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
 
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.
 

Susan Beckham Zurenda, author of The Girl from the Red Rose Motel
at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd
Tuesday, April 23, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm event

Milwaukee Reads presents a ticketed evening with Susan Beckham Zurenda, author of The Girl from the Red Rose Motel, a novel about the power of the families we both inherit and create. Cohosted by Boswell.

Tickets for this event cost $52 plus tax and fees, and each ticket includes admission, a glass of wine, light refreshments, and a hardcover copy of The Girl from the Red Rose Motel. Please click here to visit susanbeckhamzurendawss.eventbrite.com and purchase tickets now.

Impoverished high school junior Hazel Smalls and affluent senior Sterling Lovell meet unexpected in in-school suspension, and Sterling finds himself drawn to the gorgeous, studious girl seated nearby, and an unlikely relationship begins. Navigating between privilege and poverty, vulnerability and strength, Hazel, Sterling, and their stern but compassionate teacher Angela Wilmore must band together to confront what they need from themselves and each other as Hazel gains the courage to make a bold, life-changing decision.

Gripping and richly drawn, The Girl from the Red Rose Motel explores the complex bonds between adults and teenagers and the power of the family. Inspired by the author's experiences teaching in a South Carolina high school, the novel is also an unflinching look at the challenges faced by America's public school teachers and the struggles of thousands of homeless children who live, precariously and almost invisibly, amid the nation's most affluent communities.

Susan Beckham Zurenda taught English for thirty-three, and her debut novel, Bells for Eli, received several awards, including the Independent Publisher Book Award for Best First Book in the 2021.


AH Kim, author of Relative Strangers
in conversation with Jenny Lee at Boswell
Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with AH Kim, author of Relative Strangers, a modern-day Sense and Sensibility about two Korean American sisters supporting their newly widowed mother through a contentious estate battle with a man who claims to be their half-brother from Seoul. Kim will be in conversation with Jenny Lee, and this event is cohosted by AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin.

Please here right here to visit ahkimmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Relative Strangers now, too.

The Nest meets Vacationland in this sharply witty family drama. Eleanor and Amelia Bae-Wood are rallying around their mother Tabitha, who’s just been evicted from her home. Newly single, unemployed, and broke - as usual, Eleanor has too much on her plate, including being caught up in a court battle with someone who claims to be their deceased father’s first-born child and only son – a secret love child from his Korean youth - who’s fighting for a piece of everything that belongs to the Bae-Wood women. This enormously entertaining retelling of Sense and Sensibility is a modern, feminist version for the 21st century that explores timely themes of complicated family politics, race, class, and wealth.

Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me, says: "Prepare to stay up half the night, like I did, to finish this twisty romantic page-turner! Relative Strangers is the best kind of story, one of finding hope and happiness in the hot mess that is life." And Wisconsin’s own Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season, says: "Kim draws on the heart and humor you'd expect from a Jane Austen novel and sets it to a faster, more contemporary beat. I had a blast reading this literary power remix."

AH Kim is author of A Good Family as well as an immigrant, a graduate of Harvard College and Berkeley Law, and lawyer.


at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W Wisconsin Ave
Thursday, April 25, 12 pm

The Friends of Milwaukee Public Library’s Spring Literary Luncheon presents New York Times bestselling author Douglas Brunt for an afternoon with his latest work of history, The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel.

Tickets sales for this luncheon have ended. For more information, click here and visit the MPL Foundation website. Sponsorship levels also available.


Cancelled Paul Yamazaki, author of Reading the Room: A Bookseller's Tale
in conversation with Daniel Goldin at Boswell
Friday, April 26, 2 pm

Boswell hosts an afternoon event with Paul Yamazaki, the longtime Principal Buyer at the legendary City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco. A champion for national and global literature, writers, publishers, and independent bookstores, Yamazaki was the recipient of the National Book Foundation's 2023 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Yamazaki appears with his new memoir, Reading the Room, which is a love letter to the work of bookselling and an engaged life of the mind. Yamazaki will be in conversation with Boswell proprietor Daniel Goldin.

Alas, this event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.


in conversation with Apurba Banerjee at Boswell
Friday, April 26, 6:30 pm

Milwaukee author, poet, & public health professional Prasanta Verma appears at Boswell for an evening featuring her new book, Beyond Ethnic Loneliness, a book in which she unpacks the exhausting effects of cultural isolation, the dynamics of marginalization, and the weight of being other. In conversation with Apurba Banerjee.

Please click here to visit prasantavermamke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Beyond Ethnic Loneliness now, too.

