Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

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 info@boswellbooks.com. 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.

Stephen Savage, author of The Babysitter From Another Planet
Thursday, February 21, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor winning author/illustrator of Supertruck shows off his latest picture book, a story about kids who are in for a treat when their parents leave them with a babysitter who is truly out of this world.

When their parents go out for the evening, a brother and sister are left with a babysitter unlike any they’ve ever had before—an alien from another planet! But even though she seems a little strange, the kids quickly see that this babysitter can make anything fun…even brushing their teeth and doing their homework.

It’s ET meets Mary Poppins, and as soon as the babysitter from another planet is gone, the kids can’t wait for her to come back again. With sly sci-fi references from classic movies sure to produce a chuckle from knowing parents, Savage has produced a visual and verbal tour de force that School Library Journal calls a “super read-aloud selection to share one-on-one or with group, even at bedtime.”

Stephen Savage’s accolades include a New York Times Best Illustrated Book declaration for Polar Bear Night and a Geisel Honor for Supertruck. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Friday, February 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

UWM Professor Emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies traces the history of Haiti through the life and career of his grandfather Dantès Bellegarde, one of Haiti's most influential diplomats and preeminent thinkers. Cosponsored by UWM's Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.

Throughout much of the twentieth century and even to this day, there has been a dearth of scholarship on the intellectual and political contributions of Haitians. Out of a slave rebellion, Haiti was forged as an independent nation. This should be enough to perpetuate an image of Haitians as strong and agentive people. But countries on both sides of the Atlantic were intent on sapping it of resources. More than a century of trade restrictions, the imposition of crippling fines, and, eventually, a US occupation followed. Yet even under these penalties, Haitians persisted, some becoming influential actors in the world of global politics.

First published in 1985, this second edition updates an invaluable and foundational text of the intellectual and political history of Haiti. Scholars who want to learn about the intellectual and political foundations of Haiti, its influence on other intellectuals worldwide, and its struggles against imperialism continue to find this to be an invaluable classic.

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel, Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World, and Invisible Powers: Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture.

Saturday, February 23, 1:00, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N Astor St
Immanuel Presbyterian Church presents author, teacher, and speaker, Jennifer Harvey for an afternoon lecture, titled ‘Understanding Racial Identity,’ and workshop. Registration is required - click here. Cosponsored by Boswell.

Dr. Jennifer Harvey, a sought-after speaker on the topic of racial justice, focuses much of her work on the intersection of religion, ethics, race, gender, and spirituality. This engagement with Dr. Harvey is another step in Immanuel's commitment to continuing conversation and action around the realities of racial injustice and white privilege in church and culture.

In Dear White Christians, Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race with insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement. In Raising White Kids, Harvey presents an ideal resource for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most radically diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.

Jennifer Harvey is Professor of Religion at Drake University. Dr. Harvey also contributes to NPR, The New York Times, and Huffington Post and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches.

Andy Rash, author of The Happy Book
Saturday, February 23, 2:00 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee author/illustrator Andy Rash returns to Boswell for a story time and sing song fun with his latest picture book, a story about two friends who can’t escape feeling all the feels.

Camper is happy as a clam, and Clam is a happy camper. When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes. Until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn’t save you one bite!

Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn’t the goal. Maybe being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling together. At once funny and thoughtful, The Happy Book supports social-emotional learning, a book to keep young readers company no matter how they’re feeling.

Milwaukee’s Andy Rash has illustrated for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. He is author/illustrator of the picture books Archie, The Daredevil Penguin and Unstinky.

Chris Jones, author of Rise Up!: Broadway and American Society from Angels in America to Hamilton, in conversation with Mark Clements
Monday, February 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Chief theater critic and Sunday culture columnist of the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones chats theater history with Mark Clements, Artistic Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Jones tells the story of Broadway’s renaissance, from the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, via the disaster that was Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, through the unparalleled financial, artistic and political success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. It is the story of the embrace of risk and substance, where the theater thrived by finally embracing the bold statement and inserting itself into the national conversation.

Chris Jones was in the theaters when and where it mattered and chronicles the era in a singularly creative way, tapping into the nexus of artistic innovation, the business of show business, new forms of audience engagement, and the political fevers that can emerge. Whether you booed or applauded for the many plays and musicals discussed in Rise Up!, there is no denying that Jones vividly captures the theater's new clout as it attempts change American society for the better.

Chris Jones is the chief theater critic and Sunday culture columnist of The Chicago Tribune. He is author of Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater and his work has appeared often in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Variety. He was named one of the most influential theater critics in America by American Theater and is a winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. Mark Clements is an award-winning director and serves as Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Rep.

Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists and Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
Tuesday, February 26, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Madison comes to Milwaukee! Lucy Tan and Chloe Benjamin, both Madison-based authors and graduates of UW-Madison’s MFA program, chat at Boswell.

Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists was one of the breakout novels of 2018, a New York Times bestseller that asks, “What would you do if you knew when you were going to die?” Entertainment Weekly picked The Immortalists as one of the ten best books of the year, and it made nearly 20 other national publications’ lists of ‘best,’ ‘favorite,’ ‘must-read,’ and ‘most-anticipated’ books of the year.

