Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!


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! 

Looking for our upcoming events? We've got several listed here and more on our upcoming events page

SOLD OUT - Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light, in conversation with Chloe Benjamin, 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

Alas, our event with Jodi Picoult is Sold Out. There is no waiting list for this program. Signed copies of A Spark of Light may be available at Boswell after the event.


Donald Baumgartner and Kurt Chandler, in conversation for With the Wind at His Back: The Charmed and Charitable Life of Donald Baumgartner
Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Milwaukeean Donald Baumgartner is known as a man who takes a big bite out of life. He’ll chat with his biographer, Kurt Chandler, about his new biography and his life and times.

Baumgartner crossed the Atlantic in a 58-foot yacht through two gale-force storms. He’s set foot on all seven continents and accepted an award from President Ronald Reagan in the White House Rose Garden. He built his family business into a global leader and then made headlines in 2016 when he handed over the ownership of his Milwaukee manufacturing company to his employees.

As depicted by author Kurt Chandler, Donald Baumgartner has led a charmed life of adventure, success, and generosity, and he continues to give back to his community as one of his hometown's most charitable patrons of the arts. Impassioned, lionhearted, he works hard and lives large, endowed with an optimistic nature, sense of humor, and a measure of good luck.

Donald Baumgartner founded Paper Machinery Corporation in 1951 and now oversees this thriving, international company. He is highly active in Milwaukee-area civic and community organizations and was instrumental in bringing the Santiago Calatrava wing to life at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Kurt Chandler served as Milwaukee Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief from August 2013 - November 2015. Chandler has been published in a number of metro newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon. He has authored, coauthored, or edited 12 books. He has been named Writer of the Year by the City & Regional Magazine Association, Journalist of the Year by the Milwaukee Press Club, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of Interior States:Essays
Tuesday, October 23, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Madison-based critic and essayist O’Gieblyn chats at Boswell with Milwaukee-based author and scholar Jon M. Sweeney about her new collection of essays about faith, culture, and the Midwest.

O’Gieblyn, born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and she still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her existential dizziness, and her rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the essays in this collection which ask, what does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts?

O’Gieblyn’s essay on Vice President Mike Pence was the cover story of Harper’s May 2018 issue. Of the collection Lorrie Moore says, “Meghan O’Gieblyn’s deep and searching essays are written with a precise sort of skepticism and a slight ache in the heart. A first-rate and riveting collection.”

Madison-based Meghan O’Gieblyn’s essays have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and Best American Essays 2017. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Milwaukeean Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and author of books of history, spirituality, biography, poetry, and fiction for young readers.

Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM, at American Geographical Society Library at UWM, 2311 E Hartford Ave

Philbrick, the National Book Award winning author of In the Heart of the Sea, chronicles the thrilling story of the fateful year that won the Revolutionary War during a special evening in the perfect setting for historic adventure. Please register for this event or upgrade to a book-with-ticket option, which includes a copy of In the Hurricane’s Eye, all taxes and fees, and signing line priority, at philbrickmke.bpt.me.

In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, Washington realized the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But coordinating his army’s movements with those of warships thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. The Battle of the Chesapeake, fought without a single American ship, made the victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

In a narrative that moves from Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson to Lafayette’s maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.

National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of Mayflower, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Valiant Ambition, winner of the George Washington Prize, and Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award, among other books.

Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 PM, at UWM Arts Center Lecture Hall, Room #120, 2400 E Kenwood Blvd

UWM Peck School of the Arts Artist’s Now! guest lecture series, cosponsored by AIGA Wisconsin and Boswell, presents a rare opportunity to hear from graphic artist Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required and space is limited. Register at emory-douglas.eventbrite.com.

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas is the reformatted publication of the first book to collect the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director.

Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party’s visual identity.

Emory Douglas is a graphic artist who was Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s. His artwork was featured in most issues of The Black Panther newspaper.

Please say hi next time you visit.