Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Welcome to Boswell! 
Our regular browsing hours are:
Monday through Friday: 10 am to 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday, June 19: 10 am to 6 pm
Please note that parts of the store are closed to browsing during in-store programming.
We are taking second-hand appointments by email. Contact us at usedbooks@boswellbooks.com. More info at second-hand book-buying guidelines.

Judy Bridges, author of It Didn’t Start Out That Way
in conversation with Jeannée Sacken at Boswell
Friday, June 14, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Milwaukee writing mentor and author Judy Bridges, who visits with her new memoir-in-essays, It Didn’t Start Out That Way. Bridges is Founder of Redbird Studio and has taught writing in the area for more than two decades. Bridges will be in conversation with Shorewood author Jeannée Sacken.

Please click here to visit judybridgesmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of It Didn’t Start Out That Way now as well.

84 years in the making, Bridges’s memoir covers 60 homes, 18 schools, 3 husbands, and more. Bridges takes us on an intimate journey through her life. Dad is a hero and a heartbreaker. Gram shoots her favorite husband in the pocket. A pick-up teaches a street-smart lesson. Bridges puts it all on the table. She sees her life and her characters from all sides, up and down, and brings them to life in this wildly honest memoir.

From Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season: “Like the best memoirists, Judy Bridges writes with such candor, humor and clarity that I felt like I was going through life with her instead of reading about it.” And from Jeannée Sacken, Shorewood author of the Annie Hawkins novels: ““Beautifully wrought and richly detailed, a story of love, loss, and resilience… this is memoir at its finest.”

Judy Bridges is author of Shut Up & Write! and Founder of Redbird Studio, where she has spent more than two decades helping writers find the words they want to say. Bridges previously had a career in speech writing and marketing.

Claire Lombardo, author of Same As It Ever Was
in conversation with Lisa Baudoin and Daniel Goldin at Boswell
Monday, June 17, 6:30 pm

Boswell Book Company joins forces with our friends of Books & Company in Oconomowoc for a special, in-person edition of Readings from Oconomowaukee, the event series that puts authors in conversation with bookstore proprietors Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin. This event features Claire Lombardo, author of Same As It Ever Was, the follow-up to her bestselling novel The Most Fun We Ever Had.

Please click here to register for this event at clairelombardomke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Same As It Ever Was now, too. Click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from Books & Company. Do note, there will be an afternoon edition of this event at Books & Company in Oconomowoc at 2 pm the same day. Click here for more info about that event.

Lombardo’s second book is a brilliantly observed family drama in which the enduring, hard-won affection of a long marriage faces imminent derailment from events both past and present. Same As It Ever Was showcases the style, wit, and profound emotional intelligence that Lombardo became known for with The Most Fun We Ever Had. In this remarkable follow-up, another elegant, tumultuous story in the tradition of Ann Patchett and Celeste Ng, Lombardo introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters, this time by way of her singularly complicated protagonist.

From Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry: "Witty and insightful... a powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self."

Claire Lombardo is author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, which has been optioned for television by Reese Witherspoon. She has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Grinnell College and works part-time as a bookseller at Prairie Lights Books.

in conversation with Sally Haldorson at Boswell
Thursday, June 20, 6:30 pm

UW-Madison Professor of Sociology Jessica Calarco appears at Boswell for a conversation about her new book, Holding It Together. Calarco’s work lays bare the devastating consequences of America’s status quo in which women are relied upon as our sole social safety net. Calarco will chat with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book Company, our cohost for this event.

Please click here to visit jessicacalarcomke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Holding It Together now as well.

America runs on women, who are tasked with holding society together at the seams and fixing it when things fall apart. In a tour de force new book, Calarco chronicles the causes and dire consequences. Tracing present-day policies back to their roots, Calarco reveals a systematic agreement to dismantle our country’s social safety net and persuade citizens to accept precarity while women bear the brunt. She leads us to see women's labor as the reason we've gone so long without the support systems that our peer nations take for granted, and how women’s work maintains the illusion that we don't need a net. Weaving eye-opening original research with revelatory sociological narrative, Calarco issues a call for institutional change and a warning about the perils of living without it.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and author of Unfinished Business, says: "Care is the cure for much of what ails us. But it is also often hard, tiring, uncompensated work that is pushed overwhelmingly onto women. Jess Calarco recounts moving, often wrenching, care stories of mothers, daughters, and wives across America, illustrating the deep injustice and short-sightedness of our current care system."

Jessica Calarco is author of Negotiating Opportunities and A Field Guide to Grad School as well as coauthor of Qualitative Literacy. She is a contributor to the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Washington Post, and has appeared on CNN, NPR, and the BBC.

at The Bridgewater Modern Grill, 2011 South First Street
Tuesday, June 25, 5:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening at The Bridgewater Modern Grill with America’s barbecue guru Steven Raichlen and the new, updated edition of his classic book, Beer-Can Chicken. Doors open at 5:30 for a reception, then there will be dinner and a presentation by Raichlen.

