Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!


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! 

Looking for our upcoming events? We've got several listed here and more on our upcoming events page

Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler, in conversation for With the Wind at His Back: The Charmed and Charitable Life of Donald Baumgartner
Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Milwaukeean Donald Baumgartner is known as a man who takes a big bite out of life. He’ll chat with his biographer, Kurt Chandler, about his new biography and his life and times.

Baumgartner crossed the Atlantic in a 58-foot yacht through two gale-force storms. He’s set foot on all seven continents and accepted an award from President Ronald Reagan in the White House Rose Garden. He built his family business into a global leader and then made headlines in 2016 when he handed over the ownership of his Milwaukee manufacturing company to his employees.

As depicted by author Kurt Chandler, Donald Baumgartner has led a charmed life of adventure, success, and generosity, and he continues to give back to his community as one of his hometown's most charitable patrons of the arts. Impassioned, lionhearted, he works hard and lives large, endowed with an optimistic nature, sense of humor, and a measure of good luck.

Donald Baumgartner founded Paper Machinery Corporation in 1951 and now oversees this thriving, international company. He is highly active in Milwaukee-area civic and community organizations and was instrumental in bringing the Santiago Calatrava wing to life at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Kurt Chandler served as Milwaukee Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief from August 2013 - November 2015. Chandler has been published in a number of metro newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon. He has authored, coauthored, or edited 12 books. He has been named Writer of the Year by the City & Regional Magazine Association, Journalist of the Year by the Milwaukee Press Club, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of Interior States: Essays, in conversation with Jon M. Sweeney
Tuesday, October 23, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Madison-based critic and essayist O’Gieblyn chats at Boswell with Milwaukee-based author and scholar Jon M. Sweeney about her new collection of essays about faith, culture, and the Midwest.

O’Gieblyn, born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and she still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her existential dizziness, and her rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the essays in this collection which ask, what does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts?

O’Gieblyn’s essay on Vice President Mike Pence was the cover story of Harper’s May 2018 issue. Of the collection Lorrie Moore says, “Meghan O’Gieblyn’s deep and searching essays are written with a precise sort of skepticism and a slight ache in the heart. A first-rate and riveting collection.”

Madison-based Meghan O’Gieblyn’s essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and Best American Essays 2017. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Milwaukeean Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and author of books of history, spirituality, biography, poetry, and fiction for young readers.

Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM, at American Geographical Society Library at UWM, 2311 E Hartford Ave

Philbrick, the National Book Award winning author of In the Heart of the Sea, chronicles the thrilling story of the fateful year that won the Revolutionary War during a special evening in the perfect setting for historic adventure. Please register for this event or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option, which includes a copy of In the Hurricane’s Eye, all taxes and fees, and signing line priority, at philbrickmke.bpt.me.

In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, Washington realized the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But coordinating his army’s movements with those of warships thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. The Battle of the Chesapeake, fought without a single American ship, made the victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

In a narrative that moves from Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson to Lafayette’s maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.

National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of Mayflower, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Valiant Ambition, winner of the George Washington Prize, and Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, among other books.

Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 PM, at UWM Arts Center Lecture Hall, Room #120, 2400 E Kenwood Blvd

UWM Peck School of the Arts Artist’s Now! guest lecture series, cosponsored by AIGA Wisconsin and Boswell, presents a rare opportunity to hear from graphic artist Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required and space is limited. Register at emory-douglas.eventbrite.com.

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas is the reformatted publication of the first book to collect the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director.

Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party’s visual identity.

Emory Douglas is a graphic artist who was Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s. His artwork was featured in most issues of The Black Panther newspaper.

Roxane Gay, author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Thursday, October 25, 7 pm, at UWM Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood

UWM’s Distinguished Lecture Series presents the award-winning author of Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and An Untamed State. Gay also recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel with World of Wakanda, a comic series set in the Black Panther universe.

Tickets are available to the general public for $10 in advance, at uwm-roxanegay.eventbrite.com, and will be available for $12 at the door. Tickets are free for UWM students, $5 for non-UWM students in advance, $8 for non-UWM students at the door, and are available at the UWM Student Union Information Desk.

Courageous, humorous, and smart are just a few words used to describe the internationally acclaimed author and cultural critic. She works to critique modern culture through her humor and enthusiastic personality. NPR named Bad Feminist of its best books of the year. Gay is also an opinion writer for The New York Times and a founding editor of PANK literary magazine.

Roxane Gay is author of Bad Feminist, a New York Times bestseller, the novel An Untamed State, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize, and the story collection Ayiti. She has also written for Time, The Rumpus, and Salon, where she was a featured columnist, and her fiction has been selected for Best American Short Stories 2012 and Best American Mystery Stories 2014.

Christopher Sturdevant, author of Cold War Wisconsin
Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Milwaukee author and Chairman of the Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum tells the tales of the Badger State’s role in the showdown between East and West.

For decades, Wisconsin’s nuclear missiles pointed to the skies from Waukesha’s back yard, awaiting Soviet bombers. Joseph Stalin's daughter sought refuge in the small town of Richland Center. With violence in Vietnam about to peak, a cargo ship from Kewaunee sparked a new international incident with North Korea. Manitowoc was ground zero for a Sputnik satellite crash, and four ordinary Madison youths landed on the FBI's most wanted list after the Sterling Hall Bombing.

Sturdevant recounts the stories of everyday Wisconsinites during the years that the Cold War gripped the world with fear of espionage and nuclear winter in this book, which preserves a fading piece of Wisconsin history.

