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.


Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Author of Milwaukee Mayhem and host of WMSE’s What Made Milwaukee Famous, Matthew J Prigge recalls one of the Gilded Age’s forgotten calamities, a fire among the deadliest unsolved arsons in American history and a significant chapter in the history of Milwaukee.

In the dead of an unassuming January night in 1883, Milwaukee’s Newhall House hotel was set on fire. Two hours later, the building, once among the tallest in the nation, lay in ruins and over seventy people were dead. It was a tragedy that brought global notice to Milwaukee, with daring escapes and rescues and heart-wrenching tales of victims burned to death or killed as they leapt from the burning building.

From the great horror emerged an even greater string of mysteries. Who had set the fire, and who was to blame for the staggering loss of life? The Newhall’s hard-luck barkeeper? A gentleman arsonist? What of the many other unexplained fires at the hotel? Had the Newhall’s management neglected fire safety to boost their profits? Prigge searches for answers in the history of one of Milwaukee’s greatest disasters.

Matthew J Prigge’s work has appeared in Milwaukee Magazine, Urban Milwaukee, and the Shepherd Express. He won the 2013 William Best Hesseltine Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and the 2017 Gambrinus Prize from the Milwaukee County Historical Society. He is author of Milwaukee Mayhem and Outlaws, Rebels, & Vixens: Motion Picture Censorship in Milwaukee, 1914–1971. He is also the host of WMSE’s What Made Milwaukee Famous.


Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Photographer, filmmaker, and author Chip Duncan presents Inspiring Change, a collection of photojournalism that captures images of people and places across the world. Cosponsored by NŌ Studios.

During the past decade, Duncan has conducted numerous visits to Afghanistan, Kenya, Colombia, Peru, and Ethiopia as well as journeys to India, Ghana, Pakistan, and Haiti. The people he’s encountered and photographed offer a rare and positive glimpse into the beauty of each individual nation and the unique cultures and faiths around the world.

Chip Duncan is author of the story collection Half a Reason to Die and Enough to Go Around: Searching for Hope in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Darfur, a book of photo essays. He’s also produced documentary films and series such as The Reagan Presidency, The Life & Death of Glaciers, and Mystic Lands, among others.


A YA, Boswell! Event with Tricia Levenseller, author of Warrior of the Wild and Alexandra Christo, author of To Kill a Kingdom
Thursday, March 21, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

Boswell is pleased to host a fantastic evening of YA fantasy with Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King, and debut YA novelist Alexandra Christo, for a conversation with bookseller/librarian Kelli O’Malley. This conversation will enchant adults and teens 13+.

In Levenseller’s Warrior of the Wild, an eighteen-year-old chieftain's daughter is banished into the monster-filled wild after being betrayed and must find a way to kill her village’s oppressive deity if she ever wants to return home in this Viking-inspired standalone fantasy. Boswellian Kelli O'Malley says: "What would you do if your family exiled you to take on a killer god? This fierce novel takes an axe to the myth that girls don't like action packed books and will surprise you with its range of emotional depth. Find your strength along side some stellar characters and take a risk of epic proportions."

Christo’s To Kill a Kingdom is an action-packed YA debut that pits a deadly siren princess and a siren-hunting human prince against each other as they fight to protect their kingdoms. Booklist Online says, “stellar world-building and nonstop action will keep readers hooked on this twisted reimagining of The Little Mermaid." And here's Kelli's take: "Killer princesses, rebel royalty, and an tyrannical sea goddess to rule them all! This is not your average fairy tale retelling. Dive deep into Christo's dangerously beautiful world and stay for the fast paced action."

Tricia Levenseller is author of Daughter of the Pirate King and its sequel Daughter of the Siren Queen. She received her degree in English language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. Alexandra Christo has a BA in creative writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown-up than she feels.


Keynote Speaker at the State of Wisconsin Girls Summit 2019,
Saturday, March 23, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, at Alverno College’s Sister Joel Reed Conference Center, 3400 S 43rd St

The inaugural State of Wisconsin Girls Summit 2019 brings together thought leaders, inspiring voices, and workshops to address issues facing girls in Wisconsin, including cyberbullying, poverty, social media, and mental health. The day’s activities will be designed to engage young people and adults interested in responding to these issues facing today’s girls. Featured during the program’s lunch at 12:00 pm is the inaugural Mary Ann Schwartz Academic Excellence Speaker Series Keynote by Marley Dias.

Registration is open now and costs $15 for youth (up to age 22), $35 for adults, and $25 for Alverno faculty, staff, and alumni. Visit alverno.edu/research/girlssummit.php.

Marley Dias speaks about her passion for making our world a better place in an accessible guide  exploring activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Dias shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality.

Marley Dias started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to collect children's books featuring black protagonists when she was in 6th grade. Her initiative led to appearances on The Nightly Show, Today, and CBS This Morning. Marley has been featured in the New York Times, recognized as a "21 under 21" ambassador for Teen Vogue, is an editor in residence for Elle.com, and launched a national literacy tour in partnership with the White House.


Patrick McGilligan, author of Funny Man: Mel Brooks
Monday, March 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee based biographer and Marquette Instructor of Digital Media and Performing Arts Partrick McGilligan, author of definitive biographies of Orson Wells and Alfred Hitchcock, delves into the life of a true legend, comedy giant Mel Brooks. Cosponsored by UWM’s Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.

