Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Selected upcoming events below. Visit our upcoming event page for a more complete listing.


You're on the Boswell Book Company page and our guess is that you want to know where we're located and how to get a hold of us. Here are the basics:

Our address is Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211. The store is located on the same block as the Downer Theater, up the bluff from Lincoln Memorial Drive. We're north of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and south of UWM. 

Our phone number is 414-332-1181. Sometimes you'll see other numbers appear on your phone when we call you, as we have multiple lines. This is our only number that has a classic exchange--EDgewood, if you are into these things.

Our email contact info is info@boswellbooks.com, if you'd like to place a special order or get basic info about an event or are wondering about our hours.

Speaking of hours, 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 there are about five holidays where we're open 10 am to 5 pm, plus we sometimes close early for events and meetings. You can assume that if we have a ticketed event in the store, we're closed to the public around 5:30.  

We've heard that after location and contact info, the reason why folks visit websites like ours is to find out about events. We keep our events on one upcoming event page, but some highlights are listed below, generally our ticketed events, but sometimes a few others are included.

And the third reason folks visit is to order books. 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!


Josh Noel, author of Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business, in conversation with Good City Brewing’s Andy Jones
Thursday, June 21, 7:00 pm, at at Good City Brewing, 2108 N Farwell Ave in Milwaukee

Boswell cosponsors an event with Chicago-based Josh Noel, one of the nation’s foremost beer journalists, for his new book, Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out, at Good City Brewing Company. Noel will discuss the state of craft beer and the impact of Goose Island’s history and unprecedented sale to Anheuser-Busch on the beer industry with Goose Island alum and Good City Brewmaster Andy Jones.

Goose Island opened as a family-owned Chicago brewpub in the late 1980s and soon became one of the most inventive breweries in the world. In an age of light, bland, and cheap beer, John and Greg Hall brought European flavors to America. Goose Island became one of the 20 biggest breweries in the United States, an American success story and a champion of craft beer.

Then, the Halls sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch, maker of the least craft-like beer imaginable. The sale forced the industry to reckon with craft beer’s mainstream popularity which few envisioned. Josh Noel broke the news of the sale in the Chicago Tribune and covered the resulting backlash from Chicagoans and beer fanatics across the country as the discussion escalated into a craft beer war. From that outcry rises a question: how should a brewery grow?

Josh Noel writes about beer and travel for the Chicago Tribune, has contributed to This American Life and The New York Times, and has won multiple awards from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.


Register here for Sabaa Tahir, author of A Reaper at the Gates
Friday, June 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Boswell is so excited to be part of the tour for Sabaa Tahir’s A Reaper at the Gates, the third volume of The Ember Quartet. This event will be free but registration is required at tahir.bpt.me. Signing restrictions to come. The store will close to the general public if the event size reaches store capacity.

Here’s more about the latest book from Boswellian Jen Steele: “Laia, Elias, and Helene all have a path they are meant to follow and straying from it might lead to grim consequences. With enemies lurking at every turn, Laia of Serra must find the strength to prevent the Nightbringer's destruction of her people and the world. Helene, the Blood Shirke, must persevere through the ongoing threats, not only from the Emperor himself, but from the deadly Commandant in order to protect her family and the Empire itself. As much as Elias loves Laia and wants to protect her, it may not be within his power. Can Elias fulfill his new duties as Soul Catcher without sacrificing all it means to love and be human? A Reaper at the Gates will keep you on the edge of your seat 'til the very end! You will not want to put this book down. I know I didn't.”

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s eighteen-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash, and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all things nerd.


Cara Black, author of Murder on the Left Bank, cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee
Sunday, June 24, 3:00 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee loves Cara Black and loves Paris, too, so Black is returning to Boswell with the 18th mystery in her Parisian detective series full of local color and French culture, an atmospheric thriller with a savvy take on international arms dealing. Cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee and Crimespree Magazine.

A confession fifty years in the making puts everyone’s favorite Parisian détéctive très chic, Aimée Leduc, on a collision course with the Black Hand, a cabal of corrupt Parisian cops, among whose ranks her disgraced father may have once found membership. When a friend’s child is kidnapped while wearing her daughter’s hoodie, Aimée realizes that the case has crossed into the realm of the personal in more ways than one.

Lee Child calls Black’s chic computer-hacker-turned-criminal-investigator Aimée Leduc “one of the very best heroines in crime fiction today!”

Cara Black is the author of eighteen books in The New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She lives in San Francisco and visits Paris frequently.


Monday, June 25, 7:00 pm, at Discovery World Pilot House, 500 N. Harbor Drive

Milwaukee’s preeminent historian makes his first public appearance with his latest book, Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, which expands upon his popular PBS Milwaukee documentary to relate the mucky history of the waters that gave Milwaukee life. Boswell is cosponsoring this event, and registration is required for attendance, by emailing whspress@wisconsinhistory.org or calling (608) 264-6465. Doors open 6:30 pm.

