Upcoming Events

If you want to hear about events in your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter or the Boswell and Books blog. And you can always pre-order or reserve a signed copy of your favorite author's new title if you can't make an event. Please note, all times are Central Standard Time (CST) unless otherwise noted.

Please note that masks are currently optional at Boswell.  Please understand that some events may still require masks and have other requirements at the author's request - see individual event listings for details.

at Boswell
Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts former Midwestern History Association president Jon K Lauck for an evening in which we’ll celebrate our region with his new book, The Good Country, a first-ever chronicle of the Midwest’s formative century which restores the American heartland to its central place in the nation’s history.

Please click here to register now for this event and reserve your space. And be sure to order your copy of The Good Country as well.

At the center of American history is a hole - a gap where some scholars’ indifference or disdain has too long stood in for the true story of the American Midwest. Lauck, the premier Midwest historian, puts Midwestern 'squares' center stage - an unorthodox approach that leads to surprising conclusions. The American Midwest, in Lauck’s cogent account, was the most democratically advanced place in the world during the nineteenth century, and The Good Country describes a rich civic culture that prized education, literature, libraries, and the arts, and generally put democratic ideals into practice to a greater extent than any nation to date.

In a trying time of contested politics and culture, Lauck locates a middle ground, fittingly, in the center of the country. The Washington Post calls the book "well-researched and provocative," and author Gregory L. Schneider says: "I know of no historian who has done such a superb job chronicling and framing the history of the American Midwest than Jon Lauck."

Jon K. Lauck has authored and edited several books, including The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History, Finding a New Midwestern History, and three volumes of The Plains Political Tradition. He teaches history and political science at the University of South Dakota and is Editor-in-Chief of Middle West Review.

A Virtual Event
Friday, February 10, 2 pm

Celebrated British nature writer and poet Miriam Darlington joins us for a virtual event for a conversation about The Wise Hours, her Guardian Book of the Year collection of lyrical, lucent, and lush writing which sheds light on a mysterious and elusive bird: the owl. Darlington will be in conversation Lindsay Obermeier, Raptor Program Director at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Joining them will be a few of the Schlitz Audubon’s resident owls!

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Wise Hours as well.

Owls have existed for over sixty million years, and in the relatively short time we have shared the planet with these majestic birds they have ignited the human imagination. But even as owls continue to captivate our collective consciousness, Darlington finds herself struck by all she doesn’t know about the true nature of these enigmatic creatures.

Darlington begins her fieldwork in the British Isles with her teenage son, Benji. But when her son develops a mysterious illness, her quest to understand the elusive nature of owls becomes entangled with her search for finding a cure. Darlington watches and listens to the natural world and to the rhythms of her home and family, inviting readers to discover the wonders of owls alongside her while rewilding our imagination with the mystery, fragility, and magnificence of all creatures.

Miriam Darlington is author of Otter Country, forthcoming in the United States in 2024. She contributes frequently to The Times, The Guardian, and The Ecologist.

with Patricia Rodda at Boswell
Friday, February 10, 6:30 pm

Carroll University Professor Lilly J Goren appears at Boswell for an evening of cinematic conversation about a new critical anthology she has coedited which is the first book to look expansively at politics in the MCU and ask the question, what lessons are this entertainment juggernaut teaching audiences about politics, society, power, gender, and inequality? Goren will be joined by anthology contributor Patricia Rodda.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, too.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most expansive and widely viewed fictional narrative in the history of cinema. In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment, and since then, the MCU has grown from two feature films to thirty interconnected movies, nine streaming series, a half dozen short films, and more than thirty print titles. Eight of the twenty-five highest grossing films of all time are MCU movies. And intentionally or not, the MCU sends fans scores of messages about a wide range of subjects related to government, public policy, and society.

In The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, more than twenty-five leading scholars examine these films’ complex political themes. The MCU is not only a product of contemporary politics, but many of its stories seem to be direct responses to the problems of the day. Racial injustice, environmental catastrophe, and political misinformation are not just contemporary social ills; they are also key thematic elements of recent MCU blockbusters.

Lilly J Goren is Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at Carroll University, and coedited Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America and Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics, and she edited You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Women, Politics, and Popular Culture. Patricia Rodda is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Carroll University.

Elana K Arnold, author of Harriet Spies
at Boswell
Tuesday, February 14, 4:30 pm

Join us at Boswell for an after-school Valentine’s Day special featuring Elana K Arnold, who visits with Harriet Spies, the sequel to her chapter book Just Harriet, which continues the adventures of the unforgettable Harriet. And as a special Valentine’s treat, the first 50 people to register and attend this event will get delicious mini cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes – yum!

Please click here to register for this event. You can also preorder a copy of Harriet Spies now, too!

