Upcoming Events

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Mark Greaney, author of One Minute Out: Gray Man V9, in conversation with Nick Petrie
Monday, February 24, 7 pm, at Boswell

New York Times bestseller Mark Greaney, author of Mission Critical and a coauthor of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels, visits Boswell with his latest high-stakes thriller featuring the world's most dangerous assassin. He’ll chat with Nick Petrie, Milwaukee author of the Peter Ash series.

Is it ever the wrong time to do the right thing? While on a mission to Croatia, Gray Man Court Gentry uncovers a human trafficking operation with a trail that leads from the Balkans all the way to Hollywood. Gentry is determined to shut it down, but his CIA handlers have other plans, and the criminal ringleader has intelligence about a potentially devastating terrorist attack on the US. The CIA won’t move until they have that intel. It’s a moral balancing act with Gentry at the pivot point.

Greaney’s Gray Man series has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which says, “Outstanding… Fans will close the book happily fulfilled and eagerly awaiting his next adventure.” And Steve Berry, bestselling author of the Cotton Malone novels, says, “Mark Greaney reigns as one of the recognized masters of action and adventure.”

Mark Greaney is author of nine Gray Man novels, including Mission Control, Agent in Place, and Gunmetal Gray, and coauthor of Red Metal with Lt Col Rip Rawlings. Greaney coauthored three novels with Tom Clancy before Clancy’s death, and has since written five Jack Ryan books. Nick Petrie is author of the Peter Ash novels, including The Drifter, which won the ITW Thriller and Barry Awards and was nominated for an Edgar. His latest is The Wild One.


Mary Kubica, author of The Other Mrs.
Tuesday, February 25, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd

Weather update! At this time, Mary Kubica's appearance a the Lynden Sculpture Garden is happening as scheduled.The Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Women’s Speaker Series, produced by Milwaukee Reads and cosponsored by Boswell Book Company, presents the bestselling author of The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, and Don’t You Cry. Mary Kubica will chat about her twisty new psychological thriller in which a young couple moves from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine.

Tickets cost $31, $26 for Lynden members, and include a copy of The Other Mrs., light refreshments, and admission to the sculpture garden - come early to stroll the grounds. Register at lyndensculpturegarden.org/MaryKubica or by phone at (414) 446-879.

Sadie and Will have just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when the murder of their neighbor rocks their tiny coastal island. No one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard. As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery, but the more she uncovers, the more she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and international bestselling author of several psychological thrillers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and American Literature from Miami University of Ohio.


David Southward, author of Bachelor’s Buttons: Poems
Wednesday, February 26, 7 pm, at Boswell

Southward, a member of the UWM Honors Faculty and winner of the Lorine Niedecker Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, reads from and chats about his new collection of poems.

Marilyn L Taylor, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate, says, “Southward's Bachelor's Buttons offers new insights and sensations that stimulate the mind while simultaneously sharpening one's sensory perceptions. The poet's skillfully crafted and often witty verse on human subjects as disparate as Walt Whitman, Teena Marie, and the Earl of Sandwich, along with vistas as unique as the shoreline at Sanibel or the muddy banks of the Milwaukee River, plus a handful of love sonnets, ekphrastics, and considerable metrical whimsy, all combine to make this collection a uniquely memorable read.”

David Southward is author of the poetry collection Apocrypha, and his poems have appeared in Millwork, Gyroscope Review, and several more literary journals. He was awarded the Lorine Niedecker Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the Muse Prize from the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. He teaches literature, film, and comics in the Honors College at UWM.


Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
Thursday, February 27, 7 pm, at Boswell

Chicago author Zapata chats about his mesmerizing debut novel, a genre-bending literary sci-fi of storytelling, heritage, and theoretical physics. Cosponsored by UWM’s Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Cultures and Communities.

