Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

For our tenth year, we have a commemorative logo, featuring a very special toad playing the part of James Boswell. For those who like to know these things, James Boswell has been the face of a Milwaukee bookstore since 1973 and the children's book that inspired this illustration was the favorite of more than one generation of the Harry W. Schwartz family. We're honored to carry on the tradition of storefront bookselling in Milwaukee.

We bet you want to know where we are and how to get a hold of us. Our address is 2559 N Downer Ave, on the same block as the Downer Theatre, up the bluff from Lincoln Memorial Drive. We're north of Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and south of UWM. We're about three miles northeast of downtown Milwaukee, located on the MCTS Gold Line.

Our phone is (414) 332-1181. If you like old phone trivia, 332 is the old EDgewood exchange. Our general email is info@boswellbooks.com. This is for special orders, upcoming event info, or other questions you may have. 

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 have limited hours on several other holidays. In addition, we sometimes close early for ticketed in-store events.

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.

Monday, February 18, 6:00 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library, Mitchell Street Branch, 908 W Historic Mitchell Street

Alas, the event with acclaimed culinary historian Michael W Twitty, winner of the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing and Book of the Year, is at capacity and no more seating is available. However, Twitty will be in Milwaukee for two more public events, detailed below.

Tuesday, February 19, 4:00 pm, at UWM Golda Meir Library, Fourth floor conference Center, 2311 E Hartford Ave, Twitty participates in a panel discussion with Portia Cobb, Jennifer Jordan, and Shahanna McKinney Baldon, 

Moderated by Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie. Free and open to the public, no registration required. Cosponsored by UWM’s Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and Boswell.

Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 pm, at Diplomat, 815 E Brady St. 

Twitty is the guest of honor at the Diplomat's Taste of the South dinner, a family style meal that honors visiting culinary historian Michael Twitty’s journeys through Afroculinaria. Enjoy a feast celebrating regionally and culturally diverse Southern foodways.  Diners will share platters from a set menu that will include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. A portion of ticket proceed will go to organizations connecting communities to good food and cultural foodways like Alice’s Garden and Fondy Food Center. Tickets are $60, available at fondymarket.org/calendar.

Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee author and speaker Susan Angel Miller tells the story of her family’s journey through illness and loss in order to confront death, illness, and trauma while conveying a hopeful message about personal growth in face of life’s inevitable adversities. Cosponsored by Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.

Susan Angel Miller traces her extraordinary journey, which begins when her healthy fourteen-year-old daughter dies suddenly and the family's difficult decision to donate Laura's organs, saving the life of a woman with whom the Miller family would eventually cultivate an exceptional relationship.

This intensely personal story addresses the unnerving and universal topics of death, illness, and trauma while conveying a hopeful message: life-changing tragedies might be impossible to prevent or predict, but it is the response to these adversities which influences the extent and likelihood of post-traumatic emotional growth. This memorable book speaks to anyone who fears when that next bad event will occur and wonders how they will respond.

Susan Angel Miller earned degrees from the University of Michigan and Loyola, and has held leadership positions with the National Council of Jewish Women-Milwaukee Section, The Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and The Milwaukee Jewish Community Center. Angel Miller also gives presentations on empathy, post-traumatic growth (PTG), and organ donation awareness.

Lizzy Mason, author of The Art of Losing, in conversation with Phoebe Dyer,
Wednesday, February 20, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

Boswell is pleased to welcome YA author Lizzy Mason for a conversation about her compelling debut novel of sisterhood, addiction, and loss with Boswell-bookseller-turned-book-publicist Phoebe Dyer. Perfect for adults and teens 14+.

On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her boyfriend, Mike, hooking up with her younger sister, Audrey. Furious, she abandons them both. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma.

Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her now ex-boyfriend has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as her sister slowly recovers, Harley begins to see a path forward with Raf’s help that she never would have believed possible.

Critics call The Art of Losing lyrical, authentic, brave, and moving. Publisher’s Weekly says, “The interwoven stories of many kinds of love - between friends, sisters, and possible romantic partners - give this well-paced book a depth that makes it more than just another recovery tale.”

Lizzy Mason was until recently Director of Publicity at Bloomsbury Kids. She is now Director of Marketing and Publicity at Page Street Kids. Phoebe Dyer was a bookseller at Boswell. She is now a publicist at Bloomsbury.