There are a few things to know about Harriet Wermer: She always tells the truth. She loves spending the summer on Marble Island, where she is an A+ mystery-solver. And, okay, maybe she doesn’t always tell the truth. Maybe she has a tendency to lie quite a bit. When one of the guests at her grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast finds their treasured pair of binoculars is missing, no one believes Harriet when she said she had nothing to do with it. But this is one time Harriet isn’t lying - and she knows that if she can find the binoculars and figure out who really took them, she can prove it.

This series is perfect for fans of Clementine and Ramona Quimby, with a bold, brash heroine and the comforting, big-hearted, funny tone that resonates with readers. Harriett and her adorable kitty, Matzo Ball are sure to be long-enduring and beloved characters.

Elana K Arnold is the award-winning author of many books for children and teens, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and the Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat. She is a member of the faculty at Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program.

in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Thursday, February 16, 2 pm

Join us online for the February installment of our Readings from Oconomowaukee event series, presented in partnership with Books & Company of Oconomowoc. This month’s event features Edward Chisholm, author of A Waiter in Paris, an evocative portrait of the underbelly of contemporary Paris as seen through the eyes of a young waiter scraping out a living in the City of Light. Cohosted by our friends of Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

Please click right here to register for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of A Waiter in Paris now as well. Order here from Boswell or order here from Books & Company.

A waiter's job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door is hell. Edward Chisholm's spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you beneath the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world and right into its glorious underbelly. Waiting is a job that’s physically demanding, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn't matter when you’re in Paris, the center of the universe, and there's nowhere else you'd rather be in the world.

Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé, says: "A young Englishman’s journey into the merciless world of Parisian restaurants is propulsive, harrowing, and expertly observed. I could practically smell the grease and feel his terror and - ironically - his hunger. I don’t think I’ll dine out in quite the same way again." And from the starred Publishers Weekly review: "A Dickensian tale of a young man’s trial by fire in a French bistro gives rise to biting commentary on Parisian culture in Chisholm’s intoxicating debut."

Edward Chisholm was born in England and moved to Paris after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Chisholm spent four years working all manner of low-paid restaurant jobs, from waiting and bartending, while trying to build a career as a writer. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Financial Times.

in Conversation with Sally Haldorson for a Virtual Event
New Date: Monday, February 20, 1 pm central

Boswell Book Company and Porchlight Book Company are so happy to welcome Katherine May back for a virtual sequel to last year’s visit! This time the Wintering author joins us for a pre-publication preview event for her new book, Enchantment, which offers an invitation to rediscover the feelings of awe and wonder available to us all.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to preorder your copy of Enchantment, too! Books will be available for pickup at Boswell on February 28, 2023, the publication date. Preorders will receive a special art print with an enchanting quote from the book!

Katherine May invites the reader to come with her on a journey to reawaken our innate sense of wonder and awe. With humor, candor, and warmth, she shares stories of her own struggles with work, family, and the aftereffects of pandemic, particularly the feelings of overwhelm as the world rushes to reopen. Blending lyricism and storytelling, sensitivity and empathy, Enchantment invites each of us to open the door to human experience in all its sensual complexity, and to find the beauty waiting for us there.

And how about this early praise from Anne Lamott: "I love Katherine May’s new book, Enchantment. She is so smart, tender hearted, thoughtful. It’s actually enchanting, so wise and lyrical, down to earth and mystical, personal and universal. It’s a beautiful offering of light, truth and charm in these strange, dark times."

Katherine May is the New York Times bestselling author of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including The New York Times, The Times of London, and Cosmopolitan.

at Boswell
Thursday, February 23, 6:30 pm

Journalist and author Mary Llewellyn McNeil appears at Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, Century’s Witness, a book about Wallace Carroll, a “journalist’s journalist,” whose life and life’s work is essential reading for all those who believe a trusted and reasoned press is essential to our democracy.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also order a copy of Century’s Witness now.

Today when local newspapers are going out of business, corporate profits drive press coverage, and unbiased reporting is seen as almost nonexistent, Wallace Carroll's life is a lesson in excellence. A "journalist's journalist" with unmatched integrity, Carroll covered the most significant events of his time, from the London Blitz to the United States' withdrawal from the Vietnam War. His story is even more relevant today given the war in Ukraine and Russia's assault on the truth.

Carroll covered the League of Nations in the 1930s, warning the American public of the dangers of fascism, headed United Press's office in London at the outbreak of the war and was among the first journalists to reach the Russian front following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He later joined the US Office of War Information, tasked with "winning the hearts and minds" of those under the Nazi boot. As such, he was well-placed to understand the power of words, and their heightened importance in a time of war.

