Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Thank you for visiting our website. Due to COVID-19, our physical store is closed to the public for browsing and when we figure out when that opening date for browsing is, we'll let you know. We have expanded our phone and email response hours to 7 pm on weekdays.  Our event programming and book clubs have gone virtual, as have many of our partnership events.

Sidewalk pickup is available during store hours - our pickup hotline is (414) 906-4083. We ship by media mail, UPS, and do a limited amount of Boswell delivery to closer neighborhoods. Our media mail shipping and local delivery is a very reasonable $4 within Wisconsin, $6 elsewhere within the United States. For puzzles and games, our UPS rates are $10 within Wisconsin, $12 in the contiguous United States. We do not ship internationally. We suggest that out-of-state shipments upgrade to UPS as it may take as long as a month to get books via media mail. Local media mail delivery is often quite speedy. Order $75 more of books or gift items to one address and we will cover the shipping costs. One last thing - remember that just because you order something doesn't mean we can get it. 

Our booksellers are available by phone at (414) 332-1181 or email at info@boswellbooks.com between 10 am and 5 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm on Tuesday and Friday, and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. 

Please note it's not quite business as usual. We may not be able to answer your phone call in a timely manner and web orders generally take a day to process. All purchases must be paid for by credit or debit card before pickup - we're temporarily not taking cash. More importantly, we are not taking returns at this time. Packages are not going to always come as quickly as you'd like - we expect serious delays on both USPS and UPS, particularly outside the Milwaukee area. For those placing orders via this website, please understand that our technology is not automated, and while we are processing these orders as fast as we can, there may be some delay between the time you place the order and when it is ready to pick up or ship - we will contact you when your order is ready. And at this time, we're also not able to take returns.  We are working towards limited browsing hours, but we're not there yet.

Gift cards are available for purchase online or by phone.

Second-hand mystery grab bags available here. Each package has at least four books: one general fiction or story collection, one mystery or thriller, and two nonfiction titles, all for $20. Or get a Bargain Bag for $25, which includes a selection of three bargain books: one hardcover fiction title, one hardcover nonfiction title, and one surpripse paperback.


This Week's Virtual Events

Visit our Upcoming Events Page for a complete listing of our upcoming virtual events.


Abbi Waxman, author of I Was Told It Would Get Easier
in Conversation with Margy Stratton for a Virtual Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speakers Series Event
Tuesday, July 7, 7:00 pm

Abbi Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, joins the Lynden Sculpture Garden and Boswell Book Company for a virtual conversation with Margy Stratton as part of the Women’s Speaker Series.

This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today! Purchase a copy of I Was Told It Would Get Easier for 10% off list price from Boswell through the event date.

Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures. BookRiot calls it “funny and insightful,” and Booklist says, “Waxman shines at creating characters that feel like best friends, inspiring compassion, laughs, and cheers."

From Boswellian Jen Steele: “Jessica Burnstein and her 16-year-old daughter Emily are off on a week-long college tour. While Jessica hopes for some mother-daughter bonding time, a crisis at work may end up interrupting her plans. For Emily, dealing with the pressure to go to college and get good grades is very stressful, and she's unsure how to tell her mom what she really thinks. Along the way they have fights, awkward encounters, unspoken truths, and an overzealous college tour guide to deal with. Funny, emotional, and relatable, Abbi Waxman delivers another feel-good novel!”

Abbi Waxman is author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, Other People’s Houses, and The Garden of Small Beginnings.


Posts From The Boswellians and Boswell and Books

Our front page now features some excerpted posts from our staff blog, The Boswellians, as well as Boswell and Books. Enjoy!


Monday, July 6, 2020, Day 4113 - Conrad Globetrots with Cookbooks

From Conrad: Cooking is an act of creation. All recipes are mere templates for endless exploration and expansion. You make the dishes your own. A good rule of thumb for making a dish you’ve never tried before is to find 2 or 3 versions of it, compare what’s the same and what’s different, and choose what looks good to make it your own. That said, the following is a list of eight dishes from eight cookbooks from eight cuisines. The dishes chosen are not necessarily representative, but are ones that I like and that, I feel, have made me a better cook. Some of these books are out of print, but any good equivalent cookbook would do.

The recipes & books: Pesto from Italy - Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Gujerati-style Green Beans from India by way of England - Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. Stir-fry Asparagus with Sesame Seeds from China - try All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China or Chinese Takeout Cookbook: From Chop Suey to Sweet'n Sour, Over 70 Recipes to Recreate your Favorites. A not-so-traditionally-French Mushroom Bourguignon - Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman. Guidado de Puerco con Tomatillos - try The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy. Hkathenkwan (Groundnut Stew) from Ghana - try The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent by Jessica B Harris. And finally, getting complicated (but oh-so worth it), Spain's national dish, my favorite thing to cook and eat, Paella - Paella​ by Alberto Herraiz.

These books and dishes are far from comprehensive. I could have easily chosen eight different recipes from each book, or eight different books for each cuisine, or indeed, eight different cuisines. Enjoy any of these or similar recipes they may inspire. They are basically straight out of the books, but are mere launching pads for your culinary excursions. Your imagination is the only limit.

Read Conrad's full notes on each cookbook, along with eight fantastic recipes, in his two blog posts on cooking - part one, part two - on the Boswellians blog today!


