Due to COVID-19, our in-person events have gone virtual. 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.
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
Join us for the launch celebration for Milwaukee-area author Rajurkar’s debut novel. She is the winner of the national SCBWI Emerging Voices award. She’ll chat with Lauren Fox, Milwaukee author of Send for Me and Days of Awe.
Click this link sentence to register for this Zoom launch event. And preorder your copy of American Betiya for 20% off list price right now! Autographed copies will be available.
American Betiya takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. Braiding together themes of sexuality, artistic expression, and appropriation, Rajurkar gives voice to a girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time. Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces, says, "American Betiya thoughtfully examines cross-cultural boundaries, first love, the first steps of independence from family, and the power of art to transform and heal. I loved Rani's fierce, heartfelt, and beautifully told journey."
Rani Kelkar, a young woman growing up in Evanston, Illinois, can say she's never lied to her parents in her life. Then she meets Oliver, whose tattoos, charisma, and passion for art - the qualities that made him so attractive to Rani - make him her mother’s worst nightmare. They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver's troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost.
Anuradha Rajurkar is a teacher by day and a YA writer by night, who holds two degrees from Northwestern University.
Oona Out of Order is a national bestseller, Good Morning America Book Club pick, and a Boswell favorite. It’s also out in paperback on February 9 and we’re celebrating with special free virtual event with Margarita Montimore. Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel about a woman who lives each year of her life out of order, exploring what it means to be human and live in the moment. For this event, Montimore will be in conversation with Boswellians Chou and Goldin.
Click right here to register for this Zoom virtual event. And purchase your paperback copy of Oona Out of Order for 10% off list price, too.
If you loved The Immortalists or The Midnight Library, Oona Out of Order is a great book to read next. Boswellian Kay Wosewick calls Oona a “unique, fun, and thought-provoking tale.” And as Jenny Chou says, “For anyone who’s been waiting seventeen years for a novel as engrossing as The Time Traveler’s Wife, this is the book for you! Please note that Oona Out of Order will also be the April selection of our Books & Beer Book Club. Details about that can be found right here.
It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order.
Margarita Montimore is author of Asleep from Day. After receiving a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, she worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time.
Acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis discusses her new and vibrant history of the modern conservation movement, as told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. This event is cosponsored by Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and Boswell Book Company and Nijhuis will chat with Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. Cohosted by Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.
Click right here to register for this virtual event today! And purchase your copy of Beloved Beasts for 20% off list price, too. The first 20 people to order the book will also receive autographed book plates and a Beloved Beasts Field Notebook!
In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, Nijhuis traces the movement’s history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale.
Nijhuis’s book describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson and reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund. As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change escalate, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species—including our own.
Michelle Nijhuis is a project editor at the Atlantic, a contributing editor at High Country News, and an award-winning reporter whose work has been published in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. She is coeditor of The Science Writers' Handbook. Dan Egan is a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the Brico Fund Senior Water Policy Fellow in Great Lakes Journalism at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences.
The Nathan and Eshter Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, in partnership with Congregation Shalom, presents a free virtual afternoon event featuring a special talk with author and former white supremacist Picciolini. 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. His life since leaving the white-power movement decades ago has been dedicated to helping others overcome their own hate. He now leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network. He'll discuss his book, Breaking Hate, which offers both the inside story about how extremists lure the unwitting to their causes and a guide for how everyday Americans can win those converts - and our civil democracy - back. This event will be broadcast via Zoom - click right here to visit the HERC website and register now.
Christian Picciolini is an award-winning television producer, a public speaker, author, peace advocate, and a former violent extremist. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for producing an anti-hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism. Picciolini is author of the memoir White American Youth, and he is the featured subject in season 3 of WBEZ's Motive podcast. He showcases his disengagement work in a second book, Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism, as well as the MSNBC documentary series of the same name.
Boswell Book Company, in partnership with Left Bank Books of St. Louis and Anderson's Bookshops of Greater Chicago, present an evening with Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro. He’ll discuss his first novel since being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature with Ron Charles, who writes about books and publishing for The Washington Post.
