Upcoming Events

If you want to hear about events in your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter or the Boswell and Books blog. And you can always pre-order or reserve a signed copy of your favorite author's new title if you can't make an event. Please note, all times are Central Standard Time (CST) unless otherwise noted.

Registration is requested at all Boswell events, and required if we reach capacity. Some events are ticketed. See specific program for details, particularly with cosponsored events.


Jo Piazza, author of The Sicilian Inheritance
at Boswell
Thursday, May 30, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts a special Festa Italiana preview evening featuring bestselling author and award-winning journalist Jo Piazza for her new novel, The Sicilian Inheritance, a transporting novel rooted in her family’s history about a long-awaited trip to Sicily, a disputed inheritance, and a family secret that someone will kill to protect. Cohosted by Festa Italiana.

Please click here to register for this event at jopiazzamke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Sicilian Inheritance now, too.

Sara Marsala barely knows who she is anymore after the failure of her business and marriage. When her beloved great-aunt Rosie passes away, Sara inherits the deed to a plot of land and discovers a bombshell family secret. Rosie believes Sara’s great-grandmother Serafina, the family matriarch who was left behind while her husband worked in America, didn’t die of illness as family lore has it - she was murdered. Thus begins a twist-filled adventure that takes Sara all over the picturesque Italian countryside as she races to solve a mystery.

From Daniel Goldin: "The Sicilian Inheritance alternates between the two timelines, keeping up the suspense and offering intriguing parallels. The result is a deliciously satisfying, action packed mystery, full of strong woman characters, some forbidden romance, and lots of Sicilian lore."

Jo Piazza is author of twelve books, including the Good Morning America Book Club pick We Are Not Like Them, cowritten with Christine Pride. She’s host of the critically acclaimed Under the Influence podcast, and her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


in conversation with Steve Schaffer at Boswell
Wednesday, June 5, 6:30 pm

Wall Street Journal columnist Lettie Teague appears at Boswell with her new book, Dear Readers and Riders, a new biography of Marguerite Henry, a children’s author who was born and grew up in Milwaukee and went on to win a Newbery award and influence generations of aspiring writers and devoted equestrians. Teague will be in conversation with Milwaukee County Historical Society Archivist Steve Schaffer.

Please click here to visit lettieteaguemke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Dear Readers and Riders now as well.

Marguerite Henry was a remarkably prolific and influential author who penned nearly sixty meticulously researched historical novels about influential horses and the hosts of fascinating characters who surrounded them, including the Newbery Award winner King of the Wind, Misty of Chincoteague, and Justin Morgan Had a Horse. Yet despite a professional existence that was profoundly public, Henry’s own life was mostly shielded from view.

Lettie Teague‘s biography provides a unique glimpse into Marguerite Henry’s life and work. Notably, the city of Milwaukee also figures into Henry’s story quite a bit, as her father ran the L Breithaupt printing company in the city throughout her life. This is a warm, wonderful biography for bibliophiles, horse lovers, aspiring writers, and Marguerite Henry fans, young and old.

Lettie Teague is the Wall Street Journal's wine columnist, is author of Wine in Words and Educating Peter, and co-author and illustrator of Fear of Wine. Her writing has won three James Beard Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. Like Henry, Teague grew up in the Midwest aspiring to be a writer.


in conversation with Lori Fredrich at Boswell
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes summer with an event featuring Terese Allen, author of The Dane County Farmer’s Market Cookbook, a gorgeous, warm-hearted salute to the vendors, shoppers and chefs who make the Dane County Farmers’ Market, now going strong for more than 50 years, a community. Allen will be joined in conversation by Milwaukee food writer Lori Fredrich, author of Wisconsin Field to Fork.

Please click here to register for this event at tereseallenmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook now, too.

Hundreds of Wisconsin growers and thousands of shoppers gather weekly around the white-domed State Capitol in Madison with an ever-growing diversity of farm-fresh crops, world-class cheeses, pastured meats, and specialty products. Allen brings the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Dane County farmers’ market together in this new collection of bold-flavored, internationally-focused recipes cooked up from local ingredients.

