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. 

Did you miss a virtual event you were excited about? Find recordings of a number of our past virtual events on our Event Video page.


Harry Pinkus, author of Human Collateral
In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Wednesday, July 6, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening featuring Milwaukee author Harry Pinkus for the first installment of his brand new thriller series, an intriguing good versus evil story where a private investigator and the FBI team up to bring down an unscrupulous mob that preys on people’s financial misfortunes.

Registration is required to attend event, so click here and register now at pinkusmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Human Collateral from Boswell now, too.

The novel begins when a woman hires private investigator Miles Darien to track down her missing daughter Olivia. When he finds her, she's barely alive as a result of an infection after having a kidney surgically removed. Turns out the kidney was payment for an illegal loan given by criminals who prey on people in dire financial trouble by forcing them to use their bodies as collateral.

Now, Olivia can’t seek medical care or go to the police because the criminals have threatened to kill her if she does. Miles must bring down the criminals to keep them from silencing Olivia. They join forces with the FBI to look for the syndicate behind these loans. But the syndicate is also hunting them, trying to erase any trail that would lead back to them. Who will erase who first?

Harry Pinkus attended the University of Wisconsin, and his career as a writer includes creating marketing content for both digital and print media. He is author of The Kingmaker's Redemption.


in Conversation with Rochelle Melander, In-Person at Boswell
Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening featuring writing coach Mary Allen for a conversation about her new memoir, The Deep Limitless Air, with Milwaukee-based writing coach and author Rochelle Melander.

Registration is required to attend this in-person event, so click here to visit maryallenmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Deep Limitless Air now as well.

Mary Allen’s new memoir is a funny, warm, and heartbreaking book. In this tour-de-force collection of interconnected personal essays, Allen reflects on past loves, friends, life with and without family; on meditation, obsession, and insomnia; and on the humans and animals, spiritual questions and personal dilemmas that absorb her attention. With earned wisdom and light-handed spirituality, Allen poses and answers questions large and small - Will she and her father get those honeybees into their new hive while her rageful mother watches from the house? Is someone like the Wizard of Oz orchestrating her recurring dreams? How will she overcome her fears of flying and public speaking to give a speech in New York? And what is that pair of purple panties doing in the middle of the Mojave Desert where she is completely lost?

Kirkus Reviews says of Allen’s book: "Quiet, touching reflections on loss, grief, and self-discovery." And from Jo Ann Beard, author of Festival Days: "Allen's beguiling and brilliant writing will leave you exhilarated. Simply put, read this book."

Mary Allen is author of The Rooms of Heaven and has received a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship and a Paul Engle/James Michener Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Poets and Writers, Real Simple, CNN Online, and in the anthology If I Don’t Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught in the University of Iowa’s nonfiction writing MFA program, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and the Rhetoric Department at the University of Iowa. Rochelle Melander is author of books including Level Up, Write-A-Thon, and Mightier than the Sword.


Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Monday, July 11, 7 pm

Readings from Oconomowaukee presents a virtual evening with Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures, a charming, witty, and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus. In conversation with Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company and Lisa Baudoin of Books & Company, our cohost for the event.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of Remarkably Bright Creatures as well. Click here to order from Boswell. Click here to order from Books & Company.

After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors - until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.

Daniel loves this book: "If you can say one thing about widowed aquarium cleaner Tova Sullivan, the once-again-jobless Cameron Passmore, and star-aquarium-attraction Marcellus the Octopus, it’s that they’ve all had their share of misfortune. Yes, this is a story of grief, of losses both recent and in the past. But it’s also a story of found family, of hope, and of purpose. Van Pelt infuses all her characters with grace, not just the protagonists but the members of Tova’s Knit-Wit social group, Cameron’s Aunt Jeanne (who raised him after his mom disappeared), and even the elusive developer who Cameron suspects is his father. But the star of the show is probably Marcellus, whose dexterity and wisdom never fails to inspire. Why haven’t I read Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus? And while I’m asking, why haven’t you read Remarkably Bright Creatures?"

Shelby Van Pelt's writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been featured in f(r)iction and Funny Pearls. Remarkably Bright Creatures, her debut novel, was inspired by her favorite aquarium as a child.


David Ellis, author of Look Closer
in Conversation with Ruth Jordan, In-Person at Boswell
Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 pm

Illinois Appellate Court Justice and Edgar-winning author David Ellis visits with his brand new thriller, Look Closer, a wickedly clever and fast-paced novel of greed, revenge, obsession, and quite possibly the perfect murder. Great for fans of The Guest List and The Silent Patient. In conversation with Ruth Jordan, cofounder of Crimespree Magazine.

Please click here and visit davidellismke.eventbrite.com to register for this in-person event. And be sure to order your copy of Look Closer from Boswell now, too.

Part Gone Girl, part Strangers on a Train, Look Closer is a wild rollercoaster of a read that will have you questioning everything you think you know. Simon and Vicky couldn’t seem more normal: a wealthy Chicago couple, he a respected law professor, she an advocate for domestic violence victims. But when the body of a beautiful socialite is found hanging in a mansion in a nearby suburb, Simon and Vicky’s secrets begin to unravel. A secret whirlwind affair. A twenty-million-dollar trust fund about to come due. A decades-long grudge and obsession with revenge. These are just a few of the lies that make up the complex web...and they will have devastating consequences.

Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent, says: "A daring, brilliant thriller, full of characters you both love and hate and more unexpected turns than a mountain road at night without your headlights. Tremendous fun!" And from James Patterson: "You won’t forget this novel, and these characters - good and bad - for a long time."

David Ellis is author of ten novels, and coauthor of eight books with James Patterson. Ellis was sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District in 2014.


In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Tuesday, July 19, 6:30 pm

Milwaukee author, educator, and podcaster Ben Riggs joins us for a special launch celebration of his debut book, Slaying the Dragon, which exposes the secret, untold story of how TSR, the company that created Dungeons & Dragons, was driven into ruin by disastrous management decisions, then purchased and saved by their bitterest rival.