Tickets for this event cost $28 plus tax and ticketing fee. USPS Media Mail and Priority shipping is also available in the continental United States for an additional charge. To purchase your tickets and for more information, go to ishiguromke.eventbrite.com.
Ishiguro’s latest novel tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
Kazuo Ishiguro is author of novels such as Never Let Me Go, Remains of the Day, winner of the Booker Prize, and The Buried Giant. He was given knighthood in 2018 for Services to Literature and holds the decorations of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from Japan. Ron Charles writes for The Washington Post and stars in The Totally Hip Video Book Review online. He’s been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and the American Library Association’s Louis Shores Award for reviewing.
The March installment of the Ink/Well virtual event series, featuring authors in conversation with Wisconsin’s own Jane Hamilton, hosts Jackie Polzin for a chat about her funny, nakedly honest, and beautifully observed debut novel.
Click right here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And purchase your copy of Brood for 20% off list price right here online, via telephone, or during in-person browsing hours from Boswell Book Company. Or purchase your copy from InkLink Books here on their website or call 262-642-9207.
Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically faces the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.
An exquisite new literary voice in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout depicts one woman’s attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss. This stunning meditation on life and longing will stand beside such modern classics as H is for Hawk and Gilead. From Boswellian Tim McCarthy: “Let the book peck at you for a while and you’ll be rewarded. Mix in Minnesota’s climate extremes and a changing neighborhood. You’ll get a growing sense that you’re reading something very special, richly human. There’s nothing quite like it.”
Jackie Polzin is an author from St Paul, Minnesota. Brood is her first novel. Jane Hamilton is author of novels such as The Excellent Lombardos, The Book of Ruth, and A Map of the World.
Join us for an evening with Shorewood photojournalist Sacken as she chats about her suspenseful novel about a photographer who, after barely surviving a deadly brush with the Taliban, returns to Afghanistan to teach at a school for girls. Sacken will be in conversation with Rochelle Melander, Write Now! Writing Coach and author of Level Up. Cohosted by Shorewood Public Library. Sacken is also the current President of Friends of the Shorewood Public Library!
Click right here to register now for this virtual event. And purchase your copy of Behind the Lens, too, either online, by phone, or during in-store hours!
Kirkus calls Sacken’s novel “a gripping Afghan tale starring a strong hero wielding a camera.” And conversation partner Melander chimes in to say, “Not only does this story take readers on an adventure Behind the Lens and into Annie's life, it transports them to the heart of Afghanistan and into a battle for equality, freedom, and justice."
Since the Taliban ambush that left a young Afghan girl dying in her arms, Annie Hawkins Green has managed to suppress her memories of that brutal day - until she returns to Afghanistan to teach a photography. As the Taliban gain prominence in the once peaceful region, Annie's nightmares from her last time in-country come roaring back with a vengeance. But are they just dreams? The unshakeable feeling of a grim, watchful presence makes Annie think otherwise.
Jeannée Sacken is a photojournalist who travels the world documenting the lives of women and children. A former English professor, she lives in Shorewood. Rochelle Melander is author of ten books, including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It).
Award-winning historian and writer Tim Brady discusses his latest book, which tells astonishing true story of three fearless female resisters during WWII whose youth and innocence belied their extraordinary daring in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Cohosted by the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center.
Click this red sentence to register for this virtual Zoom event now. And preorder a copy of Three Ordinary Girls for 20% off list price online, by phone, or during in-person hours.
Recruited as teenagers, Hannie Schaft, and Dutch sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen fulfilled harrowing missions as spies, saboteurs, and Nazi assassins with remarkable courage. That included sheltering fleeing Jews, political dissidents, and Dutch resisters. They sabotaged bridges and railways, and donned disguises to lead children from probable internment in concentration camps to safehouses. They covertly transported weapons and set military facilities ablaze. And they carried out the assassinations of German soldiers and traitors, on public streets and in private traps, with the courage of veteran guerilla fighters and the cunning of seasoned spies.
Stephen Harding, author of The Last Battle, says, "Exhaustively researched and written with both authority and style, Tim Brady's Three Ordinary Girls is history that reads like a novel. A vivid and unforgettable portrait of three young women who put their lives on the line in a very personal fight against Naziism, this book is a page-turner and is highly recommended."
