Upcoming Events

Details for our upcoming events are below. You can find a line listing of other confirmed author appearances at the bottom of the page.

If you want to hear about events in your in box, 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!   

Michael Zadoorian, author of Beautiful Music
Wednesday, August 15, 7 pm, at Boswell

Michael Zadoorian, author of the novel that became this year’s film from Sony Pictures Classics, The Leisure Seekers joins Peter Coviello, whose previous work tackled Steely Dan, Prince, and the history of sexuality, for an evening of music-inspired fiction and memoir.

Zadoorian’s novel Beautiful Music is a funny, poignant, novel about love, fear, death, race, music, and the intense passions of youth. In 1970s Detroit, Danny Yzemski listens to CKLW on his radio. Dad loves music too - the beautiful instrumentals we now call elevator music. Mom drinks and rants. Danny dodges the bullies at school and work, and things get worse before they get better, with the family disintegrating and racial tensions ratcheting up.

Coviello’s memoir Long Players considers grief and the things that keep us alive, namely sex, talk, and dancing. It’s about the different ways we have of falling in love: with bands and songs and books, but also with our friends, lovers, the families we imagine, and the families we make. It’s a story of heartbreak, (ex)stepparenthood, and the limitless grace of pop songs for anyone who has loved a record like their life depended on it.

Publishers Weekly praised both books, calling Beautiful Music a “raucous bildungsroman… full of energy, pain, growth, and great music,” and saying Long Players is “memorably passionate… a sprawling and tempestuous affair.”

Michael Zadoorian the author of The Leisure Seekers, Second Hand: A Novel, and The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit. Zadoorian is a recipient of a Kresge Artist Fellowship, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and the Michigan Notable Book Award. His fiction has appeared in the Literary Review, American Short Fiction, and North American Review. Peter Coviello, a professor of English at University of Illinois at Chicago, has written about Walt Whitman, Mormon polygamy, and Prince, and his work has appeared in The Believer, Raritan, and Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as in several books. He was also a 2017-18 fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Still Waters Collective Anthology Contributors to Runs Deep
Thursday, August 16, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

The Still Waters Collective anthology celebrates our community and writing craft. This event features reading from eight contributors, including Nikki Jansen, Lisa Williams, Isaiah Furquan, Rap Kamasutra, and Lybra Olbrantz.

Runs Deep is a showcase of poetry and stories inspired by workshops from various Still Waters Collective sponsored programs including: PENtastic, FoxTales, The Write In, Voltage, and High School Slam League. The anthology includes 60 pieces to enjoy, written by teens and adults that tell tales of identity, women’s empowerment, Milwaukee neighborhoods, racial justice, family, love, and more!

Copies of Runs Deep will be available for sale at Boswell Book Company.

Still Waters Collective began as an adult open mic at a Milwaukee nightclub called Mecca. From four poets standing sharing their work around a tall cocktail table, the Still Waters series grew to a weekly institution that nurtured a community for more than a decade.

Friday, August 17, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Erin Buhr comes to Boswell to take us on little walks that contain big adventures and help parents and guardians teach toddlers about their surroundings through fun and adventurous local explorations, outdoor games, and activities that promote and enhance learning.

While most activity books encourage indoor explorations, countless adventures and learning opportunities await outside! Going for a walk or exploring the local community can bring about much more than just exercise.

Intended for parents and caregivers of children ages 10 months to 3 years, Little Walks, Big Adventures provides at-home or at-school activities that correspond to outdoor explorations, extending the learning opportunities after you return from your adventures. Sections of beautiful photography illustrate various outdoor concepts, from home and community to vehicles to animals.

Erin Buhr has a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and over 15 years of experience working with young children.

Tuesday, August 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Ronald J. Berger tells his family’s compelling true story of two Jewish brothers who survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland.

This event is cosponsored by Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center.

Berger’s father endured several concentration camps, including the infamous camp at Auschwitz, as well as a horrific winter death march. His brother, the author’s uncle, survived outside of the camps by passing as a Catholic among anti-Semitic Poles, including a group of anti-Nazi Polish partisans, eventually becoming an officer in the Soviet Army. The book traces the defining prewar, wartime, and postwar events that marked their extraordinary lives.