From George F. Will, columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner: "This well-told story of a gentleman journalist is a trip back in time to when that phrase did not strike most Americans as an oxymoron, and when vibrant local newspapers were both causes and effects of national vigor."

Mary Llewellyn McNeil is a former editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly, former editor at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, and was a journalist at the Winston-Salem Journal. She is coeditor of Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa. McNeil was a student of Wallace Carroll's and a graduate of Wake Forest University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

at Boswell
Monday, February 27, 6:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening with Quaker activist George Lakey for a conversation about his latest work, Dancing with History, on his involvement in struggles for peace, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also pre-order a copy of Dancing with History now.

From his first arrest in the Civil Rights era to his most recent during a climate justice march at the age of 83, George Lakey has committed his life to a mission of building a better world through movements for justice. In this memoir, he describes the personal, political, and theoretical - coming out as bisexual to his Quaker community while known as a church leader and family man, protesting against the war in Vietnam by delivering medical supplies through the naval blockade in the South China Sea, and applying his academic study of nonviolent resistance to creative tactics in direct action campaigns.

From strategies he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets to risking his life as an unarmed bodyguard for Sri Lankan human rights lawyers, Lakey recounts his experience living out the tension between commitment to family and mission. Drawing strength from his community to fight cancer, survive painful parenting struggles, and create networks to help prevent activist burnout, this book shows readers how to find hope in even the darkest times through strategic, joyful activism.

From Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst who released The Pentagon Papers in 1971, peace activist, and author: "George Lakey stands out for the sheer range of his contributions to peace and justice, especially in strategy and theory, organizing, innovative and risky actions, and teaching and training others. His upbeat, soul-driven spirit underlies it all, as you'll catch in this revealing memoir."

George Lakey recently retired from Swarthmore College, where he was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change. A Quaker, he has been named Peace Educator of the Year and was given the Paul Robeson Social Justice Award and the Martin Luther King Peace Award. His previous books include Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right - and How We Can, Too and How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning.

at Boswell
Thursday, March 2, 6:30 pm

Purdue University Associate Professor of Sociology and Law & Society and UW-Madison PhD graduate Elizabeth Hoffmann appears at Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, Lactation at Work, a book that which examines the Lactation at Work Law as an example of a successful civil rights law that has change the lives of US workers for the better.

Please click here and register so we know you’re coming to this event. You can also order a copy of Lactation at Work now.

In recent decades, as women entered the US workforce in increasing numbers, they faced the conundrum of how to maintain breastfeeding and hold down full-time jobs. In 2010, the Lactation at Work Law (an amendment to the US Fair Labor Standards Act) mandated accommodations for lactating women. This book examines the federal law and its state-level equivalent in Indiana, drawing on two waves of interviews with human resource personnel, supervising managers, and lactating workers. In many ways, this simple law - requiring break time and privacy for pumping - is a success story.

Through advocacy by allies, education of managers, and employee initiative, many organizations have created compliant accommodations. Hoffmann’s work shows legal scholars how a successful civil rights law creates effective change, helps labor activists and management personnel understand how to approach new accommodations, and enables workers to understand the possibilities for amelioration of workplace problems through internal negotiations and legal reforms.

Elizabeth A Hoffmann studies how people's legal consciousness and organizational location shape their experience of the law in the workplace. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and has won awards from the Labor and Employment Research Association, the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and the American Bar Foundation.

at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd
Tuesday, March 7, 7 pm

Boswell is pleased to partner with Schlitz Audubon Nature Center to present an evening with two-time Pulitzer Finalist and Milwaukeean Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, for an evening featuring his new book, The Devil’s Element, a major new work of science journalism.

Registration is required to attend this event – click here to register! Please preorder a copy of The Devil’s Element, too.

Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Dan Egan investigates the past, present, and future of what has been called “the oil of our time.”

The story of phosphorus spans the globe and vast tracts of human history. Egan traces its story from a seventeenth-century alchemy lab in Hamburg to the battlefields of Waterloo, from the fabled guano islands off Peru to the Bone Valley of Florida and the sand dunes of the Western Sahara. Over the past century, phosphorus has made farming vastly more productive, feeding the enormous increase in the human population. Yet, as Egan harrowingly reports, our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide - which risks rising conflict and even war.

Dan Egan is the author of New York Times bestseller The Death and Life of the Great Lakes and has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Robin Pickering-Iazzi, translator of Tina, Mafia Soldier
at Boswell
Thursday, March 9, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening featuring UWM Professor of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature Robin Pickering-Iazzi for a conversation about her latest work, the first English translation of Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s classic of Italian feminist mafia literature about a dangerous, enigmatic young gangster pushing the boundaries of gender and propriety.

Please let us know you’re coming by clicking here and registering for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Tina, Mafia Soldier now as well.