Tim Brady is author of books such as Twelve Desperate Miles, A Death in San Pietro, and His Father's Son. He has written for a wide range of magazines, newspapers and journals and helped write and develop television documentaries including the Peabody Award-winning series, Liberty! The American Revolution for PBS. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
The March installment of the Readings from Oconomowaukee features Abi Daré, author of the instant New York Times bestseller and Read with Jenna Today Show book club pick. In conversation with bookstore proprietors Goldin and Baudoin. Cohosted by Boswell Book Company and Books & Company of Oconomowoc.
Click right here to register for this virtual evening. And purchase your paperback copy of The Girl with the Louding Voice for 10% off list price from Boswell right here, or purchase from Books & Company right here.
Here’s Daniel on The Girl with the Louding Voice: “Adunni, living in rural Nigeria, has dreams of getting an education, but when her mother dies, her father sells her off as a third wife to get food. Her husband Morufu just wants to hedge his bets on getting new sons for his tax business. Later she’s placed as a maid to Big Madam and Big Daddy, a wealthy and abusive Lagos woman with a flourishing textile business and her lecherous husband. However dire things got in the story, Adunni’s spirit and determination kept me going. She truly is Sweetness, which is what her name means in Yoruba.”
And from Tsitsi Dangarembga in the New York Times Book Review: “Adunni’s brave, fresh voice powerfully articulates a resounding anger toward Africa’s toxic patriarchy… Daré draws the reader in with a vivid character whose dire circumstances are contrasted with her natural creativity (she keeps her spirits up by composing comic songs imagining a fabulous future) and her undying will to survive… Throughout her harrowing coming-of-age journey, told with verve and compassion, Adunni never loses the ‘louding voice’ that makes Daré’s story, and her protagonist, so unforgettable.”
Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, studied law at the University of Wolverhampton, and has an MSc in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition.
Boswell Book Company presents and evening with Martha S Jones, author of a new book that documents the epic history of African American women's pursuit of political power, and how it transformed America. Cohosted by America's Black Holocaust Museum.
Click right here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And purchase your copy of Vanguard for 20% off list price right now as well.
Writing for the New York Journal of Books, Elaine Elinson says, “Jones’s book is a welcome addition to the spate of books on woman suffrage that have been published this year in honor of the Centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment. Through her rigorous scholarship and out-of-the-box perspective, she sheds new and important light on the crucial role of Black women in winning and ensuring the right to vote… Jones’ scholarship addresses a gaping hole in suffrage literature.”
In the standard story, the suffrage crusade began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this overwhelmingly white women's movement did not win the vote for most black women. Jones offers a new history of African American women's political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of black women - Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more - who were the vanguard of women's rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals.
Martha S Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She is president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the oldest and largest association of women historians in the United States. She is author of Birthright Citizens and All Bound up Together and has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and USA Today.
Milwaukee’s Neubauer, author of the smash Boswell bestseller Murder at the Mena House, returns to celebrate the release of the second novel in her series featuring the adventures of amateur detective Jane Wunderly. Click right here to register for this virtual event. And preorder your copy of Murder at Wedgefield Manor now for 20% off list price. All copies will be autographed, and you can request personalization when you order, too!
England, 1926: Wedgefield Manor, deep in the tranquil Essex countryside, provides a welcome rest stop for Jane and her matchmaking Aunt Millie before their return to America. While Millie spends time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian, and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills the hours devouring mystery novels and taking flying lessons - much to Millie’s disapproval. But any danger in the air is eclipsed by tragedy on the ground when one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed in a motorcar collision.
The sliced brake cables prove this was no accident, yet was the intended victim someone other than Simon? The house is full of suspects - visiting relations, secretive servants, strangers prowling the grounds at night - and also full of targets. The enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who helped Jane solve a murder in Egypt, arrives on the scene to once more offer his assistance. It seems that everyone at Wedgefield wants Jane to help protect the Hughes family. But while she searches for answers, is she overlooking a killer hiding in plain sight?
Erica Ruth Neubauer spent eleven years in the military, nearly two as a Maryland police officer, and one as a high school English teacher, before finding her way as a writer. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for publications such as Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine for several years, and she’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Tim Hennessy is the editor of Milwaukee Noir.
