Please note that Boswell will be closing early twice this week, on Sunday, September 22, at 5 pm, and Monday, September 23, at 6 pm.
For our tenth anniversary, we have a commemorative logo, featuring a very special toad playing the part of James Boswell. For those who like to know these things, James Boswell has been the face of a Milwaukee bookstore since 1973 and the children's book that inspired this illustration was the favorite of more than one generation of the Harry W. Schwartz family. We're honored to carry on the tradition of storefront bookselling in Milwaukee.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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...
We're so pleased to announce that National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson will be appearing at Boswell Book Company for the Rose Petranech Lecture with her new novel, Red at the Bone. Woodson will be in conversation with Milwaukee writer, performer, and creative change agent Dasha Kelly Hamilton. Tickets are $28, include admission, a copy of Red at the Bone, and all taxes and fees, available at woodsonmke.bpt.me.
Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.
In addition to our general admission, Boswell will be working with several community groups (including Dasha Kelly Hamilton's own Still Waters Collective) to broaden the audience that would not normally be able to attend such an event. We're grateful to Kate Petranech, who is helping us facilitate this outreach, in honor of her late, book-loving sister, Rose Petranech.
Jacqueline Woodson is author of more than two dozen award-winning books including the 2016 National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, Another Brooklyn. Woodson is a four-time National Book Award finalist (and winner for Brown Girl Dreaming), a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award Winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award Winner. Woodson is also the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young Peoples Literature and recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Childrens Literature Legacy Award. In 2015, she was named the Young Peoples Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Dasha Kelly Hamilton is author of two novels, including Almost Crimson, has released four spoken-word recordings, and appeared in HBO presents Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam. She was the Pfister Narrator in 2012, has twice been named finalist for Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, and has been named Artist of the Year by the City of Milwaukee. She is founder of Still Waters Collective.
Boswell is happy to once again host Educator Night. Enjoy an informative and entertaining evening for teachers serving kids from elementary schools through high school. We'll feature presentations of childrens books by publishing reps Anne Hellman of Macmillan and Jenny Sheridan of HarperCollins Books for Young Readers. We don't want to oversell this to much, but Jenny and Anne are terrific presenters. If you love kids books, you're going to have a great evening.
Registration is requested for this event at boswelleducatorfall19.bpt.me.There will be light refreshments and plenty of swag and advance reading copies for everyone who attends to take home. Everyone is welcome to attend, but educators and librarians who register and let us know their school and district affiliation in the 'company' field will qualify for a special gift on the night of the event.
Greenfield Public Library and Boswell Book Company present Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Award-winning book Hello, Universe, for a talk about her newest novel of adventure about bravery, friendship, self-reliance, and the choice between accepting fate or forging your own path. Cosponsored by the Philippine Cultural and Civic Center Foundation.
Register for this free event on Greenfield Public Library’s website. Visit tinyurl.com/yypgary9.
Inspired by Filipino folklore, this engrossing fantasy tells the story of Lalani Sarita, whose mother falls ill with an incurable disease. Lalani embarks on a dangerous journey across the sea in the hope of safeguarding her own future.
Life is difficult on the island of Sanlagita. To the west looms a vengeful mountain, one that threatens to bury the village at any moment. To the north, a fog swallows sailors who dare to leave for a more hospitable land. Women live in fear of the deadly disease, spread by the needles they use to repair the men’s fishing nets. When Lalani’s mother pricks her finger with a net needle, she gives Lalani an impossible task - leave Sanlagita and find the riches of the legendary Mount Isa. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest - how can a timid young girl survive the epic tests of the archipelago? And how will she manage without Veyda, her best friend? Perfect for readers who loved Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon.
Newbery-winner Erin Entrada Kelly is a Professor of Childrens Literature at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction, and the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and You Go First.
Milwaukee author Daniel Holland appears at Boswell with his new memoir of his involvement in the draft resistance movement during the Vietnam War era.
Holland’s memoir shares episodes of draft board raids, secret rooms, and the day-to-day responsibilities of a full-time activist. It recalls the breaking news of the time with Holland’s personal memories and reflections on his own coming of age, portraying a growing consciousness and the evolution from youthful naiveté into committed antiwar activism and the legal adventures that follow: indictment, arrest, arraignment, defending himself at trial, and sentencing. Holland’s book contains a surprising ending and a thoughtful afterword contemplating our personal responsibilities for peace.