Ronald J. Berger is Professor Emeritus at UW-Whitewater. He has published numerous books and articles on topics that include crime and criminal justice, disability, and the Holocaust. Originally from a Jewish community in Los Angeles, he lives in McFarland, WI.

A ticketed event with Amy Stewart, author of Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions
Wednesday, August 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Amy Stewart has visited Milwaukee several times over the years. She’s been at the Boerner Botanical Gardens to share her floral wisdom. She deconstructed drinks from The Drunken Botanist at Great Lakes Distillery. But one place she’s never been in Milwaukee is Boswell Book Company. And to us, that’s particularly crazy, partly because we love her Kopp Sisters historical series, and even more so because she actually owns a bookstore, Eureka Books in California. (eurekabooksellers.com)

This is a ticketed event - $17 includes admission and a paperback. Available at stewartmke.bpt.me. Choose from Girl Waits with Gun, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, or Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions. For a fourth option, attendees can purchase admission, cover all taxes and fees, and get a pre-release copy of the forthcoming hardcover, Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit for just $24. That's right! You can get a copy of the latest Kopp Sisters adventure before its release date in September, but this option is only available at the event.

We’re celebrating the paperback release of the third book in the series, Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions, and pre-celebrating the September 11 release of #4, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit. And speaking of things that won’t quit, we’re celebrating the success of the first two books in the series, Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble. So mostly, we’re just celebrating.

In Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit, Amy Stewart continues to brilliantly conjure the life and times of the real Constance Kopp. After a year on the job, New Jersey's first female deputy sheriff has collared criminals, demanded justice for wronged women, and gained notoriety nationwide for her exploits. But one stormy night, a prisoner escapes and everything falls apart. Since Fall 1916 is a high-stakes election year, any move she makes could jeopardize Sheriff Heath's future - and her own. And although Constance is not on the ballot, her controversial career makes her the target of political attacks.

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of seven books, including her acclaimed fiction debut Girl Waits with Gun and the bestsellers The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. She and her husband, based in Portland, Oregon, own the bookstore Eureka Books in Eureka, California.

Bishop and Fuller, authors of Galahad’s Fool
Thursday, August 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller, founding members of Milwaukee’s experimental Theatre X, have toured America since 1969 as actors, playwrights, and puppeteers. Returning to Milwaukee for this year’s Fringe Fest, they will appear at Boswell with their novel, Galahad’s Fool, which offers a glimpse of backstage reality unadorned by glitter but blessed with a hardscrabble magic.

A year after the death of his co-creator and soul mate Lainie, a grizzled, acerbic puppeteer struggles to build a solo show. What Albert Fisher intends as a lightweight spoof turns sharply personal as he labors to birth a raw myth of love and loss.

Albert’s aging Galahad, no longer a glittering hero, launches a second mad quest for the Grail. To follow him his wife secretly changes guises with their frail, androgynous Fool. As the performance evolves, Albert finds kinship with Galahad’s despair and dogged vision, opening himself to the risk of new love.

Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller have created more than fifty plays and four radio series. Their books include the novel Realists and memoir Co-Creation: Fifty Years in the Making.

Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
in conversation with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich
Tuesday, August 28, 7:00 pm, at Boswell

The acclaimed author of The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House visits Boswell for a special evening of conversation about her latest, a dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy, set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris.

Makkai will be in conversation with Mitch Teich, the award-winning Executive Producer of WUWM’s Lake Effect.

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying, and the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter, who disappeared into a cult. Staying with a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world as Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

In their starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Great Believers “a striking, emotional journey,” that will “undoubtedly touch the hearts and minds of readers.” And writing for The New York Times Book Review, Pulitzer-winner Michael Cunningham calls the book “an absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.”

Rebecca Makkai is the author of The Hundred Year-House, The Borrower, and Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in several Best American anthologies as well as Tin House, Ploughshares, and Harper’s.