Lucy Tan’s debut novel tells of a China-born couple who return to Shanghai as expats. Told in alternating voices by the couple and their housekeeper-turned-ayi, After years of chasing the American dream, the Zhen family settles into a luxurious serviced apartment in Shanghai and join an elite community of Chinese-born, Western-educated professionals who have returned to a radically transformed city. Chloe praised What We were Promised as a “compassionate and heartbreaking, funny and wise.”

Chloe Benjamin is author of The Immortalists. Her first novel, The Anatomy of Dreams, received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Wisconsin. Lucy Tan received degrees from New York University and the University of Wisconsin, where she was awarded the 2016 August Derleth Prize. Her fiction has been published in Asia Literary Review and Ploughshares, where she was winner of the 2015 Emerging Writer's Contest.

Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance
Monday, March 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Enjoy a wonderful evening at Boswell with one of our favorite authors, Elinor Lipman, in conversation with Boswell's own Daniel Goldin. Lipman is author of many novels, including The Inn at Lake Devine and The View from Penthouse B. In addition to the usual writerly talk, we'll also have some high-school-yearbook-themed fun and games. Why not share your yearbook photo?

This event is free, but we'd love for you to register at lipmanmke.bpt.me. Early Bird Special! Register by February 4 and purchase Good Riddance at 20% off the list price. And yes, you can pick up your book in advance.

Her latest is about Daphne Maritch, a young woman living in Hells Kitchen who inherits an obsessively annotated high school yearbook from her mother. When Daphne puts it out with the recycling, a neighbor grabs it, deciding it would make the perfect source material for a documentary. Needless to say, Daphne does not take this well, and things go from bad to worse when the yearbook holds the key to a family secret.

Early reviews are enthusiastic. Publishers Weekly writes, "In a lesser writer's hands, the plot could have devolved into a soapy mess, but Lipman ably turns it into a charming romantic comedy... intelligent and lyrical prose, [make] this novel a delightful treat readers will want to savor." And Julie Kane in Library Journal notes: "Fans of Lipman will cheer for a new novel in her signature style: funny, warm, sharp, smart, and full of love for family, no matter how flawed."

Elinor Lipman is the award-winning author of eleven novels and one essay collection.

Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman in Moscow
Wednesday, April 3, 7:00 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 Vel R. Phillips Ave

Since A Gentleman in Moscow came out in 2016, many of you have asked us, “When is Amor Towles coming to Milwaukee?” And now, as part of the paperback tour, your wish is coming true! Towles will be here as we celebrate Boswell’s tenth anniversary - our doors opened ten years ago, on April 3, 2009.

Tickets are $22 plus taxes and fees, and each ticket includes a paperback copy of A Gentleman in Moscow, available at pabsttheater.org/event/amortowles2019. Tickets on sale Friday, February 15, at Noon. Doors open at 6 pm. Cosponsor Literacy Services of Wisconsin will take donated copies of A Gentleman in Moscow and find homes for them.

Amor Towles's Gentleman in Moscow presentation, which has enchanted tens of thousands of people, will transport you back to the Russian Revolution. Following Towles's presentation, he will be in conversation with Jim Higgins, Book Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. We'll also have index cards so that you can submit your own questions - Higgins will try to get as many as possible answered at the program. For those who read the book as a downloaded ebook or audio, now you have a copy. If you've already got a copy, it makes a great gift. And here's another option - our partners at Literacy Services of Wisconsin will take unneeded copies of A Gentleman in Moscow and find homes for them.

Among A Gentleman in Moscow's fans is Boswellian Jane Glaser, who writes: "A Russian aristocrat, living under Bolshevik rule, is on trial for subversive writings and is sentenced to live out his life under house arrest. Moving from a luxurious apartment in Moscow's Hotel Metropol, Count Alexander Rostov is forced to live in a 100 square foot attic room of the hotel, knowing that if he leaves the building he will be shot. Over the next thirty years, as Rostov lives within the confines of the hotel, he encounters a vibrant cast of characters that will lead him to live a more expansive life than he could have imagined, despite his reduced circumstances. Richly atmospheric, masterfully plotted, and elegantly written, this is a story to be savored!"

Amor Towles graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University. His first novel, Rules of Civility, was a New York Times bestseller.

Tuesday, April 30, 7:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr, in Brookfield's Mitchell Park

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present a grand evening with Anna Quindlen, the acclaimed novelist and journalist known for her candid, frank, and illuminating writing. She’s now appearing for Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting, a bighearted book of wisdom, wit, and insight, celebrating the love and joy of being a grandmother.

Tickets are $31 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of Nanaville, available at quindlenwi.bpt.me.

Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker, but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow. Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: Did they ask you?”

Everything you love about Anna Quindlen is here in this special new book - her singular voice has never been sharper or warmer. With the same insights she brought to motherhood in Living Out Loud and to growing older in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, this new nana uses her own experiences to illuminate those of many others.

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of nine novels, including Object Lessons, One True Thing, and Alternate Side. Her most recent memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She received the Pulitzer Prize for her work as a columnist at The New York Times.

Thursday, May 9, 11:00 am, at The Wisconsin Club

Alas, The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library Literary Lunch is sold out. Email KApeter@mpl org to be placed on the mailing list. We'll have signed copies of The Soul of America available after the event.

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Looking for more upcoming events? We've got several listed here and more on our upcoming events page. Please say hi next time you visit.