Allen’s new book collects both stories and dishes from the vendors, shoppers, and chefs who build cultural and community bonds at one of the nation’s largest, most renowned farmers’ markets. Allen demonstrates how to build a pantry with everything from purple daikon radishes and harissa paste to bandaged cheddar and black currants and how to prepare both contemporary and heritage dishes. From Luke Zahm, host of Wisconsin Foodie: "Recipes and stories that invite us to fall in love with the food of the Upper Midwest all over again, and to truly live the connection between land, people and table."

Wisconsinite Terese Allen is author of The Flavor of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Local Foods Journal, Fresh Market Wisconsin, and other books. She has been a food columnist for Edible Madison, Edible Door, and Wisconsin Trails magazine, and is a co-founder and long-time leader of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). She served for a decade as food editor for Organic Valley Family of Farms and for fifteen years was a key leader of REAP Food Group, an organization that fosters a sustainable food system in southern Wisconsin.


RO Kwon, author of Exhibit
in conversation with Melissa Tempel at Boswell
Friday, June 7, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes RO Kwon, bestselling author of The Incendiaries, for an evening featuring her new novel, Exhibit, an exhilarating, blazing-hot novel about a woman caught between her desires and her life. In conversation with Melissa Tempel, a Milwaukee-area educator, contributor to Rethinking Schools, and co-editor of Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality. This event is cohosted by the AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin

Please click here to register for this event at rokwonmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Exhibit now, too - available May 21. For this event, all questions must be submitted in advance, and there are no posed photos. 

At a lavish party in the hills outside San Francisco, Jin Han meets Lidija Jung and nothing will ever be the same for either woman. A brilliant photographer, Jin is at a crossroads in her work and marriage. Lidija is an alluring ballerina on hiatus from her company under mysterious circumstances. Drawn to each other by their intense artistic drives, the two women talk all night. Jin finds herself telling Lidija about a familial curse, breaking a lifelong promise. She's been told that if she doesn’t keep the curse a secret, then death and ruin could lie ahead. As Jin and Lidija become more entangled, they begin to explore hidden desires. Something is ignited in Jin, but can she avoid the specter of the curse?

Vital, bold, powerful, and deeply moving, Exhibit asks: how brightly can you burn before you light your life on fire? Madeline Miller, author of Circe, says: "In prose at once sharp and lush, Kwon crafts a gripping tale of a woman wrestling with the past, while boldly making her own future. A haunting and powerful exploration of art, racism, feminism, and desire, this novel will stay with me a long time."

RO Kwon is author of The Incendiaries, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award which was named a best book of the year by over forty publications. Kwon coedited Kink, a New York Times Notable Book and the recipient of the inaugural Joy Award. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, and she has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and MacDowell.


Kathleen A Dale, author of A Question of Time
in conversation with Martha Bergland at Boswell
Sunday, June 9, 4 pm

Boswell hosts an afternoon event with Kathleen Dale, who appears for a conversation about her new collection, A Question of Time, a book of poetry that’s been more than five decades in the making and contemplates adversity, sorrow, joy, and amazement.

Please click here to visit kathleendalemke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of A Question of Time now as well.

In these poems, time changes everything: place, relationships, even the delight once found in a ripe peach. Social justice, grief, loss, transmutation - Dale finds wisdom in a nail salon, baseball, a sweet dog. She sees the difference between the things that cannot be improved on this simmering blue planet and those that can be made acceptable through personal perspective.

Dale writes out of experience, out of knowing and not knowing, out of adversity, sorrow, joy, and amazement. The richness of these poems, written over a span of 54 years, reveal a mind that is continually revisiting earlier assumptions.

Kathleen A Dale’s prize-winning poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. She is the author of three chapbooks, two full-length books of poetry, and an autobiography. She has been interviewed by various literary journals and has won several best-of-issue awards.