James R. Gapinksi, author of Edge of the Known Bus Line
Thursday, August 30, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Former Milwaukeean James Gapinski catches a ride to Boswell with his newest book, Edge of the Known Bus Line, winner of the Etchings Press novella prize.

A woman's daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she's dropped off in a grotesque shantytown. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They've developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The woman searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels, says, “this is a bus we’ve all been on, and this is a town we all carry around with us. The only question is: will James R. Gapinski let us out where we want, or where we deserve?”

James R. Gapinski is author of Messiah Tortoise, a collection of linked flashes, and his work has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Word Riot, and Juked. He is Managing Editor of The Conium Review, holds an MFA from Goddard College, and an MA from Prescott College.

Anna Lardinois, author of Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends
Wednesday, September 5, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Anna Lardinois, founder of Gothic Milwaukee and ardent collector of stories, leads a tour (from the comfort of Boswell) of Milwaukee’s haunted houses, eerie avenues, and bedeviled buildings.

Beneath Milwaukee's calm façade, its ghastly past awaits. In life, Charles Pfister played the dutiful hotel host, and he tends this office still in death. The overbearing spirit of Frederick Pabst keeps persistent watch over the mansion that shares his name. The remains of the Newhall House Fire, the city's deadliest disaster, lie beneath a new building, but those who lost their lives that night refuse to rest in peace.

Even the suburbs hold their share of ghoulish secrets, including the furtive dwarves of Haunchyville, the fabled Bray Road Beast and the stubborn spirits lurking in Deacon West's house. Lardinois shares the spine-tingling tales of the Beer City's famous, and not so famous, specters and legends.

Anna Lardinois is the creator of the self-guided walking tour collections Walking Milwaukee: Downtown Edition and Tosa Edition. She happily resides in a historic home in Milwaukee that, as yet, does not appear to be haunted.

Lil Rev debuts his latest album Mountain Dulcimer
Thursday, September 6, 7:00 PM at Boswell

Lil Rev, Milwaukee’s multi-talented multi-instrumentalist, might be best known for his ukulele playing and his role throughout the city as a music educator, but on his latest CD, debuting at Boswell, he brings his unique focus to a most American musical instrument, the mountain dulcimer.

This collection features classic old-time, pre-war blues, yiddish, folk, and original material. Recorded in Milwaukee, Lil Rev’s latest is infused with a genuine Midwestern touch.

Unlike the more common Appalachian or Celtic repertoire found on most dulcimer recordings, Rev tackles early blues, songs like Mississippi John Hurt’s soulful “Louis Collins.” The record includes a Carter Family standard, a sea shanty, and other old time folk styles. His originals are well crafted and poignant, but the focus is firmly on the blues. And if you think you can’t play a convincing country blues on the dulcimer, Rev’s virtuosic playing on “Squabbling Blues” will change your mind.

Lil Rev is a multi-instrumentalist, educator, and entertainer from Milwaukee. He has written a series of instructional ukulele books for Hal Leonard Publications and released several solo and collaborative albums, including Claw and Hammer, Fountains of Uke, and Harmonica Americana.

Friday, September 7, 7:00 PM, at Charles Allis Art Museum, 1801 N Prospect Ave

Lankford explodes every cliché about Leonardo Da Vinci and then reconstructs the mysterious-as-ever artist’s life from a trove of evidence about Leonardo’s life and times in this Wall Street Journal selection for 2017 Book of the Year.

This event is free with paid admission to the Charles Allis Art Museum - $7 general public, $5 students and seniors. For more information, visit charlesallis.org.

Seeking to envision Da Vinci without obscuring the residue of historical varnish, the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Renaissance Italy, usually missing in other biographies, are all here, transporting readers back to a world of war, plague, and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, and of murderous tyrants with exquisite taste in art.

Lankford brilliantly captures Da Vinci’s life as the compelling and dangerous adventure it seems to have actually been - fleeing from one sanctuary to the next, somehow surviving in war zones beside his friend Machiavelli, struggling to make art his way or no way at all, and often paying dearly for those decisions.

Mike Lankford is author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer, selected best music book of the year by eight major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune.