Registration is required to attend this event, and capacity is limited – please click here to visit slayingthedragonmke.eventbrite.com and register right now. And preorder a copy of Slaying the Dragon now, too!

For years, a story has been told about TSR, the company that made Dungeons & Dragons – TSR created the role-playing genre in 1974, then in the 90s a company named Wizard overtook the scene with a card came called Magic: The Gathering. The competition killed TSR, and in a twist worthy of a Greek tragedy, Wizards ended up buying TSR. That story is entirely wrong.

Through hundreds of hours of interviews, endless research, and the help of sources providing secret documents, the true story of what happened to TSR and Dungeons & Dragons can finally be told. The true history is that of disastrous mistakes and decisions founded on arrogance rather than good sense. Debts were racked up, geniuses driven from the company, and countless of thousands of products were shipped and sold at a loss. The story of TSR provides a negative blueprint, an example of what a company should not do in the geek business space.

Ben Riggs is creator of the Plot Points RPG podcast, and his work has appeared on NPR and Geek & Sundry. He teaches English and history in Milwaukee.


Jean Thompson, author of The Poet’s House
in Conversation with Christina Clancy, In-Person at Boswell
Wednesday, July 20, 6:30 pm

National Book Award finalist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Year We Left Home joins us at Boswell for an in-person conversation about her new novel, The Poet’s House, an unforgettable, lighthearted story about a young woman who discovers the insular world of writers. In conversation with Wisconsin’s Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season and The Second Home.

Registration is required to attend this event, so click here to visit poetshousemke.eventbrite.com and reserve your seat now. And be sure to preorder your copy of The Poet’s House now, too.

A wry meditation on art as both transformative and on the ways in which it can be leveraged as commerce, as well as a perceptive examination of the female artist, Thompson’s latest novel is at once delightfully funny and wise, and will resonate with readers who loved Lily King's Writers & Lovers, Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion, and Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise. When landscaper Carla is hired to work at Viridian's house, she is perplexed by this community of writers, yet she becomes enamored with Viridian, her circle, and especially with the power of words, a hunger that Carla feels sharply at this stagnating moment in her young life.

Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk and Ill Will, says: "Jean Thompson is a national treasure. She's the kind of writer who can make you laugh and cry at the same time, a consummate prose stylist whose work is full of insight and wisdom and a deadly keen eye for the foibles and self-deceptions of her characters. The Poet's House is yet another indelible masterpiece in her oeuvre."

Jean Thompson is author of fourteen books of fiction, including Who Do You Love, The Year We Left Home, and New York Times Notable Book Wide Blue Yonder. Her work has been published in the New Yorker and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University. Christina Clancy received a PhD from UWM and has taught at Beloit College.


Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Switchboard Soldiers
In-Person at Greendale Public Library, 5647 Broad Street
Monday, July 25, 6:30 pm

Wisconsin’s own New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, Jennifer Chiaverini returns to the Milwaukee area for an evening with her latest, Switchboard Soldiers, a novel set during WWI about the very first women ever recruited into the US military.

Registration is required to attend this in-person event - click here to visit the Greendale Public Library website for registration information. You can order a copy of Switchboard Soldiers now, as well. Boswell will be on hand at the event selling copies of this and Chiaverini’s other books, too.

In 1917, US Army Signal Corps needed telephone operators. At a time when women could not serve, nearly all well-trained operators were women. This is the story of four very different women who were among the very first to be sworn in - a group that could do their jobs six times as fast as the men they replaced. While mocked at by men at the time as the “hello girls,” the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps broke down gender barriers in the military, smashed the workplace glass ceiling, and battled a pandemic as they helped lead the Allies to victory.

The risk of death was real - the women worked as bombs fell around them - as was the threat of the deadly Spanish Flu. Not all of the telephone operators would survive. Their story has never been the focus of a novel… until now.

Jennifer Chiaverini is author of acclaimed historical novels such as The Women’s March and Resistance Women as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives in Madison.


Patricia Skalka, author of Death Casts a Shadow
In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Tuesday, July 26, 6:30 pm

Wisconsin mystery author Patricia Skalka returns to Boswell for an evening featuring the latest installment of her popular Dave Cubiak mysteries, which follow Sheriff Cubiak on his murder investigations throughout Door County.

Registration is required to attend this event – click here to visit skalkamke.eventbrite.com to sign up. You can preorder your copy of Death Casts a Shadow now, too.

With Door County caught in the grip of a fierce winter storm, Sheriff Cubiak agrees to do a simple favor for a friend of his wife: he stops by to check in on an affluent widow with a questionable new suitor. His initial disquiet is easily dismissed - until she is found dead the next morning in her home. Lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs, clutching a valuable bronze sculpture, she points her outstretched hand in the direction of a nearby, nondescript ring.

It looks like an accidental fall, but later in the week, an explosion in an ice fishing shack on the frozen bay leads to the discovery of another body, burned beyond recognition. Was this the widow’s missing handyman? Could the two deaths be related? With what has become a hallmark for books in the series, past and present collide as Cubiak’s search for answers uncovers the sad legacy of loneliness and the disquieting links between wealth and poverty on the peninsula.

Patricia Skalka is author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series, which includes titles such as Death Stalks Door County, Death Rides the Ferry, and Death Washes Ashore. She divides her time between Milwaukee and Door County.


in Conversation with Sally Haldorson for a Virtual Event
Thursday, July 28, 6 pm

Boswell hosts a virtual event featuring social psychologist and pioneer of cultural psychology Batja Mesquita for a conversation about Between Us, her new book in which she argues that emotions are not innate, but made as we live our lives together. In conversation with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book Company, our cohost for this virtual event.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of Between Us now as well.