Majority white American culture has historically marginalized people of color, who at times feel invisible and alienated and at other times are traumatized by oppression and public discrimination. This reality leads to a particular kind of aloneness: ethnic and racial loneliness.

An Indian American immigrant who grew up in white Southern culture, Prasanta Verma names and sheds light on the realities of ethnic loneliness. In the midst of disconnection and erasure, she points to the longing to belong, the need to share our stories, and the hope of finding safe friendships and community. Our places of exile can become places where we find belonging - to ourselves, to others, and to God.

Prasanta Verma’s essays and poetry have appeared in outlets including Sojourners, Inheritance Magazine, and the Indianapolis Review. She served as a speech and debate coach for over ten years.


at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd
Saturday, April 27, 10 am

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center presents Jessica Stremer, who appears with Lights Out, her inspirational picture book about how even a small act like flipping a switch can make a big difference in helping migrating birds. Cohosted by Boswell.

No registration required for this event. Be sure to order your copy of Lights Out now. For more information, click here and visit the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center's event page.

When the seasons change and it’s time for a flock of sparrows to move on, a map made of stars guides their way. But when they reach the city, light pollution masks the map and confuses the birds. One sparrow becomes separated from the flock. A girl rescues the lost sparrow and decides to take action so this doesn’t happen again.

From Boswellian Kay Wosewick: "Lights Out begins on a sad note, explaining how birds get very confused by city lights when they migrate in spring and fall. But there is hope! The author describes how locally led educational programs are persuading more and more cities around the world to turn off lights during migration. The book ends with great ideas to help kids start programs in their own city. Bonus: Milwaukee is a perfect place for Lights Out because Lake Michigan's coastline is a major migration route."

Jessica Stremer is author of the nonfiction picture book Great Carrier Reef. Stremer combines her love of science and writing to create books that inspire kids to explore the world around them and beyond.


Suzanne Scanlon, author of Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen
in conversation with Meg Kissinger at Boswell
Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Chicago novelist Suzanne Scanlon for a conversation about her first book of nonfiction, Committed, a raw and masterful memoir and cultural exploration about becoming a woman and going mad - and doing both at once. Scanlon will be in conversation with Wisconsin journalist Meg Kissinger, author of While You Were Out.

Please click here to visit suzannescanlonmke.eventbrite.com to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Committed now as well.

When Suzanne Scanlon was a student at Barnard in the 90s, grieving the loss of her mother - feeling untethered and swimming through inarticulable pain - she made a suicide attempt that landed her in the New York State Psychiatric Institute. After nearly three years, Suzanne left the ward on shaky legs. In the decades it took to recover, Scanlon came to understand her suffering as part of something larger: a long tradition of women whose complicated and compromised stories of self-actualization are reduced to "crazy chick" and "madwoman" narratives. Soon, journey of Scanlon’s life converged with her journey through the literature that shaped her.

Transporting, honest, and graceful, Committed is a story of discovery and recovery, reclaiming the idea of the madwoman as a template for insight and transcendence through the works of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Audre Lorde, and others. Per Pulitzer-winning author Natasha Trethewey: "Scanlon’s memoir Committed is a lyrical and illuminating account of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and institutionalization… Scanlon questions the cultural conversations around women and mental illness, framing a compelling narrative of her own recovery and redemption."

And here's a recommendation from Meg Kissinger "Suzanne Scanlon’s brave, thought-provoking book is a gift to all who have struggled with grief and sorrow. (So, everyone). I am so excited to be in conversation with her."

Suzanne Scanlon is author of the novels Promising Young Women and Her 37th Year, An Index, and her writing has appeared in Granta, BOMB Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places.


At Capacity Jennifer Chiaverini, author of The Museum of Lost Quilts
at the Cedarburg Public Library, W63N589 Hanover Ave
Wednesday, May 1, 6:30 pm

Jennifer Chiaverini appears for a special evening at the Cedarburg Public Library, where she’ll chat about The Museum of Lost Quilts, the first new novel in her beloved Elm Creek Quilts series in nearly five years! This book is a warm and deeply moving story about the power of collective memory. Cohosted by Boswell.

This event is now registered to capacity. If there are cancellations, the Cedarburg Library will open registration again and we will post the link here. You can still order a signed copy of The Museum of Lost Quilts.


The Almost Annual Undergraduate Writers Reading
at Boswell
Friday, May 3, 6:30 pm

Boswell is pleased to once again host our almost-annual student reading series featuring undergraduates in the writing programs of area universities. This year’s event features writers from the English Departments of Marquette University and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. You never know who will one day become a world famous literary titan. Come see them now so that when they become book world icons, you can say you knew them way back when. No registration required for this event.