Ellen Hopkins, author of People Kill People
Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

The author of 14 bestselling YA novels and 3 adult novels, Hopkins comes to Boswell with her latest, a compelling, complex story that tackles gun violence and white supremacy.

A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for protection. Who was it? Each character has the incentive to pick up a gun. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race and possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything in a devastating accident and sunk quietly into depression?

Someone will pull the trigger. And someone will die. One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions.

Ellen Hopkins is the author of Crank, Love Lies Beneath, and A Sin Such as This, and several more novels. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative.

Wednesday, September 12, reception 5:30 PM, presentation 6:30 PM, at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, 2220 N Terrace Ave

Wade Weissman, founder of Wade Weissmann Architecture, based in Milwaukee, appears at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum to speak about his signature bespoke homes.

Tickets for this event are $10, and are available to purchase at brownpapertickets.com/event/3586997.

The houses designed by Wade Weissmann and his firm tell the stories of the homeowners. Like beautiful music, a Weissmann house is composed of notes and expressions, rhythm and syncopation, moving forward in time and space toward a resolution that separates ordinary from extraordinary architecture.

Known for their shingle-style homes, they also design ranch houses and equestrian estates, romantic cottages, contemporary penthouses, and lake homes. There is nothing ordinary about a WWA house; custom wood work, architectural details, and the finest materials set these residences apart from all others.

Wade Weissmann is founder and principal of Wade Weissmann Architecture. He earned a degree in architecture from University of Wisconsin and an MS in Architecture from University of Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and The Institute of Classic Architecture and Art.

Wednesday, September 12, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at UWM expounds upon exhibition history and the captivating way the architecture of movie theaters impacts viewers’ experience.

Movie theaters are not just places to see a film. They are sites in which to experience new technologies, explore immersive environments, and to innovate new modes of seeing and hearing. This fascinating book shows us that movie theaters have long been irretrievably shaped by dynamic debates across fields such as modernism, architecture, design, and commercial entertainment, inviting us to look beyond the screen and at the spaces in which movies have long been embedded.

This is essential reading for those interested in the history of theaters and cinema, as well as those interested in modernity, entertainment, and the persistent transformation of the human senses by technological design.

Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece earned a BA in English and Film from Notre Dame and an MA and PhD in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University. Her writing has been published in academic journals such as Screen and magazines such as 2ha. She is Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at UWM.

Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano, creators of Illegal
Thursday, September 13, 6:30 PM, at Boswell

Eoin Colfer, author of Aretmis Fowl, appears at Boswell with the creative team behind the Artemis Fowl graphic novel series for a powerful, moving new graphic novel that explores the current plight of migrants around the world. Colfer and Donkin will discuss the creation of Illegal as Rigano creates live illustrations.

Please register for this free event at colferdonkin.bpt.me. Or, upgrade to a book-with-ticket option. It’s $15.75 for paperback, $21 for hardcover, and includes the selected copy of Illegal, one event reservation, and signing line priority. This event is cosponsored by Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Ebo's sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows that to see them again, he must follow in their footsteps and make the hazardous voyage from Ghana to a safe haven in Europe. So the twelve-year-old sets off on an epic journey that takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. Powerful and timely, this graphic novel brings to life Ebo's unquenchable hope for a new life in the face of daunting and perilous obstacles.

From the starred Booklist review: "Colfer (who taught elementary school in Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia) leads the team that was also behind the Artemis Fowl graphic adaptation in transforming staggering statistics (UNHCR's 2017 data cites 65.6-million have been forcibly displaced) into a resonating story about a single boy and what remains of his family." It's "an illuminating, important volume."

Eoin Colfer spent four years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was based on his experiences in Tunisia. He is author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series. Andrew Donkin is a graphic novelist and illustrator who has also written for adults. Giovanni Rigano has illustrated many graphic novels.

Thursday, September 13, 6:30 PM, at University School of Milwaukee, 2100 W Fairy Chasm Rd, River Hills

Boswell and the University School of Milwaukee Global Scholars Read program present leading foreign correspondent David Patrikarakos with a discussion of how social media has transformed the modern battlefield and the way wars are fought today.