"How are you feeling today?" We may think of emotions as universal responses, felt inside, but Mesquita asks us to reconsider them through the lens of what they do in our relationships, both one-on-one and within larger social networks. From an outside-in perspective, readers will understand why pride in a Dutch context does not translate well to the same emotion in North Carolina, or why one’s anger at a boss does not mean the same as your anger at a partner in a close relationship. By looking outward at relationships at work, school, and home, we can better judge how our emotions will be understood, how they might change a situation, and how they change us.

Synthesizing original psychological studies and stories from peoples across time and geography, Mesquita skillfully argues that acknowledging differences in emotions allows us to find common ground, humanizing and humbling us all for the better. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, says: "Batja Mesquita’s work on culture and emotion is highly original and highly important and has been influential in shaping the science of emotion. It’s no surprise that Between Us is a groundbreaking book."

Batja Mesquita is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where she studies the role of culture in emotions, and of emotions in culture and society. She is also Director of the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology in Leuven. Mesquita spent her postdoctoral years at the University of Michigan, where she was part of the "culture and cognition group" that played a key role in the start of cultural psychology.


New Date! Adriana Trigiani, author of The Good Left Undone
A Ticketed, In-Person Event at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 3270 Mitchell Park Dr
Saturday, July 30, 2 pm

Our event featuring Adriana Trigiani at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center has a new date, and we are very happy to present her in support of her latest, The Good Left Undone, a lush, immersive novel about a hardworking family of Tuscan artisans with long-held secrets. Cosponsored by Books & Company of Oconomowoc, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and Boswell.

If you already purchased tickets for this event’s previous date, your tickets will be honored for the new date. Tickets are still available, cost $35 plus fees each, and include admission to the event and a copy of The Good Left Undone. Click here to visit the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center website to purchase tickets now. Ticketholder books can be picked up at the event, or, if you prefer, pick up your book now at Boswell or Books & Company.

Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew.

Early readers are loving Trigiani’s latest. Jess Walter, author of The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins says, "The Good Left Undone is at once epic and intimate, a delightful novel about the mysterious lore of an unforgettable Italian family whose characters walk right off the page." And Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale, says, "Adriana Trigiani is a gifted, natural storyteller and The Good Left Undone is her at the top of her game. This beautiful, sweeping historical epic about three generations of women paints an exquisite portrait of love, loss, the ravages of time and the price a family pays for its secrets. Brava!"

Adriana Trigiani is author of twenty books, including The Shoemaker’s Wife. She is an award-winning playwright, television writer/producer, and filmmaker. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture adaptation of her novel, Big Stone Gap. Trigiani is Cofounder of the Origin Project and serves on the New York State Council on the Arts.


In-Person at Boswell
Sunday, July 31, 4 pm

Creator, activist, and Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago Decoteau J Irby joins us at Boswell with his two latest books, Stuck Improving and Magical Black Tears.

Registration is required to attend this event, so please click here to visit magicalblacktearsmke.eventbrite.com now. You can also preorder copies of both Stuck Improving and Magical Black Tears now as well.

With Stuck Improving, Irby analyzes the complex process of racial equity reform within K-12 schools. Those who accept the challenge of reform find themselves "stuck improving," caught in a perpetual dilemma of both making progress and finding ever more progress to be made. Rather than dismissing stuckness as failure, Irby embraces it as an inextricable part of the improvement process. This timely work contributes both to the practical efforts of equity-minded school leaders and to a deeper understanding of what the work of racial equity improvement truly entails.

With Magical Black Tears, Irby celebrates the resilience of Black communities and families. It acknowledges the role Black children’s creative imaginations play in fortifying us all against the harms of racism and injustice. Caregivers and educators who help children read about and discuss current events play a special role in nurturing their imaginations.

Decoteau J Irby’s work focuses on creating and sustaining organizations that contribute to Black people’s self-determined well-being, development, and positive life outcomes. He is Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Educational Policy Studies.


In-Person at Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St
Tuesday, August 2, 6:30 pm

Award-winning (and Milwaukee-based!) journalist and literacy advocate Maya Payne Smart appears with her new book, Reading for Our Lives, which provides a clear, step-by-step guide to helping your child thrive as a reader and a learner. Cohosted by Milwaukee Public Library.

Registration is required to attend this event in-person – link coming soon! And be sure to order your copy of Reading for Our Lives from Boswell now, too.

When her child went off to school, Maya Smart was shocked to discover that a good education in America is a long shot, in ways that few parents fully appreciate. Our current approach to literacy offers too little, too late, and attempting to play catch-up when our kids get to kindergarten can no longer be our default strategy. The brain architecture for reading develops rapidly during infancy, and early language experiences are critical to building it.

Reading for Our Lives challenges the bath-book-bed mantra and the idea that reading aloud to our kids is enough to ensure school readiness. Instead, it gives parents easy, immediate, and accessible ways to nurture language and literacy development from the start. Through personal stories, historical accounts, scholarly research, and practical tips, this book presents the life-and-death urgency of literacy, investigates inequity in reading achievement, and illuminates a path to a true, transformative education for all.

Maya Payne Smart is a literacy advocate who has served on the boards of numerous library and literacy organizations. She and her family live in Milwaukee, where she serves as affiliated faculty in educational policy and leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University.


In-Person at Boswell
Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 pm

Wisconsin journalist and Wisconsin Examiner Editor-in-Chief Ruth Conniff appears at Boswell with her new book, Milked, in which she introduces us to the migrants who work on dairy farms, their employers, and the surprising relationship that has formed between these two groups of people.

Registration is required to attend this event, so please click here to visit ruthconniffmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Milked now, as well.

