Details for our upcoming events are below. You can find a line listing of other confirmed author appearances at the bottom of the page.
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Riordan returns with Robert’s Rules, the third installment of the award-winning North of the Tension Line series set on a remote island in the Great Lakes. Called a modern-day Jane Austen, Riordan creates wry, engaging tales and vivid characters that celebrate the well-lived life of the ordinary man and woman.
As the new Chairman of the Town Board, Fiona Campbell finds life has become a series of petty squabbles, complicated by her guardianship of the as-yet unidentified screaming goat. In desperation, she hires a newcomer, the compulsively orderly Oliver Robert, to keep her organized. As Roger’s fame as an idiosyncratic yoga practitioner spreads, and he and Elisabeth look for a new location to accommodate the growing crowds at their tiny coffee shop.
Meanwhile, Ferry Captain and poet Pali has an offer to leave the Island and wonders whether it is time to introduce his son, Ben, to the larger world. The Fire Chief is threatening to quit, and Fiona finds herself faced with an Island controversy and an unwanted set of new responsibilities. As Pete Landry prepares to leave for one of his regular journeys, Fiona begins to suspect his life may be more than it seems. His secrecy raises doubt about whether he can be trusted, and their breakup plunges her into grief. The reliable Jim, always nearby, is all too ready to offer comfort.
J.F. Riordan first moved to Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, studied voice at the University of New Mexico and in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest. She taught for three years before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs.
Partners in crime (fiction) Owen Laukkanen and Milwaukee’s own Nick Petrie convene at Boswell for a conversation about Laukkanen’s newest novel, Gale Force, the beginning of a new series of seafaring action-adventure starring a dazzling new heroine.
McKenna Rhodes has never been able to get the sight of her father’s death out of her mind. A freak maritime accident has made her the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by when a freighter out of Yokohama founders two hundred miles out in a storm.
This is their last chance, but more is at stake than they know. Unlisted on any manifest, the Lion’s crew includes a man on the run carrying fifty million dollars in stolen Yakuza bearer bonds. And the storm rages on. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves and maybe even her life itself will be lost. Filled with bravery, betrayal, sudden twists, and pure excitement, Gale Force is a spectacular new adventure from the fast-rising suspense star.
Vancouver author Owen Laukkanen comes from a family of fishermen and spent months and summers as a deckhand for his father and uncle. He is the author of six Stevens and Windermere novels, nominated for Barry Awards, an International Thriller Writers Award, and the Spinetingler Magazine Best Novel: New Voices Award.
Douglas Armstrong, former reporter for The Milwaukee Journal and winner of the Council for Wisconsin Writers Anne Powers Award, was on the scene in the 1960s during the era of anti-war protests and the struggles for civil rights and women’s liberation. These turbulent times are the backdrop of his new series of dark humor mysteries, beginning with Life on the Sun.
Armstrong’s latest novel spans ten days of anger and confusion in that bygone era of love beads, tear gas, and manual typewriters. It’s July, 1967, and war is raging in Vietnam. Following a suspicious fire that’s killed a famous war protestor, three headstrong strangers – a rookie newspaper reporter, a veteran rewrite man, and the anti-war fugitive’s bereaved girlfriend – clash as the mystery of his murder unfolds in their revolving viewpoints.
The sometimes darkly comic novel, set against the eccentric inner workings of a metropolitan daily newspaper, is a remembrance of tumultuous times, when lives were disrupted or destroyed by war’s far-reaching consequences.
Douglas Armstrong is the author of the prizewinning novel Even Sunflowers Cast Shadows, and his short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen. He serves on the board of the Whitefish Bay Library and school district, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and the Milwaukee Press Club.
Arenas, director of the Somos Latinas Digital History Project, and Gómez, former vice president of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin, share the inspirational stories of twenty-five Latina agents of change. The powerful narratives of these activists, from outspoken demonstrators to collaborative community-builders to determined individuals working for change behind the scenes, provide proof of the long-standing legacy of Latina activism throughout Wisconsin.
Somos Latinas draws on activist interviews conducted as part of the Somos Latinas Digital History Project, housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and looks deep into the life and passion of each woman. Though Latinas have a rich history of community activism in the state and throughout the country, their stories often go uncelebrated. Somos Latinas is essential reading for scholars, historians, activists, and anyone curious about how everyday citizens can effect change in their communities.
Andrea-Teresa Arenas, PhD, recently retired from her positions at UW–Madison as a Chican@ and Latin@ Studies Faculty Affiliate and the director of the Office of Service Learning and Community-Based Research in the College of Letters & Science.
Eloisa Gómez is the director of the Milwaukee County UW–Extension Office. From 2008 to 2012, she was the vice president of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin, and she served on the Somos Latinas Advisory Committee from 2012 to 2015.