Blending the high-stakes mystery of Shadow of the Wind, the science fiction echoes of Exit West, and the lyrical signatures of Bolaño and Marquez, Zapata shines a breathtaking light on the experiences of displacement that define our nation. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau tells the story of a Latin American sci-fi writer living in exile from her home country and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel calls Zapata’s debut “a stunner - equal parts epic and intimate, thrilling and elegiac. As the novel bounds effortlessly through time, a powerful ode to the mysteries that echo across generations, the wonder of artistic creation, and the profound unknowability of what exactly constitutes ‘reality’ emerges. Michael Zapata’s inventive, twisty plot will keep you reading through the night, and his indelible characters will make a home in your heart.”

Michael Zapata is a graduate of the University of Iowa, a founding editor of MAKE: A Literary Magazine, and a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing dropout students.


Mark Rader, author of The Wanting Life
Sunday, March 1, 3 pm, at Boswell

Boswell presents a special Indies Introduce event with Green Bay native Mark Rader.

Rader’s novel is a poignant, panoramic family drama that travels from Sister Bay, Wisconsin to Cape Cod and Rome through the intertwined stories of Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer, his sister Britta, still mourning her husband’s death, and his niece Maura, who is torn between her own husband and family and a new man.

The Wanting Life is reminiscent of novels like Marilynne Robinson’s Home, Alice McDermott’s Charming Billy, and Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending, and Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of The Great Believers will appreciate this story of heartfelt empathy.” Booklist also offers this starred review: “With indelible images, exquisite emotional nuance, and genuine wisdom, Rader explores faith, regret, shame, fear, and, most of all, love.” Finally, Boswellian Chris Lee says, "Rader's writing is immersive. He's a writer's writer, with an eye for pinpointing the overlooked details that draw you into each scene. The Wanting Life explores the complexities of the guilt that accompanies happiness and the regret that accompanies duty in this lovely novel about the choices people make through their years and the unlived lives they leave behind."

Mark Rader’s stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Epoch, The Southern Review, and he was shortlisted for an O Henry Award, the Best American Non-Required Reading anthology, and a Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University.


Donna Leon, author of Trace Elements
Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 pm, at Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St

Boswell Book Company, Bartolotta Restaurants, and the Italian Community Center are pleased to host the author of Venetian mysteries for a visit with her haunting new novel in which a woman's cryptic dying words lead Commissario Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region. Tickets cost $35 and includes admission, all taxes and fees, a copy of Trace Elements, and light appetizers adapted from Brunetti's Cookbook. A cash bar will also be available. Tickets at donnaleonmke.bpt.me.

When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding. As she has done so often through her memorable characters and storytelling skill, Donna Leon once again engages our sensibilities as to the differences between guilt and responsibility.

From Booklist’s starred review: “A meditative novel that looks at the water crisis in Venice - not flooding this time, but pollution - set against the eternal problem of justice… In an age where so many seek simplistic and wrongheaded answers to complex questions, it is comforting that Leon, in human complexity, remains one of our most beloved writers.” And of Leon’s series, the Washington Post adds, “Few detective writers create so vivid, inclusive, and convincing a narrative as Donna Leon… One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever.”

Donna Leon is the author of the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years.


Dennis E Staples, author of This Town Sleeps
Wednesday, March 4, 7 pm, at Boswell

Ojibwe author Staples visits Boswell with his brand new novel, one of Electric Literature’s Most Anticipated Debuts of 2020.

Living unhappily in his hometown on Minnesota’s Ojibwe reservation, a young gay man reckons with love, tribal lore, and a decades-old murder. Staples explores the many ways history, culture, landscape, and lineage shape our lives, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it all.

Tommy Orange, author of There, There, praised Staples’s writing, calling it "Elegant and gritty, angry and funny. Staples’s work is emotional without being sentimental. Dennis unmakes something in us, then remakes it, a quilt of characters that embody this town, this place, which sleeps but doesn’t dream, or it is all a dream we want to wake up from with its characters."

A member of the Red Lake Nation, Dennis E Staples earned an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction and Nightmare magazine. He is a graduate of the 2018 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E Butler Memorial Scholarship.


Epic Reads Meet-Up, featuring Elana K Arnold, author of Red Hood, Mindy McGinnis, author of Be Not Far From Me, and Evelyn Skye, author of Cloak of Night
Thursday, March 5, 7 pm, at Boswell

So many YA books, so little time. Epic Reads invites readers of all ages to join a round-table where you’ll get to strike up conversation with authors {SO MANY AUTHORS} who will gab about their books and other fan favorites. Small author dish sesh + killer YA books = a booklover’s dream, courtesy of Epic Reads.

