Upcoming Events

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Tuesday, August 20, 7 pm, at Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park, 1500 E Park Place

Mark L Hineline appears at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center with his guide for novice scientists to get closer to nature and observe climate change in their own neighborhood. Cosponsored by Boswell. Please pay what you can for admission.

We know that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that the magnitude of this change is colossal. At the same time, the world outside is still a natural world, and one we can experience on a granular level every day. Hineline’s Ground Truth is a guide to paying attention instead of turning away and gathering facts from which a fuller understanding of the natural world can emerge over time.

Writing for Slate, Rebecca Onion says, “Hineline’s wonderful new book advocates the addition of a new kind of individual action to supplement our political struggle [against climate change] - one that’s both pragmatic and emotionally resonant.” Along with detailed guidance, Hineline ponders the value of everyday observations, probes the connections between seasons and climate change, and traces the history of phenology - the study and timing of natural events - and the uses to which it can be put. Ground Truth invites readers to help lay the groundwork for a better understanding of the nature of change itself.

Mark L Hineline is Instructor in History, Philosophy, and Sociology of science at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University.


Wednesday, August 21, 7 pm, at Boswell

Caitlin PenzeyMoog, granddaughter of Milwaukee spice legends Bill and Ruth-Ann Penzey, grinds up a revealing look at the history and production of spices with modern, no-nonsense advice on using them at home.

Every home cook has thoughts on the right and wrong ways to use spices. These beliefs are passed down in family recipes and pronounced by television chefs, but where do such ideas come from? Many are little better than superstition, and most serve only to reinforce a cook’s sense of superiority or cover for their insecurities. It doesn’t have to be this way.

PenzeyMoog’s notes On Spice come from three generations of family in the spice trade and dozens upon dozens of their collected spice guides and stories. Learn where spices come from - historically, geographically, botanically, and in the modern market - and see snapshots of life in a spice shop, how the flavors and stories can infuse not just meals but life and relationships.

Caitlin PenzeyMoog is a graduate of UWM and currently is Deputy Managing Editor of The AV Club.


Patricia Skalka, author of Death by the Bay
Thursday, August 22, 2 pm, at Boswell

Wisconsin author of the Dave Cubiak Door County mysteries returns to Boswell with the fifth installment of her popular series.

A scream from a medical conference disrupts Sheriff Dave Cubiak’s lunch at the Green Arbor Lodge. Leaping into action, he finds the ninety-three-year-old director of the Institute for Progressive Medicine collapsed, dead of a heart attack. As Cubiak interrogates the witnesses, he’s struck by the inconsistencies in their stories - some evade questions and others offer contradictory statements. Then another scream pierces the air.

Past and present merge as long-buried secrets rise to the surface. The resourceful sheriff must rely on wits and the memories of friends and family to uncover the dark truth behind the Institute for Progressive Medicine. Dedicated and new fans alike will find themselves captivated by this intelligently plotted story as Cubiak untangles the twisted threads of this intricate mystery.

Patricia Skalka is author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series, including Death Stalks Door County. She is president of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime and a former staff writer for Reader’s Digest. She divides her time between Chicago and Door County, Wisconsin.


Tuesday, August 27, 7 pm, at Boswell

Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explores the impact of individualism, market competition, and privatization on community-based after school programs. Cosponsored by Marquette’s Department of Education Policy and Leadership.

Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after-school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. Baldridge tells the story of one such community-based program, Educational Excellence, shining a light on both the invaluable role youth workers play and the precarious context in which such programs now exist.

Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge argues that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. She captures the stories of loss and resistance within this context of immense external political pressure and illustrates examples of the damage caused by structural violence that Black youth experience in school when it starts to occur in the places they go to escape it.

Bianca J Baldridge is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her scholarship examines the political and social context of community-based educational spaces and afterschool education. She earned her PhD from Columbia University’s Teachers College.


Frances De Pontes Peebles, author of The Air You Breathe
Wednesday, August 28, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd

Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, produced by Milwaukee Reads, and Boswell Books welcome Frances de Pontes Peebles, author of The Seamstress, winner of the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, presents her novel of female friendship between an orphan working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation and the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron.

Tickets are $23, $18 for Lynden members, and include admission, light refreshments, and an autographed paperback of The Air You Breathe. Tickets available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/francesdepontespeebles or (414) 446-8794.