A Ticketed Event with Jamie Raines, author of The T in LGBT+: Everything You Need to Know about Being Trans, and Shaaba Lotun-Raines
in conversation with Mercury Stardust at Boswell
Wednesday, June 12, 7 pm

Bowell hosts a ticketed event featuring psychologist, Youtube content creator, and LGBTQ+ advocate Jamie Raines, aka Jammidodger. Raines appears for a conversation with Shaaba Lotun-Raines, moderated by Mercury Stardust, about The T in LGBT+, his practical and highly accessible guide for those navigating society as a trans person or trying to gain understanding of the trans experience. Cohosted by the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

There are two ticket options for this event. Tickets for admission plus a copy of The T in LGBT+ cost $22.39 plus tax and fee. Tickets for admission only (without the book) cost $7 plus tax and fee. To purchase tickets, click here and visit jamierainesmke.eventbrite.com now.

Jamie Raines offers readers a safe space to explore and learn about the myriad topics surrounding gender identity. Whether someone is questioning their own identity and are looking for advice or wants to learn about the trans experience to support someone and better understand allyship, Raines’s book is a one-stop guide to everything trans related.

The T in LGBT+ is packed with advice, easily digestible fact boxes, and personal stories from an array of trans voices. Handled with sensitivity, Raines has written a beautiful, practical, and highly accessible guide to those navigating society as a trans person or trying to gain a better understanding of the trans experience.

Jamie Raines is trans man from the UK. He has a PhD in Psychology focusing on transgender development and wellbeing, and advocates for LGBT+ rights online. His channels candidly explore trans-related topics, calling out transphobia, and shining a light on what it means to be trans. Mercury Stardust is the Wisconsin-based activist known as the Trans Handy Ma'am, a professional home maintenance technician.


at Boswell
Thursday, June 13, 6:30 pm

Neal Barnard, editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians and editor of Good Medicine magazine, appears at Boswell with his new book, The Power Foods Diet, with which he offers a offers an evidence-based, food-as-medicine protocol for kickstarting weight loss and keeping it off.

Please click here and register for this event at nealbarnardmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of The Power Foods Diet now as well.

Weight loss is a top health concern, so much so that people are keep looking for good ways to lose weight - preferably a way that is easy, effective, and permanent. It turns out that, when properly chosen, certain foods cause weight loss, with no need for the deprivation and planning that most weight-loss regimens require. These breakthroughs make weight loss easy, without calorie counting or deprivation. Barnard’s diet encourages people to eat, not to stop eating, and reveals that some of the foods we think are good for us can actually be harmful, like salmon, goat cheese, and coconut oil, all of which pass easily into body fat and overstay their welcome.

Harvard Professor of Medicine Michelle O’Donoghue calls Barnard’s book: "A comprehensive and invaluable resource for those seeking a lifelong path to better health and weight loss!" And from Cleveland Clinic consultant Caldwell B Esselstyn: "With an evidence-based approach, Neal Barnard has created an encyclopedia of nutrition knowledge, defining and orchestrating the foremost use of food for taste and optimal health."

Neal D Barnard is author of Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes, The Get Healthy Go Vegan Cookbook, and most recently Your Body in Balance. He is President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.


Amy Tan, author and illustrator of The Backyard Bird Chronicles
at Milwaukee Public Library Centennial Hall, 733 N Eighth St
Thursday, June 13, 6:30 pm

Boswell Book Company and Milwaukee Public Library present a special event with acclaimed writer Amy Tan, author of novels such as The Joy Luck Club. Tan visits with The Backyard Bird Chronicles, a gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight. The book features Tan’s illuminating essays and beautiful illustrations.

Please click here and register for this event at amytanmke.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 5:30 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. Be sure to order a copy of The Backyard Bird Chronicles now, too. Boswell will also be on hand at the event with copies available for purchase. Please note, there is no signing or meet-and-greet with Tan at this event.

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the world: Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater - an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired. The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.