Tickets are $20 and include admission, all taxes and fees, and one featured title of your choice. As an extra bonus, select all three with admission for one person and get the books at a special price of $54. Available at epicreads19mke.bpt.me. Please note that you'll have the opportunity to spend time with each author no matter which book you pick, you can bring extra books from home, and additional books will be available for sale at the event from all our attending authors.

Elana K Arnold, author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of one young woman’s attempt to regain power when confronted with threats both familiar (toxic masculinity) and unfamiliar (wolves). From the Edgar Award-winning author of The Female of the Species, Mindy McGinnis, comes a harrowing YA survival story about a teenage girl’s attempt to endure the impossible in the Great Smoky Mountains - Hatchet meets Wild. And from Evelyn Skye, the New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series, comes the stunning sequel to Circle of Shadows, a fantasy series about two young warriors sworn to protect their Empress after the onset of war.

Elana K Arnold is author of the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. Mindy McGinnis is author of YA novels, including A Madness So Discreet, winner of the Edgar Award. And Evelyn Skye is author of the New York Times bestselling Crown’s Game series.


Linda Sue Park, author of Prairie Lotus
Thursday, March 5, 4:30 pm, at North Shore Library, 6800 N Port Washington Blvd

The North Shore Library and Boswell Book Company are thrilled to welcome acclaimed children's book writer Linda Sue Park, winner of the Newbery Medal for A Single Shard. Admission is free for this event, but due to limited capacity, registration is requested at boswellbooks.com/prairielotus. Boswell will be on hand to sell Park’s books.

Set in the Dakota Territory during the 1880s, Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multi-layered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father's shop, and making at least one friend. The heart of the story is Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings and how she negotiates the townspeople's almost unanimous prejudice against Asians. The novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the story “an absorbing, accessible introduction to a troubled chapter of American history.” And Kirkus’s starred review adds, “Fans of the Little House books will find many of the small satisfactions of Laura's stories.”

Linda Sue Park is author of bestseller A Long Walk to Water as well as the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard and many other acclaimed novels and picture books.


Dan Pfeiffer, author of Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again, in conversation with Joy Powers of WUWM's Lake Effect
Monday, March 9, 7 pm, at Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N Vel R Phillips Ave

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Yes We (Still) Can, cohost of Pod Save America, and former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Dan Pfeiffer appears at the Turner Hall Ballroom to chat with WUWM Lake Effect Producer Joy Powers about his brand new book, a sharp political playbook for how Democrats can take on Trump. Tickets cost $30 and include admission and a copy of Un-Trumping America, available at pabsttheater.org/event/danpfeiffer2020.

Defeating Trump is just the start of this timely book. Un-Trumping America offers readers three critical insights: first, Trump is not an aberration, but rather the logical extension of the modern Republican Party; second, how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020; and third, preventing the likes of Trump from ever happening again with a plan to fix democracy.

Un-Trumping America dismantles toxic Trumpism and offers a way forward. Pfeiffer worked for nearly twenty years at the center of Democratic politics, from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill to Barack Obama's White House. But it was Trump's victory and Republicans' incessant aiding and abetting of Trumpism that has radicalized his thinking. Here, Pfeiffer urges Democrats to embrace bold solutions - from fixing the courts to abolishing the electoral college to eliminating the filibuster - in order to make America more democratic (and Democratic).

Dan Pfeiffer was one of Barack Obama's longest serving advisors. From 2009-13 he was White House Director of Communications, and from 2013-15 he served as Senior Advisor to the President.


Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm, at Boswell

University of Wisconsin Lecturer in History presents her latest work in which she highlights an important but overlooked intellectual and political tradition that she calls spiritual socialism.