Daniel Holland has held a litany of day jobs, from longshoreman to drivers ed instructor, garbage collector to art school administrator. In 1985 he won the Milwaukee Irish Fest poetry competition.
Boswell is pleased to host award-winning foreign correspondent and author of The Secret Sky Atia Abawi. Herself a refugee, Abawi talks about her powerful new novel, a story of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria masterfully told by a journalist who witnessed the crisis firsthand. Cosponsored by University School of Milwaukee.
In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. Those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future. Tareq’s family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey.
While this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of the heartbreaking consequences of all wars, all tragedy, narrated by Destiny itself. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss. Abawi captures the hope that spurs people forward against all odds and the love that makes that hope grow.
Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. Her first book for teens was The Secret Sky.
Alice Hoffman, author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Rules of Magic, visits with her new book, The World That We Knew, a novel set in 1941, during humanity's darkest hour, about three unforgettable young women who must act with courage and love to survive.
Tickets for this event available here on the Jewish Community Center website. The cost is $25 for one admission and includes a copy of The World That We Knew. For $35, get two admissions and one copy of the book. Cosponsored by The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center Tapestry Series, The Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, and ABCD - After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
In Berlin, a mother must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. A renowned rabbi's daughter offers hope when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect the girl. Travelling from Paris to a convent in western France to a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending.
Pulitzer-winner Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge, says The World That We Knew, "opens up the world, the universe, in a way that is absolutely unique. By the end you may be weeping." And Jodi Picoult says, "Hoffman's new novel will break your heart, and then stitch it back together piece by piece. It's about love and loss, about history and the world today, about what happens when man goes against the laws of nature for good and for evil."
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, and The Dovekeepers.
Creator of the celebrated modern-day Christmas classic Red and Lulu visits Boswell with the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever. Great for adults and kids age 4 and up.
Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life, one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head.
One day, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh - a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will ever be the same.
Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of Red and Lulu, Helen’s Big World, Growing Up Pedro, and illustrator of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, Over the River and Through the Wood, and Jubilee!
Wisconsin poet Carrie Voigt Schonhoff visits Boswell to read from her debut collection of poems and chat with Simon Van Booy, author of The Illusion of Separateness.
Schonhoff’s poems capture the spirit of her native Wisconsin through poignant descriptions of landscape and revelations of the emotional interiors of people and places. Her work resonates with those native to our state and strikes at the heart of what it means to live, survive, and prosper as a woman of the Midwest. Her characters are drawn from life and her subjects are the experiences that change our lives, both suddenly and those that shape us over longer periods, defining memory.
Carrie Voigt Schonhoff is a poet based in Wisconsin. She has previously published work in The Solitary Plover. Simon Van Booy is author of the novels The Illusion of Separateness, Father’s Day, and Everything Beautiful Began After and the story collections The Sadness of Beautiful Things and Tales of Accidental Genius.
Milwaukee-raised Milofsky chats about his sixth novel with Dick Blau, Professor Emeritus of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres at UWM.
Milofsky’s novel is the story of a man who moves back to Milwaukee with his mercurial wife only to inherit a run-down duplex from his mother who, on her deathbed, extracts a promise from him not to evict the money pit’s delinquent occupants. The novel is a slow-burning, finely textured portrait of family dynamics, the secrets between generations, and the ways the shadows of the past can keep us from moving into the future.
Richard Ford says, “A Milwaukee Inheritance is, as advertised, a loving, knowing paean to the Cream City, but also to our great American middle – about which not enough can be written – and as such has its own honest inheritances in Howells, Anderson, Bellow, Gass, Oates, Dybek – all heroes and – among whom David Milofsky’s measured, poignant, plain-spoke Midwestern sentences and intelligence stand out vividly. It’s a novel that welcomes us.”
David Milofsky is author of the novels Playing from Memory, Eternal People, and Color of Law, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Milwaukee Journal, and The Chicago Tribune. Milofsky has received the Prairie Schooner Short Fiction Award and the Colorado Book Award.
Author of New York Times bestseller Carry the One discusses her long-awaited novel exploring what happens when untested people are put to a hard test, and in its aftermath, find themselves in a newly uncertain world. She’ll chat with Jane Hamilton, Wisconsin author of The Excellent Lombards and The Book of Ruth.
