middle grade titles. We'll have recommendations from booksellers Todd Wellman and Barbara Katz, as well as Jennifer Sheridan, our HarperCollins sales rep.

Our special guest is John David Anderson, beloved author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day and Sidekicked, and his latest novel Posted, the story of what happens in Branton Middle School when cell phones are banned and kids start leaving sticky notes for each other.

John David Anderson is one of those authors who resonates both with educators and kids alike. Our school outreach coordinator, Todd Wellman, is a huge fan, having read seven of his novels. Booklist’s starred review called Posted “a rewarding novel (that) should resonate with many readers” while Publishers Weekly wrote that “Anderson captures the tumultuous joys and pains of middle school with honesty, creating characters with whom readers will find common ground and insight. Words have lingering and persistent power, Anderson makes clear, but so does standing up for others and making one's voice heard.”

While this event is free, we ask that you register.

About the Author: John David Anderson is the author of many books for young readers, including Sidekicked, The Dungeoneers, and the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

Two Costume Storytime Events with Gerald and Piggie, of Elephant and Piggie Like Reading:The Good for Nothing Button
Event #1 Venue: Wednesday, May 3, 4:00 pm, at Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Dr
Event #2 Venue: Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 pm, at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave

Please note, there is no author in attendance at these costume storytimes, but it’s a great photo opportunity. Remember to bring your smart phone or camera!

More about The Good for Nothing Button: Yellow Bird has a button. It does . . . nothing! It is a good for nothing button. Red Bird and Blue Bird are excited to try the button. But when they press it, they discover that the button makes them happy. Happy is something! A flabbergasted Yellow Bird insists the button does nothing. But it sure does seem to be making him mad. Mad is something!

The hilarious debate that follows takes readers on an emotional roller coaster that pokes at the power of imaginative play. Each library event will feature a reading of The Good for Nothing Button and a book or two from the Elephant and Piggie series.

Heather Lyn Mann, author of Ocean of Insight: A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope

Wednesday, May 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Heather Lyn Mann was a battle weary environmental advocate in Madison, Wisconsin, struggling over what to do about climate change when she and her husband decided to explore the Atlantic on a small sloop. This memoir of six years living afloat is a chronological unfolding of disasters and discoveries life threatening storms, the boredom of isolation, societies on the brink of extinction, sinking ships, colorful Caribbean characters, near collisions, a pirate scare, and more. Throughout, the ocean becomes Mann’s teacher, transforming her with uncompromising lessons on how to harmonize with natural order, the exact moments and ways to let in fearlessness, resilience, happiness, impermanence, balance, compassion, skillful action, and beginner’s mind.

Her suspenseful, sometimes hilarious, and always heartwarming journey of body and mind, shaped by ancient Buddhist teachings, entertains as it charts reality’s depths and danger zones so arm chair adventurers, spiritual seekers, and the climate concerned can navigate tumultuous waters and arrive together on the shore of planetary well-being.

About the Author: Heather Lyn Mann is a Spiritual Ecologist and practitioner of Buddhism, sailing, and mindful advocacy. Mann founded and led the not-for-profit Center for Resilient Cities, an organization mobilizing inner city residents to restore natural beauty and function in damaged neighborhood landscapes. She also co-edits Touching the Earth: A Newsletter of Earth Holding Actions in the Plum Village Tradition.

Drew Daywalt, author of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
Thursday, May 4, 4:00 pm, at Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W North Ave

You’ve played the game. Now read the legend of the three great warriors who started it all. New from Drew Daywalt, the bestselling author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, comes a laugh-out-loud funny picture book about the legend of the classic childhood game Rock, Paper, Scissors

Please note the following signing restrictions: To enter the signing line, you must purchase a copy of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors from either Boswell or Wauwatosa’s Little Read Book. There will be no inscriptions or flash photography, but Mr. Daywalt will personalize.