Boswell Book Company and Brew City UX present a virtual conversation with Margot Bloomstein, content strategist, author, and principal of Appropriate, Inc whose work has influenced a range of industries. She’ll chat about her book, which looks at the problem of how marketers need a strategy to earn trust, act with transparency, and help consumers and citizens make confident decisions without being undermined by cynicism. In conversation with Ash Dzick of Brew City UX.
Click right here to register for this event, to be broadcast via Zoom. And you can order a copy of Trustworthy now.
To regain the trust of consumers and citizens, marketers talk about empathy and authenticity. But how do you get beyond those buzzwords? In Trustworthy, Bloomstein examines what works among teams of all stripes and sizes, She casts a broad net to capture the experiences of copywriters, designers, creative directors, and CMOs - people who work to build trust through imagery, editorial style, storytelling, and retail design. She brings her trademark blend of insight and encouragement to guest lecture in business, design, and humanities programs, sparking students to embrace a more thoughtful vision of their role in the broader industry.
Brew City UX is a group of professionals passionate about crafting meaningful user experiences and growing the vibrant Milwaukee UX (user experience design) community.
Margot Bloomstein is author of Content Strategy at Work: Real-World Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project. For more than twenty years, Bloomstein has led workshops, keynoted conferences, and advised marketing teams around the world. She advises Women Talk Design, a platform for speakers in design, and teaches in the graduate program at FH Joanneum University. Ash Dzick is Director of User Experience for MRS. She is an Instructor for Milwaukee School of Engineering and an organizer for Brew City UX.
Boswell presents an evening with writer Michael Lowenthal, author of novels like Avoidance and The Paternity Test, for a conversation with Stephen McCauley, author of My Ex-Life. Click right here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And preorder your copy of Sex with Strangers, available in March, right here.
Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men, says “In this pitch-perfect collection of sly, shapely stories, Michael Lowenthal turns his discerning eye on relationships up and down the Kinsey scale. What a tremendous gift to read such wise insights into the various ways people seduce, betray, surprise, and ultimately transform each other.”
Recognizing that any partner is unknowable on some level, Lowenthal writes about how intimacy can make strangers of us all. A newly ordained priest struggles with guilt and longing when he runs into his ex-girlfriend. A woman weighs the cost of protecting her daughter from a man they both adore. A young man tries to salvage a long-distance relationship while caring for his mentor, an erotic writer dying of AIDS. In edgy, disquieting stories, Lowenthal traces the paths that attraction and erotic encounters take, baffling and rueful as often as electrifying. This fraught and funny collection forces us to grapple with our own subconscious desires and question how well we can ever really know ourselves.
Michael Lowenthal is author of the novel such as The Same Embrace, Charity Girl, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and The Paternity Test, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, and has been anthologized in such volumes as Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge, Bestial Noise: The Tin House Fiction Reader, and Best New American Voices 2005. Stephen McCauley is author of seven novels, including The Object of My Affection, True Enough, and Alternatives to Sex. He was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and is Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program at Brandeis University.
Boswell celebrates the release of four new books for middle graders with an educator night for teachers, librarians, and children's book lovers. Hosted by Boswellian Jenny Chou, this evening will feature lively conversation about new middle grade books plus giveaways for virtual attendees!
Click right here to register for this virtual educator night now! And purchase any of the books by clicking their titles above.
Joy McCullough’s debut novel, Blood Water Paint, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. Her latest, Across the Pond, is about seventh-grader Callie, who hopes to escape friendship problems in San Diego when they move to a Scottish castle, only to find making new friends a challenge. McCullough is also the author of the current bestselling picture book, Champ and Major: First Dogs.
Manila-based writer Tana Guerrero is the author of All You Knead Is Love. This story features twelve-year-old Alba, who feels hope and love while exploring a newly discovered passion for bread baking after being sent to her abuela’s in Barcelona. Guerrero's previous novel is How to Make Friends with the Sea.
Lisa Fipps, a library marketing manager based in Indiana, presents her debut novel, Starfish. Ellie, a twelve-year-old girl who has been bullied and shamed for being fat her whole life, finally gains the confidence to stand up for herself, with the help of some wonderful new allies.