Conniff’s new book is a compelling portrayal of the lives of farming communities on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border and the connections between them. In the Midwest, Mexican workers have become critically important to the survival of rural areas and small towns - and to the individual farmers who rely on their work - with undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, accounting for an estimated 80 percent of employees on the dairy farms of western Wisconsin. A unique and fascinating exploration of rural farming communities, Milked sheds light on seismic shifts in policy on both sides of the border over recent decades, connecting issues of labor, immigration, race, food, economics, and U.S.-Mexico relations and revealing how two seemingly disparate groups of people have come to rely on each other, how they are subject to the same global economic forces, and how, ultimately, the bridges of understanding that they have built can lead us toward a more constructive politics and a better world.

From David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good American Family: "From the back roads of Mexico to the dairy farms of Wisconsin, Milked is a wondrous and important work of 'going there' reportage. Ruth Conniff breaks through so many misperceptions and stereotypes to reveal the commonality of the human experience."

Ruth Conniff is the Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Examiner and Editor-at-Large and former Editor-in-Chief of The Progressive magazine. She has appeared on Good Morning America, C-SPAN, and NPR and has been a frequent guest on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.


Lydia Conklin, author of Rainbow Rainbow
In Conversation with Barrett Swanson
A Virtual Event
Thursday, August 4, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company hosts award-winning writer Lydia Conklin for an evening of conversation about their new book, Rainbow Rainbow, a fearless collection of stories that celebrate the humor, darkness, and depth of emotion of the queer and trans experience that's not typically represented. In conversation with Barrett Swanson, the Wisconsin-based author of Lost in Summerland.

Registration is required to attend this virtual event, so click here to register now. And be sure to order your copy of Rainbow Rainbow as well.

In this exuberant collection, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters seek love and connection in hilarious and heartrending stories that reflect the complexity of our current moment. A nonbinary writer on the eve of top surgery enters into a risky affair during the height of COVID. A lesbian couple enlists a close friend as a sperm donor, plying him with a potent rainbow-colored cocktail. A lonely office worker struggling with their gender identity chaperones their nephew to a trans YouTube convention. And in the depths of a Midwestern winter, a sex-addicted librarian relies on her pet ferrets to help resist a relapse at a wild college fair.

Time Magazine calls Rainbow Rainbow one of their Most Anticipated Books of 2022, and says the book "highlights queer, gender-nonconforming and trans characters. Most are seeking some sense of connection... Conklin portrays them all with warmth and compassion." And from Adrienne Westenfeld of Esquire: "Effervescent… Conklin’s compassionate stories are so accomplished and sure-footed that you’ll be shocked to learn this is their debut."

Lydia Conklin’s writing has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, and The Paris Review, and they have received a Stegner Fellowship, three Pushcart Prizes, and a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland. They’ve drawn comics for The New Yorker and The Believer and are currently the Zell Visiting Professor of Fiction at the University of Michigan. Barrett Swanson is a Contributing Editor at Harper’s Magazine and his writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and several editions of Best American Essays.


Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle
A Virtual Event
Tuesday, August 9, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company is pleased to present a ticketed virtual event featuring the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead to celebrate the paperback release of his latest bestselling novel, Harlem Shuffle. This event is cohosted by several other premier bookstores across America.

Tickets for this this virtual broadcast costs $14.35 plus tax and ticket fee and include admission to the virtual event and a paperback copy of Harlem Shuffle that you can pick up at Boswell after the event. Or we’ll ship your copy to you via USPS media mail within the contiguous United States only for an extra charge. A link to the Zoom webinar will be sent out just before the event starts. Registration is required - click here to visit harlemshufflemke.eventbrite.com!

Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle is a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked. To his customers and neighbors on 125th Street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are expecting their second child. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. When his cousin is involved in a heist gone wrong, the internal struggle begins between Ray the striver and Ray the crook.

Here’s Boswellian Tim McCarthy’s take on the novel: "Whitehead starkly defines his characters' world as he unwraps their stories with a direct, graceful style and unique symbolism. I met him once at a Boswell Book Company event. I saw the genius in his eyes; the sincerity, too. And he’s funny! Once again, he drops us into another time. Harlem, 1959, was a much harder place than the one where I was born (that same year). I like Ray, and in Whitehead’s masterful hands he becomes real. I haven’t read a better American novelist, living or dead. He stands with James Baldwin, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, and E. L. Doctorow. Back-to-back Pulitzers ain’t bad. By giving us the past, Whitehead leads us toward the future. He's the new King of American historical fiction, the new voice as powerful as Doctorow’s. The torch of greatness has been passed."

Colson Whitehead is the New York Times bestselling author of ten works of fiction and nonfiction, a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad, which also won the National Book Award.


Tess Gunty, author of The Rabbit Hutch
In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Wednesday, August 10, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Tess Gunty who visits with her debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch, a stunning story of four teenagers who’ve recently aged out of the state foster-care system and live together in an apartment building in the post-industrial Midwest. Great for fans of Rachel Kushner, Emma Cline, and Ottessa Moshfegh.

Registration is required to attend this in-person event, so click here and visit tessguntymke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Rabbit Hutch now as well.

The auto industry has abandoned Vacca Vale, Indiana, leaving the residents behind, too. In a run-down building commonly known as the Rabbit Hutch, a number of people now reside quietly, looking for ways to live in a dying city. Teenaged Blandine is plagued by the structures, people, and places that not only failed her but actively harmed her. Now all she wants is an escape, a true bodily escape like the mystics describe in the books she reads. Set across one week and culminating in a shocking act of violence, The Rabbit Hutch is a cerebral, Gothic page-turner that chronicles a town on the brink, desperate for rebirth.

Raven Leilani, author of Luster, says: "Gunty writes with a keen, sensitive eye about all manner of intimacies - the kind we build with other people, and the kind we cultivate around ourselves and our tenuous, private aspirations." And Boswellian Chris Lee says The Rabbit Hutch is a strong contender for his top book of the year. His review: "Wow. Wonderful, insane, brilliant, and I love, love, love it. Rust belt, Indiana, where the denizens of a crumbling apartment building are desperate to transcend their crumbling lives; to transcend trauma, forgottenness, and fame, to transcend the emptiness of material circumstances. To transcend the body. This book is ALIVE. The lives within it pop, scream, and bleed of the page."