Acclaimed ornithologist David Allen Sibley, writing in the book’s foreword, says: "The drawings and essays in this book do a lot more than just describe the birds. They carry a sense of discovery through observation and drawing, suggest the layers of patterns in the natural world, and emphasize a deep personal connection between the watcher and the watched. The birds that inhabit Amy Tan’s backyard seem a lot like the characters in her novels."

Amy Tan is the author of several novels, including The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Bonesetter's Daughter. She is a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club and is on the board of American Bird Conservancy.


Judy Bridges, author of It Didn’t Start Out That Way
in conversation with Jeannée Sacken at Boswell
Friday, June 14, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Milwaukee writing mentor and author Judy Bridges, who visits with her new memoir-in-essays, It Didn’t Start Out That Way. Bridges is Founder of Redbird Studio and has taught writing in the area for more than two decades. Bridges will be in conversation with Shorewood author Jeannée Sacken.

Please click here to visit judybridgesmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of It Didn’t Start Out That Way now as well.

84 years in the making, Bridges’s memoir covers 60 homes, 18 schools, 3 husbands, and more. Bridges takes us on an intimate journey through her life. Dad is a hero and a heartbreaker. Gram shoots her favorite husband in the pocket. A pick-up teaches a street-smart lesson. Bridges puts it all on the table. She sees her life and her characters from all sides, up and down, and brings them to life in this wildly honest memoir.

From Christina Clancy, author of Shoulder Season: “Like the best memoirists, Judy Bridges writes with such candor, humor and clarity that I felt like I was going through life with her instead of reading about it.” And from Jeannée Sacken, Shorewood author of the Annie Hawkins novels: ““Beautifully wrought and richly detailed, a story of love, loss, and resilience… this is memoir at its finest.”

Judy Bridges is author of Shut Up & Write! and Founder of Redbird Studio, where she has spent more than two decades helping writers find the words they want to say. Bridges previously had a career in speech writing and marketing.


Claire Lombardo, author of Same As It Ever Was
in conversation with Lisa Baudoin and Daniel Goldin at Boswell
Monday, June 17, 6:30 pm

Boswell Book Company joins forces with our friends of Books & Company in Oconomowoc for a special, in-person edition of Readings from Oconomowaukee, the event series that puts authors in conversation with bookstore proprietors Daniel Goldin and Lisa Baudoin. This event features Claire Lombardo, author of Same As It Ever Was, the follow-up to her bestselling novel The Most Fun We Ever Had.

Please click here to register for this event at clairelombardomke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Same As It Ever Was now, too. Click here to order from Boswell, or click here to order from Books & Company. Do note, there will be an afternoon edition of this event at Books & Company in Oconomowoc at 2 pm the same day. Click here for more info about that event.

Lombardo’s second book is a brilliantly observed family drama in which the enduring, hard-won affection of a long marriage faces imminent derailment from events both past and present. Same As It Ever Was showcases the style, wit, and profound emotional intelligence that Lombardo became known for with The Most Fun We Ever Had. In this remarkable follow-up, another elegant, tumultuous story in the tradition of Ann Patchett and Celeste Ng, Lombardo introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters, this time by way of her singularly complicated protagonist.

From Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry: "Witty and insightful... a powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self."

Claire Lombardo is author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, which has been optioned for television by Reese Witherspoon. She has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Grinnell College and works part-time as a bookseller at Prairie Lights Books.


in conversation with Sally Haldorson at Boswell
Thursday, June 20, 6:30 pm

UW-Madison Professor of Sociology Jessica Calarco appears at Boswell for a conversation about her new book, Holding It Together. Calarco’s work lays bare the devastating consequences of America’s status quo in which women are relied upon as our sole social safety net. Calarco will chat with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book Company, our cohost for this event.

Please click here to visit jessicacalarcomke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Holding It Together now as well.