RSVP is required for this free event, at usmk12.org/page/patrikarakos.

Modern warfare is a war of narratives, where bullets are fired both physically and virtually. Whether you are a president or a terrorist, if you don't understand how to deploy the power of social media effectively you may win the odd battle but you will lose a twenty-first century war.

Patrikarakos draws on unprecedented access to key players to provide a new narrative for modern warfare. He travels thousands of miles across continents to meet a de-radicalized female member of ISIS recruited via Skype, a liberal Russian in Siberia who takes a job manufacturing "Ukrainian" news, and many others to explore the way social media has transformed the way we fight, win, and consume wars - and what this means for the world going forward.

David Patrikarakos is a Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews, author of Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State, a contributing editor at the Daily Beast, and a contributing writer at Politico. He has written for The New York Times, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.

David S. Pederson, author of Death Checks In
Saturday, September 15, 7:00 PM, at Boswell

Wisconsin author David S. Pederson returns to Boswell with the latest installment of his mystery series, the adventures of Milwaukee Detective Heath Barrington.

All Detective Barrington and his partner Alan want is a get-away weekend of romance and relaxation, but they find murder instead when a missing tie leads them to the body of the peculiar Victor Blount, and Heath can't resist the urge to investigate.

Clues turn up around every corner and lead down a strange and winding road of mystery and danger. As Heath and Alan work together to solve the case, they encounter various and eccentric suspects, old friends, and a hostile Chicago Detective who doesn't like Milwaukee police involved in a Chicago crime. Forced to act on their own, out of their jurisdiction, they race against time to find the killer before the case is closed for good.

David S. Pederson grew up in Wisconsin, where he currently lives with his longtime partner and works in the furniture and decorating business. The author of the Heath Barrington mystery series, including Death Comes Darkly and Death Goes Overboard, he is passionate about mysteries, old movies, and crime novels.

More Upcoming Events

  • Friday, Sepember 21, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – DeWitt Clinton, author of the new memoir At the End of the War, a new collection of poetry
  • Saturday, September 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Jessica Hopper, author of the new memoir Night Moves and The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, in conversation with Justin Barney, Music Director of RadioMilwaukee
  • Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Tommy Orange, author of the bestselling novel There, There, in conversation with UWM Professor and author Kimberly Blaeser. Register for this event at orangemke.bpt.me
  • Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Former President of the Midwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America Lori Rader-Day, author of Under a Dark Sky, in conversation with author, book critic, and Alverno Professor Carole E. Barrowman
  • Thursday, September 27, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Professor of History at University Colorado Boulder Scott G. Bruce, editor of The Penguin Book of Hell and The Penguin Book of the Undead
  • Monday, October 1, 6:00 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library’s Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St – John Gurda, author of Milwaukee: A City Built on Water
  • Sunday, October 14, 2:00 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library’s Loos Room at Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St – A tea party with Megan McDonald , author of Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party. Registration link to come.
  • Sunday, October 21, 3:00 pm, at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield – a ticketed event with Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light, presented by Oconomowoc’s Books & Company, Boswell, and the Wilson Center. Tickets are $34, available at picoultwi.bpt.me, and include a signed copy of A Spark of Light.
  • Tuesday, October 23, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Madison writer Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of Interior States: Essays, a collection of writings about faith, Christianity, and ambivalence
  • Monday, November 5, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Daniel Mason, editor of The Winter Soldier and The Piano Tuner. Folks who've read The Winter Soldier can join our In-store Lit Group discussion, which will meet before our public event, at 6:00 pm in the magazine area. 
  • Saturday, November 17, 3:00 pm, at Boswell – Edgar Award finalist and Barry Award winner Allen Eskens, editor of The Shadows We Hide, the sequel to The Life We Bury
  • Friday, November 30, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award John Koethe, author of Walking Backwards: Poems 1966-2016

Please remember that while we try to update this page as frequently as possible, all events are subject to change. If you have any concerns, please contact Boswell. Also note that ticketed events do sell out, and all events are subject to capacity. It never hurts to come early.