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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.

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.


Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of Secrets of a Scottish Isle
at the Frank L Weyenberg Library, 11345 N Cedarburg Road, Mequon
Sunday, May 19, 1 pm

Milwaukee mystery author Erica Ruth Neubauer, creator of the Jane Wunderly historical mysteries, appears for an afternoon at the Frank L Weyenberg Library with her latest novel, Secrets of a Scottish Isle. Spirited American Jane Wunderly must investigate a secret society on an isolated isle off the western coast of Scotland where esoteric rituals blur the line between what’s real, what’s illusion, and what’s deadly. This event is presented by the Friends of the Weyenberg Library and is cosponsored by Boswell.

Erica Ruth Neubauer is author of the Jane Wunderly Mysteries, including titles like Murder at the Mena House, Danger on the Atlantic, and Intrigue in Istanbul. The series has won the Agatha Award and have been an Anthony Award and Lefty Award finalist. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for publications such as Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine, and she’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.


Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek, 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.


Jo Piazza, author of The Sicilian Inheritance
at Boswell
Thursday, May 30, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts a special Festa Italiana preview evening featuring bestselling author and award-winning journalist Jo Piazza for her new novel, The Sicilian Inheritance, a transporting novel rooted in her family’s history about a long-awaited trip to Sicily, a disputed inheritance, and a family secret that someone will kill to protect. Cohosted by Festa Italiana.

Please click here to register for this event at jopiazzamke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Sicilian Inheritance now, too.

Sara Marsala barely knows who she is anymore after the failure of her business and marriage. When her beloved great-aunt Rosie passes away, Sara inherits the deed to a plot of land and discovers a bombshell family secret. Rosie believes Sara’s great-grandmother Serafina, the family matriarch who was left behind while her husband worked in America, didn’t die of illness as family lore has it - she was murdered. Thus begins a twist-filled adventure that takes Sara all over the picturesque Italian countryside as she races to solve a mystery.

From Daniel Goldin: "The Sicilian Inheritance alternates between the two timelines, keeping up the suspense and offering intriguing parallels. The result is a deliciously satisfying, action packed mystery, full of strong woman characters, some forbidden romance, and lots of Sicilian lore."

Jo Piazza is author of twelve books, including the Good Morning America Book Club pick We Are Not Like Them, cowritten with Christine Pride. She’s host of the critically acclaimed Under the Influence podcast, and her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


in conversation with Steve Schaffer at Boswell
Wednesday, June 5, 6:30 pm

Wall Street Journal columnist Lettie Teague appears at Boswell with her new book, Dear Readers and Riders, a new biography of Marguerite Henry, a children’s author who was born and grew up in Milwaukee and went on to win a Newbery award and influence generations of aspiring writers and devoted equestrians. Teague will be in conversation with Milwaukee County Historical Society Archivist Steve Schaffer.

Please click here to visit lettieteaguemke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Dear Readers and Riders now as well.

Marguerite Henry was a remarkably prolific and influential author who penned nearly sixty meticulously researched historical novels about influential horses and the hosts of fascinating characters who surrounded them, including the Newbery Award winner King of the Wind, Misty of Chincoteague, and Justin Morgan Had a Horse. Yet despite a professional existence that was profoundly public, Henry’s own life was mostly shielded from view.

Lettie Teague‘s biography provides a unique glimpse into Marguerite Henry’s life and work. Notably, the city of Milwaukee also figures into Henry’s story quite a bit, as her father ran the L Breithaupt printing company in the city throughout her life. This is a warm, wonderful biography for bibliophiles, horse lovers, aspiring writers, and Marguerite Henry fans, young and old.

Lettie Teague is the Wall Street Journal's wine columnist, is author of Wine in Words and Educating Peter, and co-author and illustrator of Fear of Wine. Her writing has won three James Beard Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. Like Henry, Teague grew up in the Midwest aspiring to be a writer.


in conversation with Lori Fredrich at Boswell
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes summer with an event featuring Terese Allen, author of The Dane County Farmer’s Market Cookbook, a gorgeous, warm-hearted salute to the vendors, shoppers and chefs who make the Dane County Farmers’ Market, now going strong for more than 50 years, a community. Allen will be joined in conversation by Milwaukee food writer Lori Fredrich, author of Wisconsin Field to Fork.

Please click here to register for this event at tereseallenmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook now, too.

Hundreds of Wisconsin growers and thousands of shoppers gather weekly around the white-domed State Capitol in Madison with an ever-growing diversity of farm-fresh crops, world-class cheeses, pastured meats, and specialty products. Allen brings the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Dane County farmers’ market together in this new collection of bold-flavored, internationally-focused recipes cooked up from local ingredients.

Allen’s new book collects both stories and dishes from the vendors, shoppers, and chefs who build cultural and community bonds at one of the nation’s largest, most renowned farmers’ markets. Allen demonstrates how to build a pantry with everything from purple daikon radishes and harissa paste to bandaged cheddar and black currants and how to prepare both contemporary and heritage dishes. From Luke Zahm, host of Wisconsin Foodie: "Recipes and stories that invite us to fall in love with the food of the Upper Midwest all over again, and to truly live the connection between land, people and table."

Wisconsinite Terese Allen is author of The Flavor of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Local Foods Journal, Fresh Market Wisconsin, and other books. She has been a food columnist for Edible Madison, Edible Door, and Wisconsin Trails magazine, and is a co-founder and long-time leader of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). She served for a decade as food editor for Organic Valley Family of Farms and for fifteen years was a key leader of REAP Food Group, an organization that fosters a sustainable food system in southern Wisconsin.


RO Kwon, author of Exhibit
in conversation with Melissa Tempel at Boswell
Friday, June 7, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes RO Kwon, bestselling author of The Incendiaries, for an evening featuring her new novel, Exhibit, an exhilarating, blazing-hot novel about a woman caught between her desires and her life. In conversation with Melissa Tempel, a Milwaukee-area educator, contributor to Rethinking Schools, and co-editor of Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality. This event is cohosted by the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin.

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

At a lavish party in the hills outside San Francisco, Jin Han meets Lidija Jung and nothing will ever be the same for either woman. A brilliant photographer, Jin is at a crossroads in her work and marriage. Lidija is an alluring ballerina on hiatus from her company under mysterious circumstances. Drawn to each other by their intense artistic drives, the two women talk all night. Jin finds herself telling Lidija about a familial curse, breaking a lifelong promise. She's been told that if she doesn’t keep the curse a secret, then death and ruin could lie ahead. As Jin and Lidija become more entangled, they begin to explore hidden desires. Something is ignited in Jin, but can she avoid the specter of the curse?

Vital, bold, powerful, and deeply moving, Exhibit asks: how brightly can you burn before you light your life on fire? Madeline Miller, author of Circe, says: "In prose at once sharp and lush, Kwon crafts a gripping tale of a woman wrestling with the past, while boldly making her own future. A haunting and powerful exploration of art, racism, feminism, and desire, this novel will stay with me a long time."

RO Kwon is author of The Incendiaries, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award which was named a best book of the year by over forty publications. Kwon coedited the Kink, a New York Times Notable Book and the recipient of the inaugural Joy Award. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, and she has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and MacDowell.


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.