For our tenth year, 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..
Mark L Hineline appears at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center with his guide for novice scientists to get closer to nature and observe climate change in their own neighborhood. Cosponsored by Boswell. Please pay what you can for admission.
We know that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that the magnitude of this change is colossal. At the same time, the world outside is still a natural world, and one we can experience on a granular level every day. Hineline’s Ground Truth is a guide to paying attention instead of turning away and gathering facts from which a fuller understanding of the natural world can emerge over time.
Writing for Slate, Rebecca Onion says, “Hineline’s wonderful new book advocates the addition of a new kind of individual action to supplement our political struggle [against climate change] - one that’s both pragmatic and emotionally resonant.” Along with detailed guidance, Hineline ponders the value of everyday observations, probes the connections between seasons and climate change, and traces the history of phenology - the study and timing of natural events - and the uses to which it can be put. Ground Truth invites readers to help lay the groundwork for a better understanding of the nature of change itself.
Mark L Hineline is Instructor in History, Philosophy, and Sociology of science at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University.
Caitlin PenzeyMoog, granddaughter of Milwaukee spice legends Bill and Ruth-Ann Penzey, grinds up a revealing look at the history and production of spices with modern, no-nonsense advice on using them at home.
Every home cook has thoughts on the right and wrong ways to use spices. These beliefs are passed down in family recipes and pronounced by television chefs, but where do such ideas come from? Many are little better than superstition, and most serve only to reinforce a cook’s sense of superiority or cover for their insecurities. It doesn’t have to be this way.
PenzeyMoog’s notes On Spice come from three generations of family in the spice trade and dozens upon dozens of their collected spice guides and stories. Learn where spices come from - historically, geographically, botanically, and in the modern market - and see snapshots of life in a spice shop, how the flavors and stories can infuse not just meals but life and relationships.
Caitlin PenzeyMoog is a graduate of UWM and currently is Deputy Managing Editor of The AV Club.
Wisconsin author of the Dave Cubiak Door County mysteries returns to Boswell with the fifth installment of her popular series.
A scream from a medical conference disrupts Sheriff Dave Cubiak’s lunch at the Green Arbor Lodge. Leaping into action, he finds the ninety-three-year-old director of the Institute for Progressive Medicine collapsed, dead of a heart attack. As Cubiak interrogates the witnesses, he’s struck by the inconsistencies in their stories - some evade questions and others offer contradictory statements. Then another scream pierces the air.
Past and present merge as long-buried secrets rise to the surface. The resourceful sheriff must rely on wits and the memories of friends and family to uncover the dark truth behind the Institute for Progressive Medicine. Dedicated and new fans alike will find themselves captivated by this intelligently plotted story as Cubiak untangles the twisted threads of this intricate mystery.
Patricia Skalka is author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series, including Death Stalks Door County. She is president of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime and a former staff writer for Reader’s Digest. She divides her time between Chicago and Door County, Wisconsin.
Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explores the impact of individualism, market competition, and privatization on community-based after school programs. Cosponsored by Marquette’s Department of Education Policy and Leadership.
Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after-school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. Baldridge tells the story of one such community-based program, Educational Excellence, shining a light on both the invaluable role youth workers play and the precarious context in which such programs now exist.
Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge argues that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. She captures the stories of loss and resistance within this context of immense external political pressure and illustrates examples of the damage caused by structural violence that Black youth experience in school when it starts to occur in the places they go to escape it.
Bianca J Baldridge is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her scholarship examines the political and social context of community-based educational spaces and afterschool education. She earned her PhD from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, produced by Milwaukee Reads, and Boswell Books welcome Frances de Pontes Peebles, author of The Seamstress, winner of the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, presents her novel of female friendship between an orphan working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation and the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron.
Tickets are $23, $18 for Lynden members, and include admission, light refreshments, and an autographed paperback of The Air You Breathe. Tickets available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/francesdepontespeebles or (414) 446-8794.
With “echoes of Elena Ferrante resound in this sumptuous saga,” (O, The Oprah Magazine) De Pontes Peebles tells the story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy, pride, and each woman’s fear that she would be nothing without the other.
Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Lapa neighborhood, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship, its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses, and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.
Frances de Pontes Peebles is author of the novel The Seamstress, which was translated into nine languages and won the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, the Friends of American Writers Award, and the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame inductee Dave Rearick floats into Boswell with his book about his solo voyage around the world.
On October 2, 2013, Dave Rearick began an epic solo voyage around the world. Onboard his racing sloop, appropriately named Bodacious Dream, Dave sailed from Newport, Rhode Island to Cape Town, South Africa. From Cape Town, Dave sailed to Wellington, New Zealand where "Bo" was originally built, and then onto the fabled Galapagos Islands, one of earth's great nature preserves. On the final leg, Dave returned to Newport, Rhode Island by way of the Panama Canal.
Rearick’s full circumnavigation took 256 days to complete, leaving an indelible memory of the challenges and rewards of being at one with nature, the solitude of the open sea, and the ever-changing landscape of life.
