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Welcome to Boswell!
Our regular browsing hours are:
Monday through Friday: 10 am to 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
Masks optional. Parts of Boswell may be inaccessible during certain events. Boswell may be closed to browsing during certain ticketed or at-capacity programs. When in doubt, check this website for details or call us.

A Virtual Event
Friday, February 10, 2 pm

Celebrated British nature writer and poet Miriam Darlington joins us for a virtual event for a conversation about The Wise Hours, her Guardian Book of the Year collection of lyrical, lucent, and lush writing which sheds light on a mysterious and elusive bird: the owl. Darlington will be in conversation Lindsay Obermeier, Raptor Program Director at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Joining them will be a few of the Schlitz Audubon’s resident owls!

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Wise Hours as well.

Owls have existed for over sixty million years, and in the relatively short time we have shared the planet with these majestic birds they have ignited the human imagination. But even as owls continue to captivate our collective consciousness, Darlington finds herself struck by all she doesn’t know about the true nature of these enigmatic creatures.

Darlington begins her fieldwork in the British Isles with her teenage son, Benji. But when her son develops a mysterious illness, her quest to understand the elusive nature of owls becomes entangled with her search for finding a cure. Darlington watches and listens to the natural world and to the rhythms of her home and family, inviting readers to discover the wonders of owls alongside her while rewilding our imagination with the mystery, fragility, and magnificence of all creatures.

Miriam Darlington is author of Otter Country, forthcoming in the United States in 2024. She contributes frequently to The Times, The Guardian, and The Ecologist.

with Patricia Rodda at Boswell
Friday, February 10, 6:30 pm

Carroll University Professor Lilly J Goren appears at Boswell for an evening of cinematic conversation about a new critical anthology she has coedited which is the first book to look expansively at politics in the MCU and ask the question, what lessons are this entertainment juggernaut teaching audiences about politics, society, power, gender, and inequality? Goren will be joined by anthology contributor Patricia Rodda.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, too.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most expansive and widely viewed fictional narrative in the history of cinema. In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment, and since then, the MCU has grown from two feature films to thirty interconnected movies, nine streaming series, a half dozen short films, and more than thirty print titles. Eight of the twenty-five highest grossing films of all time are MCU movies. And intentionally or not, the MCU sends fans scores of messages about a wide range of subjects related to government, public policy, and society.

In The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, more than twenty-five leading scholars examine these films’ complex political themes. The MCU is not only a product of contemporary politics, but many of its stories seem to be direct responses to the problems of the day. Racial injustice, environmental catastrophe, and political misinformation are not just contemporary social ills; they are also key thematic elements of recent MCU blockbusters.

Lilly J Goren is Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at Carroll University, and coedited Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America and Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics, and she edited You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture. Patricia Rodda is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Carroll University.

Elana K Arnold, author of Harriet Spies
at Boswell
Tuesday, February 14, 4:30 pm

Join us at Boswell for an after-school Valentine’s Day special featuring Elana K Arnold, who visits with Harriet Spies, the sequel to her chapter book Just Harriet, which continues the adventures of the unforgettable Harriet. And as a special Valentine’s treat, the first 50 people to register and attend this event will get delicious mini cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes – yum!

Please click here to register for this event. You can also preorder a copy of Harriet Spies now, too!

There are a few things to know about Harriet Wermer: She always tells the truth. She loves spending the summer on Marble Island, where she is an A+ mystery-solver. And, okay, maybe she doesn’t always tell the truth. Maybe she has a tendency to lie quite a bit. When one of the guests at her grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast finds their treasured pair of binoculars is missing, no one believes Harriet when she said she had nothing to do with it. But this is one time Harriet isn’t lying - and she knows that if she can find the binoculars and figure out who really took them, she can prove it.

This series is perfect for fans of Clementine and Ramona Quimby, with a bold, brash heroine and the comforting, big-hearted, funny tone that resonates with readers. Harriet and her adorable kitty, Matzo Ball are sure to be long-enduring and beloved characters.

Elana K Arnold is the award-winning author of many books for children and teens, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and the Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat. She is a member of the faculty at Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program.

in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Thursday, February 16, 2 pm

Join us online for the February installment of our Readings from Oconomowaukee event series, presented in partnership with Books & Company of Oconomowoc. This month’s event features Edward Chisholm, author of A Waiter in Paris, an evocative portrait of the underbelly of contemporary Paris as seen through the eyes of a young waiter scraping out a living in the City of Light. Cohosted by our friends of Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

Please click right here to register for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of A Waiter in Paris now as well. Order here from Boswell or order here from Books & Company.

A waiter's job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door is hell. Edward Chisholm's spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you beneath the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world and right into its glorious underbelly. Waiting is a job that’s physically demanding, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn't matter when you’re in Paris, the center of the universe, and there's nowhere else you'd rather be in the world.

Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé, says: "A young Englishman’s journey into the merciless world of Parisian restaurants is propulsive, harrowing, and expertly observed. I could practically smell the grease and feel his terror and - ironically - his hunger. I don’t think I’ll dine out in quite the same way again." And from the starred Publishers Weekly review: "A Dickensian tale of a young man’s trial by fire in a French bistro gives rise to biting commentary on Parisian culture in Chisholm’s intoxicating debut."

Edward Chisholm was born in England and moved to Paris after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Chisholm spent four years working all manner of low-paid restaurant jobs, from waiting and bartending, while trying to build a career as a writer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Financial Times.

in Conversation with Sally Haldorson for a Virtual Event
New Date: Monday, February 20, 1 pm central

Boswell Book Company and Porchlight Book Company are so happy to welcome Katherine May back for a virtual sequel to last year’s visit! This time the Wintering author joins us for a pre-publication preview event for her new book, Enchantment, which offers an invitation to rediscover the feelings of awe and wonder available to us all.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to preorder your copy of Enchantment, too! Books will be available for pickup at Boswell on February 28, 2023, the publication date. Preorders will receive a special art print with an enchanting quote from the book!

Katherine May invites the reader to come with her on a journey to reawaken our innate sense of wonder and awe. With humor, candor, and warmth, she shares stories of her own struggles with work, family, and the aftereffects of pandemic, particularly the feelings of overwhelm as the world rushes to reopen. Blending lyricism and storytelling, sensitivity and empathy, Enchantment invites each of us to open the door to human experience in all its sensual complexity, and to find the beauty waiting for us there.

And how about this early praise from Anne Lamott: "I love Katherine May’s new book, Enchantment. She is so smart, tender hearted, thoughtful. It’s actually enchanting, so wise and lyrical, down to earth and mystical, personal and universal. It’s a beautiful offering of light, truth and charm in these strange, dark times."

Katherine May is the New York Times bestselling author of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including The New York Times, The Times of London, and Cosmopolitan.

at Boswell
Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Journalist and author Mary Llewellyn McNeil appears at Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, Century’s Witness, a book about Wallace Carroll, a “journalist’s journalist,” whose life and life’s work is essential reading for all those who believe a trusted and reasoned press is essential to our democracy.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also order a copy of Century’s Witness now.

Today when local newspapers are going out of business, corporate profits drive press coverage, and unbiased reporting is seen as almost nonexistent, Wallace Carroll's life is a lesson in excellence. A "journalist's journalist" with unmatched integrity, Carroll covered the most significant events of his time, from the London Blitz to the United States' withdrawal from the Vietnam War. His story is even more relevant today given the war in Ukraine and Russia's assault on the truth.

Carroll covered the League of Nations in the 1930s, warning the American public of the dangers of fascism, headed United Press's office in London at the outbreak of the war and was among the first journalists to reach the Russian front following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He later joined the US Office of War Information, tasked with "winning the hearts and minds" of those under the Nazi boot. As such, he was well-placed to understand the power of words, and their heightened importance in a time of war.

From George F. Will, columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner: "This well-told story of a gentleman journalist is a trip back in time to when that phrase did not strike most Americans as an oxymoron, and when vibrant local newspapers were both causes and effects of national vigor."

Mary Llewellyn McNeil is a former editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly, former editor at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, and was a journalist at the Winston-Salem Journal. She is coeditor of Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa. McNeil was a student of Wallace Carroll's and a graduate of Wake Forest University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

at Boswell
Monday, February 27, 6:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening with Quaker activist George Lakey for a conversation about his latest work, Dancing with History, on his involvement in struggles for peace, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also pre-order a copy of Dancing with History now.

From his first arrest in the Civil Rights era to his most recent during a climate justice march at the age of 83, George Lakey has committed his life to a mission of building a better world through movements for justice. In this memoir, he describes the personal, political, and theoretical - coming out as bisexual to his Quaker community while known as a church leader and family man, protesting against the war in Vietnam by delivering medical supplies through the naval blockade in the South China Sea, and applying his academic study of nonviolent resistance to creative tactics in direct action campaigns.

From strategies he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets to risking his life as an unarmed bodyguard for Sri Lankan human rights lawyers, Lakey recounts his experience living out the tension between commitment to family and mission. Drawing strength from his community to fight cancer, survive painful parenting struggles, and create networks to help prevent activist burnout, this book shows readers how to find hope in even the darkest times through strategic, joyful activism.

From Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst who released The Pentagon Papers in 1971, peace activist, and author: "George Lakey stands out for the sheer range of his contributions to peace and justice, especially in strategy and theory, organizing, innovative and risky actions, and teaching and training others. His upbeat, soul-driven spirit underlies it all, as you'll catch in this revealing memoir."

George Lakey recently retired from Swarthmore College, where he was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change. A Quaker, he has been named Peace Educator of the Year and was given the Paul Robeson Social Justice Award and the Martin Luther King Peace Award. His previous books include Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right - and How We Can, Too and How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning.

All event times are Central Time. To see a full event listing, visit our Upcoming Events page here. Read posts from The Boswellians (our bookseller contributed blog) here and Boswell and Books (from Daniel Goldin) right here, and visit our blog post archive right here.