America runs on women, who are tasked with holding society together at the seams and fixing it when things fall apart. In a tour de force new book, Calarco chronicles the causes and dire consequences. Tracing present-day policies back to their roots, Calarco reveals a systematic agreement to dismantle our country’s social safety net and persuade citizens to accept precarity while women bear the brunt. She leads us to see women's labor as the reason we've gone so long without the support systems that our peer nations take for granted, and how women’s work maintains the illusion that we don't need a net. Weaving eye-opening original research with revelatory sociological narrative, Calarco issues a call for institutional change and a warning about the perils of living without it.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and author of Unfinished Business, says: "Care is the cure for much of what ails us. But it is also often hard, tiring, uncompensated work that is pushed overwhelmingly onto women. Jess Calarco recounts moving, often wrenching, care stories of mothers, daughters, and wives across America, illustrating the deep injustice and short-sightedness of our current care system."

Jessica Calarco is author of Negotiating Opportunities and A Field Guide to Grad School as well as coauthor of Qualitative Literacy. She is a contributor to the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Washington Post, and has appeared on CNN, NPR, and the BBC.


at The Bridgewater Modern Grill, 2011 South First Street
Tuesday, June 25, 5:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening at The Bridgewater Modern Grill with America’s barbecue guru Steven Raichlen and the new, updated edition of his classic book, Beer-Can Chicken. Doors open at 5:30 for a reception, then there will be dinner and a presentation by Raichlen.

Each ticket costs $85 and includes a delicious dinner inspired by his recipes, including hors d'oeuvres to start and a plated main course, followed by dessert, as well as a copy of Beer-Can Chicken. Click here and purchase tickets now at exploretock.com/bridgewater-modern-grill-milwaukee/event/483859/flavorful-feasts-with-steven-raichlen-a-beer-can-chicken-event.

Revised, redesigned, and beautifully photographed, this update on a classic cookbook offers 50 recipes for the ultimate chicken grilling technique - on a beer can - plus brilliant recipes for birds off the can, perfect sides, and even desserts. When Raichlen says this is the best grilled chicken he's ever tasted, cooks stop and listen. Whether it’s on a can, under a brick, or in the embers, Raichlen explains each grilling technique with easy-to-follow steps that guarantee no matter how wild the process, the results are always outstanding.

This curated edition eschews the more esoteric recipes in the original and instead focuses on the chicken and its earthbound brethren, like turkey and quail, plus some perfect sides and desserts. In this revised cookbook, the flightless birds soar to proverbial new heights, elevated by a fresh, modern design and gorgeous full-color step-by-step and beautiful photography throughout.

Steven Raichlen is author of the Barbecue! Bible cookbook series, and his books have earned five James Beard awards. His is host of TV shows including Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire, Project Smoke, and Barbecue University. Raichlen has written for the New York Times, Esquire, and all the food magazines, and in 2015, he was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.


in conversation with Danielle Harms at Boswell
Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Ananda Lima, author of Craft, an intoxicating and surreal debut collection of contemporary, Kafkaesque stories all told through the lens of a Brazilian-American writer who spent a night with the devil. She'll chat with Milwaukee writer Danielle Harms.

Please click here to register for this event at anandalimamke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Craft now, too.

At a Halloween party in 1999, a writer slept with the devil. She sees him again and again throughout her life and she writes him stories about beautiful and impossible things. Lima’s book offers an intoxicating and unsettling linked collection that lures readers into surreal pockets of the United States and Brazil where they’ll find bite-size Americans in vending machines and the ghosts of people who are not dead. With a singular voice in the narrative-bending tradition of Kafka, Cortázar, and Bulgakov, Lima speaks to Brazilian-American immigrant experiences - of ambition, fear, heartbreak, and home - with equal parts warmth and agitation.

From the Chicago Review of Books, which named Craft a Most Anticipated book of 2024: "A perfect balance of humor, heart, and hauntedness… I expect Craft to immediately put Lima in the company of writers like Carmen Maria Machado, Kelly Link, and Samanta Schweblin."

Ananda Lima is author of the poetry collection Mother/land, winner of the Hudson Prize, and her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, and Pleiades. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA, an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, and has been awarded the inaugural WIP Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing. Danielle Harms's work has appeared in Conjunctions, Mid-American Review, and the American Literary Review and received a Notable mention in Best American Essays 2023. She is the winner of an AWP Intro Journals Award and a staff scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.