Profiling an eclectic group of activists such as Sherwood Eddy, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr, Cook argues that spiritual socialists held that the most basic expression of religious values - caring for the sick, tired, hungry, and exploited members of one's community - created a firm footing for a new society. Equality, cooperation, and peace, they argued, would not develop overnight, and a more humane society would never emerge through top-down legislation. Instead, they believed that the process of their vision of the world had to happen in homes, villages, and cities, from the bottom up.

By insisting that people start treating each other better in everyday life, spiritual socialists transformed radical activism from projects of political policy-making to grass-roots organizing. For Cook, contemporary public figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis, Reverend William Barber, and Cornel West are part of a long-standing tradition that exemplifies how non-Communist socialism has gained traction in American politics.

Vaneesa Cook is a historian, professor, and freelance writer on religion and politics. Her work has appeared in publications such as Dissent, the Oxford Encyclopedia, and Religion & Politics.


Neal Shusterman, author of The Toll
Thursday, March 12, 6:30 pm, at Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W North Ave

Rescheduled event date! New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner Shusterman, author of Dry and Challenger Deep, appears for an event featuring the pulse-pounding conclusion to his Arc of a Scythe trilogy. Register for free at shustermantosa.bpt.me. In partnership with Wauwatosa Public Library, Shusterman will appear in the adjacent Civic Center.

Constitutions are tested, and old friends are brought back from the dead. In a world that's conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?

Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him? The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.

Neal Shusterman is the bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award, and Dry, his bestselling novel written with his son Jarrod. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows.


Thursday, March 12, 7 pm, at The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, 3367 N Downer Ave

Lecturer in Yiddish at the University of Chicago Jessica Kirzane appears at the Stahl Center with her translation of Miriam Karpilove’s novel, which offers a raw personal criticism of radical leftist immigrant youth culture in early twentieth century New York.

A century before Lena Dunham’s Girls, a Yiddish writer named Miriam Karpilove was already telling the world, in mordant, sometimes hilarious prose, what it was like to be a young Jewish woman in New York City. Diary of a Lonely Girl is a novel of intimate feelings and scandalous behaviors, shot through with a dark humor. From the perch of a diarist writing in first person about her own love life, Miriam Karpilove’s novel offers a snarky, melodramatic criticism of radical leftist immigrant youth culture in early twentieth-century New York City.

Kirzane's translation opens up anew the life of a young Jewish woman in the early years of the last century and boldly explores issues of consent, body autonomy, women’s empowerment and disempowerment around sexuality, courtship, and politics. Karpilove immigrated to the United States from a small town near Minsk in 1905 and went on to become one of the most prolific and widely published women writers of prose in Yiddish. Kirzane’s skillful translation gives English readers long-overdue access to Karpilove’s original and provocative voice.

Jessica Kirzane is a lecturer in Yiddish at the University of Chicago and the editor in chief of In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.


Wild Space Dance Company
Three Evenings of Dance Performances
Thursday, March 12,
Friday, March 13,
Saturday, March 14, 7:30 pm, at Boswell

Boswell Book Company hosts Wild Space Dance Company for three evenings of site-specific performances inspired by literature and the joy of reading titled Off the Page. Advance tickets cost $25, $18 for students and senoirs, available at wildspacedance.org.

Led by Founder/Artistic Director Debra Loewen, Wild Space Dance Company has intrigued audiences for three decades. Known for site-specific works and artistic collaborations, Wild Space takes audiences on adventures through built and natural landscapes, visual art, history and the human condition through wry humor, clever choreography and emotionally-charged dance.

Wild Space Dance Company's mission is to expand the audience for contemporary dance through performance and outreach programs in the greater Milwaukee area and throughout southeastern Wisconsin, reaching diverse communities.


Monday, March 16, Noon, at Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago S

REDgen and Boswell Book Company present a fundraising luncheon with New York Times bestselling author and therapist Lori Gottlieb.

Registration costs $100 and includes admission, lunch, and a copy of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. More information at redgen.org/fundraising-luncheon. Part of the proceeds from this fundraiser will directly help REDgen grow its programming in schools, local events, and faith communities around the Milwaukee area.

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. With revolutionary candor, Gottlieb offers a deeply personal portrait of what it means to be human and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and author who writes The Atlantic's weekly "Dear Therapist" advice column. She also writes for the New York Times Magazine and appears as a frequent expert on mental health in media such as Today, Good Morning America, and NPR.


Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong, in conversation with Nasif Rogers
Tuesday, March 17, 7 pm, at Boswell

Chicago native Bump appears with his powerful, edgy, and funny debut novel of growing up in the South Side. He’ll chat with Rogers, Associate Principal of Glen Hills Middle School and South Shore native.

Claude McKay Love is being raised by his Civil Rights-era grandmother as the other folks in his life - his parents, friends, neighbors - are disappearing. There’s little he can count on besides his Grandma, her friend Paul, and his not-quite girlfriend Janice. The violence that was once at a safe distance is now on their doorstep, with corrupt and racist police coming from one direction and the Redbelters gang on the other. As his neighborhood descends into violence, Claude hopes to escape to college out of state, but trouble is likely to follow.

Library Journal’s starred review says, “Bump delivers a singular sense of growing up black that will resonate with readers.” And Boswell proprietor Daniel Goldin says, “Told in episodic bursts filled with emotional resonance, Everywhere You Don’t Belong is a powerful coming-of-age debut that will stick with you long after the last page is turned.”

Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington Post, Springhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Quan Barry, author of We Ride Upon Sticks, in conversation with Carole E Barrowman
Wednesday, March 18, 7 pm, at Boswell

Madison-based Barry, Professor of Creative Writing at UW and author of She Weeps Each Time You’re Born, returns with her brand-new novel of field hockey, witchcraft, and 1980s nostalgia. She’ll chat with Carole E Barrowman, Director of Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno College.

A tour de female force. Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations began that led to the 1692 witch trials, We Ride Upon Sticks follows the 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team, who will do anything to make it to the state finals - even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers.

In chapters dense with 1980s iconography, from Heathers to big hair, Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season. Kirkus’s starred review calls We Ride Upon Sticks “Touching, hilarious, and deeply satisfying… Barry is deeply witty, writing the narrator as a sort of omniscient group-think, the team speaking as one wry voice.” Boswellians Daniel, Kay, and Margaret are all fans, too.

Quan Barry is author of the novel She Weeps Each Time You’re Born and of four books of poetry, including the collection Water Puppets, which won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and was a PEN Open Book finalist. Barry was raised in Danvers, Massachusetts.


Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age
Thursday, March 19, 7 pm, at Boswell

Kiley Reid visits Boswell to chat about Such a Fun Age, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick that Entertainment Weekly calls “the most provocative page-turner of the year.” 

Register for free at kileyreidmke.bpt.me and be entered in a drawing for swag like Boswell gift cards, selected titles Reid recommends, and a Such a Fun Age tote! You must attend the event to be selected in the drawing. Note that Such a Fun Age is a Boswell Best selection (20% off list price) through the event date.

Reid's novel is a page-turning, big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. Reid explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

Ilana Masad for NPR says, “a page-turner with beautifully drawn characters and a riveting plot... I urge you to read Such a Fun Age.” Stephanie Hayes in The Atlantic says, “a funny, fast-paced social satire about privilege in America... a Millennial bildungsroman that is likely to resonate with 20-something postgraduates scrambling to get launched in just about any American city.” And from Boswell proprietor Daniel Goldin, “Kiley Reid's debut novel features a wonderfully engaging and wiser-than-she-thinks-she-is heroine and is alternatingly inspired, infuriating, hilarious, and thought-provoking, touching on race, class, gender, friendship, dating, and motherhood, and filled with a whole mess of bad advice from everyone concerned. Lots of bad advice!”

Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, New South, and more publications.


Robert Hellenga, author of Love, Death & Rare Books
Friday, March 20, 7 pm, at Boswell

Author of the novels Philosophy Made Simple and The Sixteen Pleasures and Professor Emeritus at Knox College, Hellenga chats about his new novel. Cohosted by Knox College Alumni Club of Milwaukee.

Chas Johnson & Sons has been a family operation for three generations, but when it comes time for Gabe Johnson to take the reins of the business, the world of books has changed, and the combination of the internet and inner city rents forces the store to close.