About the Author: Drew Daywalt is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling children's author whose books include The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

L. A. Kauffman, author of Direct Actions: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism

Thursday, May 4, 7:00 pm, at First Unitarian Society, 1342 N Astor St

As Americans take to the streets in record numbers to have their voices heard, L.A. Kauffman's timely, trenchant history of protest offers unique insights into how past movements have won victories in times of crisis and backlash and how they can be most effective today.

Direct Action is twenty-five years in the making, tracing the evolution of disruptive protest since the Sixties to tell a larger story about the reshaping of America. Kauffman, a longtime grassroots organizer, examines how movements from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have used disruptive tactics to catalyze change despite long odds.

Now, as protest movements again take on a central and urgent political role, Kauffman's history offers both striking lessons for the current moment and an unparalleled overview of the landscape of recent activism. Written with nuance and humor, Direct Action is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the protest movements of our time.

About the Author: L.A. Kauffman has spent more than 30 years immersed in radical movements, as an organizer, strategist, journalist, and observer. Kauffman was the mobilizing coordinator for the massive anti-war marches of 2003-2004; she has been called a ‘virtuoso organizer’ by journalist Scott Sherman for her role in saving community gardens and public libraries in New York City from developers. Her writings on grassroots activism and social movement history have been published in The Nation, Mother Jones, n+1, and many other outlets.

A ticketed luncheon with Elizabeth Strout, author of Anything Is Possible
Friday, May 5, 11:00 am at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W Wisconsin Ave

Join us for the annual Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Luncheon featuring Pulitzer Prize winning and bestselling author, Elizabeth Strout, for her newest work of fiction, Anything Is Possible, a companion work to My Name is Lucy Barton.

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. There are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help, and the adult Lucy Barton returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

Seating is limited to this engaging literary luncheon and is only open until Thursday, April 27 so why not purchase your ticket today? The ticket includes lunch and a copy of Anything Is Possible.

About the Author: Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge; the bestselling author of My Name Is Lucy BartonThe Burgess Boys, and Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Best of the Undergraduate Writers
Event #1: Friday, May 5, 7:00 pm at Boswell
Event #2: Saturday, May 6, 7:00 pm at Boswell

Since 2009 it has been a tradition to host the Best of the Undergraduate Writers from Milwaukee area colleges and universities. Now please join us in our 8th evening of literary debuts featuring:

On Friday:

Marquette University: Paige Robinson, Brian Higgins, and Anna Miller

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Morgan Finley, Matthew Wamser, Peter McCracken, and Christopher Kactro

On Saturday

Cardinal Stritch University: Kate Babbitt and Caroline Sommer

Carroll University: Linda Braus and Jack Sherman

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design: Claire Desfor and Lynnzie Palomaki

Mount Mary University: Samantha Snedeker and Suzanne Skalmoski

Sally Pla, author of The Someday Birds

Join Boswell and the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in a special Raptor Saturday, featuring Sally J. Pla, author The Someday Birds, a heartfelt coming-of-age debut novel about Charlie whose father gets injured in Afghanistan and his struggles to adapt to a world he doesn’t understand.

When arriving, attendees will be greeted by the Center’s Great Horned Owl, Bald Eagle, and Red-tailed Hawk – birds that make appearances in the book. Followed by Pla’s talk at 1:30 pm and a nature walk concluding the event. This event is free with membership or admission, $8 for adults and $5 for children. Boswell will have books for sale as well.

Here’s what Kirkus Reviews had to say about The Someday Birds: “Pla's debut is an achingly real portrait of a family living in the in-between place of a wait-and-see prognosis. Charlie's unique voice and his quest to understand the world around him will resonate with readers dealing with their own pain. Hopeful, authentic, and oddly endearing.”

About the Author: Sally J. Pla graduated from Colgate University with high honors in English, and has a Masters in English from Penn State. The Someday Birds is her first novel and is a Junior Library Guild Selection for 2017.

Graeme Simsion, author of The Best of Adam Sharp

Set against a vibrant Melbourne, Simsion’s new novel features an amateur musician and music trivia fanatic who gets a second chance at love with an old flame. Two decades ago, Adam Sharp's piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, an intelligent and strong-willed actress. They had a chance at something more but Adam didn't take it.

