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.

Jessica Hopper, author of Night Moves, in conversation with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee's Justin Barney
Saturday, September 22, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Boswell and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee are happy to cohost music journalist and author of The First Collection of Criticism by A Living Female Rock Critic, Jessica Hopper as she stops by Boswell for a chat about her new memoir with Justin Barney, Music Director of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

Written in taut, mesmerizing, often hilarious scenes, Night Moves captures the fierce friendships and small moments that form us all. Drawing on her personal journals from the aughts, Jessica Hopper chronicles her time as a DJ, living in decrepit punk houses, biking to bad loft parties, and exploring Chicago deep into the night. It’s an homage to the vibrant corners of the city muted by sleek development. Born in the amber glow of Chicago streetlamps, Night Moves is about a transformative moment of cultural history and how a raw, rebellious writer found her voice.

Boswellian Chris Lee is a fan, and says the book captures some “seriously good hangout vibes. Hopper returns to her formative years as a writer, punk, and aspiring ne'erdowell Chicago. She tells her story in mini-essays that feel like memories snatched out of time. Delightfully bored, aloof, and snarky but also self-aware, plugged-in, and forward-thinking, Night Moves captures a time, people, and city that feels like a ghost town Hopper (and gentrification) has left behind.”

Jessica Hopper is a music critic and was formerly the Editorial Director at MTV News and an editor at Pitchfork and Rookie. Her essays have appeared in multiple Best Music Writing collections and her book The Girls' Guide to Rocking was named one of 2009's Notable Books for Young Readers by the American Library Association.

Robert Shellow, editor of The Harvest of American Racism: The Political Meaning of Violence in the Summer of 1967, in conversation with Dean Strang
Monday, September 24, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Boswell is pleased to host Robert Shellow, who led the team of social scientists researching the root causes of 1967’s violent protests for the Kerner Commision. Shellow and Madison-based attorney Dean Strang will discuss the first publication of the Harvest report after a half-century of being buried for political reasons. This event is cohosted by Wisconsin Justice Initiative.

In response to violent demonstrations that rocked cities across the US, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission, was formed. The Commission employed social scientists to research the root causes of the disturbances, including the role that law enforcement played. Chief among its research projects was a study of 23 American cities, headed by Shellow.

An early draft of the analysis, which uncovered political causes for unrest, was delivered in November of 1967. The team of researchers was fired, and the controversial report remained buried at the LBJ Presidential Library until now. The first publication of the Harvest report half a century later reveals that many of the issues it describes are still with us, including how cities might more effectively and humanely react to groups and communities in protest.

Robert Shellow was principal social scientist and Research Director for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission). He later directed the Pilot District Project, an experimental police-community relations program for the Washington, DC, Department of Public Safety. While on the Carnegie-Mellon University faculty he advised police departments on civil disorder training and neighborhood policing. Dr. Shellow was a founder of the IMAR Corporation. Dean Strang is a criminal defense lawyer in Madison and author of Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror and a new book on America’s largest mass trial, to be published by the University of Wisconsin Press this winter. Many may know him from his appearance on Netflix’s Making A Murderer.

Monday, September 24, 7:00 PM reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd, River Hills 53217

Boswell is pleased to cosponsor the Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Women’s Speaker Series, welcoming Kelly O’Connor McNees with her latest novel, Undiscovered Country. This series curated by Milwaukee Reads.

Tickets for this event are $30, $25 for Lynden members, and include admission to the event and sculpture garden and an autographed copy of Undiscovered Country. Light refreshments provided by MKE Localicious. For tickets, go to lyndensculpturegarden.org/KellyMcNees or call (414) 446-8794.

In 1932, reporter Lorena “Hick” Hickok starts each day with a front page byline and finishes it swigging bourbon. But an assignment to write a feature on FDR’s wife Eleanor turns Hick’s independent life on its ear. Soon her work and secret entanglement with the new first lady will take her from New York and Washington to Scotts Run, West Virginia, where impoverished coal miners’ families fear the New Deal’s promised hope will pass them by. Together, Eleanor and Hick imagine how the new town of Arthurdale could change the fate of hundreds of lives.