Great for fans of classic mafia literature like The Godfather and Donnie Brasco, Pickering-Iazzi’s beautifully rendered translation offers readers a groundbreaking exploration of gender identity and clear-eyed presentation of an unseen side of the mafia. At just eight years old, Tina watched her father murdered in cold blood. Now a teenager, she terrorizes her hometown of Gela, having made it her mission to join the mafia, an organization traditionally forbidden to women as made members. Nicknamed ’a masculidda, or “the tomboy,” Tina has taken charge of her own gang, and is notorious for her cruelty and reckless disregard for societal expectations.

Pickering-Iazzi’s translation offers a fascinating look into a specific moment in queer history: a crypto-trans narrative set in a time when Italian society was incredibly conservative. A beautiful translation of a landmark literary achievement by one of Italy’s feminist icons.

Robin Pickering-Iazzi is author of The Mafia in Italian Lives and Literature: Life Sentences and Their Geographies and translator of work such as the novel Suspicion by Laura Grimaldi and Mafia and Outlaw Stories in Italian Life and Literature. She is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the UWM.

in Conversation with Christina Clancy at Boswell
Friday, March 10, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts Christie Tate, author of Group, an instant New York Times bestseller and Reese's Book Club pick, for a conversation about B.F.F., her new memoir, a delightfully funny, heartwarming, and deliciously voyeuristic look into her lifelong struggle to form deep and lasting female friendships. In conversation with Wisconsin writer Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season and The Second Home.

Registration is required to attend this event, so click here and reserve space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of B.F.F. as well.

After years of dead-end dates and dysfunctional relationships, Christie Tate has reclaimed her voice and settled down. Her days of agonizing in group therapy over guys who won’t commit are over, the grueling emotional work required to attach to another person tucked neatly into the past. Or so she thought. When Meredith, another member of her recovery group, suggests that now is the time Christie examine why friendships give her trouble, Christie finds the friend who helps her find the human connection she seeks. But when Meredith becomes ill, Christie is forced to face her deepest fears in honor of the woman who finally showed her how to be a friend.

Poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, and emotionally satisfying, B.F.F. explores what happens when we finally break the habits that impair our ability to connect with others, and the ways that one life, however messy and imperfect, can change another.

Christie Tate is the author of Group, and her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune.

Liam Callanan, author of When In Rome
at Boswell
Tuesday, March 14, 6:30 pm

Join us at Boswell as we celebrate the launch of When in Rome, the new novel by Liam Callanan, the Milwaukee-based author of the Boswell bestseller (over 800 copies sold!) Paris by the Book. His latest tells the tale of an opportunity to start over at midlife, a chance to save a struggling convent in the Eternal City, and the dramatic re-emergence of an old flame.

Registration is required to attend this event, so please click here and reserve your space. And be sure to preorder your copy of When in Rome, too!

Meet Claire: fifty-two, desperate to do something new and get a fresh start. Enter the chance to go to Rome: Home to a struggling convent facing a precipitous end, the city beckons Claire, who's long had a complicated relationship with religion, including a “missed connection” with convent life in her teens. Once in Rome, she finds a group of funny, fearless nuns in a gorgeous villa, beautiful runs throughout a color-saturated city, and a chance to reflect. It all leads her to an unexpected question: should she join the convent? The answer startles her as much as it does those closest to her. A novel about faith and love, this is the thoroughly charming story of one woman who sets out to rewrite her past and future, only to be surprised by the plot twists life plants... when in Rome.

What do other Milwaukeeans think of Callanan’s new novel? Well, Lauren Fox, author of Send for Me, says: "When in Rome is a love story, a tug-of-war between fate and faith, and Claire is its funny, thoughtful, searching guide. In fact, she's one of the most delightful narrators I've encountered in recent fiction, full of genuine curiosity and relatable contradictions. I happily followed her through the winding streets of Rome, and I'd go anywhere else she'd care to take me." And here’s Daniel Goldin’s take: "I love traditional family stories and also ones about found family, and one thing that’s great about When in Rome is that I get both in one. Another thing I love is that Callanan, in this story about a real estate agent whose midlife crisis leads her to try to save a convent, can write about the joys of faith and vocation in an accessible way. But most of all, there’s that setting. After reading When in Rome, I can’t imagine someone not wanting to book a flight to Italy posthaste. Callanan brings the city to sparkling life, not just the well-known buildings (ruin or otherwise), statues, and fountains, but equally the lesser-known streets and neighborhoods. Even graffiti becomes romantic. It’s the perfect setting for this engaging and heartfelt novel."