The success and survival of Milwaukee lies in the rivers that meander through its streets and the great lake at its shore. The area’s earliest inhabitants recognized the value of an abundant, clean water supply for food and transportation. Settlers, shipbuilders, and city leaders used the same waters to travel greater distances, power million-dollar industries, and even have a bit of fun.

Telling tales of brewers, brickmakers, ecologists, and engineers, Gurda explores the city’s complicated connection with its most precious resource and greatest challenge. Generations of people, from a Potawatomi chief to fur traders and fishermen, settled on the small spit of land known as Jones Island. Learn how Milwaukee’s unique water composition creates its distinct cream-colored bricks, visit Wisconsin’s first waterparks, and see how city leaders transformed the Milwaukee River, once described as a “vast sewer” with an “odorous tide,” into today’s lively and lovely Riverwalk.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, churches, and industries. He is also a photographer, lecturer, regular contributor to PBS Milwaukee's Around the Corner with John McGivern, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gurda is an eight-time winner of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Award of Merit.


Book Club Afternoon and Evening with Kathleen Rooney, author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Tuesday, June 26, 2:00 pm, at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library, 11345 N Cedarburg Rd in Mequon, and 6:30 pm, at the Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd

At two Milwaukee-area libraries, a double dose of book club inspiration. Boswell’s Daniel Goldin teams up with a librarian from the Frank L. Weyenberg Library (at 2 pm) and Paulette Brooks from Elm Grove Public Library (at 6:30) to offer recommendations of new and classic titles sure to provide lively book club discussions. And then onto the second act, a talk by Kathleen Rooney, author of the national indie bestseller Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk and one of our top book club picks for spring and summer.

Lillian Boxfish took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.” On New Year's Eve 1984, 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish crosses Manhattan on foot, finding adventure at every turn and recalling a remarkable life.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; from the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, and The Nation. She was named Best Novelist by the Chicago Reader in 2017.


Thursday, June 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Pewaukee native Stark returns from Montana with his latest book of American history, Young Washington. Weaving together harrowing wilderness adventures and a broader historic context, Stark’s book offers a brash, unexpected view of the president we thought we knew.

Two decades before he led America to independence, George Washington was a flailing young soldier serving the British Empire in the vast wilderness of the Ohio Valley. Naïve and self-absorbed, the twenty-two-year-old officer accidentally ignited the French and Indian War, a conflict that opened colonists to the possibility of an American Revolution.

Terrifying summer storms and subzero winters helped prepare Washington for Valley Forge. Leading the Virginia troops into battle taught him to and stand with those who looked to him for leadership. Negotiating with colonial allies honed his diplomatic skills. Thwarted in his obsessive young love, he grew to cultivate deeper, enduring relationships. All of this and more transformed Washington from a temperamental striver into a mature leader.

Peter Stark is a historian, adventure writer, and author of The New York Times bestseller Astoria, along with The Last Empty Spaces, Last Breath, and At the Mercy of the River. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a correspondent for Outside magazine and has written for Smithsonian and The New Yorker.


Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, in conversation with Jim Higgins, Book Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Friday, July 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Join us for an evening with bestselling author Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow. Her latest novel, an Oprah Book Club selection, was proclaimed "brilliant and heartbreaking" by USA Today and "haunting" and "beautifully written" by The New York Times Book Review. As Mike Fischer noted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Jones’ characters here try and fail to outrun the limitations of their own history – itself forever entangled in the fractured history of Black America.”

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined.

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward, with hope and pain, into the future.

This event is free. Please register at tayarimke.bpt.me. Attendees who register will get early entry if we reach or come close to capacity, priority on the signing line, and a 20% discount on An American Marriage on the night of the event.


Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light, presented by Oconomowoc’s Books & Company and Boswell
Sunday, October 21, 3:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr in Brookfield

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present a very special afternoon with Jodi Picoult, the bestselling author of Small Great Things and many other beloved novels. Picoult returns with A Spark of Light, a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.

Tickets are $34.00 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a signed copy of A Spark of Light. The ticket link is picoultwi.bpt.me. In lieu of a signing line, each attendee will get a chance to have a professional photo with Jodi Picoult. Please note that this means Ms. Picoult will not be personalizing or signing backlist.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of a standoff at a women’s reproductive health services clinic, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. We’re all so excited to welcome Jodi Picoult back to metro Milwaukee, this time to the beautiful Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park!

New Hampshire-based Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, My Sister’s Keeper, and The Storyteller. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page.


Check out a more complete listing of our upcoming events here.