Janet Skeslien Charles, author of Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade
at Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 E Kilbourn Ave
Saturday, May 4, 11:15 reception, 12 pm lunch and talk

Woman’s Club of Wisconsin and Boswell Book Company, with the collaboration of Alliance Française de Milwaukee, present a special, ticketed event featuring Janet Skeslien Charlies, author of the acclaimed novel The Paris Library. She visits for a special luncheon featuring her latest, Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade, a novel based on the true story of Jessie Carson, the American librarian who changed the literary landscape of France, and Anne Morgan, daughter of JP Morgan and founder of the American Committee for Devastated France.

Each ticket costs $75 plus ticket fee, and each includes admission, lunch, and a copy of Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade. Reception begins at 11:15, followed by lunch at 12, with author talk to follow. Tickets are available now via Eventbrite. Click here to purchase tickets at eventbrite.com/e/852933576287.

In 1918, as the Great War rages, Jessie Carson takes a leave of absence from the New York Public Library to work for the American Committee for Devastated France. She turns ambulances into bookmobiles and trains the first French female librarians. Then she disappears. In 1987, NYPL librarian and aspiring writer Wendy Peterson stumbles across a passing reference to Jessie Carson in the archives and becomes consumed with learning her fate. In her obsessive research, she discovers that she and the elusive librarian have more in common than their work at New York’s famed library, but she has no idea their paths will converge in surprising ways across time.

Based on the extraordinary little-known history of the women who received the Croix de Guerre medal for courage under fire, Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, the power of literature, and ultimately the courage it takes to make a change. From author Patti Callahan Henry: "An astonishing novel of postwar WWI France with the beating heart of courageous women who change the world through books… and a moving tale of sacrifice, heroism, and inspired storytelling immersed in the power of books to change our lives."

Janet Skeslien Charles is the author of The Paris Library. Her shorter work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Sydney Morning Herald, LitHub, and more.


at Boswell
Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 pm

Join us at Boswell to celebrate the release of Milwaukee scholar Jon M Sweeney’s latest work, a new memoir entitled My Life in Seventeen Books, which is a book for the bookish-inclined, in which Sweeney recounts personal stories that reflect the magic of books to move a person from one stage of life to the next.

Please click here to visit jonmsweeneymke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of My Life in Seventeen Books now, too.

Former bookseller, longtime publisher and author Jon M Sweeney shows - with history and anecdotes centering around books such as Thoreau’s Journal, Martin Buber’s Hasidic Tales, and Tolstoy’s Twenty-three Tales - what it means to be carried by a book. He explores the discovery that once accompanied finding books, and books finding us. He ponders the smell of an old volume, its heft, and why bibliophiles carry them around even without reading them. He demonstrates how and why there is magic and enchantment that takes place between people and books.

Mary Gordon says: This is a small gem of a book, tender, humble, loving, needed now as ever before when so many of us fear that reading - and the books that we read - are endangered species." And from AN Wilson: "I love this book. The addictive experience of reading, which guides and charts our inner journey, is glancingly but vividly caught. Everyone will have their own list of books which they carry in their pockets and reread constantly. For some readers, this will instantly become such a book."

Jon M Sweeney is author of more than forty books on spirituality, mysticism, and religion, including Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart, Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Catechist, Saint, and Thomas Merton: An Introduction to His Life and Practices. Sweeney began his career in books the 1990s as a theological bookseller, and he founded SkyLight Paths Publishing. He’s worked in books and publishing ever since. Today he writes, reviews, edits, and recommends books, speaks regularly at literary and religious conferences. He lives in Milwaukee.


Jorell Meléndez-Badillo, author of Puerto Rico: A National History
in conversation with Nancy Bird-Soto at Boswell
Wednesday, May 8, 6:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening with UW-Madison Assistant Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History Jorell Meléndez-Badillo, who appears with his new book, Puerto Rico, an ambitious work that offers a panoramic history of Puerto Rico from pre-Columbian times to today. This event is cohosted by UWM's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Roberto Hernández Center, and Meléndez-Badillo will be in conversation with Nancy Bird-Soto, Professor-Latin American Literature at UWM.

Please click here to visit jorellmelendezbadillomke.eventbrite.comand register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Puerto Rico now as well.