With “echoes of Elena Ferrante resound in this sumptuous saga,” (O, The Oprah Magazine) De Pontes Peebles tells the story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy, pride, and each woman’s fear that she would be nothing without the other.

Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Lapa neighborhood, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship, its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses, and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

Frances de Pontes Peebles is author of the novel The Seamstress, which was translated into nine languages and won the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, the Friends of American Writers Award, and the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


Wednesday, September 4, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Lake Michigan Sailing Hall of Fame inductee Dave Rearick floats into Boswell with his book about his solo voyage around the world.

On October 2, 2013, Dave Rearick began an epic solo voyage around the world. Onboard his racing sloop, appropriately named Bodacious Dream, Dave sailed from Newport, Rhode Island to Cape Town, South Africa. From Cape Town, Dave sailed to Wellington, New Zealand where "Bo" was originally built, and then onto the fabled Galapagos Islands, one of earth's great nature preserves. On the final leg, Dave returned to Newport, Rhode Island by way of the Panama Canal.

Rearick’s full circumnavigation took 256 days to complete, leaving an indelible memory of the challenges and rewards of being at one with nature, the solitude of the open sea, and the ever-changing landscape of life.

Dave Rearick has been sailing since his first ride on a Sunfish off the southern shores of Lake Michigan at age 12. He has raced throughout the Great Lakes, with over 28 Mackinac Races, 7 Solo Mac Races, 2 Solo Super Mac Races, and has won the Mike Silverthorne and Ralph Elberg Awards, given by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society. Rearick manages the Kids Education Program for The Atlantic Cup and serves as an ambassador for 11th Hour Racing.


Susan Welch, author of A Thread So Fine
Thursday, September 5, 7 pm, at Boswell

Midwest native Welch discusses her debut novel about two sisters, drawn in part from her mother’s stories of being quarantined as a TB patient in 1940s Minnesota.

Welch’s debut is a deeply personal novel, layered with reality and insights about her family and life for women coming of age in the post-war boom in the heartland. One sister falls ill with tuberculosis and the other falls prey to a violent assault. Separated by increasing distance, both physical and emotional, the two women go on to live their own lives, yet one of them vows to hold fast to the invisible thread that connects them and protect her sister’s secret.

Kirkus Reviews calls A Thread So Fine “an engaging and poignant historical novel.” As a girl, Welch heard her mother’s stories about months in quarantine as a 19-year-old TB patient. As an adult, Welch discovered her own adoption story. The characters in her novel were created as a way to imagine how women such as her birth mother and adoptive mother might have overcome challenges as young Catholic women in the post-World War II culture of the Midwest. here

Susan Welch grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She earned a Masters in International Management and built an international career in the brewing industry. here


William Kent Krueger, author of This Tender Land
Sunday, September 8, 3 pm, at Boswell

Edgar-winner William Kent Krueger returns to Boswell with his long-awaited stand-alone novel, This Tender Land. Krueger’s latest follows an orphaned boy's life-changing adventure traveling down America's great rivers during the 1930s, seeking a place to call home and a sense of purpose in a world sinking into despair. Cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine.

Register for this free event at kruegermke.bpt.me. Attendees can choose a purchase-with-registration by on-sale date (September 3, 8 am) and get 20% off on This Tender Land. Note that Krueger’s latest novel will be available at the event itself, but attendees must pre-register to get the discounted price.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, four orphans journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.

Buzz is already deafening for This Tender Land, which recalls Krueger’s previous stand-alone, Ordinary Grace, and can be called a companion novel to that Edgar-Award-winning mystery. Bestselling writer Dennis Lehane called Ordinary Grace “a pitch-perfect, wonderfully evocative examination of violent loss. In Frank Drum's journey away from the shores of childhood, a journey from which he can never return, we recognize the heartbreaking price of adulthood and its wisdoms. I loved this book."

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary Grace, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel, as well as author of eighteen Cork O’Connor novels, including Desolation Mountain and Sulfur Springs.


Tuesday, September 10, 6:30 pm, at University School of Milwaukee, 2100 W Fairy Chasm Rd

University School of Milwaukee Global Scholars program presents Masha Gessen, winner of the 2017 National Book Award and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin who reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a virulent new strain of autocracy. This event is free, but registration is required. RSVP at usmk12.org/gessen.

Masha Gessen’s understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own.

Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

Masha Gessen is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of several books, among them The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. The recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship, Gessen teaches at Amherst College and lives in New York City.


Thursday, September 12, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union Wisconsin Room, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd

Calling all science geeks! University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science, Manfred Olson Planetarium, UWM Student Union, and Boswell Book Company present an evening with Sean Carroll, Theoretical Physicist at California Institute of Technology. Carroll will discuss his new book, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.

General admission tickets for this talk are $30 and include the book and all taxes and fees, available at seancarrollmke.bpt.me. Specially priced tickets for UWM students, faculty, and staff are available at UWM Student Union Information Desk closer to the event date. The talk will be followed by a book signing.

In his latest book, Carroll takes on the holy grail of modern physics - reconciling quantum mechanics with Einstein's general relativity, his theory of curved spacetime. Carroll argues that the refusal to face up to the mysteries of quantum mechanics has blinded people, and that spacetime and gravity naturally emerge from a deeper reality called the wave function. Yes, people, we’re saying the multiverse (scientifically speaking, the Many-Worlds theory) is real!

Carroll is author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself and other books and is host of the Mindscape podcast. This is a rare opportunity to hear one of our top scientists bringing to life one of the most important theories of the day. Join us today for this special event, also cosponsored by the UWM Planetarium Club.


Mike Lupica, author of Strike Zone
Friday, September 13, 6:30 pm, at Boswell

Sports writer for Esquire and The New York Daily News and host of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters and ESPN2’s The Mike Lupica Show visits Boswell with Strike Zone, his timely, heartfelt follow-up to his #1 New York Times bestseller Heat, about a young baseball prodigy and his immigrant family living in today’s America. This event is free but registration is requested at lupicamke.bpt.me. Folks who sign up will get 10% off their copy of Strike Zone.

Twelve-year-old star Little League pitcher Nick Garcia has a dream. Several in fact. He dreams he’ll win this season’s MVP and the chance to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. He dreams he’ll meet his hero, Yankee’s pitcher Michael Arroyo. He dreams they’ll find a cure for Lupus so his sister won’t have to suffer. But mostly, he dreams one day his family can stop living in fear of the government.

Strike Zone is best for kids ten and up, but many of Lupica's novels are for even younger reading levels. Lupica is also slotted to write new entries in Robert B Parker's Sunny Randall series. So we can enthusiastically state that Lupica's visit is for all ages.

Mike Lupica is host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters and on his eponymous show on ESPN2. His column Shooting from the Lip has been syndicated nationally by The New York Daily News and The Sporting Life has been an Esquire feature for many years. Now he also hosts The Mike Lupica Podcast. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heat, Travel Team, and Fantasy League.


Marika Meeks and Stella, author and subject of Incredibull Stella: How the Love of a Pit Bull Rescued a Family, with coauthor Elizabeth Ridley
Saturday, September 14, 2 pm, at Boswell

Marika Meeks and Stella the pit bull visit Boswell with the story of how, while recovering from a serious illness, Marika Meeks adopted an abandoned pit bull puppy, named her Stella, and together, they healed each other. They’ll be joined for this event by Milwaukee author Elizabeth Ridley, coauthor of Incredibull Stella.

While recovering from Stage 3 breast cancer, Marika Meeks fell in love with the adorable, abandoned pit bull puppy with warm eyes and boundless affection that could melt anyone’s heart. Marika and her family were still reeling from her brush with mortality, but she couldn’t deny the pure joy of this sweet-natured dog’s unconditional love, and she knew in her heart what her family needed.

The Meekses welcomed Stella into their home, and thanks to this incredible dog, the daily pressures of work, stress, and Marika’s health problems seemed to slip away. As Marika’s cancer receded and her family found renewed vitality, she began sharing Stella’s story with the world. Now an international social media star, Stella helps Marika to spread their heartfelt message, advocating for pit bull breed awareness, explaining the benefits of pet ownership, and supporting shelters and other organizations that save animals’ lives.

Marika Meeks was born in England and emigrated to the United States with her family at age six. A lifelong entrepreneur, she became the co-owner of a national software company. Elizabeth Ridley runs The Writer’s Midwife editing and publishing consulting company and is coauthor of several books, including Saving Sadie: How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World and Searching for Celia.


