Thank you for visiting our website. Due to COVID-19, our physical store is closed to the public for browsing and when we figure out when that opening date for browsing is, we'll let you know. We have expanded our phone and email response hours to 7 pm on weekdays. Our event programming and book clubs have gone virtual, as have many of our partnership events.
Our booksellers are available by phone for general inquiries orders at (414) 332-1181 or email at email@example.com between 10 am and 7 pm on Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, and and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Please note that if you email us, we can email you back with books to purchase. We cannot complete orders by email.
Sidewalk pickup is available during store hours - our hotline for sidewalk pickups is (414) 906-4083. We ship by media mail, UPS, and do a limited amount of Boswell delivery to closer neighborhoods. Our media mail shipping and local delivery is a very reasonable $4 within Wisconsin, $6 elsewhere within the United States. For puzzles and games, our UPS rates are $10 within Wisconsin, $12 in the contiguous United States. We do not ship internationally. We suggest that out-of-state shipments upgrade to UPS as it may take as long as a month to get books via media mail. Local media mail delivery is often quite speedy. Order $75 more of books or gift items to one address and we will cover the shipping costs. One last thing - remember that just because you order something doesn't mean we can get it.
Please note it's not quite business as usual. All purchases must be paid for in advance by credit or debit card before pickup - we're temporarily not taking cash. We are not taking returns at this time. Packages are not going to always come as quickly as you'd like - we expect serious delays on on USPS media mail particularly outside the Milwaukee area. At this time, we are processing 99% of orders within 24 hours of receiving them, but please note that you should wait until you receive an email acknowledging that your book is available and ready for pickup before you make the trip. Gift cards are available for purchase online or by phone.
Second-hand mystery grab bags available here. Each package has at least four books: one general fiction or story collection, one mystery or thriller, and two nonfiction titles, all for $20. Or get a Bargain Bag for $25, which includes a selection of three bargain books: one hardcover fiction title, one hardcover nonfiction title, and one surprise paperback.
Upcoming Virtual Events
Visit our Upcoming Events Page for a complete listing of our upcoming virtual events.
Milwaukee children’s book author Stef Wade virtually visits for a launch celebration of her latest picture book that asks, how do leaves know when it’s time to fall?
Broadcast via Zoom, registration will be required. Here's the link, so click it to register! And purchase your copy of The Very Last Leaf from us for 20% off list price.
Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? This funny and encouraging picture book tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day. These delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make a perfect book for any period of transition in life. Kirkus calls the illustrations charming and says The Very Last Leaf is “a reassuring story that should leave readers feeling a bit more self-confident.”
Stef Wade is co-creator and writer for the former cooking and home blog Haute Apple Pie. She is author of A Place for Pluto. A graduate of Marquette and DePaul Universities, she is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Boswell virtually welcomes Cara Black back to Milwaukee. Author of the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc investigations chats about her first standalone thriller, a reimagining of history in which she brings to life Nazi-occupied Paris of 1941. Black will be in conversation with Erin Lewenauer of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of Three Hours in Paris from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.
In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light - abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why. Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, imagines a young American markswoman who is recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Black brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity and drive to take on Hitler himself.
Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Paula Woods says, “Beyond Black’s encyclopedic knowledge of Paris, her deft interweaving of WWII history and spycraft with a relatable female protagonist puts Three Hours in Paris on par with other top thrillers.”
Cara Black is author of nineteen books in the Aimée Leduc series and has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards. Erin Lewenauer is the Event, Marketing, and Membership Coordinator of Alliance Française de Milwaukee and a book critic whose writing has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Seattle Times, and Rain Taxi.
Randall Kenan, former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, joins us virtually for his second volume of stories, a riveting collection centered in Down East North Carolina. He’ll chat with Kim Suhr, Director of Red Oak Writing, our event cosponsor.
Register for this Zoom event by clicking this link right here, and purchase your copy of If I Had Two Wings from Boswell Book Company for 20% off list price.
Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, says “Randall Kenan is an American master and If I Had Two Wings is his latest gift to us.” Mingling the earthy with the otherworldly, shot through with humor, and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity, Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. If I Had Two Wings is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies from fictional Tims Creek, NC.