Tess Gunty earned an MFA in creative writing from NYU, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Joyland, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.


Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different
A Virtual Event
Thursday, August 11, 7 pm

Boswell is pleased to host a virtual event featuring UW graduate Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different, an electrifying debut novel of a young immigrant building a life for herself in Milwaukee among a landscape of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity. Cohosted by A Room of One’s Own in Madison.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of All This Could Be Different, too! Click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from A Room of One’s Own.

Graduating into the long maw of an American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. She’s moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, grueling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner with her new friend Tig, get her college buddy Thom hired alongside her, and send money to her parents back in India. She also has a crush on Marina, a beguiling and beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach. But painful secrets rear their heads, jobs go off the rails, and evictions loom.

A beautiful, capacious novel All This Could Be Different is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world. From Susan Choi, author of Trust Exercise: "Some books are merely luminous - this one is iridescent: with joy and pain, isolation and communion, solemnity and irreverent humor. Even the title has twin meanings. 'All this could be different' is a sorrowing observation of our contemporary precarity, but 'All this could be different' is equally - and ultimately - a declaration, an electrifying act of resistance."

Sarah Thankam Mathews grew up between Oman and India, immigrating to the United States at seventeen. She is a recipient of a Best American Short Stories 2020 award and fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop and the Iowa Writers Workshop.


Megan Giddings, author of The Women Could Fly
In-Person at Boswell
Monday, August 15, 6:30 pm

Boswell is pleased to host Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood, for an evening featuring her second novel, The Women Could Fly, a rich blend of fantasy and sharp social commentary that explores the limits patriarchy puts on women and the powers women use to transcend.

Registration is required – click here to visit megangiddingsmke.eventbrite.com and reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of The Women Could Fly from Boswell as well.

Josephine Thomas is contacted by her mother, who disappeared when she was a child and became a famous true crime story that Jo and her father had to live through. And like the rest of America, they don't know if she was kidnapped, murdered, or worse - a witch. Meanwhile, Jo’s future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of 30 or enroll in a registry that allows them to be monitored. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more.

Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler, a biting social commentary from the acclaimed author of Lakewood that speaks to our times - a piercing dystopian novel about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her mysterious mother, set in a world in which witches are real and single women are closely monitored.

Megan Giddings is author of Lakewood, one of New York Magazine's top ten books of 2020, an NPR Best Book of 2020, and a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards. She is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota and her writing has received funding and support from the Barbara Deming Foundation and Hedgebrook.


In-Person at Boswell
Tuesday, August 16, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with journalist and adventurer Rinker Buck, author of books such as The Oregon Trail and Flight of Passage, for a conversation about his latest, Life on the Mississippi, an enchanting blend of history and personal travelogue in which Buck builds an authentic wooden flatboat from the early 1800s and pilots it down the Mississippi River, from Pittsburgh to New Orleans.

Registration required to attend this in-person event; please click this sentence to visit rinkerbuckmke.eventbrite.com and reserve your space. And be sure to order your copy of Life on the Mississippi now.

A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river on the flatboat accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, breaks his ribs not once but twice, and camps every night on sandbars, remote islands, and steep levees. As he charts his own journey, he also delivers a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life the bygone flatboat era of the early 1800s, illuminating the forgotten past of America’s first western frontier.

From the starred Kirkus review: "An invigorating blend of history and journalism informs this journey down Old Man River… Besides being a willing and intrepid traveler, Buck is also an able interpreter of history, and it’s clear that he’s devoured a library of Mississippiana. It all makes for an entertaining journey in the manner of William Least Heat-Moon, John McPhee, and other traveler-explainers. For armchair-travel aficionados and frontier-history buffs, it doesn’t get much better."

Rinker Buck author of The Oregon Trail, Flight of Passage, and First Job. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his work has won the PEN New England Award, the Eugene S Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award.


In-Person at the Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St
Wednesday, August 17, 6:30 pm

Boswell Book Company presents the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Maraniss, author of bestselling books such as When Pride Still Mattered, for a presentation featuring his latest book, Path Lit by Lightning, a new biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete. Cohosted by Milwaukee Public Library.

Registration is required to attend this event, so click here to visit davidmaranissmpl.eventbrite.com to reserve your space today! You can preorder your copy of Path Lit by Lightning now from Boswell, too.

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind. But despite his colossal skills, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk. But for all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

From biographer Jane Leavy, author of The Big Fella: "David Maraniss brilliantly rescues Jim Thorpe from myth and prejudice, restoring something more consequential than the Olympic medals stolen from him by small men - his humanity. This is another masterpiece from the master of biography."

David Maraniss is Associate Editor at The Washington Post, a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, and author of bestselling biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi. His book They Marched into Sunlight was winner of the J Anthony Lucas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History.


Christine Simon, author of The Patron Saint of Second Chances
in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, August 18, 7 pm

Readings from Oconomowaukee, the event series that puts authors in conversation with booksellers, hosts its August edition with an evening featuring Christine Simon, author of The Patron Saint of Second Chances, a charming debut in which the self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter the cost. Perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman and Maria Semple.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Patron Saint of Second Chances now as well. Click here to order from Boswell. Or, click here and order from Books & Company.

Vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy (population 212) Signor Speranza has a problem: unless he can come up with 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission will shut off the water to the village and all its residents will be forced to disperse. So in a bid to boost tourism and revenue he spreads a harmless rumor that movie star Dante Rinaldi will be filming his next project nearby. Unfortunately, the plan works a little too well, and soon everyone in town wants to be a part of the fictional film.

The early praise for Simon’s novel is glowing! From Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Better Luck Next Time: "The Patron Saint of Second Chances is a rare treasure: both hilariously funny and beautifully written. I was sad to say goodbye to these delightful, large-hearted characters when I turned the final page. Sequel, please." And from People magazine: "A charming farce that highlights the triumph of hope and community in an often unforgiving world."