Now, on the cusp of turning fifty, Adam likes his life and loves his wife, Claire, but he often wonders how different life might be if he hadn’t let her walk away. Don’t miss this new novel from the bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect.

This event is cosponsored with the Shorewood Public Library and will feature mate-friendly Australian treats and music.

About the Author: Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in over thirty-five languages.

Jim Higgins, author of Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar

Wisconsin Literary Luminaries offers succinct appreciations of ten writers associated with the Badger state, from the humble cabin in the woods where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up, to contemporary playwright Ayad Akhtar's multicultural dramas. Explore how Aldo Leopold and Lorine Niedecker drew on their close observations of the natural world. Contrast the distinct novels that Jane Hamilton and Larry Watson set on Wisconsin apple orchards. Delve into Thornton Wilder's enduringly popular Our Town and the wild fiction of Milwaukee natives Ellen Raskin and Cordwainer Smith, who wrote like no one else.

About the Author: Jim Higgins writes and edits stories about books, the performing arts, and other subjects for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has reported for the Journal Sentinel and predecessor Milwaukee Sentinel since 1983. He is a graduate of Marquette University.

A YA Pizza Party with Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things, Jennifer E. Smith, author of Windfall, and Jeff Zentner, author of Goodbye Days
Thursday, May 11, 6:30 pm, at Oak Creek Public Library, 8040 S 6th St

About Tell Me Three Things: Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that's what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. It's been barely two years since her mother's death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her step-monster, her pretentious teenage son, and to start at a new school where she knows no one. Just when she's thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from an anonymous person, offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on this person for some much-needed help?

About Windfall: Alice doesn't believe in luck--at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she's been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday--just when it seems they might be on the brink of something--she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy's newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

About Goodbye Days: Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can't stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation.

About the Author: Julie Buxbaum is the author of the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You, and her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Tell Me Three Things is her first novel for young adults.

About the Author: Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned a master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages.

About the Author: Jeff Zentner is the acclaimed author of The Serpent King, which received the William C. Morris YA Debut Award from YALSA.

Sara Paretsky, author of Fallout V18

The Friends of the UWM Golda Meir Library present Sara Paretsky, The New York Times bestselling author of nineteen previous novels, including the renowned V. I. Warshawski series. For more than three decades, Paretsky has entertained millions of readers with her acclaimed series starring investigator V. I. Warshawski. Warshawski’s new case will lead her from her native Chicago and into Kansas, on the trail of a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star.

Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished -- and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe.

Don’t miss out on one of the greatest mystery writers of all time. To ensure that you have a seat, we encourage that your register.

About the Author: Sara Paretsky is The New York Times bestselling author of nineteen previous novels, including the iconic V.I. Warshawski series. She is one of only four living writers to receive both the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association in Great Britain.

Steve Dawson and Mark Caro, co-authors of Take It to the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You
Friday, May 12, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

We all have music inside us: melodies in our sentences, rhythms in our syllables, heartbeats, and steps. Whether we harbor professional aspirations or just a love of playing music, many of us enjoy the art of creation. Some do so with guitar or pen in hand, some while seated at a piano or electronic device, some while taking a stroll and whistling. There is no wrong way -- yet many of us struggle to tap into our abundant sources of inspiration. Now comes a book to remove the barriers between you and your creativity.

Take It to the Bridge offers a lively, instructive dialogue about the art of songwriting; helpful chord, key and song-form charts; and creative assignments designed to inspire anyone who ever has thought of adding songs to the world. It's a book about discovering your artistic voice and adding beauty and truth to the world.

About the Co-author: Steve Dawson is a singer/songwriter/musician who leads the rock/folk band Dolly Varden and has taught songwriting and guitar at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music for more than a decade. He has been writing songs for more than 30 years.