In his history of the island, Meléndez-Badillo surveys five centuries to show how Peurto Ricans have built a vibrant national identity that is responsive to the struggles of colonialism, corruption, natural disaster and more, but not solely defined by hardship. For centuries, Puerto Ricans have crafted and negotiated complex ideas about nationhood. Meléndez-Badillo's work gives voice to the archipelago’s people while offering a lens through which to understand the political, economic, and social challenges confronting them today. Meléndez-Badillo sheds light on the centuries before the arrival of Columbus and captures the full sweep of Puerto Rico’s turbulent history in the centuries that followed, from the first indigenous insurrection against colonial rule in 1511 to the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1952. Puerto Rico is an engaging, personal, and consistently surprising history of colonialism, revolt, and the creation of a national identity.

From Aníbal González-Pérez: "I finished reading this book with tears in my eyes... Meléndez-Badillo goes beyond traditional accounts and, with clarity and precision, with courage and honesty, offers a national history of Puerto Rico and a call to conscience."

A native of Puerto Rico, Jorell Meléndez-Badillo is author of The Lettered Barriada: Workers, Archival Power, and the Politics of Knowledge in Puerto Rico.


in conversation with Piet Levy at Boswell
Thursday, May 9, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Arts and Books Editor Jim Higgins for an evening featuring his new book, Sweet, Wild, and Vicious, in which he offers up a deeply personal, album-by-album guide to one of rock’s most influential songwriters and performers: Lou Reed.

Please click here to visit jimhigginsmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Sweet, Wild, and Vicious now, too.

Jim Higgins explores Lou Reed’s legacies as an artist, noisemaker, provocateur, and professional songwriter. Higgins examines how Reed portrayed the world of his patron Andy Warhol and the gender complexities that were part of it; how, during his decades as a solo performer, Reed developed songs he wrote in the Velvet Underground; and how deeply his music reflects the doo-wop and R&B Reed loved as a youth. Higgins delves into the many songs Reed wrote and performed about drug and alcohol addiction. Higgins recommends tracks and suggests playlists for each decade of Reed’s career.

Greg Kot, cohost of Sound Opinions, says: “I didn’t think we needed another book on Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground until I read Sweet, Wild and Vicious… His recordings - by turns brilliant, confounding and daring - finally get the book they deserve.” From founding Violent Femmes member Victor DeLorenzo: “Jim presents a very good take on Lou, and I'm sure the audience that adores Mr. Reed will enjoy the way Jim listens and responds to the recordings.” And from Boswellian Chris Lee: “Jim Higgins’s Lou Reed book is viciously good!”

Jim Higgins is arts and books editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a former pop music and jazz critic for the Milwaukee Sentinel. He is a two-time winner of Wisconsin Area Music Industry award for music journalist of the year and twice won the Sentinel staff-voted award for humor writing. Higgins also author of Wisconsin Literary Luminaries: From Laura Ingalls Wilder to Ayad Akhtar.


a Virtual Event
Friday, May 10, 2 pm

Boswell Book Company and Historic Milwaukee present a virtual event with Raymond Wiggers, author of Milwaukee in Stone and Clay, a wide-ranging book about the fascinating geology found in the building materials of Milwaukee County's architectural landmarks.

To tune in for this virtual event, please click here and register via Zoom. And be sure to order your copy of Milwaukee in Stone and Clay now, too.

With his new book, Wiggers reveals the intriguing and often surprising links between science, art, and engineering. Wiggers introduces the fundamentals of Milwaukee's geology and its amazing prehuman history as he provides a site-by-site guide to touring the city’s geologically significant buildings. Engaging yet informal, Wiggers’s work presents the first in-depth exploration of the interplay among the region's most architecturally significant sites, the materials they're made of, and the sediments and bedrock they're anchored in.

From Mayor Cavalier Johnson: "Milwaukee in Stone and Clay is much more than a compendium of our buildings and their composition. This is a celebration of the material and the beauty that make up Milwaukee. Every reader will enjoy a greater understanding and appreciation of the structures that define our city. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree with the author that Milwaukee City Hall is the most marvelous city hall on the planet!"

Raymond Wiggers is a geologist, science writer, and retired college Earth and life sciences instructor. He is the author of Chicago in Stone and Clay, Geology Underfoot in Illinois, and three other books.


Tracy Ullman, coauthor of The Serial Killer's Apprentice
at Boswell
Friday, May 10, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Chicago-based documentarian Tracy Ullman for The Serial Killer’s Apprentice, a new true crime examination of serial killer and rapist Dean Corll and his accomplices, known for the Houston 'Candyman murders' of the early 1970s. Ullman examines the blurred lines between victim and accomplice and how a killer can be created.

Please click here to register for this event at tracyullmanmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Serial Killer’s Accomplice now, too.

Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. was only fourteen when he first became entangled with serial rapist and murderer Dean Corll in 1971. Fellow Houston, Texas, teenager David Brooks had already been ensnared by the charming older man, bribed with cash to help lure boys to Corll’s home. When Henley unwittingly entered the trap, Corll evidently sensed he’d be of more use as a second accomplice than another victim. He baited Henley with the same deal he’d given Brooks: $200 for each boy they could bring him. By the time he was seventeen, Henley had helped with multiple murders and believed he’d be killed, too.

Ullman tells the story of Corll and his accomplices in its fullest form to date. This book is the story of the unspeakable evil and sorrow that befell Houston in the early 1970s. From Harold Schechter, author of Murderabilia: "Consistently gripping… not only the definitive account of the infamous 'Candy Man' case - offering eye-opening information never before revealed - but a brilliant study of the minds and motivations of pedophiliac predators: both a page-turning true crime narrative and a major contribution to the field of forensic psychology."

Tracy Ullman is a documentary producer, director, and writer who has produced non-fiction programs for Discovery Networks, Oxygen, and PBS. Her most recent production is a six-part limited documentary series about serial murderer John Wayne Gacy and the new discoveries made in his case for NBC's Peacock.


Baptiste Paul, author of Dear You, Dream Big!
at Boswell
Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts Baptiste Paul, Wisconsin author of books for children, for an event featuring his latest, Dear You, Dream Big!, a picture book that offers a rally cry of Black possibility and conveys a message of resilience and strength. It’s a book that’s perfect for fans of picture books like All Because You Matter and I Am Enough.

Please click here to visit baptistepaulmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy Dear You, Dream Big!.

Paul’s new book is a personal, poetic, and uplifting affirmation from a Caribbean-born author that encourags today's Black youth to reject those who wish to silence them, exclude them, and reject their talents with one powerful refrain. The book acknowledges the systemic barriers of entry to certain fields for people of color and questions why certain histories and truths have been left out of the history books. Paul powerfully calls on his own experiences to reject systemic racism and embrace positivity and self-love.

Perhaps a child wants to become an artist, or a scientist, or maybe even president. This lyrical anthem of Black pride celebrates Black creativity, leadership, and innovation. Even (especially!) when the path is hard, Paul’s book says Dear YOU: Dream BIG.

Baptiste Paul is a Caribbean-born author of books for young readers, including The Field, To Carnival, and Climb On!. He has also cowritten books with his wife, Miranda Paul, including titles such as Peace, Adventures to School, and I Am Farmer. He is a native Creole/Patois speaker who enjoys sharing stories about his experiences with anyone who will listen.


Rachel Khong, author of Real Americans
in conversation with Chris Lee at Boswell
Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin, for an evening featuring her second novel, Real Americans, which is an exhilarating novel of American identity that spans three generations in one family and asks: What makes us who we are? And how inevitable are our futures? Real Americans is one of the most Most Anticipated books of 2024, with nods from Oprah Daily, TIME, New York Magazine, and many, many more. Khong will be in conversation with Boswellian Chris Lee, and this event is cohosted by AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin and OCA Wisconsin.

Please click right here to visit rachelkhongmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Real Americans now as well.

Real Americans begins on the precipice of Y2K in New York City, when twenty-two-year-old Lily Chen, an unpaid intern at a slick media company, meets Matthew. Matthew is everything Lily is not: easygoing and effortlessly attractive, a native East Coaster, and, most notably, heir to a vast pharmaceutical empire. Lily couldn't be more different: flat-broke, raised in Tampa, the only child of scientists who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Despite all this, Lily and Matthew fall in love. Then, in 2021, fifteen-year-old Nick Chen feels as if he doesn’t belong on the isolated Washington island where he lives with his single mother, Lily. He can't shake the sense she's hiding something. When Nick sets out to find his biological father, the journey threatens to raise more questions than it provides answers. Khong weaves an immersive, profound tale of class and striving, race and visibility, and family and inheritance - a story of trust, forgiveness, and finally coming home.

The Boswellians are crazy about this book! First, here's convo partner Chris Lee's take: "Khong’s immersive second novel is a literary saga that follows three generations of a Chinese American family through more than half a century, from Mao’s Cultural Revolution to the Y2K panic in America to Covid and beyond. Real Americans asks, is any person ever truly free to choose who they become? It’s a stunner of a book about fate, luck, country, science, and even a tic of magic." From Gao Her: "What makes you a 'real' American? What can we, as humans, really control about who we are and what we become? There is an overflow of heart and intricate emotion poured into this novel, and it captivated me from page one." And from Daniel Goldin: "The focus is on three generations of one family, May, Lily, and Nick, and my only complaint is that each time I got to the end of one character’s story, I didn’t want it to end. We can’t stop talking about this book among ourselves, and it’s likely that once you read Real Americans, you’ll want all of your friends to read it, too."