More Upcoming Events
  • Monday, September 16, 7:00 pm, at UWM Student Union Fireside Lounge, 2200 Kenwood Ave – Geek Week preview event with Scott Westerfeld, author of Shatter City, the sequel to Impostors – Registration for all (UWM community and general public) at westerfeldmke.bpt.me
  • Monday, September 16, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd in River Hills – The Women’s Speaker Series presents Lynn Cullen, author of The Sisters of Summit Avenue - tickets, including admission, the book, light refreshments, are $31, $26 for Lynden members, available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/LynnCullen
  • Saturday, September 21, 11:00 am, at Boswell – Fall-themed Storytime with Matthew Farina, and Doug Salati, author illustrator of Lawrence in the Fall - Farina grew up in Waukesha
  • Monday, September 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – The Rose Petranech Lecture, featuring National Book Award-winner Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone, in conversation with Dasha Kelly Hamilton. Tickets are $28, include admission, a copy of Red at the Bone, and all taxes and fees, available at woodsonmke.bpt.me
  • Thursday, September 26, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Award-winning journalist Atia Abawi, author of A Land of Permanent Goodbyes, a novel for adults and teens about a Syrian refugee family, cosponsored by University School of Milwaukee
  • Thursday, September 26, 7:00 pm, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd – Alice Hoffman, author of The World That We Knew. Tickets for this event available here on the Jewish Community Center website. The cost is $25 for one admission and includes a copy of The World That We Knew. For $35, get two admissions and one copy of the book. Cosponsored by the JCC Tapestry Series, the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, and ABCD - After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
  • Saturday, September 28, 2:00 pm, at Boswell – Wisconsin poet Carrie Voigt Schonhoff , author of The Liminal Space, for a poetry reading followed by a conversation with Simon Van Booy, author of The Illusion of Separateness
  • Tuesday, October 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Carol Anshaw, author of Right After the Weather and Carry the One, in conversation with Jane Hamilton
  • Thursday, October 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Port Washington metalsmith Sara Dahmen, author of Tinsmith 1865 and Widow 1881 , winner of the Laramie Award grand prize for Western Historical Fiction
  • Friday, October 4, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Joe Hill, author of Full Throttle: Stories and NOS4A2 – Register for free at joehillmke.bpt.me or upgrade to registration + book purchase for signing line priority
  • Monday, October 7, 7 pm, at Boswell – Craig Johnson, author of Land of Wolves. Tickets cost $29 and include admission, a copy of Land of Wolves, plus tax and fees, available at craigjohnsonmke.bpt.me. Early bird special! Purchase your tickets by September 16 for only $24, including admission, book, tax and fees.
  • Tuesday, October 8, 6:30 pm, at Elm Grove Public Library, 13600 Juneau Blvd – Jennifer Chiaverini, author of The Christmas Boutique, a return to Elm Creek Quilt series – Registration link to come
  • Friday, October 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Elizabeth Ames, author of, The Other’s Gold, a debut novel with this praise from Jesmyn Ward: “Reading Elizabeth Ames's The Other's Gold is like sinking into a lucid dream, wonderful and unsettling in turns, surreally beautiful throughout.”
  • Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N Astor St – Jim Wallis, author of Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. Please register for this free event at jimwallismke.bpt.me. Boswell will be selling copies of Christ in Crisis at the event, and attendees have the option to reserve a copy with registration - payment due at the event.
  • Thursday, October 17, 6:30 pm, at Mequon’s Frank L Weyenberg Library, 11345 N Cedarburg Rd – JF Riordan, author of Reflections of a Life in Exile and North of the Tension Line
  • Tuesday, October 22, 7 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W Capitol Dr, Brookfield – The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Oconomowoc's Books & Company, and Milwaukee's Boswell Book Company present an evening with the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize-winning novelist Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House. Tickets are $33 and include admission to the event, all taxes and fees, and a copy of The Dutch House, available at patchettwi.bpt.me
  • Wednesday, October 23, 7 pm, at Boswell – Tim O'Brien, National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried and Dad's Maybe Book, in conversation with Jim Higgins, Arts and Books Editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Tickets cost $29, and include admission, a signed copy of Dad’s Maybe Book, and all tax and fees, available at timobrienmke.bpt.me. There’s also an early bird special, where you can get the ticket for $24, still including all taxes and fees, if you purchase it by August 31
  • Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Madison writer Krista Eastman, author of The Painted Forest essays about place (often Wisconsin) and identity

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.