About the Co-author: Mark Caro, for more than 25 years, wrote about music, film, food, and other cultural topics for the Chicago Tribune, and he since has written for The New York Times and other publications. He is author of The Foie Gras Wars, which won the 2009 Great Lakes Book Award for general nonfiction and two prizes from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris.

Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero, co-editors to Family Stories from the Attic
Saturday, May 13, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Family Stories from the Attic is an anthology of essays, creative nonfiction, and poetry inspired by family letters, objects, and archives. Nearly two dozen contributors from the United States and Australia tell stories of immigration and migration, loss, discovery, secrets, questions, love, and the search for meaning and identity. Editors Christi Craig and Lisa Rivero bring together both experienced and new authors who will prompt writers and non-writers alike to think about their own family treasures and histories in new ways.

Additionally, appearing at the event, the following contributors: Kristine D. Adams, Aleta Chossek, Sally Cissna, Julia Gimbel, Myles Hopper, Nancy Martin, Patricia Ann McNair, Carolou Nelsen, Joanne Nelson, Pam Parker, Ramona M. Payne, Valerie Reynolds, Jessica Schnur, Meagan Schultz, Yvonne Stephens, and Kim Suhr.

This event is cosponsored by Red Oak Writing.

About the Co-editor: Christi Craig works as a sign language interpreter by day and moonlights as a writer, teacher, and editor. Christi was an Assistant Editor at Compose Literary Journal and an Associate Editor for Noble / Gas Quarterly. Craig is also a volunteer instructor for the Creative Writing Class at a retirement center in Wauwatosa.

About the Co-editor: Lisa Rivero is a writer, book indexer, and the publisher of Hidden Timber Books in Milwaukee. Some of her publications include a food and wellness column, magazine and journal articles, and a blog at Psychology Today. Lisa has a master's degree in Literary Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

More Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, May 16, 3:30 pm, at Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W North Ave – Dean Robbins, author of Margaret and the Moon, a picture book about Margaret Hamilton. Best for kids ages 3 and up.
  • Wednesday, May 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Guggenheim Fellowship and Story Prize winner Mary Gordon, author of  There Your Heart Lies
  • Monday, May 22, 7:00 pm, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills – Kate Southwood, author of  Evensong, produced by Milwaukee Reads. Tickets are $30, $25 for Lynden members, and include admission, a copy of Evensong, and light refreshments
  • Tuesday, May 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Michael Kula, author of The Good Doctor. Formerly based in Wisconsin, Kula is Associate Professor in the Writing Studies program at University of Washington, Tacoma.
  • Wednesday, May 31, 2:00 pm, at Boswell – Wade Rouse, writing as Viola Shipman, author of  The Hope Chest
  • Friday, June 2, 7:00 pm, at the Nigerian Community Conference Center, 8310 W Appleton Ave – Chigozie Obioma, author of the Man Booker Prize finalist The Fishermen, cosponsored by the Nigerian Community in Milwaukee
  • Sold out but read on! Wednesday, June 7, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – David Sedaris, author of Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). That said, if you would like to meet Mr. Sedaris, the signing line is open to the public and completely free. He (and we) will stay as long it takes to get your books signed (either from us or brought from home). Just be prepared for a long but worthwhile wait; Mr. Sedaris spends quality time with every attendee.
  • Thursday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Amy Thielen, author of Give a Girl a Knife and The New Midwestern Table, in conversation with or Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie
  • Thursday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at MobCraft Brewery, 505 S 5th St – The MWA Midwest MobCraft Mystery Tour, featuring Lori Rader Day, author of The Day I Died, David Krugler, author of The Dead Don’t Bleed, and Nick Petrie, author of Burning Bright. The event starts at 7:45 after a brewery tour. You must register for the tour.
  • Monday, June 12, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers, winner of the PEN Bellwether Prize
  • Thursday, June 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Don Lee, author of Lonesome Lies Before Us, in conversation with musician Will Johnson
  • Tuesday, June 27, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Rock musician and singer-songwriter Courtney Yasmineh, author of A Girl Called Sidney

Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to come early.