Rachel Khong is author of Goodbye, Vitamin, winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Vogue, and Esquire. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, and Tin House. Khong is founder of The Ruby, a work and event space for women and nonbinary writers and artists.


More space added! Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Family
at Brookfield East High School, 3305 Lilly Rd
Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 pm

Newbery Medal winner Katherine Applegate appears for an evening featuring The One and Only Family. This book is the fourth and final installment of Applegate’s award-winning middle grade series, one that’s become a modern classic. In this book, Ivan takes on his most exciting adventure yet – parenthood. Cohosted by Boswell and Elmbrook Schools, this event is free and open to the public.

More Space added! Sign up for this event at https://katherineapplegatebrk.eventbrite.com Be sure to order your copy of The One and Only Family now, too.

Ivan has been living in a wildlife sanctuary, with his friend Ruby next door in the elephant enclosure, frequent visits from his canine friend Bob, and his mate Kinyani by his side. And in the happiest turn of all, Ivan and Kinyani have welcomed a set of twins to their family! Ivan loves being a papa, even though it can be hard sometimes. As he navigates the joys and challenges of parenthood, Ivan can’t help but recall his life before the glass walls of the mall circus, his own childhood in the jungle, and his own twin.

In the tradition of timeless classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, the one and only Katherine Applegate has crafted a poignant, delightful, heartbreaking, unforgettable final foray into the world of Ivan, the world’s favorite silverback gorilla.

Katherine Applegate is the Newbery Medal-winning author of numerous books for young readers, including the One and Only series, the Endling series, Crenshaw, Wishtree, the Roscoe Riley Rules chapter books series, and the Animorphs series.


in conversation with Pablo Muirhead at Boswell
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 pm

Acclaimed foreign correspondent Jacob Kushner visits Boswell with his new book, Look Away, which is a masterwork of reporting that reveals how a group of young Germans carried out a shocking spree of white supremacist violence and how a nation and its government ignored them until it was too late. Cohosted by Voces De La Frontera.

Please click here to visit and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Look Away as well.

After the Berlin Wall fell, three teenagers became friends in the East Germany during the economic crisis that found some four million East Germans out of jobs. The friends began attending far-right rallies with people who called themselves National Socialists: Nazis. Like the Hitler-led Nazis before them, they blamed minorities for their ills. From 2000 to 2011, they embarked on a horrific string of white nationalist killings. Look Away follows Beate Zschäpe and her two accomplices as they radicalized, escaped into hiding, and carried out their terrorist spree. Unable to believe that the brutal killings and bombings were being carried out by white Germans, police blamed - and sometimes framed - the immigrants instead.

From Jeffrey Toobin: "Jacob Kushner’s Look Away is, at one level, a compelling true-crime thriller about a trio of German terrorists on the run. But it’s also a warning about the dangers of white supremacy and right-wing extremism – and about how the fear and hatred of immigrants, combined with the incompetence (or worse) of law enforcement, remains a threat around the world."

Jacob Kushner is author of China’s Congo Plan, and his writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker. A Fulbright-Germany scholar and Logan Nonfiction Fellow, he was a finalist for the Livingston Award in International Reporting. He teaches at the Pulitzer Center, the Overseas Press Club, and several universities.


at Boswell
Friday, May 17, 6:30 pm

Journalist and scientist Brad Balukjian appears at Boswell for an evening featuring his new pro wrestling travelogue, The Six Pack, in which he embarks on an eye‑opening road trip adventure into a pocket of iconic pop culture - professional wrestling - starring the Iron Sheik, Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana, and many more larger‑than‑life characters of the WWF of the 1980s.

Please click here and visit bradbalukjianmke.eventbrite.com to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Six Pack now, too.

Pro wrestling is a subculture without a cultural home, somewhere between sport and theater, often dismissed as low‑brow. But what makes it so compelling is the humanity beneath each wrestler. In The Six Pack, Balukjian hits the road with the spirit of a fan and the rigor of an investigative reporter, in search of truth in a world built on illusion. He revisits the heady days when the Iron Sheik, Hulk Hogan, and the rest first found fame and sees where their journeys took them. They were real people, with families and feelings and bodies that could break. Most of them did, in fact, break; some have been repaired, but none of them will ever be the same.