Boswellians who’ve read Kenan’s collection also have good things to say. From Daniel Goldin, “Kenan’s stories are both classic and modern, folk-infused and of-the-moment, exploring race, gender, and identity. It’s been almost thirty years since Let the Dead Bury the Dead, which I still own in hardcover; Kenan’s been busy teaching and focusing on his nonfiction writing, including several books on James Baldwin. The wait was worth it!” And Chris Lee adds, "This book is something special. Kenan so well captures the atmosphere of Down East North Carolina that you’ll feel the thick inland air close on your skin as you read. Each story is a masterclass in subtle surprise, and each life is rendered so fully that once you close the pages you’ll feel you’ve also spent a lifetime in Tims Creek. You won’t want to leave."
Randall Kenan is author of A Visitation of Spirits and Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. Kenan is a biographer of James Baldwin and has written extensively about Baldwin’s work and life. He is Professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Kim Suhr is Director of Red Oak Writing and author of the story collection Nothing to Lose.
Whitefish Bay author Jamison chats about her debut novel, a story of five college friends, all Dartmouth grads, who’ve arrived at forty in very different circumstances. It's perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Big Little Lies. She’ll chat with Donna Drosner, Director and Senior Investment Consultant of Baird’s Drosner Phillips Ristau Group.
Broadcast via Zoom, this event requires registration to view – click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of All the Right Mistakes from Boswell for 10% off list price.
When successful Heather writes a wildly popular advice book detailing the key life mistakes of her four college friends, they feel the sting of her cruel words. Despite their status, these women face everyday obstacles, including work problems, parenting challenges, secondary infertility, racism, sexism, financial stress, and marital woes - and as they weather their fortieth year, each one can’t help but wonder if their life might have been different if they had followed Heather’s advice.
Kirkus calls Jamison’s debut, “Engrossing… a compelling and enjoyable ride with five women who supposedly have it all.”
Laura Jamison is an attorney based in Whitefish Bay, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.
Hamill discusses his debut memoir, the riches-to-rags tale of a wealthy family who lost it all and the unforgettable journey of a man coming to terms with his family’s deep flaws and his own long-buried truths. He’ll chat with Wisconsin’s Christina Clancy, author of The Second Home.
Broadcast via Zoom, you can register with this link for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of Filthy Beasts for 20% off list price from Boswell Book Company.
Following a rancorous split from New York’s upper-class society, Hamill’s newly divorced mother moves the family from their East Coast elite circle to her native Bermuda, leaving the three young boys to fend for themselves as she chases after the highs of her old life: alcohol, a wealthy new suitor, and other indulgences. A fascinating window into the life of extreme privilege and a powerful story of self-acceptance, Filthy Beasts recounts Hamill’s journey through luxury hotels and charity stores, private enclaves and public shame as he confronts his family’s many imperfections, accepts his unconventional childhood, and finally comes to terms with his own secrets.
In the New York Times Book Review, Jason Sheeler writes, "Hamill’s tragicomic memoir [is] about survival - and recovery: of his identity, memories and compassion for his mother... Wendy deserves placement in the gay canon, somewhere between Endora on ‘Bewitched’ and Jessica Lange in anything directed by Ryan Murphy." And Boswell Book Company's Chris Lee adds, "Hamill is that rare beast, a most generous kind of memoirist who opens up his entire world to you, without hedging or over-explanation, and trusts you to understand it. Particularly sensitive is Hamill’s writing about brotherhood and the childhood traumas which resulted from necessary self-preservation yet delayed his own self-discovery."
Kirkland Hamill has written for Salon and The Advocate, and was formerly the chief development and marketing officer at the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Christina Clancy is author of the novel The Second Home and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. She earned a PhDin Creative Writing at UWM.
Thursday, July 30, 2020, Day 4137 - Jenny Interviews Author Rachel Lynn Solomon
From Jenny: Okay, I admit that lots of YA authors have earned the title of my favorite, depending on what book I’m reading at the moment, but today I’m thrilled to welcome one of my super star favorite YA authors, Rachel Lynn Solomon, to the Boswellians Blog! The stories Rachel creates are always rich with a complexity of emotions, meaning you'll be thinking about the choices her characters make long after you've turned the last page. Her lovely and expressive writing caught my attention in 2018 with the publication of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, a heart-wrenching story of a messy sibling relationship that left me in tears (always a plus!) She followed up the next year with Our Year of Maybe, which has a fabulous new cover in paperback. When Sophie’s gift of a kidney frees Peter to follow dreams that don’t include his best friend, Sophie is devastated and forced to rethink everything she’s expected and planned for.