Each ticket costs $85 and includes a delicious dinner inspired by his recipes, including hors d'oeuvres to start and a plated main course, followed by dessert, as well as a copy of Beer-Can Chicken. Click here and purchase tickets now at exploretock.com/bridgewater-modern-grill-milwaukee/event/483859/flavorful-feasts-with-steven-raichlen-a-beer-can-chicken-event.

Revised, redesigned, and beautifully photographed, this update on a classic cookbook offers 50 recipes for the ultimate chicken grilling technique - on a beer can - plus brilliant recipes for birds off the can, perfect sides, and even desserts. When Raichlen says this is the best grilled chicken he's ever tasted, cooks stop and listen. Whether it’s on a can, under a brick, or in the embers, Raichlen explains each grilling technique with easy-to-follow steps that guarantee no matter how wild the process, the results are always outstanding.

This curated edition eschews the more esoteric recipes in the original and instead focuses on the chicken and its earthbound brethren, like turkey and quail, plus some perfect sides and desserts. In this revised cookbook, the flightless birds soar to proverbial new heights, elevated by a fresh, modern design and gorgeous full-color step-by-step and beautiful photography throughout.

Steven Raichlen is author of the Barbecue! Bible cookbook series, and his books have earned five James Beard awards. His is host of TV shows including Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire, Project Smoke, and Barbecue University. Raichlen has written for the New York Times, Esquire, and all the food magazines, and in 2015, he was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.

in conversation with Danielle Harms at Boswell
Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Ananda Lima, author of Craft, an intoxicating and surreal debut collection of contemporary, Kafkaesque stories all told through the lens of a Brazilian-American writer who spent a night with the devil. She'll chat with Milwaukee writer Danielle Harms.

Please click here to register for this event at anandalimamke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Craft now, too.

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes him stories about beautiful and impossible things. Lima’s book offers an intoxicating and unsettling linked collection that lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. With a singular voice in the narrative-bending tradition of Kafka, Cortázar, and Bulgakov, Lima speaks to Brazilian-American immigrant experiences - of ambition, fear, heartbreak, and home - with equal parts warmth and agitation.

From the Chicago Review of Books, which named Craft a Most Anticipated book of 2024: "A perfect balance of humor, heart, and hauntedness… I expect Craft to immediately put Lima in the company of writers like Carmen Maria Machado, Kelly Link, and Samanta Schweblin."

Ananda Lima is author of the poetry collection Mother/land, winner of the Hudson Prize, and her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, and Pleiades. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA, an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, and has been awarded the inaugural WIP Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing. Danielle Harms's work has appeared in Conjunctions, Mid-American Review, and the American Literary Review and received a Notable mention in Best American Essays 2023. She is the winner of an AWP Intro Journals Award and a staff scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

Tracy Chevalier, author of The Glassmaker
a ticketed event at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd
Wednesday, June 26, 6:30 pm

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and Boswell present a special evening with bestselling historical novelist Tracy Chevalier, author of the beloved book Girl with a Pearl Earring. Chevalier appears with her latest novel, The Glassmaker, a rich, transporting story that follows a family of glassmakers from the height of Renaissance-era Italy to present day.

Tickets for this event cost $34 plus tax and ticket fee and include admission and a hardcover copy of The Glassmaker. Click here to visit tracychevalierschlitzaudubon.eventbrite.com and purchase tickets for this event now.

It’s 1486 and Venice is an opulent trade center. Orsola Rosso is the eldest daughter in a family of glassblowers on Murano, the island revered for the craft. As a woman, she is not meant to work with glass, though she has the hands for it, the heart, and a vision. When her father dies, she teaches herself to make glass beads in secret, and her work supports the Rosso family fortunes. Skipping like a stone through the centuries, in a Venice where time moves as slowly as molten glass, we follow Orsola and her family as they live through creative triumph and heartbreaking loss, from a plague devastating Venice to Continental soldiers stripping its palazzos bare, from the domination of Murano and its maestros to the transformation of the city of trade into a city of tourists. In every era, the Rosso women ensure that their work, and their bonds, endure.

Chevalier is a master of her craft, and The Glassmaker is as inventive as it is spellbinding: a mesmerizing portrait of a woman, a family, and a city as everlasting as their glass. The Glassmaker celebrates the strength, character, complexity and endurance of women across the ages and brings a whole family of indelible women to life with evocative, unerring prose.

Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film, a play, and an opera, as well as Remarkable Creatures, A Single Thread, and The Last Runaway.

Lisa Barr, author of The Goddess of Warsaw
a ticketed event at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd
Thursday, June 27, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm event

Milwaukee Reads presents a ticketed event with bestselling author Lisa Barr, author of the soon-to-be-a-Sharon-Stone-film novel Woman on Fire. Barr visits for an event featuring her latest, The Goddess of Warsaw, which is an enthralling tale about a Hollywood screen goddess carrying a dark secret about her life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Cohosted by Boswell.