Liam Callanan’s novel Paris by the Book won the 2019 Edna Ferber Prize, and his first novel, The Cloud Atlas, was a finalist for an Edgar Award. Liam’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He is Professor of English at UWM and has also taught for the Warren Wilson MFA program for writers.

in Conversation with Oli Schmitz at Boswell
Friday, March 24, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes the bestselling master of teen fantasy Garth Nix for a conversation about his latest, the sequel to The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, in which a team of booksellers must fight to keep dangerous magic under cover before the stuff of legends destroys our world.

Please click here and register for this event so we know you’re coming. And be sure to order your copy of The Sinister Booksellers of Bath now as well.

There is often trouble of a mythical sort in Bath. The booksellers who police the Old World keep a careful watch there, particularly on the entity that inhabits the ancient hot spring. This time trouble comes from the discovery of a sorcerous map, leading bookseller Merlin into great danger and requiring a desperate rescue attempt from his sister. The map takes the trio to a place separated from this world, maintained by deadly sorcery and guarded by monstrous living statues. To unravel the secrets of a murderous ancient, the booksellers must investigate centuries of disappearances and deaths.

Animated statues of heraldic beasts and magical maps lead the fantastical booksellers on a hunt that leads them to a serial killer who must be stopped before she kills again.

Garth Nix is the New York Times bestselling novelist of the Old Kingdom fantasy series, beginning with Sabriel and continuing to Terciel & Elinor, and many other the sci-fi novels, short stories, and series.

Elizabeth Berg, author of Earth’s the Right Place for Love
at Boswell
Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm

Boswell is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Berg back for an evening featuring her latest book, Earth’s the Right Place for Love, a beautiful book that tells the story of two young people growing up in Mason, Missouri, and how Arthur Moses, a shy young man, becomes the wise and compassionate person readers loved in The Story of Arthur Truluv.

Please click here and register for this event now. And be sure to order your copy of Earth’s the Right Place for Love as well.

Nola McCollum is the most desirable girl in Arthur’s class, and he is thrilled when they become friends. But Arthur wants far more than friendship. Unfortunately, Nola has a crush on the wrong Moses - Arthur’s older brother Frank, who is busy pursuing his own love interest and avoiding the boys’ father, a war veteran with a drinking problem and a penchant for starting fights. When a sudden tragedy rocks the family’s world, Arthur struggles to come to terms with his grief. In the end, it is nature that helps him to understand how to go on, beyond loss, to create a life of forgiveness and empathy. But what can he do about Nola, who seems confused about what she wants in life, and only half aware of the one who loves her most?

Full of unforgettable characters and written with Elizabeth Berg’s characteristic warmth, humor, and insight into people, Earth’s the Right Place for Love is about the power of kindness, character, and family, and how love can grow even when you least expect it.

Elizabeth Berg is the award-winning author of novels including The Story of Arthur Truluv, Open House, an Oprah's Book Club Selection, and Talk Before Sleep, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Three of her novels have been turned into movies. She is the founder of Writing Matters.

Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of Intrigue in Istanbul
at Boswell
Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 pm

It’s a pleasure to welcome Milwaukee’s own Erica Ruth Neubauer back to Boswell for a launch celebration for the fourth novel in her Agatha Award-winning series, Intrigue in Instanbul. Jane Wunderly’s globetrotting takes her to Turkey, where the search for her archeologist father unravels secrets tied to a mysterious relic from the Ottoman Empire.

Registration is required to attend, so click here and reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of Intrigue in Istanbul now, too.

Istanbul, 1926: After her historian father makes a clandestine journey abroad, Jane and the dapper Mr. Redvers trace his footsteps while signs of danger loom back home in the United States. It seems Professor Wunderly was on a mission to locate a legendary relic from the Ottoman Empire said to possess potent mystical powers, but now he’s vanished completely, leaving behind his unpacked luggage, a perplexing riddle, and an eerie mystery Jane must solve to keep her loved ones safe.

What starts off as a clear-cut investigation becomes an intercontinental game of cat and mouse as Jane realizes a gang of nameless figures have been stalking her every move. Even helpful friends can’t be trusted for long when a man is stabbed to death on the Orient Express to Budapest. Jane’s desperate search for her father leads to centuries-old secrets and an unidentified enemy who could make her disappear like the missing Sultan’s heart.

Erica Ruth Neubauer is the Agatha Award-winning author of the Jane Wunderly Mysteries as well as 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.

at Boswell
Wednesday, March 29, 6:30 pm

Professor of American Literature Mark Cirino joins us at Boswell for an evening featuring his latest work, celebration and conversation between Hemingway and some of his most perceptive and interesting readers. Essays by writers as varied as Elizabeth Strout, Russell Banks and Ken Burns each examine a single essay by Papa Hemingway.

Please click here and register for this event to reserve your seat. And be sure to order a copy of One True Sentence now as well.