Christine Simon is a debut author who grew up in a very large (and very loud!) Italian family.


Carolyn J Eichner, author of Feminism’s Empire and The Paris Commune
In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Friday, August 26, 6:30 pm

Join us at Boswell for an evening of French Feminist history with Carolyn Eichner, author of Feminism's Empire and The Paris Commune, two books which reframe our understanding of France in the nineteenth century and how women shaped the country. Cohosted by UWM's Department of Women's and Gender Studies and Alliance Française de Milwaukee.

Registration is required to attend this in-person event, so click here to visit EichnerMKE.eventbrite.com and register right now. And be sure to order copies of Eichner’s books as well - click here to order Feminism’s Empire, and click here to order The Paris Commune.

With Feminism's Empire, Eichner investigates the complex relationships between imperialisms and feminisms in the late nineteenth century and demonstrates the challenge of conceptualizing ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ imperialist as binary positions. Eichner explores how feminists opposed - yet employed - approaches to empire in writing, speaking, and publishing. In differing ways, they ultimately tied forms of imperialism to gender liberation. Margaret Cook Andersen, author of Regeneration through Empire, says: "Feminism's Empire expands concepts of imperialism beyond France's colonial holdings and brilliantly demonstrates how integral ideas of empire, race, and religion were in shaping articulations of French women's rights."

And in The Paris Commune, the first brief history of this event written in English in decades, Eichner considers a moment in history that began when Parisian women stepped between cannons and French soldiers, using their bodies to block the army from taking the artillery from their working-class neighborhood. Sarah Fishman, author of From Vichy to the Sexual Revolution, says: "This compelling account of the Paris Commune makes a complicated event understandable and vivid. Eichner’s rich portraits bring to life the freedom and empowerment the Communards experienced, juxtaposed with the bloody repression of its final days."

Carolyn J Eichner is also author of Surmounting the Barricades: Women in the Paris Commune. She is Associate Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at UWM.


In-Person at The Lubar Center at Marquette University Law School, 1215 W Michigan Ave
Tuesday, August 30, 12:15 pm

Former Wisconsin US Senator Russ Feingold and legal scholar Peter Prindiville appear for an afternoon discussion of their latest book, The Constitution in Jeopardy, in which they examine a hushed effort to radically change our Constitution, offering a warning and a way forward. Cohosted by Marquette University Law School.

Registration will be required to attend – link coming soon, check back on this page! And be sure to order your copy of The Constitution in Jeopardy from Boswell now as well.

Over the last two decades, a fringe plan to call a convention under the Constitution's amendment mechanism - the nation's first ever - has inched through statehouses. Delegates, like those in Philadelphia two centuries ago, would exercise nearly unlimited authority to draft changes to our fundamental law, potentially altering anything from voting and free speech rights to regulatory and foreign policy powers. Such a watershed moment would present great danger, and for some, great power.

With their book, Feingold and Prindiville distill extensive legal and historical research and examine the risks inherent in this effort. But they also consider the role of constitutional amendment in modern life. In an era defined by faction and rejection of long-held norms, The Constitution in Jeopardy examines the nature of constitutional change and asks urgent questions about what American democracy is and should be. Senator Cory Booker calls this book: "A page-turning and eye-opening examination of the many forces working to alter the bedrock foundation of our nation: the Constitution itself."

Russ Feingold has served as a lawmaker, diplomat, attorney, and professor. Serving nearly two decades in the United States Senate, Feingold was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform, and sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and chaired its Sub-committee on the Constitution. He is now President of the American Constitution Society and an affiliated scholar of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. He is author of While America Sleeps. Peter Prindiville is an attorney and a nonresident fellow at the Stanford Constitutional Law Center. He served as a fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee and he earned a law degree from Stanford.


John Koethe, author of Beyond Belief: Poems
In-Person at Boswell
Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 pm

Milwaukee poet and UWM Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus John Koethe visits Boswell for a celebration of the release of Beyond Belief, his latest book, which is a rich, meditative new collection that poses questions of time, language, and literature.

Please click here to visit johnkoethemke.eventbrite.com to register for this event, as it is required to attend. And be sure to order your copy of Beyond Belief now as well.

The eleventh book of poetry from America’s philosopher-poet is an intimate, searching collection that gives life to the mundane and lends words to our most interior and abstract musings. What makes a life real? Words on a page, the accumulation of moments and memories, or nothing at all? And what is it worth? Locked inside, have we lost our future and its promises or are we merely pressed to inhabit our present and ourselves? The award-winning poet invites us into his consideration of our world, as "an ordinary person sitting on his balcony on a summer afternoon, / Waiting patiently for someone to explain it to and meanwhile / Living quietly in his imagination, imagining the afterlife."

Jonathan Farmer, writing for Slate, says: "Koethe is a beautiful writer, one whose subtle inventiveness can give new life to persistent images, nail a complex feeling in just a few words, or make the basic tools of the poetic trade into sources of pleasure and persuasion."

John Koethe has published eleven books of poetry, and has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award for Poetry. He has also published books on Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophical skepticism, and poetry.


Erika L Sánchez, author of Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir
In-Person at Boswell for the Rose Petranech Lecture
Friday, September 16, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts the return of the Rose Petranech Lecture featuring Erika L Sánchez, author of the National Book Award Finalist novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, for an evening featuring her first book for adults, Crying in the Bathroom, an utterly original memoir-in-essays that is as deeply moving as it is hilarious.

Registration is required to attend this in-person event - click here to register! Be sure to order your copy of Crying in the Bathroom as well.