Instead of folding his hand, Gabe decides to risk everything he has and reopen the shop and restart his life in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. Haunted his entire life by an obsession with a former lover, he finds her again only to be faced with yet another even more difficult challenge that threatens the well-being of the revival of the bookstore as well as the fate of his rekindled relationship.

Robert Hellenga is Professor Emeritus at Knox College and author of seven novels, including The Sixteen Pleasures, Philosophy Made Simple, and Blues Lessons, and the story collection The Truth About Death. He was educated at the University of Michigan and Princeton University.


Gene Luen Yang, author of Dragon Hoops
Saturday, March 21, 2 pm, at Boswell

Boswell presents an afternoon with Gene Luen Yang, winner of the ALA Michael L Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature for his bestselling graphic novel American Born Chinese. Yang's newest is riveting, a nonfiction sports drama inspired by his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

This event is free, but registration is requested at geneluenyangmke.bpt.me and will be required if we reach store capacity. Upgrade to a book-with-registration for 10% off the price of the book and signing line priority.

In Dragon Hoops, Gene reveals that he understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him Stick, and every basketball game ended in pain. But at the school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, are having a phenomenal season. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He know he has to follow this epic to the end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’ lives, but his own as well.

Gene Luen Yang is author of Boxers & Saints, winner of the LA Times Book Prize, and the Secret Coders series. He’s also worked on Superman and Avatar: The Last Airbender comics series. He was the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and in 2016 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.


Tuesday, March 24, 6 pm, at Boswell

Former TMJ4 Anchor Vivian L King shares her new book, which tells the story of her experience of loss and recovery after suffering a massive stroke.

King took a seemingly harmless prescription pill and suddenly suffered a stroke that robbed her of her voice. She battled through neurological intensive care and hours of therapy, leading to a miraculous recovery which astounded even her doctors. King admits the medical care she received was unparalleled, but she believes her secret weapons were her faith, family, and friends, which converged to lead her from trauma to triumph.

When the Words Suddenly Stopped is Vivian’s story. If you have suffered a health emergency impacting you, your family, and your friends, this book is your guide. Vivian shares how she discovered a powerful three-step process that led to her ultimate healing.

Vivian L King is a former television journalist who reported for Milwaukee’s TMJ4. She is Founder and Principal at Vivian L King Connections.


Megan Giddings, author of Lakewood, in conversation with Dasha Kelly Hamilton
Thursday, March 26, 6:30 pm, at The Retreat, 2215 N Martin Luther King Dr

Megan Giddings appears for a conversation with Dasha Kelly Hamilton, a part of The Retreat’s About That series, cohosted by Boswell Book Company. They’ll chat about Giddings’s startling debut novel of class and race which evokes a terrifying world of medical experiment - think The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, she drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world, but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.

Named one of The Millions’s Most Anticipated list, Lakewood is provocative and thrilling, a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.

Megan Giddings has published writing in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, and the Iowa Review. She attended University of Michigan and earned her MFA from Indiana University. The opening chapters of Lakewood received a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant for feminist fiction.


Faith A Pennick, author of D’Angelo’s Voodoo: 33 1/3 vol. 144
Friday, March 27, 7 pm, at Boswell

Filmmaker Pennick chats about her brand new book, the latest installment in the wildly popular 33 1/3 series of books about albums, in which she chronicles the creation and legacy of the album that set the standard for the musical cycle ordained as ‘neo-soul.’

D'Angelo's much-anticipated 2000 release is a product of heightened emotions and fused sensibilities, an amalgam of soul, rock, jazz, gospel, hip-hop, and Afrobeats. D'Angelo put to music his own pleasures and insecurities as a man-child in the promised land. It was both a tribute to his musical heroes (Prince, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, J Dilla) and a deconstruction of rhythm and blues itself.

Despite nearly universal acclaim, the sonic expansiveness of Voodoo proved too nebulous for airplay on many radio stations, seeping outside the accepted lines of commercial R&B music. Voodoo was Black, it was definitely magic, and it was nearly overshadowed by a four-minute music video featuring D'Angelo's sweat-glistened six-pack abs. "The Video" created an accentuated moment when the shaman lost control of the spell he cast.