Tracy Chevalier, author of The Glassmaker
a ticketed event at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E Brown Deer Rd
Wednesday, June 26, 6:30 pm

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and Boswell present a special evening with bestselling historical novelist Tracy Chevalier, author of the beloved book Girl with a Pearl Earring. Chevalier appears with her latest novel, The Glassmaker, a rich, transporting story that follows a family of glassmakers from the height of Renaissance-era Italy to present day.

Tickets for this event cost $34 plus tax and ticket fee and include admission and a hardcover copy of The Glassmaker. Click here to visit tracychevalierschlitzaudubon.eventbrite.com and purchase tickets for this event now.

It’s 1486 and Venice is an opulent trade center. Orsola Rosso is the eldest daughter in a family of glassblowers on Murano, the island revered for the craft. As a woman, she is not meant to work with glass, though she has the hands for it, the heart, and a vision. When her father dies, she teaches herself to make glass beads in secret, and her work supports the Rosso family fortunes. Skipping like a stone through the centuries, in a Venice where time moves as slowly as molten glass, we follow Orsola and her family as they live through creative triumph and heartbreaking loss, from a plague devastating Venice to Continental soldiers stripping its palazzos bare, from the domination of Murano and its maestros to the transformation of the city of trade into a city of tourists. In every era, the Rosso women ensure that their work, and their bonds, endure.

Chevalier is a master of her craft, and The Glassmaker is as inventive as it is spellbinding: a mesmerizing portrait of a woman, a family, and a city as everlasting as their glass. The Glassmaker celebrates the strength, character, complexity and endurance of women across the ages and brings a whole family of indelible women to life with evocative, unerring prose.

Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film, a play, and an opera, as well as Remarkable Creatures, A Single Thread, and The Last Runaway.


Lisa Barr, author of The Goddess of Warsaw
a ticketed event at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd
Thursday, June 27, 7 pm reception, 7:30 pm event

Milwaukee Reads presents a ticketed event with bestselling author Lisa Barr, author of the soon-to-be-a-Sharon-Stone-film novel Woman on Fire. Barr visits for an event featuring her latest, The Goddess of Warsaw, which is an enthralling tale about a Hollywood screen goddess carrying a dark secret about her life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Cohosted by Boswell.

Tickets cost $50 each plus tax and ticket fees, and each ticket includes admission, light appetizers, a glass of wine, and a paperback copy of The Goddess of Warsaw. Click here and visit lisabarrwss.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets now.

When the famous actress is threatened by someone from her past, she must put her skills into play to protect herself, her illustrious career, and those she loves, then and now. Barr’s latest is a pulse-pounding thriller that also asks the question: What is the line between the pursuit of justice and the hunt for revenge?

From the starred Publishers Weekly review: “The depictions of ghetto residents finding the strength to fight back are chillingly realistic, raising the novel’s emotional stakes to excruciating heights. Fans of WWII historical fiction won’t want to miss this.” And from author Natalie Jenner: “The Goddess of Warsaw gifts the reader with jaw-dropping moments worthy of a Tarantino film, a story that could not be more timely, and a heroine whose ferocity and valor knows no bounds.”

Lisa Barr is author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables, and the award-winning historical thriller Fugitive Colors. She has been an editor for the Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today's Chicago Woman and Moment magazine, and an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times.


Phyllis R Dixon, author of A Taste for More
in conversation with Joan Prince at Milwaukee Public Library, East Branch, 2320 N Cramer St
Saturday, June 29, 1 pm

Phyllis R Dixon, author of novels such as Intermission and Down Home Blues, appears at MPL’s East Branch to celebrate the launch of her latest book, A Taste for More. It’s a powerful story of mothers and daughters, generational trauma, and redefining home that’s perfect for readers of Terry McMillan and Sadeqa Johnson. Dixon will be in conversation with former UWM Vice Chancellor and Associate Professor and former UN Ambassador Joan Prince. Cohosted by Boswell.