Dave Rearick has been sailing since his first ride on a Sunfish off the southern shores of Lake Michigan at age 12. He has raced throughout the Great Lakes, with over 28 Mackinac Races, 7 Solo Mac Races, 2 Solo Super Mac Races, and has won the Mike Silverthorne and Ralph Elberg Awards, given by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society. Rearick manages the Kids Education Program for The Atlantic Cup and serves as an ambassador for 11th Hour Racing.
Midwest native Welch discusses her debut novel about two sisters, drawn in part from her mother’s stories of being quarantined as a TB patient in 1940s Minnesota.
Welch’s debut is a deeply personal novel, layered with reality and insights about her family and life for women coming of age in the post-war boom in the heartland. One sister falls ill with tuberculosis and the other falls prey to a violent assault. Separated by increasing distance, both physical and emotional, the two women go on to live their own lives, yet one of them vows to hold fast to the invisible thread that connects them and protect her sister’s secret.
Kirkus Reviews calls A Thread So Fine “an engaging and poignant historical novel.” As a girl, Welch heard her mother’s stories about months in quarantine as a 19-year-old TB patient. As an adult, Welch discovered her own adoption story. The characters in her novel were created as a way to imagine how women such as her birth mother and adoptive mother might have overcome challenges as young Catholic women in the post-World War II culture of the Midwest. here
Susan Welch grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She earned a Masters in International Management and built an international career in the brewing industry. here
Edgar-winner William Kent Krueger returns to Boswell with his long-awaited stand-alone novel, This Tender Land. Krueger’s latest follows an orphaned boy's life-changing adventure traveling down America's great rivers during the 1930s, seeking a place to call home and a sense of purpose in a world sinking into despair. Cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.
Register for this free event at kruegermke.bpt.me. Attendees can choose a purchase-with-registration by on-sale date (September 3, 8 am) and get 20% off on This Tender Land. Note that Krueger’s latest novel will be available at the event itself, but attendees must pre-register to get the discounted price.
Over the course of one unforgettable summer, four orphans journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.
Buzz is already deafening for This Tender Land, which recalls Krueger’s previous stand-alone, Ordinary Grace, and can be called a companion novel to that Edgar-Award-winning mystery. Bestselling writer Dennis Lehane called Ordinary Grace “a pitch-perfect, wonderfully evocative examination of violent loss. In Frank Drum's journey away from the shores of childhood, a journey from which he can never return, we recognize the heartbreaking price of adulthood and its wisdoms. I loved this book."
William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary Grace, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel, as well as author of eighteen Cork O’Connor novels, including Desolation Mountain and Sulfur Springs.
Calling all science geeks! University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science, Manfred Olson Planetarium, UWM Student Union, and Boswell Book Company present an evening with Sean Carroll, Theoretical Physicist at California Institute of Technology. Carroll will discuss his new book, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.
General admission tickets for this talk are $30 and include the book and all taxes and fees, available at seancarrollmke.bpt.me. Specially priced tickets for UWM students, faculty, and staff are available at UWM Student Union Information Desk closer to the event date. The talk will be followed by a book signing.
In his latest book, Carroll takes on the holy grail of modern physics - reconciling quantum mechanics with Einstein's general relativity, his theory of curved spacetime. Carroll argues that the refusal to face up to the mysteries of quantum mechanics has blinded people, and that spacetime and gravity naturally emerge from a deeper reality called the wave function. Yes, people, we’re saying the multiverse (scientifically speaking, the Many-Worlds theory) is real!
Carroll is author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself and other books and is host of the Mindscape podcast. This is a rare opportunity to hear one of our top scientists bringing to life one of the most important theories of the day. Join us today for this special event, also cosponsored by the UWM Planetarium Club.
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.
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.
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.
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, plus tax and fees, available at craigjohnsonmke.bpt.me. Early bird special! Purchase your tickets by September 16 for only $24, including admission, book, tax and fees.
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.
Boswell presents an evening with Jim Wallis, Founder of Sojourners, a faith in action organization pursing racial justice, environmental stewardship, and peace, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Wallis will discuss his latest book, Christ in Crisis. Through his writing, Wallis offers a path to spiritual healing and solidarity, aimed to mend the divide separating Americans today.
Please register for this free event at jimwallismke.bpt.me. Boswell will be selling copies of Christ in Crisis at the event, and attendees have the option to reserve a copy with registration - payment due at the event.
With a practical and empathetic approach, Wallis addresses questions of power, truth, fear, and discipleship, applying lessons from the biblical stories to contemporary issues like race, immigration, and political discourse. As Wallis has done throughout his career, he offers comfort, compassion, and a constructive field guide for the modern era.
Jim Wallis is a theologian, activist, pastor, and New York Times best-selling author of thirteen books including God’s Politics: How the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It. Wallis is the founder of Sojourners and served on President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum.
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.
The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.
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.