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. 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. 

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!


Tuesday, May 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Robert Kurson, the Chicago-based University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and bestselling author of Shadow Divers, appears at Boswell with his latest riveting history, the lesser-known inside story of NASA’s boldest, riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind’s first journey to the moon. For this event, Kurson will be in conversation with Dave Shapson, an area writer and researcher.

In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare, the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon.

In a year of historic violence and discord, the Apollo 8 mission was the boldest test of what America could do. With a focus on astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, and their wives and children, this is a vivid, gripping, you-are-there narrative that shows anew the epic danger involved and the singular bravery it took for man to leave Earth for the first time and arrive at a new world.

In addition to Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson is the author of Pirate Hunters and Crashing Through. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor.


Wednesday, May 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Jamie Cat Callan presents an engaging and practical guide to cultivating inner beauty and mystique. This is sure to be a delightful evening for anyone who is French, has French aspirations, or just wants to add a little bit of that certain je ne sais quoi to their lives. Cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

We all know that French women don’t get fat. But their famous joie de vivre comes from more than just body type. It’s from the old-fashioned art of keeping romance alive at any age. Filled with insights from Parisian women, this delightful guide shows readers how to cultivate charm in the age of Tinder and OKCupid and to find lasting romance and connection.

From first impressions, lively conversation (in person!), and cultivating social finesse to embracing femininity and communicating with grace and humor, this is age-old advice that’s more precious than ever in our disconnected world. For anyone who’s tired of texting with strangers who don’t write back, here’s an inspiring guide to a better way.

Jamie Cat Callan is the author of the bestselling books French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, Bonjour, Happiness! and Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day. Her books have been published in 21 countries and have been featured in major magazines, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time.


J. F. Riordan, author of Robert’s Rules
Thursday, May 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Riordan returns with Robert’s Rules, the third installment of the award-winning North of the Tension Line series set on a remote island in the Great Lakes. Called a modern-day Jane Austen, Riordan creates wry, engaging tales and vivid characters that celebrate the well-lived life of the ordinary man and woman.

As the new Chairman of the Town Board, Fiona Campbell finds life has become a series of petty squabbles, complicated by her guardianship of the as-yet unidentified screaming goat. In desperation, she hires a newcomer, the compulsively orderly Oliver Robert, to keep her organized. As Roger’s fame as an idiosyncratic yoga practitioner spreads, and he and Elisabeth look for a new location to accommodate the growing crowds at their tiny coffee shop.

Meanwhile, Ferry Captain and poet Pali has an offer to leave the Island and wonders whether it is time to introduce his son, Ben, to the larger world. The Fire Chief is threatening to quit, and Fiona finds herself faced with an Island controversy and an unwanted set of new responsibilities. As Pete Landry prepares to leave for one of his regular journeys, Fiona begins to suspect his life may be more than it seems. His secrecy raises doubt about whether he can be trusted, and their breakup plunges her into grief. The reliable Jim, always nearby, is all too ready to offer comfort.

J.F. Riordan first moved to Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, studied voice at the University of New Mexico and in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest. She taught for three years before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs.


Owen Laukkanen, author of Gale Force, in conversation with novelist Nick Petrie
Friday, May 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Partners in crime (fiction) Owen Laukkanen and Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie convene at Boswell for a conversation about Laukkanen’s newest novel, Gale Force, the beginning of a new series of seafaring action-adventure starring a dazzling new heroine.

McKenna Rhodes has never been able to get the sight of her father’s death out of her mind. A freak maritime accident has made her the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by when a freighter out of Yokohama founders two hundred miles out in a storm.

This is their last chance, but more is at stake than they know. Unlisted on any manifest, the Lion’s crew includes a man on the run carrying fifty million dollars in stolen Yakuza bearer bonds. And the storm rages on. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves and maybe even her life itself will be lost. Filled with bravery, betrayal, sudden twists, and pure excitement, Gale Force is a spectacular new adventure from the fast-rising suspense star.

Vancouver author Owen Laukkanen comes from a family of fishermen and spent months and summers as a deckhand for his father and uncle. He is the author of six Stevens and Windermere novels, nominated for Barry Awards, an International Thriller Writers Award, and the Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel: New Voices Award.


A ticked event with Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach, in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less
Friday, June 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Presenting two Pulitzer Prize winners in conversation! Jennifer Egan, winner of the Pultizer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad and current winner of the Carnegie Medal for Manhattan Beach, is joined by Andrew Sean Greer, current winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Less. It’s a first for Boswell and it’s a one-of-a-kind event that is only happening in Milwaukee.

Manhattan Beach, Egan’s first foray into historical fiction, takes us into a world before and during World War II, populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.

And here’s more about Less. Arthur Less, a failed novelist, is about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail from Less’s boyfriend of the past nine years. He can't say yes - it would be too awkward - and he can't say no - it would look like defeat. On the desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. So how does Arthur arrange to skip town? He accepts them all. What could possibly go wrong?

Tickets to this event are $19 and are available at egangreer.bpt.me. The price includes admission, all taxes and fees, and a paperback copy of Manhattan Beach or Less or both at a special price of $34. Only 300 tickets available for this event.

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five previous works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by The San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction, includuing A Visit from the Goon Squad, which also received the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist.


Register here for Sabaa Tahir, author of A Reaper at the Gates
Friday, June 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell is so excited to be part of the tour for Sabaa Tahir’s A Reaper at the Gates, the third volume of the Ember Quartet. This event will be free but registration is required at tahir.bpt.me. Signing restrictions to come. The store will close to the general public if the event size reaches store capacity.

Here’s more about the latest book from Boswellian Jen Steele: “Laia, Elias, and Helene all have a path they are meant to follow and straying from it might lead to grim consequences. With enemies lurking at every turn, Laia of Serra must find the strength to prevent the Nightbringer's destruction of her people and the world. Helene, the Blood Shirke, must persevere through the ongoing threats, not only from the Emperor himself, but from the deadly Commandant in order to protect her family and the Empire itself. As much as Elias loves Laia and wants to protect her, it may not be within his power. Can Elias fulfill his new duties as Soul Catcher without sacrificing all it means to love and be human? A Reaper at the Gates will keep you on the edge of your seat 'til the very end! You will not want to put this book down. I know I didn't.”

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s eighteen-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all things nerd.


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