Growing up as the daughter of Mexican immigrants in Chicago in the nineties, Erika Sánchez was a self-described pariah, misfit, and disappointment - a foul-mouthed, melancholic rabble-rouser who painted her nails black but also loved comedy, often laughing so hard with her friends that she had to leave her school classroom. Twenty-five years later, she’s now an award-winning novelist, poet, and essayist, but she’s still got an irrepressible laugh, an acerbic wit, and singular powers of perception about the world around her. In these essays, Sánchez writes about everything from sex to white feminism to debilitating depression, revealing an interior life rich with ideas, self-awareness, and perception. Insightful, unapologetic, and brutally honest, Crying in the Bathroom is Sánchez at her best.

Early praise comes from Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street: "A famous Latino comic told me - quoting either Chaplin or Cantinflas or both - that if you tell a story that makes people laugh, that’s great, but if you make them laugh and cry, that’s genius. Erika Sánchez tells her tale with a 'deluge of unidentifiable feelings that came out through my eyes.' It’s only after you’ve laughed that you understand the heartbreak beneath the laughter. I relished especially the stories she shares about being a wanderer savoring her solitude, a rare gift for a woman, but absolutely essential for any writer."

Erika L. Sánchez is a Mexican-American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Her YA novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Awards finalist, and is now is being made into a film directed by America Ferrera. Sanchez was a Princeton Arts Fellow, a recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation, and a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.


William Kent Krueger, author of Fox Creek
In-Person at Boswell
Saturday, September 17, 4 pm

One of our favorite Minnesotans, the Anthony, Barry, and Minnesota Book Award-winning author William Kent Krueger, whose recent novels include of This Tender Land and Lightning Strike, returns to Boswell for an event featuring the nineteenth installment of his beloved Cork O’Connor series.

Please click here and register for this event at foxcreekmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Fox Creek from Boswell now, too.

The latest installment of William Kent Krueger’s beloved series finds Cork O’Connor in a race against time to save his wife, a mysterious stranger, and an Ojibwe healer from bloodthirsty mercenaries. The ancient Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux has had a vision of his death and tries to prepare himself peacefully for the end of his long life. But peace eludes him as hunters fill the woods seeking a woman named Dolores Morriseau, a stranger who had come to the healer for shelter and the gift of his wisdom. On the last journey he may ever take into this beloved land, Meloux must do his best to outwit the deadly mercenaries who follow.

Boswellian Tim McCarthy is as big a Krueger fan as you can find. Here are his notes on the latest book: "This is the 19th volume in the Cork O'Connor mystery series, featuring the Northern Minnesota PI with both Irish and Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) heritage. In Fox Creek, Krueger brings the focus back to Henry Meloux, a beloved Ojibwe friend and mentor to Cork who is well over 100 years old. A woman has come to Henry for help, not knowing that she’s been followed to his doorstep. He’ll need every ounce of his skill, vision, and enormous heart to lead her and the people he loves away from the forces on their trail. It may not be enough. Henry knows that one way or another his time to leave this life is near. When Krueger did a Boswell author event a few years back he told us that his indigenous fans say "not bad for a white man" about the way he develops Ojibwe characters. I laughed and felt relieved to hear validation of my true fondness for these fictional people. I’m a fan!"

William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace, and the acclaimed Cork O’Connor mystery series.


Marie Kohler, playwright of Boswell
In-Person Scene Reading at Boswell
Monday, September 19, 6:30 pm

Milwaukee-based playwright Marie Kohler visits Boswell for a presentation and dramatic scene-reading from her play titled, aptly for us, Boswell. This event is a special preview to the play’s Off-Broadway run.

Registration required to attend this event. Click here to register at mariekohlermke.eventbrite.com

Kohler’s Boswell is set in the 1950s when an American graduate student discovers lost journals from James Boswell’s wild and woolly Tour of the Scottish Hebrides with Samuel Johnson. She falls in love with the lively narrative and the possibility of a more authentic life.

The Edit gives Kohler’s play 4 stars, and calls it: "an excellent example of history being brought to life and it undoubtedly is a fabulous platform for the talent it showcases." And from Broadway Baby, which also gives the play 4 stars: "There is an infectious energy and clear commitment to detail in this production: it is very well loved and immaculately researched...and playwright Marie Kohler certainly seems to enjoy the opportunities to draw out elements of bawdiness and humour to lighten the earnest literary tone."

Marie Kohler is a director, writer, actor, dramaturg, and award-winning playwright. Kohler is a co-founder of Renaissance Theaterworks, where she served as Co-Artistic Director from 1993-2012 and Resident Playwright from 1993-2020. She is a freelance writer for local and national publications and has been Playwright Respondent and Director Respondent at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She was named Artist of the Year by the Milwaukee Arts Board in 2005, and Friend of the Arts in 2020.


Peter Geye, author of The Ski Jumpers
In-Person at Boswell Book Company
Sunday, September 25, 2 pm

Join us for an afternoon featuring Midwestern writer extraordinaire Peter Geye, author of novels such as Wintering and Northernmost, who joins us with his latest novel, The Ski Jumpers, about a former ski jumper facing a terminal diagnosis who takes one more leap - into a past of soaring flights and broken family bonds.

Registration is required and capacity is limited – click here and visit petergeyemke.eventbrite.com to register for this now. And preorder a copy of The Ski Jumpers now as well.

A ski jumper must be fearless - Jon Bargaard remembers this well. His memories of daring leaps and risks might be the key to the book he’s always wanted to write: a novel about his family, beginning with Pops, once a champion ski jumper himself, who also took Jon and his younger brother Anton to the heights. But Jon has never been able to get past the next, ruinous episode of their history, and now that he has received a terrible diagnosis, he’s afraid he never will.

Early praise for this novel comes from Leif Enger, author of Virgil Wander: "Peter Geye writes full-hearted novels made for winter, and The Ski Jumpers is his best to date... Geye wraps his tale in prose that soars as we hold our breath, then brings it all home with the elegance of a Telemark landing. If you already know his work, this book will surprise and delight you; if you're new to Peter Geye, The Ski Jumpers is the perfect place to start."