Sarah Allen is the author of Breathing Underwater. In this novel, thirteen-year-old Olivia, a budding photographer, tries to recreate a Treasure Hunt she once shared with her sixteen-year-old sister, Ruth, while watching for signs that Ruth's depression is back. Allen is also the author of Where Stars Are Made, and like the protagonist in that novel, she lives with Turner Syndrome.
Boswell Book Company presents a ticketed virtual event with New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney in conversation with actor, singer, and writer Kate Flannery, best known for her nine seasons as Meredith on NBC's The Office. Hosted in collaboration with independent bookstores across the country, in a lively conversation to mark the publication of Sweeney’s highly anticipated second novel.
Tickets start at $25.19, 10% off the list price of Good Company, and includes the ticket fee. USPS media mail and priority mail are also available. We're only able to offer ticket-with-book for those in the continental United States. For international shipping, register through The Strand Bookstore. Another option is to purchase a ticket from us to view the event and have us donate a copy of Good Company to an area library. To purchase your tickets now, visit goodcompanymke.eventbrite.com.
Much of what made The Nest so beloved is back in play with Good Company, including Sweeney’s distinctive wit and her incisive examination of the way people and their relationships - with others and themselves - evolve over decades. The novel follows two couples entering the midpoint of their lives against the backdrop of the New York theater scene and Hollywood. The novel tells a story of what it means to “truly love but never truly know another person,” as Sweeney says in her own words.
From Maria Semple, the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette: "Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney plumbs the depths of marriage, motherhood, and friendship with warmth and wit. I devoured it in one gulp! Treat yourself to some Good Company."
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's novel The Nest was named one a best books of 2016 by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and others. She earned an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Boswell Book Company is proud to be working these following bookstores to bring your this event: Books Are Magic, Book Passage, Book Revue, The Briar Patch, The Book Stall, Chevlaier's Books, Fiction Addiction, Oblong Books & Music, Politics & Prose, Porter Square, and The Strand.
Boswell welcomes Andrew J Graff for a conversation about his debut novel set in 1990s rural Wisconsin with J Ryan Stradal, author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota. Pulitzer-winner Richard Russo calls Graff’s novel “a rousing adventure yarn full of danger and heart and humor.”
To register for this virtual event, click right here now. And you can preorder your copy of Raft of Stars right here now, too.
Nickolas Butler writes: "In ruggedly beautiful prose, and with a deep affection for his damaged, but always loveable characters, Graff delivers a novel with real heart and soul." When two hardscrabble young boys think they’ve committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults find them reach them before it’s too late?
It’s summer in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of ten-year-old Fischer “Fish” Branson and Dale “Bread” Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don’t talk about. One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no-good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them. Adults track the boys toward the novel’s heart-pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another.
Andrew J Graff has published fiction and essays in Image and Dappled Things. Graff grew up in Wisconsin's Northwoods. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, he earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. J Ryan Stradal is author of novels like Kitchens of the Great Midwest and his writing has been published in Granta, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
The Lynden Sculpture Garden Women’s Speakers Series, produce by Milwaukee Reads and Boswell Book Company, presents New York Times bestselling author Dray for a presentation of her latest book, a historical novel based on the true story of a castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in some of humanity’s darkest hours.
This is a ticketed virtual event. Admission for one device costs $5, or upgrade to a book-with-admission for $27, plus sales tax and ticket fee. $5 from each ticket will be donated back to the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Ticket link: draylynden.eventbrite.com.
Dray brings to vibrant life the story of Chateau de Chavaniac and the Lafayette Preventorium, where socialite Beatrice Chanler cared for 25,000 children between 1917 and 1960 and hid Jewish children during WWII. Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together on the shoulders of those who came before us.
From the starred Booklist review: “Although divided by centuries, the women of Chateau Lafayette are united in their determination to make a better life for themselves and for others. Each of these three strong women's stories is unique, blending historical facts with expert storytelling. Dray has written a book that is highly recommended, sure to appeal to fans of women's fiction, WWII-era historical fiction, and the musical Hamilton.”
Stephanie Dray is a bestselling author of historical fiction. Her award-winning novels includes My Dear Hamilton and America's First Daughter, both cowritten with Laura Kamoie. Dray was also featured in Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women.
