Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Here's a link to the titles in our Holiday Gift Guide.

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.


Thursday, December 12, 2019, 7 pm, at Boswell

Infantry scout-sniper Tom Voss and his sister and coauthor Rebecca Anne Nguyen share Voss’s riveting story of his on-foot journey across America, from Milwaukee to the Pacific Ocean through his burdens of moral injury, and into personal healing and advocacy.

After serving in a scout-sniper platoon in Mosul, Tom Voss came home carrying invisible wounds of war. This was not a physical injury that could heal with medication and time but a “moral injury,” a wound that eventually urged him toward suicide. Desperate for relief from the pain and guilt that haunted him, Voss embarked on a 2,700-mile journey across America.

Walk with these men as they meet other veterans, Native American healers, and spiritual teachers who appear in the most unexpected forms. At the end of their trek, Voss realizes he is just beginning his healing. He pursues meditation training and discovers sacred breathing techniques that shatter his understanding of war and himself, and move him from despair to hope. Voss’s story inspires veterans, their friends and family, and survivors of all kinds.

Tom Voss served as an infantry scout in the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment’s scout-sniper platoon. While deployed in Mosul, Iraq, he participated in hundreds of combat and humanitarian missions. Rebecca Anne Nguyen is an author, travel writer, and digital content strategist. She is editor in chief of The Happy Passport travel blog.


Jeanine Basinger, author of The Movie Musical!
Monday, December 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Leading film historian Jeanine Basinger reveals, with her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical—in the most telling, most incisive, most detailed, most gorgeously illustrated book of her long and remarkable career. This event is cohosted by Milwaukee Film

Registration is requested but not required for this free event at basingermke.bpt.me. Attendees can upgrade to a book-with-ticket option and get The Movie Musical for 20% off the regular price.

From Jason Heller on the NPR website: “Every page is infused not only with Basinger's knowledge, but her overwhelming adoration for the tuneful, silver-screen tales that changed her own life. The book is a passion project, organically rendered, and shot through with longing for an age where sophistication was as subtle as it was scintillating. The Movie Musical! is more than a love letter to a great American artform; it's a symphony

Jeanine Basinger, who is a part-time Wisconsinite, is the founder of the department of film studies at Wesleyan University and the curator of the cinema archives there. She has written eleven other books on film, including Silent Stars, winner of the William K. Everson Film History Award, and The Star Machine. Patrick McGilligan is a Milwaukee-based film historian who teaches at Marquette University. His latest book is Funny Man: Mel Brooks.


David Luhrssen, Bruce Cole, and Phillip Naylor, editors of Milwaukee Rock and Roll, 1950-2000: A Reflective History, with a special performance by Lil Rev and Friends
Thursday, December 19, 8 pm, at Boswell

Editors Luhrssen, Managing Editor of the Shepherd Express, Cole, musician and curator of Jean Cujé Milwaukee Music Collection, and Naylor, Marquette University Professor of History, appear at Boswell to present their brand new book on fifty years of Milwaukee rock. The evening will feature a musical introduction by Milwaukee musician Lil Rev and friends.

Spanning the beginning of Milwaukee’s rock and roll scene in the 1950s to the turn of the century, this fascinating anthology of written, vocal, and visual reflections evokes memories for those who experienced the music and the era as well as introducing area musicians to a new generation. The editors present this enthralling, generously illustrated, multifaceted cultural history of Milwaukee and rock music, highlighted by a multiplicity of voices - musicians, promoters, DJs, photographers, artists, and audience members - collectively committed to the sounds of a great city.

David Luhrssen is author or co-author The Encyclopedia of Classic Rock, Brick Through the Window: An Oral History of Punk Rock, New Wave and Noise in Milwaukee, and Elvis Presley: Reluctant Rebel. Bruce Cole is a librarian at Marquette University. He is often consulted by and has collaborated with the Milwaukee Historical Society. Bruce currently plays drums with the Doo-Wop Daddies. Phillip Naylor is a professor of history at Marquette University, and introduced a popular rock and roll course which he team teaches with Cole.


Sunday, December 29, 7 pm drink service, 8 pm talk, at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, 1579 S 9th St

Wisconsin native and James Beard nominee Robert Simonson visits Bryant’s Velvet Lounge to cause a stir with the first book in decades to celebrate the history of the most iconic cocktails, the martini. Tickets cost $35, available at martinibook.bpt.me, and each ticket includes an autographed book, one Martini Cocktail, and gratuity.

A classic martini includes gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, a lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions – options that Simonson uncovers in his exploration of the long and tangled history of the classic martini and its subtle variations.

With age-old recipes, such as the first martini recipe published in 1888, and modern versions created by some of the world’s best bartenders, sip your way from the Dukes Hotel London to Musso and Frank Grill in Los Angeles and discover everything you need to know about what makes a great martini and how to make them at home. And along the way, enjoy Simonson’s splashes of history and personal notes.

Robert Simonson is author of The Old-Fashioned, A Proper Drink, and 3-Ingredient Cocktails, nominated for a James Beard Award. He writes about cocktails, spirits, bars, and bartenders for the New York Times and is contributing editor and columnist at Punch. His work has also appeared in Saveur, New York magazine, and Lucky Peach and has been nominated for a total of ten Spirited Awards and one IACP Award.


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.