Peter Geye is author of the award-winning novels Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering, winner of the Minnesota Book Award. He teaches at the Loft Literary Center.


Jeannée Sacken, author of Double Exposure
In-Person at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave
Monday, October 3, 6:30 pm

Shorewood Public Library presents an evening with Jeannée Sacken for Double Exposure, the sequel to her American Writing Awards Book of the Year, Behind the Lens.

Registration link coming soon – check back on this page often! And be sure to order your copy of Double Exposure now, too.

Seasoned war photojournalist Annie Hawkins is under investigation for an incident that happened six months earlier in Afghanistan. Her best friend's daughter is still missing, apparently with her Taliban boyfriend. Her own daughter is fundraising to rebuild the Wad Qol Secondary School for Girls and expects Annie to deliver the money. To make matters worse, she and the love of her life are no longer speaking. When Annie returns to Afghanistan to cover peace talks between the government and the Taliban, she takes a side trip to Wad Qol, where she discovers that not everyone wants the new school. Sabotage delays construction, and when a worker ends up dead, it's clear the militants are to blame. It's also obvious that they know exactly where Annie is.

Love in Provence author Patricia Sands says: "Fast-moving, unpredictable, and at times heart-stopping. Sacken’s prose is brilliant." And Maggie Smith, author of Truth and Other Lies, says Double Exposure is full of: "smart narration, nuanced characters, and thought-provoking situations reminiscent of Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Jeannée Sacken is an author and photojournalist who travels the world documenting the lives of women and children. A former English professor, she lives in Shorewood and is currently President of the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library.


Silas House, author of Lark Ascending
In-Person at Boswell
Thursday, October 6, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening featuring Silas House, author of novels such as Southernmost, for a conversation about his latest, Lark Ascending, a riveting story of survival and hope, set in the not-too-distant future, about a young man forced to flee the United States and seek refuge across the Atlantic. This one is earning lots of early praise from the Boswellians, too! Perfect for fans of Emily St John Mandel.

Registration is required, so click here now, visit silashousemke.eventbrite.com, and reserve your spot. And be sure to order your copy of Lark Ascending now as well.

As fires devastate most of the United States, Lark and his family secure a place on a refugee boat headed to Ireland, the last country not yet overrun by extremists and rumored to be accepting American refugees. But Lark is the only one to survive the trip, and once ashore, he doesn’t find the safe haven he’d hoped for. As he runs for his life, Lark finds an abandoned dog who becomes his closest companion, and then a woman in search of her lost son. Together they form a makeshift family and attempt to reach Glendalough, a place they believe will offer protection. But can any community provide the safety that they seek? An unforgettable story of friendship, family, and healing.

Early praise from Daniel Goldin: "I’m not generally a dystopian reader, but Lark Ascending’s beautiful language and imagery, combined with the emotional heft of the story, drew me in from the first paragraph."

Silas House is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, one book of creative nonfiction, and three plays. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Garden & Gun. A former commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, House is the winner of the Nautilus Award, the Storylines Prize from the NAV/New York Public Library, and an E. B. White Honor.


Joanna Quinn, author of The Whalebone Theatre
in Conversation with Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin for a Virtual Event
Tuesday, October 11, 2 pm

Readings from Oconomowaukee presents its October edition featuring Joanna Quinn joining us virtually from the UK for a conversation about The Whalebone Theatre, her irresistible debut novel that takes its heroine from the gargantuan cavity of a beached whale into undercover operations during World War II and through a story of love, bravery, lost innocence, and self-transformation.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Whalebone Theatre now. Click here to order from Boswell. Or click here and order from Books & Company, our event series cohost.

One blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, it belongs to the King, but twelve-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household - her sister Flossie, her brother Digby (the long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor), kitchen maid Maudie Kitcat, and visiting artist Taras - build a theatre from the beast’s skeletal rib cage. Within the Whalebone Theatre, Cristabel can escape her feckless stepparents and brisk governesses, and her imagination comes to life. As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman and World War II rears its head, she and Digby become British secret agents in Nazi-occupied France - a more dangerous kind of playacting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.

Early praise from Sarah Winman, author of Still Life: "The Whalebone Theatre has all the makings of a classic. And Cristabel Seagrave is the most gratifying hero. The war scenes often left me breathless: they are as good as you will ever read. A wonderful debut. Actually, a tour de force." And from Rebecca Stott, author of Ghostwalk: "Magnificent. As capacious, surprising and magical as the whale that lends its bones to Cristabel’s theatre: a tale of intertwined lives and braided fates as deftly managed and heartbreaking as a Dickens novel."

Joanna Quinn was born in London and grew up in Dorset, in the southwest of England, where The Whalebone Theatre, is set. She has worked in journalism and the charity sector. Her writing has been published by The White Review and Comma Press, among others. She teaches creative writing.


In-Person at Boswell
Wednesday, October 19, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes back Joe Meno, author of books such as The Great Perhaps and Hairstyles of the Damned, for his latest, Book of Extraordinary Tragedies, a moving novel about the impossibility of fate and family.

Registration required, so click here and visit joemenomke.eventbrite.com to reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of Book of Extraordinary Tragedies as well.

Siblings and former classical music prodigies Aleksandar and Isobel were forced to abandon their musical ambitions at a young age. Now in their twenties and doomed by a family history of failure, the two have all but given up. But when an illness forces Isobel to move home to far southside Chicago, she begins playing cello again as Aleksandar comes to see a world of possibility and wonder in the lives of his extraordinarily complicated family.

Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels, says: "I don’t know how Joe Meno does it - if I did know, I’d copy him. This book has such velocity that it generates wind, yet it is meditative and steeped in love, music, and human connection. It’s stunning."

Joe Meno is author of novels and short story collections such as Marvel and a Wonder, The Boy Detective Fails, and Hairstyles of the Damned. He’s been awarded the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is a professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago.


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.