Faith A Pennick’s fiction and nonfiction films have aired on US television and screened at film festivals throughout the world. She has written for NPR and the pop culture website The Learned Fangirl, among other outlets. She’s a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned an MA at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.


Sunday, March 29, 2 pm, at Congregation Shalom, 7630 N Santa Monica Blvd

Congregation Shalom presents award-winning television producer, public speaker, author, peace advocate, and former violent extremist Picciolini, who discusses his disengagement work featured in his new book, Breaking Hate. This event is a partnership program with the Nathan & Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center and Boswell Book Company.

After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and '90s, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. Picciolini, with startling honesty and intimacy, tells the inside story of how extremists lure the unwitting to their causes and offers a guide for how everyday Americans can win them back.

Picciolini unravels this sobering narrative from the frontlines, where he has worked for two decades as a peace advocate and hate breaker. He draws from the firsthand experiences of extremists he has helped to disengage, revealing how violent movements target the vulnerable and exploit their essential human desires, and how the right interventions can save lives.

Christian Picciolini is author of White American Youth and leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network. He was featured in the MSNBC documentary Breaking Hate and in 2016 won an Emmy Award for producing an anti-hate advertising campaign. He graduated from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a counter-extremism consulting and digital media firm.


More Upcoming Events
  • Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – novelist and violin maker Korinthia Klein, author of Just Friends, Just War
  • Friday, April 3, 11:30 am social, noon lunch, at Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 Kilbourn Ave– Club Showcase: Women Mystery Authors, featuring Erica Ruth Neubauer, Kelsey Rae Dimberg, and Susannah Calkins, moderated by Debbie Patel - tickets are $30 plus tax and fee, at WCW-Boswellmysterylunch.eventbrite.com – Books will be for sale at the event
  • Friday, April 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Back at Boswell! Andrea Bartz, author of The Herd, in conversation with Michael Howard. Note that Bartz will also be at Elm Grove Public Library on Saturday, April 4, 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 4, 3:00 pm, at Boswell – Milwaukee's own Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of Murder at the Mena House, a delightful beginning to a sparkling new historical mystery series
  • Sunday, April 5, 3:00 pm, at Boswell – Paula Goldman, author of Late Love, a new collection of poems
  • Saturday, April 11, 6:00 pm, at Boswell – A ticketed event with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls, cohosted by United Performing Arts Fund – tickets are $23, including paperback edition of City of Girls, at gilbertmke.bpt.me
  • Wednesday, April 15, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Associate Professor at UW-Madison Law School professor and lecturer in Creative Writing Stephen Wright, author of The Coyotes of Carthage, his biting satire of dark money and American politics, set in small-town South Carolina
  • Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Danielle Trussoni, author of Ancestor, a new novel of gothic horror from The New York Times horror columnist
  • Friday, April 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Best of the Undergraduate Writers, featuring students from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University
  • Saturday, April 18, 6:00 pm, at Boswell – Best of the Undergraduate Writers, featuring students from Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Carroll University, MIAD, and Mount Mary University
  • Wednesday, April 22 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Celebrate Boswell’s 11th anniversary at Hotel Boswell with Emily St John Mandel, author of The Glass Hotel - tickets start at $29, $24 for the early bird option, at glasshotelmke.bpt.me 
  • Thursday, April 23, 6:30 pm, at The Retreat, 2215 N Martin Luther King Jr Dr – Jeni McFarland, author of The House of Deep Water, in conversation with Dasha Kelly Hamilton – Publishers Weekly calls it a “fine debut. . . Handled with realistic nuance. McFarland's layered tale will appeal to readers who liked Tayari Jones's An American Marriage
  • Cancelled - Friday, April 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Alas, our event with Sebastian Barry, author of A Thousand Moons, has been cancelled. There’s a small chance the visit will be rescheduled to coincide with the book’s paperback release in 20201
  • Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Port Washington coppersmith Sara Dahmen, author of Copper, Iron, and Clay: A Smith's Journey - a gorgeous, full-color illustrated love letter to our most revered cookware and the artistry and workmanship behind them