The April edition of our Readings from Oconomowaukee virtual event series celebrates the latest novel from Wisconsinite Amy E Reichert, author of novels like The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go and The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. Her latest is a story in which a woman must come home to Wisconsin Dells to face the (literal) ghosts of her hometown. She’ll join us for a conversation with bookstore proprietors Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin.
Click right here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And preorder your paperback copy of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club for 10% off list price now – either right here online from Boswell, or from our virtual event cohost Books & Company, right here.
For journalist Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Dells means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.
Then Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance; she needs to focus on finding a job. But the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder Ray is to resist. It doesn’t hurt that he shows his affection through good old-fashioned home-cooked suppers. As the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is in this heartwarming tale about the power of love and connection.
Wisconsin author Amy E Reichert is a novelist whose titles include The Simplicity of Cider and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie. She earned an MA in English Literature, serves on her library’s board of directors, and is a member of Tall Poppy Writers.
Join us for a virtual evening with Milwaukee mystery author Patricia Skalka as she discusses her brand new Dave Cubiak mystery with Barry Wightman, president of the Wisconsin Writers Association.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And be sure to order your copy of Death Washes Ashore now!
In the wake of a storm that lashed Door County, Sheriff Dave Cubiak assesses the damage: broken windows, downed trees, and piles of mysterious debris along the shoreline. He leaves the comfort of his home and heads out into the aftermath, checking in with folks along the way to offer help. His assistant, marooned at the justice center overnight, calls with an ominous message about a body discovered on the beach. When the medical examiner discovers the man didn’t simply drown during the storm, Cubiak searches for answers.
The victim directed a troupe of live-action role players living in an ersatz Camelot. In a setting where pretense in the norm, Cubiak must determine if suspects are who they say they are or if their made-up identities conceal a ruthless killer. As tensions escalate among neighbors unhappy about the noise and commotion, the sheriff discovers that more than one person on the peninsula has a motive for murder. She lives in Milwaukee.
Patricia Skalka is author of the Dave Cubiak Door Country mysteries. Skalka has been a staff writer for Reader’s Digest. Skalka is president of the Sisters in Crime Chicagoland Chapter and a member of The Authors Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Society of Midland Authors. Barry Wightman is author of Pepperland, winner of the Silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association. He is Program Chair for the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books and a Wisconsin Broadcasters Association award-winning essayist whose work has been heard on WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.
Readings from Oconomowaukee returns in May with a conversation featuring Katherine Heiny, author of novels like of Standard Deviation and Single, Carefree, Mellow. She’ll chat about her latest, a wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family with bookstore proprietors Goldin and Baudoin. This is our monthly event series cohosted by Books & Company of Oconomowoc.
Click right here to register for this virtual Zoom conversation. And purchase your copy of Early Morning Riser for 20% off list price, either from Boswell Book Company right here, or Books & Company right here.
From The Washington Post: ““If you enjoyed All Adults Here, by Emma Straub, read Early Morning Riser… When you enter a relationship with a man who has had relations with, well, half the town, things will probably get weird. Jane, the star of Heiny’s offbeat and funny new novel, falls for Duncan - who comes with an oversize load of small-town baggage. The story, which spans 17 years, sparkles with Heiny’s trademark witticisms and cutting observations.”
Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere - at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. Then any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon Jane’s life is permanently intertwined with Duncan’s, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane’s eyes? A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Heiny’s most wonderful work to date.
Katherine Heiny is author of Standard Deviation and Single, Carefree, Mellow, and her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other magazines. She is a former resident of Boyne City, Michigan, where the novel is set.
Boswell welcomes Joan Silber author of novels such as Improvement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She'll chat about her new novel about which Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House, says, “It would be impossible to overstate just how good this book is." We're excited to have Silber in conversation with her longtime friend, fellow writer, and fellow instructor at the Warren Wilson MFA program CJ Hribal.
Click this link sentence to register for this virtual event. And preorder a copy of Secrets of Happiness for 20% off list price, too!