Mary Roach says of Balukjian: “His humility, intelligence, and devotion to fact serve a work that is revelatory, emotionally on point, and addictively readable. It's all here - the lawsuits and exploitation, the clashing egos, the brain damage and the debauchery. But this is less an exposé than a love letter - to the strutting monsters of Balukjian's youth and to the men they ultimately became: surprisingly reflective, sometimes broken, always fascinating. What an achievement this book is.” And from Mick Foley: “Balukjian has created something unique in the crowded genre of pro-wrestling literature. Part wrestling confessional, part a series of eye-opening road stories, Balukjian writes of the joys (and dangers) of meeting one’s idols, as he peels back layers of some of wrestling’s greatest stars - revealing the real men within.”

Brad Balukjian is author of The Wax Pack, an NPR best book of 2020, and his writing has been published in Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. He is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, and he discovered 17 species of insects (green flash bugs) in Tahiti.


Kevin Henkes and Laura Dornzek, author and illustrator of Finding Things
at Boswell
Sunday, May 19, 4 pm

Boswell welcomes Wisconsin’s beloved, bestselling, and award-winning husband-and-wife team Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek for an afternoon event featuring their latest picture book, Finding Things. In this child-centered, cozy, and conceptually rich picture book, they explore storytelling, connections, luck, nature, and responsibility.

Please click here to visit henkesdronzekmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event now. And be sure to order a copy of Finding Things now.

Finding Things is an invitation to find joy in the simple things that are all around, for those who know how to notice them.

Henkes and Dronzek’s collaborations are always exceptional, full of vivid and deceptively simple observations of the world around us. Finding Things features succinct text and exquisite, emotionally rich illustrations. It encourages readers to be creative and to find purpose and connections in what surrounds them. A terrific read-aloud to treasure and share, as well as a great title for visual literacy and emerging readers, Finding Things is also a wonderful choice for social and emotional learning.

Kevin Henkes’s books have earned him multiple Caldecott Medals and Newbery Honors, and he has received the Children’s Literature Legacy Award for his lasting contribution to literature for children. He is the author of more than fifty books, including titles such as Kitten’s First Full Moon, The Year of Billy Miller, and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Laura Dronzek is a painter whose work has been exhibited nationally. Her picture books include Moonlight, It Is Night, and Little Houses.


in conversation with Talia Dutton at Lion’s Tooth, 2421 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Tuesday, May 21, 5:30 pm

Cartoonist and disability rights advocate Christi Furnas appears at Lion’s Tooth for a conversation about her new, autobiographically-inspired graphic novel, Crazy Like a Fox, a book that explores mental health and schizophrenia in a surprising and emotionally honest story with a fantastical cast of animal characters. Cohosted by Boswell.

No registration required. You can order a copy of Crazy Like a Fox now - click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from Lion's Tooth. Copies will also be for sale at the event, provided by our friends of Lion’s Tooth.

Fox Foxerson's got a new roommate. Fox Foxerson's got a new job. Fox Foxerson's got a date. The roommate is only a little strange, sometimes. The job seems to involve… filing? It's not very clear. The date seems to be more interested in someone else. Fox would rather be making art. As the oppressive weight of the everyday routine beats down, nothing is going right. And it doesn't seem like anyone can help — not Fox's roommate, not Fox's friends, and definitely not the nurses and doctors at the hospital, who don't seem to take notice of anything Fox tries to tell them. This quirky, humorous graphic novel tinged with pathos, immerses readers in the constant question: are you okay? Fox is not okay, but Fox is working on it.

Amy Kurzweil calls Furnas’s graphic novel: "A work of blunt brilliance. With disarming humor and irresistible charm, Fox Foxerson calls everything exactly what it is. I highly recommend this funny and loving book."

Christi Furnas has exhibited in galleries across Minnesota and in New York City, and her career includes over ten years of arts administration, teaching art workshops, and numerous speaking engagements. The protagonist of her graphic novel, Fox Foxerson currently has an advice column in Dispatch, a Twin Cities publication covering arts and culture.


Sold Out - Christina Lauren, author of The Paradise Problem
at Elm Grove Woman’s Club, 13885 Watertown Plank Rd
Wednesday, May 22, 7 pm

Boswell and the Friends of Elm Grove Library present a ticketed evening with Christina Lauren at the Elm Grove Woman’s Club. Christina Lauren is the pen name of longtime writing team Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the bestselling authors of books such as Love and Other Words and The Unhoneymooners. They appear with their latest romantic comedy, The Paradise Problem.

Tickets for this program are sold out. You can still order a signed copy of The Paradise Problem. Alas, no personalizations. And you can join the waiting list at christinalaurenfoegl.eventbrite.com


Terah Shelton Harris, author of Long After We Are Gone
a ticketed event at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd
Tuesday, May 21, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm event

Milwaukee Reads hosts a ticketed event featuring Terah Shelton Harris, author of One Summer in Savannah, for an evening featuring her second novel, Long After We Are Gone. It’s an explosive, emotional story of four siblings who return home in the wake of their father's death to save their family's home and ancestral land from being sold out from under them.