Sunday, July 5, 2020, Day 4112 - Daniel's Notes on the Boswell Bestsellers 

From Daniel: The Boswell bestsellers for the week ending July 4, 2020 include, at #2 on our Hardcover Fiction list, is Mexican Gothic, the big new release of the week by Silvia Moreno Garcia, which the publisher described as a "darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico." Boswellian Jen Steele called it "unputdownable" in our most recent email newsletter. And Jessica Wick, on the NPR website, wrote: "Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic is a thoroughly enjoyable, thought-provoking novel. I want to discuss it around tea, preferably while in the mountains, preferably somewhere well-lit. I remember placing my bookmark in the book and thinking, I should not have read this before bed."

It's summer, and that means educational development for teachers. One of the books on this week's list is The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage, by Kelly McGonigal, #6 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list. I was actually discussing some of the ideas in this book with my sister Merrill, whose advanced degrees are in English literature and exercise physiology. She noted that exercise and physical activity strengthens her mental health, and now I know that her opinion is backed by neuroscience and evolutionary biology. McGonigal was on Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast when the book was released earlier this year.

At #10 on our Paperback Fiction list, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is a "terrific story involving a former Jamaican slave on trial in London for the grisly murder of her employers. Did she do it? Over the course of her trial we learn Frannie's backstory as a slave to a master involved in unsavory science experiments (shades of Mary Shelly) and of her romance with the mistress of the house where she served in in London. Collins draws on Moll Flanders, Jane Eyre, and Frankenstein while morphing those themes into a story very much her own." Winner of the Costa First Novel Prize, Collins also recipient of the 2015 Michael Holroyd Prize for Creative Writing.

Finally, Educator University of Georgia Associate Professor Bettina L Love's We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (#1 on our Paperback Nonfiction list) was published in February 2020, one of Beacon Press's timely books about race. Library Journal notes: "Rather than tinkering around the edges of the system in order to ensure the mere survival of children from marginalized communities, Love shows instead how schools can encourage these students to thrive."

Read more from Daniel on the Boswell Bestsellers and see the complete lists right here on the Boswell and Books blog today!


Sunday, June 28, 2020, Day 4105 - Chris on New and Newish Fiction of The South

From Chris: Jen asked us to curate a mini-collection of themed books for a new series on the Boswell Instagram (the Jenstagram) page. And so, I set out to do just that. Why the South? Well, because it's finally getting to the point of hot and humid here in Milwaukee that someone like me, who grew up a few degrees of latitude below the great lakes, thinks it's finally beginning to feel like summer. Yes, it generally takes until mid-June here before I think, "ah, time for boat drinks."

From Florida: The Blurry Years, by Eleanor Kriseman - One of my absolute indie press favorites from the last few years. It's set in the outskirts of second-rate resort towns along the Florida coast, a place the book captures so well you might just catch a whiff of sunscreen-spilt-liquor-salt-air breeze when you open the pages. From Alabama: Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson - Dark, humid, sweet, dirt, football, religion, death, sex, magic - all words that describe Alabama and this book. A sensitive teenager, Max, the child of German immigrants, joins the high school football team. In a story like a fable, Hudson makes the familiar of the deep American South foreign through eyes of a German family in order to question the place’s most deep-rooted beliefs.

From South Carolina: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix - Oh, this one's just a blast. A riff on the classic Dracula story, vampire fans will love it, but on top of that it's soaked in pop culture with a pinch of 90s nostalgia. From West Virginia: Snakehunter by Chuck Kinder - And okay, so my native West Virginia is a particularly tricky-to-classify place, the North of the South, and the South of the North, but roll with me here.  If you want a book that's full of the kind of magic that's conjured in a kitchen of elders telling stories while they string green beans, you'll never do better than Snakehunter. And coming soon, I'm super excited about the North Carolina set story collection If I Had Two Wings from Randall Kenan and the hilarious romp that is Tom Cooper's Florida Man, of sunshine state origin.

For a few more recommendations and more details on these sun soaked books, read Chris's full post right here on the Boswellians blog today!


Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Day 4100 - Daniel Recaps Last Week's Bestsellers

From Daniel: On the Boswell bestsellers for the week ending June 20, 2020. Oprah's Book Club selected Deacon King Kong (#5 on our Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list) as her 85th book club selection and the fifth since her new partnership with Apple. Per O: The Oprah Magazine, James McBride's latest is "set in a Brooklyn housing project in 1969 much like the one where the author grew up" and "features a cast of characters who struggle to keep their heads above water amid poverty, loss, racial tensions, and crime - yet they always have one another’s backs, and what could have turned tragic instead turns into a tale of resilience, hope, and humanity."

While Hot Combs's (#3 on our Paperback Fiction Bestseller list) Ebony Flowers now lives in Denver, she pursued her doctorate at UW-Madison. Of her 2019 work, Publisher Weekly writes: "Flowers's exploration of black women's relationships to their hair is rich with both sorrow and celebration as it champions black womanhood and family ties. In a series of comics vignettes, Flowers journeys through a first salon trip, a long-running case of trauma-generated trichotillomania (obsessive hair-pulling), and the collision of pain and piety that is a beloved matriarch's funeral." Note - the collection is a mix of stories and memoir so it could have also gone in nonfiction.

Originally published in 1997 and updated in 2017, Beverly Daniel Tatum's Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race. (#7 on our Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller list) As noted, "Tatum presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities - whatever they may be - is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides." The author is President Emerita of Spelman College and in 2014 received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association.

Read Daniel's full post with complete bestseller listings right here on the Boswell and Books blog today!


For more posts from The Boswellians and Boswell and Books blogs, visit our blog post archive right here.