The award-winning Lawrence University English Department Chair David McGlynn arrives at Boswell for a conversation about fatherhood and his new memoir with Liam Callanan, another writer/father. This event is cosponsored by Lawrence in Milwaukee.
Fatherhood caught McGlynn by surprise. His sons arrived in quick succession, the first when the author was a dirt-poor student and the second not long after he’d moved his family across the country to start a new job in bucolic Wisconsin. As a result, McGlynn found himself colliding with fatherhood, at once scared to death and utterly thrilled. Just like many new fathers, he hopes he’s doing the right thing, but he’s never quite sure.
One Day You’ll Thank Me translates small, hilarious moments common among parents of young children, especially dads, into “life lessons” about fatherhood. These stories invoke a sense of humor and honesty that expand our understanding of what it means to be an American dad.
David McGlynn is the author of the memoir A Door in the Ocean and the story collection The End of the Straight and Narrow, winner of the 2008 Utah Book Award for Fiction. Three of his essays have been named Notable Essays in the Best American Essays anthology and another appeared in Best American Sports Writing in 2009.
Gail Honeyman, author of the charming, quirky hit, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, appears for the Lynden Women’s Speaker’s Series. This event is close to capacity and remaining tickets are going fast. Please check with us before running promotional info about this event. Tickets are $22, $18 for Lynden members, and include an autographed paperback copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as well as refreshments from MKE Localicious. Tickets available online, at lyndensculpturegarden.org/gailhoneyman, or by phone: (414) 446-8794.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Gail Honeyman is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress and is Honeyman’s debut novel.
Marquette University professor of film and pop culture Fantle stops by the Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC to chronicle wisdom and insights from the iconic artist who defined twentieth-century American pop culture through his own forty years of interviews and anecdotes.
In 1978, Fantle and Johnson, then teenagers from St. Paul, boarded a plane to meet Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. On a lark, they wrote to the stars requesting interviews, and to their amazement, both agreed. Over the years, more than 250 other stars also agreed: Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, George Burns, Rod Steiger, Milton Berle, Frank Capra, and Hoagy Carmichael, to name just a few. With exclusive photos, this selection of 75 interviews chronicles the authors' 40-year quest for insights and anecdotes from iconic 20th century artists.
Showbiz legend Dick Cavett says: "This is a fine example of the kind of book I love to have on the bedside table. These profiles are so well done that it's hard not to go on to just one more and be late for work. Get two copies."
Milwaukee-based writer and professor David Fantle has been interviewing, writing, and speaking about Hollywood’s Golden Age stars for more than forty years. His work has appeared in media outlets worldwide.
The St. Louis-based journalist often credited with being the first to predict Donald Trump’s presidential win, Kendzior visits Boswell to speak about her book on the American heartland, a sharp-eyed and sharp-edged collection that just hit the New York Times bestseller list!
A clear-eyed account of the realities of life in America’s overlooked heartland, The View from Flyover Country is a piercing critique of the labor exploitation, racism, gentrification, media bias, and other aspects of the post-employment economy that gave rise to a president who rules like an autocrat. This is necessary reading for anyone who believes the only way for America to fix its problems is to first discuss them with honesty and compassion.
An expert on authoritarian states, Kendzior has been called a political heavyweight and a Cassandra in Trumpland. Originally an ebook bestseller, The View from Flyover Country is being released in print for the first time with an updates that reflect on the ways the Trump presidency was the result of the realities first captured in Kendzior’s essays.
Sarah Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis, her coverage of the 2016 election, and her academic research on authoritarian states. She is currently an op-ed columnist for the Globe and Mail. Her reporting has been featured in many publications, including Politico, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.
Boswell Book Company takes part in Sex and the City on Downer Avenue, hosting bestselling author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and her new book, the publication of which coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the iconic television series.
Historic Downer Avenue puts on a ladies’ night out celebration like no other! Featuring specials that are all things Sex and the City, this is a happy hour not to be missed. A portion of all sales from participating businesses benefits Look Good Feel Better, helping cancer patients improve their self-image. For more information, visit downeravenue.com/documents/15-sex-and-the-city-on-downer-avenue.
At Boswell, Keishin Armstrong presents Sex and the City and Us, the story of how a columnist, two gay men, and a writers’ room full of women used their own poignant, hilarious, and humiliating stories to launch a cultural phenomenon. Featuring exclusive new interviews with the cast and writers, including star Sarah Jessica Parker, creator Darren Star, executive producer Michael Patrick King, and author Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City and Us brings us behind-the-scenes for a nostalgic look at a TV series that changed the way women everywhere see themselves.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is the author of Sex and the City and Us, Seinfeldia, and Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, a history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She writes about pop culture for several publications, including The New York Times Book Review, BBC Culture, and Entertainment Weekly.