Undiscovered Country artfully mixes fact and fiction to portray the intense relationship between this unlikely pair. Inspired by the more than three thousand letters Hick and Eleanor exchanged over a span of thirty years, McNees tells this story through Hick’s tough, tender, and unforgettable voice. A remarkable portrait of Depression-era America, this novel tells the poignant story of how a love that was forced to remain hidden nevertheless changed history.

Chicago-based Kelly O’Connor McNees is the author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, The Island of Doves, and In Need of a Good Wife, a finalist for the 2013 Willa Award. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Toast, and Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology.

Tommy Orange, author of There There, in conversation with UWM’s Kimberly Blaeser
Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Tommy Orange’s "groundbreaking, extraordinary" (The New York Times) There There is the "brilliant, propulsive" (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It's "the year's most galvanizing debut novel" (Entertainment Weekly). We're thrilled to welcome Orange to Boswell, where he'll be in conversation with UWM Professor of English and American Indian Studies Kimberly Blaeser. This event is cosponsored by Electa Quinney Institute.

Registration is free, or upgrade to a book-with-ticket for only $22, including tax, including ticket fee. That's 20% off the price of There There, and we'll guarantee a first edition copy. Tickets are at orangemke.bpt.me.

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow - some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent - momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and wants to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.

Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California. Kimberly Blaeser is a poet, critic, essayist, playwright, and fiction writer, as well as Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A former Poet Laureate for Wisconsin, she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing.

A Ticketed Event with Hank Green, author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, in conversation with Dessa
Monday, October 1, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd

Tickets on sale now! Join Hank Green and special guest Dessa on tour in support of Hank's debut novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. In this multimedia event, Hank and Dessa will talk about their books, answer audience questions, perform live music, and more. All tickets include an autographed copy of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

Tickets are available at hankgreenmke.bpt.me for $30, including all taxes and fees. ID required for meet and greet. Dessa's new book, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, will also be available for sale at the show. Please note there is no public signing for this event. Mr. Green will not be able to personalize, sign memorabilia, or pose for pictures.

VIP tickets are now sold out for this event.

Specially priced tickets for UWM Students, Faculty, and Staff, will go on sale at the UWM Union at the same time as general tickets, at the special price of $20 for UWM students and $27 for UWM faculty and staff, including taxes and fees. Limit of two tickets per attendee. ID required. This event is cosponsored by the UWM Student Union and UWM Student Involvement.

Sold Out - Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light, in conversation with Chloe Benjamin, presented by Oconomowoc’s Books & Company and Boswell
Sunday, October 21, 3:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr in Brookfield

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present a very special afternoon with Jodi Picoult, the bestselling author of Small Great Things and many other beloved novels.

Alas, this event is Sold Out. Signed copies of A Spark of Light may be available at Boswell after the event.

New Hampshire-based Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, My Sister’s Keeper, and The Storyteller. Chloe Benjamin is the Madison-based author of the #1 Indie Next Pick novel, The Immortalists, as well as the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award winning novel The Anatomy of Dreams. She is a graduate of UW's MFA program and Vassar College.

Andrea Gibson, author of Lord of the Butterflies
Saturday, December 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Poet, activist, spoken-word artist, and author of stirring, introspective poetry collections such as Take Me With You and Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, Andrea Gibson appears at Boswell for a special evening in which they will speak and perform poems from their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies.

Register for free at gibsonmke.bpt.me or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option for $17, which includes admission to the event, a copy of Lord of the Butterflies, and priority on the signing line. If we are near capacity for this event, Boswell will close to the general public, so be sure to register today!

Gibson’s latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. The honesty of Gibson's work makes audiences and readers feel welcome as they are. With artful, nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson’s career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

Andrea Gibson began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. In 2008, Gibson won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Gibson is the author of four previous books of poetry and has released seven spoken-word albums.

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