"All you have to do is write one true sentence," Hemingway wrote in his memoir, A Moveable Feast. If that is the secret to Hemingway’s enduring power, what sentences continue to live in readers’ minds, and why do they resonant? The One True Podcast host has gathered the best of the program (heard by thousands of listeners) and added entirely new material for this collection of conversations about Hemingway’s truest words.

For lovers of American literature, One True Sentence is full of remembrances - of words you read and the feelings they gave you. For writers, this is an inspiring view of an element of craft - a single sentence - that can make a good story come alive and become a great story. Publishers Weekly calls it: "A revelatory compendium… readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of - and even awe at - Hemingway’s vast talent."

Mark Cirino is author/editor of six books about Ernest Hemingway, serves as the general editor for Kent State University Press's 'Reading Hemingway' series, and served as the literature consultant on the forthcoming cinematic adaptation of Hemingway's Across the River and into the Trees. He is host of One True Podcast. Cirino teaches American literature at the University of Evansville.

Jane Roper, author of The Society of Shame
at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd in Thiensville
Monday, April 10, 7:30 pm, doors open 7

Join us for a special evening with Jane Roper, author of The Society of Shame, a timely and witty novel in which a viral photo of a politician's wife's “feminine hygiene malfunction” catapults her to unwanted fame in a story that's both a satire of social media stardom and internet activism, and a tender mother-daughter tale. Perfect for fans of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Cosponsored by Milwaukee Reads. Roper appears at Shully's Across the Street.

This is a ticketed event - click right here to purchase a ticket! Each ticket costs $55 plus tax and fee and includes admission, a glass of wine, appetizers, and a copy of The Society of Shame.

Kathleen Held goes viral for all the wrong reasons – not for her house catching fire or her politician husband’s affair with a staffer, but for a photo that captures a period stain on the back of Kathleen’s pants. Overnight, Kathleen finds herself becoming a figurehead for the #YesWeBleed women’s rights movement. When she stumbles upon the Society of Shame, Kathleen becomes part of a group who are all working to change their lives after their own scandals. Using the teachings of the society, Kathleen channels her newfound fame as a means to reap the benefits of her humiliation and reclaim herself. But as she ascends to celebrity status, Kathleen's growing obsession with maintaining her popularity online threatens her most important relationship IRL: that with her budding activist daughter.

Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V, says: "A hilarious, fleet-footed romp that skewers contemporary culture, marriage, politics, and more even as it reveals the fears and desires that so often pit us against each other and ourselves, The Society of Shame made me laugh, wince, and think at every turn."

Jane Roper is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is the author of two previous books: a memoir, Double Time, and a novel, Eden Lake. Her short fiction, essays, and humor have appeared in publications including McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, Poets & Writers, and more.

at Sip & Purr Cat Café, 2021 East Ivanhoe Place
Thursday, April 13, 7 pm

Boswell and Sip & Purr Cat Café present an evening featuring Milwaukee’s preeminent spiritual scholar for a conversation about his new book, Sit in the Sun, in which he offers a playful, gentle, and profound meditation on the many spiritual truths and practices of our favorite feline companions.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets cost $40 plus tax and ticket fee and include admission, one non-alcoholic drink, and a copy of Sit in the Sun. Click right here to purchase a ticket

As a spiritual pilgrim for more than half a century, Sweeney has practiced with teachers of many religious traditions. He's gone looking for wisdom, beauty, and truth wherever it can be found. But recently he's found himself learning closer to home - from the teacher-cats he lives with. What he discovered is that our greatest spiritual teachers are at our feet. Literally. They are the cats we love and treasure. Nearly 60 million cats live in US households today. These feline teachers have much to offer us about living in the present, loving unconditionally, approaching life with a sense of playfulness, and trusting others, all the while being independent spirits.

Here’s early praise from author Carmen Acevedo Butcher: "A playful book sharing interspiritual wisdom and soul-softening and -deepening practices, Sit in the Sun will reawaken your sense of wonder. Be prepared to pounce over perfectionism and experience purr-fect joy!" And from Kathleen Deignan: "Sweeney graces us with a volume seemingly simple yet richly composed from his own domestic practice with feline gurus, enriched by insight gleaned from the lovers and researchers of this 4,400-year-old tribe."

Jon M Sweeney is author of over thirty books and has been interviewed in print by a range of publications from the Dallas Morning News to The Irish Catholic, and on television for CBS Saturday Morning and many other programs, about spirituality, spiritual practices, the pope, and the great lover of all creatures, Saint Francis.

in Conversation with Sally Haldorson at Boswell
Friday, April 14, 3 pm

Boswell presents an afternoon featuring Meg Zucker, empowerment speaker, UW-Madison grad, and author of Born Extraordinary, which offers a parent's guide to empowering children to embrace their visible and invisible differences. In conversation with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book CompanyCosponsored by Independence First and Porchlight Book Company. 