Tickets for this event cost $50 plus sales tax and ticket fee, and each ticket includes admission to the event, a glass of wine, light refreshments, and a paperback copy of Long After We Are Gone. Click right here and get tickets now at terahsheltonharriswss.eventbrite.com.

The Solomon siblings must return to North Carolina to save the Kingdom, their ancestral home and 200 acres of land, from a development company, who has their sights set on turning the valuable waterfront property into a luxury resort. While fighting to save the Kingdom, the siblings must also save themselves from the secrets they’ve been holding onto – secret lovers, embezzlement schemes, and stints in prison. As the Solomons come together to fight for the Kingdom, each of their façades begins to crumble and collide in unexpected ways.

Long After We Are Gone is a searing portrait on the power of family and letting go of things that no longer serve you, exploring the burden of familial expectations, the detriment of miscommunication, and the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children. Author Tara Conklin says: “a tour de force of history, injustice, and the brutal, beautiful everlasting ties of family.”

Terah Shelton Harris is author of One Summer in Savannah, and her writing has appeared in Women’s Health, Natural Solutions, and Women’s Adventure. She also works as a collection development librarian.


Holly Wilson, author of Kittentits
at Boswell
Thursday, May 23, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes Wisconsin writer Holly Wilson, Associate Professor at UW-Whitewater, for an evening featuring her debut novel, Kittentits. It’s a bold, surrealist take on the American coming-of-age novel set in the Midwest.

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

Wilson’s new novel is a feral, heart-busting, absurdist tale about Molly, a rambunctious and bawdy ten-year-old searching for friendship and ghosts. It’s 1992, and Molly is tired of living in the fire-rotted, nun-haunted House of Friends: a Semi-Cooperative Living Community of Peace Faith(s) in Action with her formerly blind dad and their grieving housemate Evelyn. But when twenty-three-year-old Jeanie, a dirt bike–riding ex-con with a shady past, moves in, she quickly becomes the object of Molly’s adoration. When Jeanie fakes her own death in a hot-air balloon accident, Molly runs away to Chicago to hunt down Jeanie. What follows is a race to New Year’s Eve, as Molly plans a séance to reunite with their lost moms in front of a live audience at the World’s Fair.

Wilson’s novel is the latest novel from Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s new imprint, which features offbeat, gasp-inducing page-turners. Gillian Flynn says: "Molly is one of the greatest young female characters I’ve had the luck of reading since I picked up Joy Williams… I TRULY LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!" And from Kevin Wilson: "Sacred and profane, filled with big emotions, all amplified by grief… This is a wildly funny and utterly convincing coming-of-age novel like nothing I’ve read before."

Holly Wilson's writing has appeared in Narrative, Short Story, New Stories from the South, and elsewhere. She was a Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State University, where she received a PhD in creative writing.


Ruth Ware, author of One Perfect Couple
in conversation with Carole E Barrowman at Boswell
Friday, May 24, 7 pm

Boswell hosts a ticketed event with Ruth Ware, the New York Times bestselling author of thrillers like In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and Zero Days. Ware appears for a conversation about her latest, One Perfect Couple, a high-tension thriller about five couples trapped on a storm-swept island where a killer stalks among them.

Conversation partner Carole Barrowman is a writer, mystery critic, and Professor of English and Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno College, as well as a long-time regular on TMJ4's Morning Blend. She's also one of our favorite conversation partners. This will be the last chance to see Carole before she relocates post-retirement.

Tickets are specially priced at $23.99 plus tax and ticket fee – 20% off the novel's list price. Each ticket includes admission to the event and a hardcover copy of One Perfect Couple, to be picked up at the event. Please note: Boswell will close to the public at 6 pm on the evening of this event. Click here to visit ruthwaremke.eventbrite.com and purchase your tickets now.

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None, One Perfect Stranger illustrates why the Washington Post proclaims that Ware “is turning out to be as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime.” From the starred Booklist review: “A fresh, adrenaline-fueled take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None... absolutely ingenious... Bound to be a top summer 2024 beach read.”

Lyla and Nico are contestants on a new reality TV show, One Perfect Couple. On a tropical island paradise, they compete against four other couples for a grand cash prize. But cut off from the mainland, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real, and the stakes are life or death.

Ruth Ware is author of novels such as In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and The Turn of the Key.


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.