McGilligan insightfully navigates the famous funnyman’s life story, from Brooks’s childhood in Williamsburg tenements and breakthrough in early television to Hollywood and Broadway peaks (and valleys). His book offers a meditation on the Jewish immigrant culture that influenced Brooks, snapshots of the golden age of comedy, and behind the scenes revelations about the celebrated shows and films.

Engrossing, nuanced, and poignant, Funny Man delivers a great man’s unforgettable life story and an anatomy of the American dream. MicGilligan’s new work is a deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant and Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony-winner Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater.

Patrick McGilligan is author the Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane, the New York Times Notable Book Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast and the Edgar Award-nominated Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. He lives in Milwaukee and teaches at Marquette.


Spring Educator Night
Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

It’s Educator Night at Boswell! We’ve put together an informative and entertaining evening for teachers serving kids from elementary schools through high school. Boswell’s Jenny will give a short slide presentation featuring the joys of bringing in authors to your school. We’ll hear from a school librarian about how they go about putting their visits together and from a parent whose PTO does a successful and fun shopping night fundraiser. And as a special treat, our Penguin Random House reps Jill and Tim will be presenting highlights from their lists. We’ll have light refreshments and advance reading copy goodie bags for all.

Please register for free at boswelleducatorspring19.bpt.me. Let us know your school and district information in the ‘company field.’


Saturday, March 30, 4:00 pm, at Boswell

Celebrate the birthday of one of the world’s most renowned and recognized artists (he’d be just 166 years young!) with Wisconsin poet Lisa Vihos, editor of Van Gogh Dreams, an anthology of poetry inspired by the artist who himself once said, “poetry surrounds us everywhere.”

Van Gogh Dreams is an anthology of poems by 31 poets that illuminate the life and art of Vincent van Gogh. Vihos will be joined by several anthology contributors who will read their work, including Mary Jo Balistreri, Sylvia Cavanaugh, Kathryn Gahl, Frederick Kreutz, CJ Muchala, Mara Ptacek, Paula Schulz, David Southward, and Sister Irene Zimmerman.

Lisa Vihos is author of A Brief History of Mail and The Accidental Present, and her poems have appeared in Forge, Verse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin People and Ideas and have been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Vihos is the Poetry and Arts Editor of Stoneboat Literary Journal and guest blogger for The Best American Poetry. She lives in Sheboygan and is an organizer there for 100 Thousand Poets for Change.


Sunday, March 31, 2:00 pm, at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, 7335 S Hwy 100, Franklin, WI

The Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology presents keynote speaker Rabbi Abraham Skorka for a lecture titled ‘The Pope and the Rabbi: A Faithful Friendship.’

Admission is free of charge. Please RSVP by March 25 to Bonnie Shafrin, Director, The Lux Center, by emailing bshafrin@shsst.edu or by calling (414) 529-6966. For more information, visit luxcenter.shsst.edu.

Guided by their own religious convictions, Rabbi Skorka and Pope Francis spent years conversing about their understanding of God and of each other. For years Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka have promoted interreligious dialogues on faith and reason, as both sought to build bridges among Catholicism, Judaism, and the world at large. On Heaven and Earth brings together a series of conversations about various theological and worldly issues.

Abraham Skorka is an Argentine rabbi and biophysicist. He is rector of the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, the rabbi of the Jewish community Benei Tikva, and a professor of biblical and rabbinic literature at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano.


S Acevedo, author of God Awful Rebel
Monday, April 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Wisconsin journalist and former reporter for Milwaukee’s WISN and WTMJ, Silvia Acevedo, writing as S Acevedo, presents the third and final installment of her mythological adventure series for middle graders, God Awful Rebel. She’ll chat with Valerie Biel, Wisconsin author of the Circle of Nine fantasy series. This event is perfect for adults and kids age 7 and up.

In God Awful Rebel, the once-banished god of love has saved the kingdom, been declared heir to Olympus, and will wed the girl of his dreams. But when three snake-haired sisters turn out to be not as dead as everyone thought, they threaten all that Cupid holds dear. Add a goddess fighting to hide the truth and ancient elementals bent on revenge, and there might not be any world left to save. The final novel in Acevedo’s God Awful trilogy deftly weaves vignettes of ancient myth into a wholly new, laugh-out-loud story for the modern age.

Silvia Acevedo is a journalist and former television news anchor covering national and international stories for CNN and local television, including Milwaukee’s WISN and WTMJ, and she’s occasionally hosted The Morning Blend. Acevedo is Assistant Regional Advisor for the Wisconsin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


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. 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.


Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
Wednesday, May 15, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union’s Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd

Celeste Ng, in conjunction with UWM's Department of English, Creative Writing Program, Humanities Division, and Asian Faculty and Staff Association, is coming to the UWM Student Union, as part of the paperback publication tour of Little Fires Everywhere.

Tickets cost $19 for the general public and are available at celestengmke.bpt.me. Specially priced tickets for the UWM community are available only at the UWM Student Union box office. Each ticket comes with a signed paperback edition of Little Fires Everywhere. Already have the book? It makes a great gift, for birthday, graduation, or holiday. It's never too early, right?

The bestselling Little Fires Everywhere traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Named a Best Book of the Year by too many publications to list, (okay, here are a few: The Washington Post, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, People, and NPR) Ng’s novel was recently picked up by Hulu to go into production as a limited series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. And Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, says, "witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel."

Celeste Ng is author of Everything I Never Told You, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the ALA's Alex Award



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.