Please click here and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Born Extraordinary now, as well.

Meg Zucker was born with one finger on each hand, shortened forearms, and one toe on each misshapen foot, caused by a genetic condition called ectrodactyly. She would eventually pass this condition on to her two sons, and, along with her husband, raise them and their adopted daughter, who has her own invisible differences. Born of the family’s hard-won experiences, this book offers invaluable advice on raising confident, empathetic, and resilient children who succeed, not despite but because of their differences.

Born Extraordinary helps parents of children with differences and disabilities to relinquish their instinctive anxieties, embrace their new normal, and ultimately find joy in watching their children thrive. Zucker and her sons have learned to ignore what others think and live fearlessly. Zucker gives parents the tools to meet their children’s emotional needs while supporting the whole family unit. Parents learn how best to empower their children to confront others’ assumptions, grow in confidence, and encourage dialogue, rather than silence, fear, and shame, around difference.

Meg Zucker is founder and president of Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, a nonprofit with the mission of advancing understanding and mutual respect for people’s differences. A graduate of the UW−Madison and New York University School of Law.

Bill Schweigart, author of The Guilty One
in Conversation with Nick Petrie at Boswell
Friday, April 14, 6:30 pm

Bill Schweigart visits Boswell for a Thrillwaukee evening featuring his latest novel, The Guilty One, a thriller inspired by Jack the Ripper’s infamous serial murders in which a hero cop thwarts a brutal murder and can’t remember a thing about it. In conversation with Milwaukee writer Nick Petrie, author of the Peter Ash series.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Guilty One, too.

In this breathlessly paced thriller for fans of David Ricciardi and Michael Connelly, when a hero cop’s memories begin to return, nightmares come along with them. Detective Cal Farrell stopped an active shooter and became the darling of the Alexandria press. The problem is that Cal remembers nothing from that day. He’s working with a psychiatrist to recover his memories, but hasn’t had much luck.

Then, on his morning run, he is once again the first on scene for a grisly discovery - a body hanging impossibly high on a tree. Soon there’s another victim. As the bodies begin to stack up, each staged more gruesomely than the last, Cal sees a baroque pattern to the crimes that no one else seems to understand - something out of legend. Don Bentley says: "The Guilty One is the perfect kind of crime novel. Crackling with suspense and chock full of compelling characters, this book grabs you by the throat and never lets go. I absolutely loved it!"

Bill Schweigart is the author of The Fatal Folklore Trilogy, Running Light, and Slipping The Cable. A former Coast Guard officer, Schweigart daylights as a branch chief with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Nick Petrie is author of novels such as The Drifter, The Wild One, and most recently, The Runaway.

at Boswell
Tuesday, April 25, 6:30 pm

Writer and comedian Blythe Roberson stops by Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, America the Beautiful?, which examines Americans' obsession with freedom, travel, and the open road in this funny, entertaining travelogue that blends the humorous observations of Bill Bryson with the piercing cultural commentary of Jia Tolentino.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also pre-order a copy of America the Beautiful? now.

For writer and comedian Blythe Roberson, there are only so many Mary Oliver poems you can read about being free before you too are itching to take off. Canonical American travel writers have long celebrated the road trip as the epitome of freedom. But why does it seem like all those canonical travel narratives are written by white men who have no problems, who only decide to go the desert to see what having problems feels like? To fill in the literary gaps and quench her own sense of adventure, Roberson quits her day job and sets off on a Great American Road Trip to visit America’s national parks.

Borrowing her Midwestern stepfather’s Prius, she heads west to the Loop of mega-popular parks, over to the ocean and down the Pacific Coast Highway, and, in a feat of spectacularly bad timing, through the southwestern desert in the middle of July. The result is a laugh-out-loud-while-occasionally-raging-inside travelogue, filled with meditations and many, many jokes on ecotourism, conservation, freedom, traffic, climate change, and the structural and financial inequalities that limit so many Americans’ movement. Ultimately, Roberson ponders the question: Is quitting society and going on the road about enlightenment and liberty—or is it just selfish escapism?

From Samantha Irby, author of Wow, No Thank You.: "America the Beautiful? is so funny and special and illuminating that it makes even me, a person who cannot tolerate trees or weather, wish I could've tagged along in the back seat."