Fall of 2016. Cate’s conspiracy theorist ex-husband is camped out in her spare bedroom as she attempts to settle into a serious relationship and get financially solvent working in Chicago’s theater community. Her yoga instructor best friend is Cate’s model for what adulthood looks like. Then Cate finds strangers assaulting her friend and is forced to take fast, spontaneous action. Cate learns the violence she is capable of, and overnight, her world has changed.
Anshaw’s flawed, sympathetic, and uncannily familiar characters grapple with altered relationships and identities against the backdrop of the new presidency and a country waking to a different understanding of itself. Eloquent, moving, and beautifully observed, Right After the Weather is the work of a master of exquisite prose and a wry and compassionate student of the human condition writing at the height of her considerable powers.
Carol Anshaw is the author of Aquamarine, Seven Moves, and Lucky in the Corner. She has received the Ferro-Grumley Award, the Carl Sandburg Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Jane Hamilton is author of the Oprah's Book Club selections The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, among her other novels. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Elle. She's married to an apple farmer and lives in Wisconsin.
#1 New York Times bestselling Divergent author Veronica Roth visits Boswell with her masterful collection of six futuristic short stories, with two never-before-seen tales from her popular Carve the Mark universe. She’ll chat with Milwaukeean Gregory B Sadler, known as That Philosophy Guy.
Registration is free at veronicarothmke.bpt.me. To get in the signing line, attendees must upgrade to the book-with-registration option for $20.05, which includes admission, a copy of The End and Other Beginnings, and all taxes and fees. Roth will sign and personalize The End and Other Beginnings and will sign one book brought from home. No posed photos or inscriptions (messages). Please note, signing line upgrade is limited to 150 people. No cancellations for signing line tickets after October 1. Boswell will close to the general public if we reach store capacity.
In Roth’s latest collection, each setting is more strange and wonderful than the last, brimming with new technologies and beings. And yet, for all the advances in these futuristic lands, the people still must confront deeply human problems. In these six short stories, Roth reaches into the unknown and draws forth something startlingly familiar and profoundly beautiful. With tales of friendship and revenge, this collection has something for new and old fans alike. Each story begins with a hope for a better end, but always ends with a better understanding of the beginning. Featuring stunning black-and-white illustrations, Roth’s latest is a book collector’s dream.
Veronica Roth is the globally bestselling author of the Divergent trilogy and the Carve the Mark series. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the anthologies Summer Days and Summer Nights, Shards and Ashes, and Three Sides of a Heart. The Divergent series was developed into three major motion pictures. Roth graduated from Northwestern University.
Port Washington coppersmith and author visits with Tinsmith 1865, part of her Flats Junction series, the story of Marie, a Polish immigrant who heads west to the unwelcoming Dakota Territories with her tinsmith father and brothers. Dahmen will chat about her book and present some of the metalworking skills her characters need to survive. Folks who buy a copy of Tinsmith 1865 at the event will get a complimentary copper straw, while supplies last.
When her tinsmith father and brothers head West, Polish immigrant Marie Kotlarczyk has no choice but to go along. Family, after all, is family. The Dakota Territories are anything but welcoming to the Kotlarczyks, and as the months trip by, Marie must pick up the hammers she’s secretly desired but also feared. When she faces the skeptical people of Flats Town, the demands of the local Army commander, and her public failures, her inner voice grows destructive, forcing Marie to decide exactly who she is and what it means to be a woman metalsmith.
Port Washington based Sara Dahmen is one of the only female coppersmiths in the country, working as a metalsmith of vintage and modern cookware. She is Cofounder of the American Pure Metals Guild. Her novel, Widow 1881, won the Laramie Award for Western Historical Fiction and was named Fiction Book of the Year by Author's Circle.
Presenting a special evening with Boswell favorite Joe Hill, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Strange Weather, and NOS4A2, now a hit television show on AMC. His latest is a dark and ingenious collection of thirteen compelling short stories that showcase his ability to push genre conventions to new extremes (New York Times Book Review).
This event is free (really!), but registration is required. For this event, your line letter will be assigned when you register at joehillmke.bpt.me. The first 50 people who register with book upgrade will get an A, the next group will get a B. Free registration starts gets you a C line letter. Books will also be for sale at the event.