I’m so excited to chat about Rachel’s new book Today Tonight Tomorrow, which takes her usual complicated, beautifully drawn characters and blends in cleverly written, laugh-out-loud banter. High school rivals Neil (valedictorian) and Rowan (salutatorian) have no idea how adorable they are together (or that everyone assumes they’re hooking up). The two go all out to best each other one last time before college in an all-night journey of self discovery, non-stop bickering, and something that might be simmering passion (or just close proximity in too many dark places) as they race through the streets of Seattle to win a senior class scavenger-hunt known as Howl. Publishers Weekly gave Today Tonight Tomorrow a starred review, saying, “This funny, tender, and romantic book is fresh and wholly satisfying.”
JENNY CHOU: Rachel, thank you so much for joining me on the Boswellian’s Blog! I always like to start by finding out about the problems the main character is facing, because it doesn’t matter if an author is writing picture books, middle grade, or YA, every protagonist stumbles over some sort of obstacle on her way to the end of the book. I adore Rowan, and she sure has a lot going on! Tell us about her.
RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON: Thank you so much for having me, Jenny! You’ve been such a champion of my books, and I’m tremendously grateful. Rowan is probably my favorite character I’ve written. She’s a Type-A overachiever, co-president of the student council, and secretly: an aspiring romance novelist. I’m always drawn to ambitious characters, and the challenge here was writing someone with this very clear goal who’s also deeply afraid of people judging her for it. Rowan is optimistic, a bit of a dreamer, and sometimes she’s so enamored with her vision of the future that she struggles to slow down and enjoy what’s going on right in front of her.
Over the past four years, she’s also maintained a rivalry with Neil, her co-president and perennial headache. She’s convinced she despises him, even though she texts him every day and thinks about him constantly. Spending so much time in close proximity during these last twenty-four hours of high school causes a lot of new feelings to develop (or maybe latent feelings to surface) as they shed their insecurities and question what the future holds for them, both separately and together.
Check out the full interview right here on the Boswellians blog today!
Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Day 4135 - Daniel's Notes on the Boswell Bestsellers List
From Daniel: We had a very strong first week on Hamnet (#4 Hardcover Fiction List), the new novel by Maggie O'Farrell, which imagines the life of Shakespeare to Anne (or Agnes) Hathaway and the early death of one of his children. Geraldine Brooks reviews the story for The New York Times Book Review: "In Hamnet, Shakespeare’s marriage is complicated and troubled, yet brimming with love and passion. Hathaway is imagined as a free-spirited young woman, close to the natural world and uncannily intuitive. She attracts the ardor of a repressed, restless teenager still in search of his life’s purpose. In this telling, Will, with his disgraced father and uncertain prospects, is no catch; it is Agnes, given her degree of social and financial independence, who is seen as making the poorer match with this 'feckless, tradeless boy.'"
Our 2nd week of sales for Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close (#7 Hardcover Nonfiction) increased substantially over week one. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman "make the bold and compelling argument that a close friendship is the most influential and important relationship a human life can contain-helping you improve as a person and in your relationships with others." They cohost the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Sow tells Julie Beck in The Atlantic what a big friendship is: "I always make the distinction between someone who is my friend and someone who I am friendly with. I think those two things are very different. One of the reasons for writing Big Friendship was that a lack of vocabulary for what a friend is, or what a long-term, meaningful relationship with a friend is, was something that we had both struggled with. The key to figuring out what we meant to each other really lay in unlocking that vocabulary."