  • Wednesday, April 29, noon, at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino – The League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County and Boswell present a ticketed luncheon with Madeleine Albright, author of Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-Century Memoir, celebrating Wisconsin's ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote – tickets are $85 at albrightmke.bpt.me – please note there is no signing or meet-and-greet following this event
  • Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Peter Geye, author of Northernmost, in conversation with Boswell’s Chris Lee –a thrilling ode to the Nordic spirit of adventure and the vagaries of loss and love
  • Saturday, May 2, 1:00 pm, at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 3270 Mitchell Park Dr in Brookfield – Books and Company and Boswell present Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Book of Longings - Tickets are $32 at suemonkkiddwi.bpt.me, and include a signed copy of The Book of Longings – signing restrictions for this event apply
  • Saturday, May 2, 6:00 pm, at Boswell – YA, Boswell! with Nicole Kronzer, author of Unscripted, a novel about a 17-year-old in Improv Camp
  • Monday, May 4, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Tin House national bestselling author Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things, about a young lesbian who takes over her father’s taxidermy shop after his suicide – see our book club page for a bonus event
  • Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Rd – The Women’s Speaker Series presents Wade Rouse, writing as Viola Shipman, author of The Heirloom Garden, in conversation with Amy Taylor – tickets are $23, $18 for Lynden members, available at lyndensculpturegarden.org/violashipman
  • Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Linda J Frank, author of The Nice Little Blonde Girl, the third Lily Kovner novel, cosponsored by the UWM Stahl Center for Jewish Studies
  • Tuesday, May 12, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Myles Hopper, author of My Father’s Shadow, cohosted by Red Oak Writing
  • Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Wisconsin writer Claire Swinarski, author of What Happens Next?, launching her debut middle grade novel
  • Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Joshua Hren, author of In the Wine Press, as well as editor-in-chief of Wiseblood Books
  • Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine, in conversation with Rebecca Makkai – Elizabeth Gilbert writes: “Wetmore has ripped the brutal, epic landscape of West Texas out of the hands of men, and has handed the stories over (finally!) to the girls and women who have always suffered, survived, and made their mark in such a hostile world.”
  • Friday, May 29, 11:30 check in, noon lunch, at Lake Park Bistro, 3133 W Newberry Blvd – Alex George, author of The Paris Hours, which has already won praise from Christina Baker Kline, Melanie Benjamin, and Meg Waite Clayton – lunch with the author, cosponsored by Alliance Française de Milwaukee, details to come
  • Saturday, May 30, 6:00 pm, at Boswell – Elizabeth Wein, author of The Enigma Game, a companion novel to the Printz and Edgar-Award-winning YA novel, Code Name Verity
  • Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Celebrating the release of Milwaukee favorite Christina Clancy, author of The Second Home, with praise from Chloe Benjamin: “Tender and suspenseful, Clancy's debut explores the nature of home as well as the nature of family itself”
  • Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – UWM Professor of Political Science Kennan Ferguson, author of Cookbook Politics, on how cookbooks politicize in terms of form, content, representation, production, and intention
  • Sunday, July 12, 2:00 pm, at Boswell – A DNC preview event with Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign founder Meena Harris, author of Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, a children’s book about the author’s aunt, Kamala Harris – registration info to come
  • Thursday, July 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – David S Pederson, author of Death Overdue, the latest Heath Barrington mystery from the Lambda Award nominee
  • Thursday, August 13, 2:00 pm, at Boswell – An Irish Fest preview event with Carlene O’Connor, author of Murder in an Irish Cottage
  • Thursday, August 20, :00 pm, at Boswell – Milwaukee-area writer Laura Jamison, author of All the Right Mistakes, the story of five college friends whose lives are upended when one of them writes a bestselling self-help manual chronicling the gaffes of the others
  • Monday, August 24, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Madison writer John Galligan, author of Dead Man Dancing, the follow-up to Bad Axe Country – see our book club page for a bonus event
  • Tuesday, August 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – YA, Boswell! with Liza Wiemer, author of The Assignment, a novel inspired by true events that explores the dangerous impact of discrimination and antisemitism

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.