Christopher Sturdevant is Chairman of the Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum, a children's librarian in Milwaukee, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Sturdevant has represented Team USA in master's level track championships on three continents.

Thursday, November 1, 7:00 PM, at UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, 2400 E Kenwood Blvd

The Kennan and Vilas Distinguished Lecture series hosts Amitav Ghosh for a talk entitled Embattled Earth, sponsored by Institute of World Affairs, Vilas Trust, Department of English, UWM Letters & Sciences, and Boswell.

Ghosh traces the entangled history of commodities, conflict, and climate change in the Indian Ocean. Since Vasco da Gama’s voyage, the Indian Ocean has been the theatre of rivalries over commodities. For centuries the main players were Western colonial powers, but lately the countries of the Indian Ocean rim have become the principal drivers of anthropogenic climate change, an ongoing process that will have catastrophic consequences for the billions of people who live around the Indian Ocean.

This lecture explores the continuities between the resource conflicts of the past and the future by focusing on two transformative imperial wars: the Anglo-Dutch spice wars of the 17th century and the 1st Opium War of 1840-42. It also poses a question: are the imperatives of empire and military supremacy among the major drivers of climate change?

Amitav Ghosh is a novelist and essayist, author of The Calcutta Chromosome, the Ibis Trilogy, and the essay collection In an Antique Land. He has won the Prix Médicis étranger, an Arthur C. Clarke Award, and in 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Utah Award in the Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah.

A Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee Preview, featuring Mindy Mejia, author of Leave No Trace and Kate Moretti, author of In Her Bones
Thursday, November 1, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Boswell offers a preview event for Murder and Mayhem Milwaukee with two critically-acclaimed authors of thrilling new crime novels, Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me To Be, in conversation with with Kate Moretti, author of While You Were Gone.

Mejia’s latest thriller is set in the glacial lakes and untouched forests of the Minnesota Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned, presumed dead. Ten years later, the son is discovered ransacking an outfitter store, violent and uncommunicative, refusing to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life. As a therapist is drawn closer to this enigmatic young man, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

Moretti’s latest is a novel that questions the nature of guilt, obsession, and familial ties that follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. Edie is a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job, an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother, and a growing obsession with the families of her mother’s victims.

Mindy Mejia is author of The Dragon Keeper and Everything You Want Me to Be. She earned an MFA from Hamline University. Kate Moretti is author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone.

Austin Smith, author of Flyover Country, and Dora Malech, author of Stet
Friday, November 2, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

An evening of poetry from the Princeton University Press Series of Contemporary Poets, featuring University of Wisconsin graduate Smith and Malech, who teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Building on Smith’s reputation as an accessible and inventive poet with deep insights about rural America, Flyover Country draws profound connections between the Midwest and the wider world. Inspired by his childhood on a dairy farm in Illinois, tales of rural life lead the way in this collection focused on family, violence, and memories.

Malech’s latest is a collection of serious and playful poems that tap the inventive possibilities of the anagram and other constraining forms, combining lyric invention and wordplay. “Stet,” from the Latin for “let it stand,” is a proofreading term meaning to retain or return to a previous phrasing. Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.

Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois. He is author of Almanac, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Ploughshares. He teaches at Stanford University. Dora Malech is author of Say So and Shore Ordered Ocean. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Best American Poetry. She is Assistant Professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Saturday, November 3, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, at Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue

Murder and Mayhem returns to Milwaukee in 2018! This year’s event features a whole day full of the excellent author panels and interviews you’ve come to expect from this mysteriously good event.

Tickets for the whole day cost $40, plus ticketing fees, available at murdermayhemmilwaukee.com.

This year, Murder and Mayhem features a criminally good lineup, including special guests Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone and Andrew Gross, bestselling collaborator of James Patterson, along with authors Ed Aymar, Susanna Calkins, Joe Clifford, Angel Colon, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Matthew FitzSimmons, Bryan Gruley, Jennifer Hillier, Chris Holm, Julie Hyzy, Owen Laukkanen, Elizabeth Little, Jess Lourey, Nadine Nettmann, Clare O’Donohue, Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie, Lori Rader-Day, Tom Schreck, Alex Segura, Victoria Thompson, and Fred Van Lente.

A Cookbook Author Luncheon with Dorie Greenspan, author of Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook
Saturday, November 3, 12:00 PM, at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, 3133 E Newberry Blvd

The team at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro have partnered with Boswell to present an author luncheon featuring James Beard Award winning chef Dorie Greenspan, The New York Times Magazine “On Dessert” columnist. Tickets are $68 and include three courses with pairings and a copy of Everyday Dorie. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit bartolottas.com/lake-park-bistro/events/luncheon-dorie-greenspan.

Dorie Greenspan’s food is powerfully cookable, and her recipes are instant classics to the hundreds of thousands who follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. But what makes a ‘Dorie recipe?’ Each one has a small surprise that makes it special, like mustard and walnuts in the cheese puffs. The dishes are practical, made with common ingredients from the supermarket, farmers’ market, or pantry. They are easygoing, providing swaps and substitutions. They invite mixing and matching. Many can be served as dinner, or as a side dish, hot, cold, or room temperature. And every single one is like a best friend in the kitchen, full of Dorie’s infectious love of cooking and her trademark hand-holding directions.

Dorie Greenspan is author of Dorie's Cookies, a 2017 James Beard Award-winner for Best Baking and Dessert book, Around My French Table, named Cookbook of the Year by the IACP, and Baking: From My Home to Yours, a James Beard Award winner.

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