In Full Throttle, a masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including "In the Tall Grass," one of two stories co-written with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix. Featuring two previously unpublished stories, and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears, and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.
Joe Hill is author of the novels NOS4A2, Horns, and Heart-Shaped Box, plus the novellas collection Strange Weather and the story collection 20th Century Ghosts. He is the Eisner Award-winning writer of a six-volume comic book series, Locke & Key, and much of his work is being adapted for film and TV.
Globetrotting dad Dan Kois, Host of the podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, travels to Boswell to share his memoir of the year he set out with his family around the world to change their lives together. Kois will be in conversation with Milwaukee’s Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book, and they will be joined by Dan’s children, who will add questions to the conversation.
In this eye-opening, heartwarming, and very funny family memoir, the fractious, loving Kois family goes in search of other places on the map that might offer them the chance to live away from home but closer together, from New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica to small-town Kansas. The goal? To get out of their rut of busyness and distractedness and to see how other families live. Filled with heart, empathy, and lots of whining, How to Be a Family will make readers dream about the amazing adventures their own families might take.
How to Be a Family brings readers along as the Kois girls-witty, solitary, extremely online Lyra and goofy, sensitive, social butterfly Harper-like through the Kiwi bush, ride bikes to a Dutch school in the pouring rain, battle iguanas in their Costa Rican kitchen, and learn to love a town where everyone knows your name. Meanwhile, Dan interviews neighbors, public officials, and scholars to learn why each of these places work the way they do. Will this trip change the Kois family's lives? Or do families take their problems and conflicts with them wherever we go?
Dan Kois is an editor at Slate, founding host of the podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, author of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America, and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine. Milwaukee's Liam Callanan is author of the novels Cloud Atlas, All Saints, and Listen: And Other Stories. He is a Professor of English at UWM.
Boswell Book Company hosts Craig Johnson, author of the beloved book-series-turned-hit-TV-show, Longmire, for his brand new novel, in which the titular Sheriff returns to Wyoming to try once again to maintain justice in a place with grudges that go back generations.
Tickets cost $29 and include admission, a copy of Land of Wolves, sales tax and ticket fee, available at craigjohnsonmke.bpt.me.
In Land of Wolves, the latest in Johnson's New York Times bestselling series, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters are further complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains.
As Walt searches for information about the shepherd, he comes across strange messages from his spiritual guide, Virgil White Buffalo. Virgil usually reaches out if a child is in danger. So when a young boy with ties to the Extapare clan arrives in town, the stakes become even higher. To complicate matters, a renegade wolf has been haunting the Bighorn Mountains, and the townspeople are out for blood. But Walt knows the mysterious animal is not the predator that needs tracking. With both a wolf and a killer on the loose, Longmire follows a twisting trail of evidence, leading to dark and shocking conclusions.
Craig Johnson is author of 13 Longmire novels featuring the beloved sheriff, which have won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award, the Will Rogers Medallion Award for fiction, a Watson Award, and the Wyoming Historical Association's Book of the Year award. The series has been adapted for TV by Warner Bros, now an original program on Netflix.
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present an evening with PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize-winning novelist Ann Patchett. She returns with The Dutch House, a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.
Tickets are $33 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of The Dutch House, available at patchettwi.bpt.me.
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to propel his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. Told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magicians Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, What Now?, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Patchett is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried, shares his first book in more than two decades, a collection of wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humor, and rewards of raising two sons. He’ll chat with Jim Higgins, Arts and Books Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Tickets cost $29, and include admission, a signed copy of Dad’s Maybe Book, and all tax and fees, available at timobrienmke.bpt.me. There’s also an early bird special, where you can get the ticket for $24, still including all taxes and fees, if you purchase it by August 31.
In 2003, already an older father, O’Brien resolved to give his young sons what he wished his own father had given to him - a few scraps of paper signed “Love, Dad.” Maybe a word of advice and some scattered glimpses of their rapidly aging father, a man they might never really know. For the next fifteen years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living.
O’Brien traverses the great variety of human experience and emotion, moving from soccer games to warfare to risqué lullabies, from alcoholism to magic shows to history lessons to bittersweet bedtime stories, but always returning to a father’s soul-saving love for his sons. The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, a funny, tender, wise, and enduring literary achievement that will squeeze the reader’s heart with joy and recognition.
Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013.