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!  


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

Our event with Alexander McCall Smith is sold out. There's a possibility of cancellations, so check back on the Brown Paper Tickets website. And there's a small possilibity of a few stand-by seats the night of the event.

Tickets are $29 and include a copy of the book. There is no gift card option for walk-up tickets. 

This is also the launch of the Milwaukee Public LIbrary Fill the Shelves program. Now through the holiday season, Boswell will have a list of books that you can donate to the public library. These titles will go into circulation, complete with a bookplate acknowledging your donation. 

Vida Cross, author of Bronzeville at Night: 1949
Saturday, November 18, 7 pm, at Boswell

Bronzeville at Night:1949 is a debut poetry collection by Vida Cross referencing her ancestry as a third generation Chicagoan and Bronzeville resident, as well as the artwork of Archibald J. Motley Jr., and the poetic research of Langston Hughes. Ian Bodkin raves “Cross pulls from Archibald Motley Jr.’s brushstrokes to conjure a music that plays behind the commotion of the street.”

About the Author: Vida Cross was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. From 2009 to 2013, Cross was a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review, The Reverie Journal, and The Journal of Film and Video. Vida splits her time between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She teaches English Literature at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Tuesday, November 21, 7 pm, at Boswell

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center presents Tapestry: Art and Ideas series with Steven Wallace, cosponsored by Boswell.

What country makes the best chocolate? Most people would answer "Switzerland," or, if they're discerning, "Belgium" or "France." But, how many cocoa trees grow in Zurich? Lyon? Antwerp? Shouldn't the country known for growing the best cocoa beans be the one that makes the best chocolate? So, captivated by theories of international trade but with precious little knowledge of cocoa or chocolate, Steven Wallace set out to build the Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company in Ghana - a country renowned for its cocoa and where Wallace spent part of his youth - in a quest to produce the world's first export-ready, single-origin chocolate bar. What followed would be the true story of an obroni - white person - from Wisconsin taking on the ultimate entrepreneurial challenge.

Written with sensitivity and devastating self-awareness, Obroni and the Chocolate Factory is Steven's chaotic, fascinating, and bemusing journey to create a successful international business that aspired to do a bit of good in the world. This book is at once a penetrating business memoir and a story about imagining globalism done right. Wallace's picturesque journey takes him to Ghana's residence for the head of state, to the Amsterdam offices of a secretive international cocoa conglomerate, and face-to-face with key figures in the sharp-elbowed world of global trade and geopolitics. Along the way he'll be forced to deal with bureaucratic roadblocks, a legacy of colonialism, corporate intrigue, inscrutable international politics, a Bond-esque villain nemesis, and constant uncertainty about whether he'll actually pull it off. This rollicking love letter to both Ghana and the world of business is a rare glimpse into the mind of an unusually literate and articulate entrepreneur.

About the Author: Native Wisconsinite Steven Wallace is the founder and CEO of the Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, the first company to sustain exports of premium chocolate manufactured entirely in Africa, and credited with producing the world's first single-origin chocolate bar in 1994. He currently lives in Whitefish Bay.

Wenesday, November 29, 7 pm, at Boswell .

In addition to exposing racially biased policing, the Justice Department's Ferguson Report exposed to the world a system of fines and fees levied for minor crimes in Ferguson, Missouri, that, when they proved too expensive for Ferguson's largely poor, African American population, resulted in jail sentences for thousands of people.

As former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy and current Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explains in Not a Crime to Be Poor, Ferguson is everywhere in America today. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished. Simply put, that we have effectively made it a crime to be poor in one of the richest countries on Earth.

Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare "reform," connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.

About the Author: Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center. Edelman was a top advisor to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and served in President Bill Clinton's administration.

Thursday, November 30, 7pm, at Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd.

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center presents Tapestry: Art and Ideas series with Francine Klagsbrun, cosponsored by Boswell.

Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life - the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants.

As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Analyzing newly available documents from Israeli government archives, Francine Klagsbrun looks into whether Golda could have prevented that war and whether in its darkest days she contemplated using nuclear force. Resigning in the war's aftermath, she spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.

About the Author: Francine Klagsbrun is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day and Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce. She is a regular columnist for The Jewish Week, a contributing editor to Lilith, and on the editorial board of Hadassah magazine. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.

More Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, December 5, 6:00 pm, at the Milwaukee Public Library, Mitchell Street Branch, 906 W Mitchell St – Sergio M. Gonzalez, author of Mexicans in Wisconsin, sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin
  • Friday, December 8, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – a holiday party with Elizabeth Berg, author of The Story of Arthur Truluv, featuring light refreshments
  • Monday, December 18, 7:00 pm, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills – The Women’s Speaker Series presents Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace. Ticket prices to come, and include a copy of the book. Produced by Milwaukee Reads. More info here.
  • Friday, January 5, 6:30 pm, at University School of Milwaukee, 2100 Fairy Chasm Rd – Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino, part of the Global Scholars Crisis Simulation. This event is free, but registration is requested.
  • Tuesday, January 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Nick Petrie, author of Light It Up, the breakout breakout third Peter Ash thriller
  • Wednesday, January 17, 6:30 pm (note time), at Boswell – a YA event with Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, author of Zenith, the first volume in the Androma Saga
  • Thursday, January 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists, a Book Expo Buzz Panel selection, which also has five advance staff recommendations from Boswell booksellers
  • Wednesday, February 7, 4:30 pm, at Boswell – Gillian Philip, one of the Erin Hunters, author of Bravelands #2: Code of Honor, a spinoff of the Warriors series
  • Thursday, February 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Former Milwaukeean Cynthia Swanson, author of The Glass Forest, from the author of The Bookseller
  • Tuesday, February 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Former Wauwatosan Tom Miller, author of The Philosopher’s Flight, for fans of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness
  • Thursday, March 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – The UWM English Department presents the United We Read Student Faculty reading series
  • Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Our ninth birthday party, featuring Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book

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.