When a man discovers his father in New York has long had another, secret, family - a wife and two kids - the interlocking fates of both families lead to surprise loyalties, love triangles, and a reservoir of inner strength. Lithub calls it one of their Most Anticipated Books of 2021, and says, “A new Joan Silber book is always a reason to celebrate. Her latest is the story of a family - two families - exploding after a years-long infidelity comes to light, told in intersecting, polyphonic voices, like a tapestry of those affected.”
Ethan, a young lawyer in New York, learns that his father has long kept a second family: a Thai wife and two kids living in Queens. In the aftermath of this revelation, Ethan’s mother spends a year working abroad, returning much changed, as events introduce her to the other wife. Across town, Ethan’s half-brothers are caught in their own complicated journeys: one brother’s penchant for minor delinquency has escalated, and the other must travel to Bangkok to bail him out, while the bargains their mother has struck about love and money continue to shape their lives. Evoking a generous and humane spirit, and a story that ranges over three continents, Secrets of Happiness elucidates the ways people marshal the resources at hand to forge their own forms of joy.
Joan Silber is author of nine books of fiction, including Fools, which was long-listed for the National Book Award, The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for The Story Prize. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the Warren Wilson MFA program. CJ Hribal is author of The Company Car, which won the Anne Powers Book Award, and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Prize in Short Fiction. He is Professor of English at Marquette University.
Madison-based essayist Swanson chats about his debut book of reportage, in which he embarks on a personal quest across the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate. He’ll chat with Steven Wright, author of the novel The Coyotes of Carthage.
Click right here on this red sentence to register for this Zoom event. And preorder your copy of Lost in Summerland for 20% off list price now, too!
Traversing the country, Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country’s political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs.
From Publishers Weekly: “Journalist Swanson investigates in his searching debut what he sees as America’s pervasive spiritual restlessness and alienation. Full of measured skepticism, Swanson’s sharp interrogation of contemporary American life hits hard and true.”
Barrett Swanson’s essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Travel Writing. He was the Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Click right here to register for this Zoom event. And preorder your copy of City on the Edge now for 20% off list price.
13-year-old Graham moves with his family to Beirut, a city on the edge of the sea and cataclysmic violence. Inquisitive by nature, Graham suspects his State Department father is a CIA operative and that his family's fragile domesticity is a front for American efforts along the Israeli border. Over the course of 1974, Graham's life will utterly change. Two men are murdered, his parents' marriage disintegrates, and Graham will run afoul of forces he cannot understand.
The City on the Edge is elegiac, atmospheric, and utterly authentic. It’s the story of innocents caught within the American net of espionage, of the Lebanese transformed by such interference, of the children who ran dangerously beside the churning wheel of history. A perfect blend of Stephen King’s "The Body" and John le Carre’s A Perfect Spy, it’s a transformative crime story told with heart and genuine experience.
David Swinson is a retired police detective from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, having been assigned to Major Crimes. He is the author of The Second Girl, Crime Song, and Trigger.
Debut author Willa C Richards chats about her novel, set in Milwaukee during the 'Dahmer Summer' of 1991, about two sisters - one who disappears and one who is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. In conversation with UWM Professor Valerie Laken.
Click here to register for this virtual event, broadcast via Zoom. And preorder your copy of The Comfort of Monsters now for 20% off list price.
A heartbreaking page-turner for fans of Mary Gaitskill and Gillian Flynn, Richards’ novel tells the story of a broken family looking for answers in the face of the unknown, and asks us to reconsider the power and truth of memory.
Teenaged Dee McBride vanished. Thirty years later, her sister Peg is haunted by her sister's disappearance. Their mother, on her deathbed, is desperate to find out what happened. Soon, Peg back to the past, to those final carefree months when she last saw Dee—the summer the Journal Sentinel called “the deadliest . . . in the history of Milwaukee,” when Jeffrey Dahmer’s heinous crimes dominated the headlines. Digging deep into her memory raises doubts and terrifying questions. Was there anything Peg could have done to prevent Dee’s disappearance? Who was really to blame for the family's loss? And what does it mean to bear witness in a world where even our own stories are inherently suspect?
Willa C Richards is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her story, “Failure to Thrive,” was published by The Paris Review and won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Emerging Writers. Valerie Laken is author of Dream House and Separate Kingdoms.
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.