Stephen Savage, author of The Babysitter From Another Planet
Thursday, February 21, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor winning author/illustrator of Supertruck shows off his latest picture book, a story about kids who are in for a treat when their parents leave them with a babysitter who is truly out of this world.

When their parents go out for the evening, a brother and sister are left with a babysitter unlike any they’ve ever had before—an alien from another planet! But even though she seems a little strange, the kids quickly see that this babysitter can make anything fun…even brushing their teeth and doing their homework.

It’s ET meets Mary Poppins, and as soon as the babysitter from another planet is gone, the kids can’t wait for her to come back again. With sly sci-fi references from classic movies sure to produce a chuckle from knowing parents, Savage has produced a visual and verbal tour de force that School Library Journal calls a “super read-aloud selection to share one-on-one or with group, even at bedtime.”

Stephen Savage’s accolades include a New York Times Best Illustrated Book declaration for Polar Bear Night and a Geisel Honor for Supertruck. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Friday, February 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

UWM Professor Emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies traces the history of Haiti through the life and career of his grandfather Dantès Bellegarde, one of Haiti's most influential diplomats and preeminent thinkers. Cosponsored by UWM's Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.

Throughout much of the twentieth century and even to this day, there has been a dearth of scholarship on the intellectual and political contributions of Haitians. Out of a slave rebellion, Haiti was forged as an independent nation. This should be enough to perpetuate an image of Haitians as strong and agentive people. But countries on both sides of the Atlantic were intent on sapping it of resources. More than a century of trade restrictions, the imposition of crippling fines, and, eventually, a US occupation followed. Yet even under these penalties, Haitians persisted, some becoming influential actors in the world of global politics.

First published in 1985, this second edition updates an invaluable and foundational text of the intellectual and political history of Haiti. Scholars who want to learn about the intellectual and political foundations of Haiti, its influence on other intellectuals worldwide, and its struggles against imperialism continue to find this to be an invaluable classic.

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel, Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World, and Invisible Powers: Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture.

Saturday, February 23, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N. Astor St
Immanuel Presbyterian Church presents author, teacher, and speaker, Jennifer Harvey for an afternoon lecture, titled ‘Understanding Racial Identity,’ and workshop. Registration is required, at immanuelwi.org. Cosponsored by Boswell.

Dr. Jennifer Harvey, a sought-after speaker on the topic of racial justice, focuses much of her work on the intersection of religion, ethics, race, gender, and spirituality. This engagement with Dr. Harvey is another step in Immanuel's commitment to continuing conversation and action around the realities of racial injustice and white privilege in church and culture.

In Dear White Christians, Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race with insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement. In Raising White Kids, Harvey presents an ideal resource for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most radically diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.

Jennifer Harvey is Professor of Religion at Drake University. Dr. Harvey also contributes to NPR, The New York Times, and Huffington Post and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches.

Andy Rash, author of The Happy Book
Saturday, February 23, 2:00 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee author/illustrator Andy Rash returns to Boswell for a story time and sing song fun with his latest picture book, a story about two friends who can’t escape feeling all the feels.

Camper is happy as a clam, and Clam is a happy camper. When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes. Until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn’t save you one bite!

Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn’t the goal. Maybe being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling together. At once funny and thoughtful, The Happy Book supports social-emotional learning, a book to keep young readers company no matter how they’re feeling.

Milwaukee’s Andy Rash has illustrated for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. He is author/illustrator of the picture books Archie, The Daredevil Penguin and Unstinky.

Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance
Monday, March 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Enjoy a wonderful evening at Boswell with one of our favorite authors, Elinor Lipman, in conversation with Boswell's own Daniel Goldin. Lipman is author of many novels, including The Inn at Lake Devine and The View from Penthouse B. In addition to the usual writerly talk, we'll also have some high-school-yearbook-themed fun and games. Why not share your yearbook photo?

This event is free, but we'd love for you to register at lipmanmke.bpt.me. Early Bird Special! Register by February 4 and purchase Good Riddance at 20% off the list price. And yes, you can pick up your book in advance.

Her latest is about Daphne Maritch, a young woman living in Hells Kitchen who inherits an obsessively annotated high school yearbook from her mother. When Daphne puts it out with the recycling, a neighbor grabs it, deciding it would make the perfect source material for a documentary. Needless to say, Daphne does not take this well, and things go from bad to worse when the yearbook holds the key to a family secret.