Tickets cost $50 each plus tax and ticket fees, and each ticket includes admission, light appetizers, a glass of wine, and a paperback copy of The Goddess of Warsaw. Click here and visit lisabarrwss.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets now.

When the famous actress is threatened by someone from her past, she must put her skills into play to protect herself, her illustrious career, and those she loves, then and now. Barr’s latest is a pulse-pounding thriller that also asks the question: What is the line between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge?

From the starred Publishers Weekly review: “The depictions of ghetto residents finding the strength to fight back are chillingly realistic, raising the novel’s emotional stakes to excruciating heights. Fans of WWII historical fiction won’t want to miss this.” And from author Natalie Jenner: “The Goddess of Warsaw gifts the reader with jaw-dropping moments worthy of a Tarantino film, a story that could not be more timely, and a heroine whose ferocity and valor knows no bounds.”

Lisa Barr is author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables, and the award-winning historical thriller Fugitive Colors. She has been an editor for the Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today's Chicago Woman and Moment magazine, and an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Phyllis R Dixon, author of A Taste for More
in conversation with Joan Prince at Milwaukee Public Library, East Branch, 2320 N Cramer St
Saturday, June 29, 1 pm

Phyllis R Dixon, author of novels such as Intermission and Down Home Blues, appears at MPL’s East Branch to celebrate the launch of her latest book, A Taste for More. It’s a powerful story of mothers and daughters, generational trauma, and redefining home that’s perfect for readers of Terry McMillan and Sadeqa Johnson. Dixon will be in conversation with former UWM Vice Chancellor and Associate Professor and former UN Ambassador Joan Prince. Cohosted by Boswell.

Please click here to visit mpl.org/services/events/index.php?eid=146733 and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of A Taste for More now. Boswell will be on hand at the event with copies available for purchase.

In a breathtaking saga spanning the final three decades of the Great Migration - from the Jim Crow south in rural midcentury Mississippi through the transformative 1970s - a tenacious single mother and culinary genius builds an unprecedented empire. But the one dream she can’t stop chasing may cost her everything.

Margo father’s death plunged into poverty, but it also gave Margo the determination to migrate north in search of a better life for herself and her young daughter. Yet up north, Margo finds herself contending with all-too-familiar obstacles of racism and the new stresses of urban living. Using the skills she learned from her mother’s job as a cook, Margo begins to build a successful restaurant chain. As her daughter becomes a beautiful young woman with an increasingly mercenary temperament, Margo wonders if can save her from the bitter and frighteningly dangerous mistakes that may shatter both of their worlds.

Phyllis R Dixon is author of Intermission, Forty Acres, and Down Home Blues, which was shortlisted for the Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List by the Texas Library Association. She also is a contributor to the New Tri-State Defender book review column and to Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul. A graduate of UWM, she is a former independent bookstore owner.

Emily Giffin, author of The Summer Pact
in conversation with Amy E Reichert
a ticketed event at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 3270 Mitchell Park Dr
Monday, July 22, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company and Books & Company of Oconomowoc present a special, ticketed evening with Emily Giffin, the bestselling author of novels such as Meant to Be and The Lies That Bind. Giffin visits with The Summer Pact. When four college friends make a pact in the wake of tragedy, they have no idea it will bring them back together a decade later to embark upon a life-changing adventure. Giffin will be in conversation with Amy E Reichert, Wisconsin author of novels such as The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.

Tickets for this event cost $36 and include admission, facilities fee, and a copy of The Summer Pact. Click here and purchase your tickets now at ticketing.wilson-center.com/giffin/63190.

Four freshmen arrive at college from completely different worlds, and soon after moving into their shared dorm, the seeds of friendship are planted. As their college years fly by, their bond intensifies and the four become inseparable. But as graduation nears, their lives are forever changed after a desperate act leads to tragic consequences. Stunned and heartbroken, they make a pact, promising to always be there for each other in their times of need.

Ten years later, one of their lives is suddenly turned upside down. Calling on her closest friends, it soon becomes clear that they are all facing their own crossroads. True to their promise, they agree to take time out from lives headed in wrong directions and embark on a shared journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and acceptance. In this tender portrayal of grief, love, and hope, Giffin asks: When things fall apart, who will be at our sides to help us pick up the pieces?

Emily Giffin is the author of eleven internationally bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Love the One You're With, and Where We Belong. Five of her novels have been optioned for film and are in different stages of development. A Chicago native, Giffin graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

All event times are Central Time. To see a full event listing, visit our Upcoming Events page here. Read posts from The Boswellians (our bookseller contributed blog) here and Boswell and Books (from Daniel Goldin) right here, and visit our blog post archive right here.