Canadian cartoonist Gillian Goerz offers up Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer (#3 Books for Kids), a new graphic novel that's available in paperback and hardcover too. Kirkus Reviews notes: "When Jamila Waheed meets fellow 10-year-old Shirley Bones at a garage sale, she's hopeful she's made her first neighborhood friend. Shirley's mother is sending her to camp for the summer, against her will. When Jamila confesses that she's in the same situation, Shirley, who's a bit of an oddball, says that she'll convince her mother to convince Jamila's mother to let them skip camp and spend time together instead. Jamila is skeptical, but Shirley comes through, and before long, the two girls are spending their days together on the nearby basketball court. But instead of practicing, like Jamila, Shirley makes it her home base for doing detective work. When Jamila joins Shirley, the two begin to forge a true friendship - one that their latest case puts to the test."
Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Day 4129 - Jenny Recaps Christian Robinson's Virtual School Visit
From Jenny: You Matter. These two simple words give Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson's new picture book its title, but they also send an important message to readers: We are all connected, and we all matter. At the beginning of June, Boswell hosted the final school event of the semester with students from Elmbrook and Glendale / River Hills elementary schools, and Christian visited us virtually from his home in California. He started the conversation by telling kids that he wanted to say 'you matter' with words but also show it with pictures.
Christian has illustrated books by many authors, but only recently began writing his own stories. The result is a book filled with empathy for others, from the giant T-Rex who can't scratch his mosquito bite to an astronaut looking down at earth, far from home. The collage artwork is bright and cheerful and does a beautiful job capturing emotions familiar to all of us. Through writing You Matter, Christian had a lot of fun finding his own voice. He went on to tell kids about his love for drawing and creating art, and how right now, with so much anxiety in the world, his studio is his happy place. next, we all got a virtual tour so we could see his paper for sketching and working his ideas out, and the pictures pinned to his wall that give Christian a sense of how a project is coming together. Check out this video clip of Christian working on You Matter in his studio.
Christian told students about his background. He was born in Los Angeles in 1986. His grandmother raised Christian and his brother in a tiny apartment they shared with two cousins and his aunt. With all that family crowded around, there wasn't much room to call his own. Christian loved to draw pictures, and art was a way of creating his own space. On the page, he was able to have some say over what the world could look like. Now he lives in Sacramento with his boyfriend, John, and their cute but sassy greyhound, Baldwin. Christian read his delightful book, You Matter, to the audience, too!
Check out Jenny's full blog post, including Robinson's answers to student questions, here on the Boswellians blog today!
Sunday, July 12, 2020, Day 4119 - Jen on Fantasy's Roots in Mythology, Fairy Tales, and Folklore
From Jen: I'm more of a fantasy reader if I have to chose a seat under under the whole Sci/Fi Fantasy umbrella. I loved reading Greek myths when I was younger, and reading fantasy books that incorporate myths or folklore are my jam. What do I think of as a myth? How about - a classic or legendary story that usually focuses on a particular hero or event to explain mysteries of nature, existence, or the universe without much basis in fact. Here are some fantastical books that bring myths jumping right out of the page!
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is one of my favorites. The first in the Daevabad trilogy, this lyrical historical fantasy brings to vivid life ancient mythological traditions of an Islamic world. Set in the 18th century Egypt, a young woman with an uncanny gift for healing unleashes a supernatural being and sets in motion an otherworldly adventure. Side Note - Book 3, The Empire of Gold was just released June 30th. Another example of mythology making its way into a fantasy novel is Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone. The first in the Legacy of Orisha series that's set in a kingdom with traditions and mythology reminiscent of Nigeria and greater West Africa. Eleven years ago, Zelie's mother was murdered on the night magic left her people, a night known simply as "The Raid." The brutal King Saran ordered the slaughter of all Maji, thus keeping the next generation under his heel. But that was then, and this is now. By coincidence or maybe divine intervention, Zelie has a chance to restore magic to her people. It's a long and treacherous journey - one that will change Zelie and her companions forever. A compelling tale filled with magic, betrayals, danger, and heroines who are forces to be reckoned with. Children of Blood and Bone is explosive, and I loved everything about it!
I dug into Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Garcia Moreno. The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore. The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather's house. She dreams of life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. Yet a new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather's room. She opens it and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea's demise, but success could make her dreams come true. In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatâan to the bright lights of Mexico City and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld. And don't miss her unputdownable new novel, Mexican Gothic, too!
For more recommendations and fascinating information, read Jen's full post here on the Boswellians blog today!
For more posts from The Boswellians and Boswell and Books blogs, visit our blog post archive right here.