Blythe Roberson is a comedian, a humor writer, and author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men. She has written for The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Kinfolk, and more, as well as the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Julie Gerstenblatt, author of Daughters of Nantucket
at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd in Thiensville
Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 pm, doors open 7

Join us for a special evening with Julie Gerstenblatt, author of Daughters of Nantucket, a page-turning novel inspired by real events, about the days leading up to Nantucket's historic fire of 1846 and its dramatic aftermath as three very different women must pull together when their lives are irrevocably altered in the wake of this infamous disaster. Perfect for fans of Jenna Blum and Christina Baker Kline. Gerstenblatt appears at Shully's Across the Street.

This is a ticketed event - click right here to purchase a ticket! Each ticket costs $48 plus tax and fee and includes admission, a glass of wine, appetizers, and a copy of Daughters of Nantucket.

Authentic and engaging, Gerstenblatt’s novel creates a vivid portrait of three women’s lives converging at a prime inflection point in the history of Nantucket, and the history of American commerce, civil rights, and social change. When a massive fire breaks out in the middle of a July night, the three women (a whaling captain’s wife, an astronomer-librarian, and a pregnant free Black woman) are brought together, and each is forced to reevaluate her priorities and answer the harrowing question: “What - and whom - would you save?”

Jenna Blum says: "These extraordinary women navigate abolitionist undertow, financial crises, and tempting lovers until their rivalries, ambitions, and secret desires are all exposed by a terrifying disaster."

Julie Gerstenblatt holds a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and teaches writing at Roger Williams University. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Cognoscenti, and other outlets, and she is a producer for A Mighty Blaze.

Carlene O’Connor, author of Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here
at Boswell
Friday, August 18, 2 pm

Boswell welcomes queen of the cozy police procedural Carlene O’Connor for an afternoon event for not one but two books: Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here. Cosponsored by the Milwaukee Irish Fest

Registration is required to attend, so click here and reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here now, too.

Murder in an Irish Bakery returns to County Cork in Ireland’s lush countryside, where locals are simmering with excitement over the reality TV baking contest coming to town —until day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie. The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently?

In No Strangers Here, on a rocky beach in the southwest of Ireland, the body of wealthy racehorse owner Johnny O’Reilly is propped on a boulder, staring sightlessly out to sea. A cryptic message is spelled out next to the body with sixty-nine polished black stones and a discarded vial of deadly veterinarian medication lies nearby. For veterinarian Dimpna Wilde, home means family drama and personal complications. Faced with a triple bombshell—her mother rumored to be in a relationship with Johnny, her father’s dementia is escalating, and her brother is avoiding her calls—Dimpna moves back to clear her family of suspicion.

From the Publishers Weekly starred review of Murder at an Irish Bakery: “Distinctive, captivating characters match a gripping plot full of surprises. O’Connor reinforces her place among the top rank of cozy writers.” And from the starred Kirkus review of No Strangers Here: "Exciting, convoluted, and rich with compelling characters, this is the best of O’Connor’s Irish mysteries to date."

Carlene O’Connor is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the author of the acclaimed Irish Village Mysteries, the County Kerry Novels, and the Home to Ireland Mysteries. Born into a long line of Irish storytellers, her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland filled with tales in 1897 and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places she’s wandered across the pond, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork, the setting of her Irish Village Mystery series.

Louise Hare, author of Harlem After Midnight
A Virtual Event
Thursday, August 31, 2 pm

Historical mystery writer Louise Hare joins us from across the pond for a virtual afternoon event featuring Harlem After Midnight, an evocative, twisting new novel from the author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. In conversation with Boswellian Rachel Copeland.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of Harlem After Midnight as well.

Harlem, 1936: Lena Aldridge grew up in a cramped corner of London, hearing stories of New York City from her father. But now her father is dead, and she’s newly arrived and alone, chasing a dream that has quickly dried up. When Will Goodman—the handsome musician she met on the crossing from England—offers for her to stay with his friends in Harlem, she jumps at the chance to get to know him better and see if she can find any trace of the family she might have remaining. Just as Lena discovers the stories her father once told her were missing giant pieces of information, she also starts to realize the man she’s falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And they might just place a target on her back. Especially when she is drawn to the brightest stage in town.

Rachel loves the first book in the series, Miss Aldridge Regrets: "There's nothing better than a deftly plotted historical mystery - I really was guessing the whole time! But the real star here is Hare's smooth navigation through the issues surrounding Lena's parentage, her ability to pass as white amongst society's upper echelons, and her discomfort with the idea of leaving her father's people, and her people, behind in favor of an easier life. I can't wait to eagerly follow this new mystery series for years." There's plenty of time to catch up on this series - order the hardcover here, or preorder the paperback here

Louise Hare is the London-based author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. Her debut novel, This Lovely City, was published in the UK to wide acclaim, and was a Between the Covers Book Club Pick on BBC Two. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of London.

Please visit our Boswell-Run Book Club page for an updated schedule of our book club discussions.

Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to arrive early.