Early reviews are enthusiastic. Publishers Weekly writes, "In a lesser writer's hands, the plot could have devolved into a soapy mess, but Lipman ably turns it into a charming romantic comedy... intelligent and lyrical prose, [make] this novel a delightful treat readers will want to savor." And Julie Kane in Library Journal notes: "Fans of Lipman will cheer for a new novel in her signature style: funny, warm, sharp, smart, and full of love for family, no matter how flawed."

Elinor Lipman is the award-winning author of eleven novels and one essay collection.

Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman in Moscow
Wednesday, April 3, 7:00 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 Vel R. Phillips Ave

Since A Gentleman in Moscow came out in 2016, many of you have asked us, “When is Amor Towles coming to Milwaukee?” And now, as part of the paperback tour, your wish is coming true! Towles will be here as we celebrate Boswell’s tenth anniversary - our doors opened ten years ago, on April 3, 2009.

Tickets are $22 plus taxes and fees, and each ticket includes a paperback copy of A Gentleman in Moscow, available at pabsttheater.org/event/amortowles2019. Tickets on sale Friday, February 15, at Noon. Doors open at 6 pm. Cosponsor Literacy Services of Wisconsin will take donated copies of A Gentleman in Moscow and find homes for them.

Amor Towles's Gentleman in Moscow presentation, which has enchanted tens of thousands of people, will transport you back to the Russian Revolution. Following Towles's presentation, he will be in conversation with Jim Higgins, Book Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. We'll also have index cards so that you can submit your own questions - Higgins will try to get as many as possible answered at the program. For those who read the book as a downloaded ebook or audio, now you have a copy. If you've already got a copy, it makes a great gift. And here's another option - our partners at Literacy Services of Wisconsin will take unneeded copies of A Gentleman in Moscow and find homes for them.

Among A Gentleman in Moscow's fans is Boswellian Jane Glaser, who writes: "A Russian aristocrat, living under Bolshevik rule, is on trial for subversive writings and is sentenced to live out his life under house arrest. Moving from a luxurious apartment in Moscow's Hotel Metropol, Count Alexander Rostov is forced to live in a 100 square foot attic room of the hotel, knowing that if he leaves the building he will be shot. Over the next thirty years, as Rostov lives within the confines of the hotel, he encounters a vibrant cast of characters that will lead him to live a more expansive life than he could have imagined, despite his reduced circumstances. Richly atmospheric, masterfully plotted, and elegantly written, this is a story to be savored!"

Amor Towles graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University. His first novel, Rules of Civility, was a New York Times bestseller.

Tuesday, April 30, 7:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr, in Brookfield's Mitchell Park

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present a grand evening with Anna Quindlen, the acclaimed novelist and journalist known for her candid, frank, and illuminating writing. She’s now appearing for Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting, a bighearted book of wisdom, wit, and insight, celebrating the love and joy of being a grandmother.

Tickets are $31 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of Nanaville, available at quindlenwi.bpt.me.

Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker, but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow. Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: Did they ask you?”

Everything you love about Anna Quindlen is here in this special new book - her singular voice has never been sharper or warmer. With the same insights she brought to motherhood in Living Out Loud and to growing older in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, this new nana uses her own experiences to illuminate those of many others.

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of nine novels, including Object Lessons, One True Thing, and Alternate Side. Her most recent memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She received the Pulitzer Prize for her work as a columnist at The New York Times.

Thursday, May 9, 11:00 am, at The Wisconsin Club, 900 W Wisconsin Ave

Pulitzer winning journalist and presidential biographer Jon Meacham is coming to Milwaukee, presented by The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library 2019 Spring Literary Luncheon. Cosponsored by Boswell.

The Friends Member pre-sale is going on now. Tickets start at $75 dollars. Register today at supportmpl.org/events/#spring-literary-luncheon. While you must have a current Friends of MPL membership to purchase pre-sale tickets, remember, you can become a Friend anytime. This year's luncheon is expected to sell out quickly! Tickets for non-members go on sale Friday, March 1.

In The Soul of America, named one of NPR's Best Books of the Year, Meacham looks to understand American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. The current climate of partisan fury is nothing new, and Meacham displays how what Abraham Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have repeatedly won the day. While the American story has not always been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, "the good news is that we have come through such darkness before," and, time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail.

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and author of New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, and Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt, contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review, and a fellow of the Society of American Historians.

Looking for more upcoming events? We've got several listed here and more on our upcoming events page. Please say hi next time you visit.