DePaul University professor and Chicago-based writer Julia Fine comes to Boswell with her darkly funny debut novel about a highly unusual young woman who must venture into the woods to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries.
Maisie, born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, has spent her childhood sequestered in the family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father has warned her that local villagers talk of men disappearing inside this dark wood; when they return, their minds are addled, their stories strange. What he has not told her is that for centuries, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge.
But one day Maisie’s father disappears and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the woods for the very first time, she encounters a strange and terrifying world filled with love, excitement, and dark human forces. Yet the further she strays, the more the wood calls to her. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.
Julia Fine teaches writing at DePaul University and is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s M.F.A. program.
Two awesome authors. Two brand new novels. One wonderful event! Bestselling author Karma Brown visits Boswell for a conversation with Wisconsin’s Amy E. Reichert about fiction and families, secrets and surprises, and the unexpected twists of their characters’ lives.
Brown’s newest, The Life Lucy Knew, is the emotionally charged story of a woman finding out that everything she knows about her life might not be true. One fateful morning, Lucy awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she loves is not her husband. The happily-ever-after she remembers is what doctors are calling a “false memory,” created after an accidental head injury. When the life she believes she had slams up against the reality she’s been living for years, Lucy must make a difficult choice about which life she wants and who she really is.
Three generations. Seven days. One big secret. In The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go, Reichert unfolds a mother-daughter story told by three women whose time to reckon with a life-altering secret is running out. When Gina’s mother suffers a stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go.
Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and author of the bestsellers Come Away With Me, The Choices We Make, and In This Moment. Amy E. Reichert is the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, Luck, Love & Lemon Pie, and The Simplicity of Cider, and serves on Hartland Public Library’s board of directors.
Milwaukee Record presents Edgar Cantero for a stop at Boswell on the paperback tour of Meddling Kids, the enjoyably batty book that’s perfect for fans of horror and hilarious hijinks and anyone who grew up on Saturday mornings filled with sugar-coated cereal and Scooby-Doo.
In the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster: another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion.
Thirteen years have passed and those former kid detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be explained away by a guy in a mask. The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.
Edgar Cantero is a writer and cartoonist born in Barcelona in 1981. Meddling Kids is his second novel in English; his first was The Supernatural Enhancements.
More Upcoming Events
- Saturday, June 16, 2:00 pm, at East Branch, Milwaukee Public Library, 2320 N Cramer St – Sue Burke, author of Semiosis, a debut science fiction novel from a former Milwaukeean
- Thursday, June 21, 7:00 pm, at Good City Brewing, 2108 N Farwell Ave in Milwaukee – Josh Noel, author of Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business, in conversation with Good City Brewing’s Andy Jones
- Sunday, June 24, 3:00 pm, at Boswell – Cara Black, author of Murder on the Left Bank, cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee and Crimespree Magazine
- Tuesday, June 26, 2:00 pm, at Frank L. Weyenberg Library, 11345 N Cedarburg Rd in Mequon – A book club afternoon with Kathleen Rooney, author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, featuring recommendations from Weyenberg librarians and Boswell booksellers
- Tuesday, June 26, 6:30 pm, at Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd – A book club afternoon with Kathleen Rooney, author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, featuring recommendations from Elm Grove librarians and Boswell booksellers
- Thursday, June 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Peter Stark, author of Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America's Founding Father
- Tuesday, July 10, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – David Krugler, author of Rip the Angels from Heaven, the second Ellis Voigt espionage novel
- Tuesday, July 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Tara Bogart, author of A Modern Hair Study
- Wednesday, July 18, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Ottessa Moshfegh, author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, as well as Eileen and Homesick for Another World, in conversation with Doug Gordon of Beta and To the Best of Our Knowledge. Cosponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio
- Thursday, July 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Menomonee Falls’s own Richard Ratay, author of Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip
- Thursday, August 9, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Road – Jenna Blum, author of The Lost Family. Produced by Milwaukee Reads. Ticket is $32, $27 for Lynden members, and includes admission, light refreshments, and a copy of the book. Details at Lynden Sculpture Garden website.
- Tuesday, August 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers, in conversation with Mitch Teich of Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect
- Thursday, September 6, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Lil Rev, in conjunction with his new album Lil Rev Mountain Dulcimer
- Thursday, September 13, 6:30 pm, at University School of Milwaukee, Mellowes Hall, 2100 E Fairy Chasm Rd – The Global Scholars Program presents David Patrikarakos , author of War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century. Registration requested – link to come.
- Saturday, September 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – David Pederson, author of Death Checks In
- Saturday, September 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Jessica Hopper, author of the new memoir Night Moves
- Thursday, September 27, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Scott G. Bruce, editor of The Penguin Book of Hell
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 come early.