Please click here to visit mpl.org/services/events/index.php?eid=146733 and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of A Taste for More now. Boswell will be on hand at the event with copies available for purchase.

In a breathtaking saga spanning the final three decades of the Great Migration - from the Jim Crow south in rural midcentury Mississippi through the transformative 1970s - a tenacious single mother and culinary genius builds an unprecedented empire. But the one dream she can’t stop chasing may cost her everything.

Margo father’s death plunged into poverty, but it also gave Margo the determination to migrate north in search of a better life for herself and her young daughter. Yet up north, Margo finds herself contending with all-too-familiar obstacles of racism and the new stresses of urban living. Using the skills she learned from her mother’s job as a cook, Margo begins to build a successful restaurant chain. As her daughter becomes a beautiful young woman with an increasingly mercenary temperament, Margo wonders if can save her from the bitter and frighteningly dangerous mistakes that may shatter both of their worlds.

Phyllis R Dixon is author of Intermission, Forty Acres, and Down Home Blues, which was shortlisted for the Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List by the Texas Library Association. She also is a contributor to the New Tri-State Defender book review column and to Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul. A graduate of UWM, she is a former independent bookstore owner.


Lucy Knisley, author of Woe: A Housecat's Story of Despair
at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave
Wednesday, July 3, 2 pm

Comic artist Lucy Knisley, creator of Relish and Kids Gloves, appears at the Shorewood Public Library for an afternoon event featuring her new graphic novel, Woe, a collection of antics from Linney the House Cat. This author talk will also feature a drawing demo and pet-portrait raffle! Cohosted by Boswell.

Please click here to visit the Shorewood Library website and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Woe now as well. Boswell will be on hand at this event with copies for sale, too.

What if our cats could talk? Would they ask endless questions about why we haven't given them wet food... again? Would they scream greetings at the first sign of life before the sun even rises? Linney certainly will. Lucy Knisley's online Linney comics are collected for the very first time in this new book about the internet sensation. With all-new comics, this collection shows us just how amazing, and what a true gift, all cats are.

The starred Kirkus review says: "An amusing, heartfelt, and bittersweet read that will resonate deeply with pet lovers."

Lucy Knisley is the New York Times bestselling comics creator of Relish, Kid Gloves, and her indie-bestelling Peapod Farm series. She specializes in personal, confessional graphic novels and travelogues.


Juneau Black, author of Summers End
in conversation with Sarah Lange at Boswell
Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts a launch day celebration for the fifth book in Juneau Black’s cozy woodland mystery series, Summers End, which is a unique take on dark academia featuring everyone's favorite vulpine sleuth, Vera Vixen. Juneau Black is, of course, the pen name of writing team Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel, two former Boswellians who conceived of the Shady Hollow series while working at Boswell. In conversation with Sarah Lange, a librarian at the West Allis Public Library.

Please click here to visit juneaublackmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Summers End now as well.

It's late August in Shady Hollow, and intrepid reporter Vera Vixen agrees to chaperone the school’s annual field trip to Summers End, an ancient tomb built by an early woodland culture. Naturally, her friend Lenore Lee is along to help. But when the group enters the tomb one morning, they find a corpse that is distinctly more modern than expected.

Digging deeper, Vera and Lenore discover the deceased was involved in the recent excavation at the site and very unpopular with their colleagues, including Lenore’s sister, Ligeia. Now the fox and raven must delve into the dark world of academia and archaeology to clear Ligeia’s name. Some creatures at Summers End thought they were clever enough to get away with the perfect murder. Can Vera and Lenore unearth the truth in time?

Juneau Black is the pen name of authors Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel. They are authors of the Shady Hollow novels, which include the books Shady Hollow, Cold Clay, and Mirror Lake. They share a love of excellent bookshops, fine cheeses, and good murders (in fictional form only). Though they are two separate people, if you ask either of them a question about their childhood, you are likely to get the same answer. This is a little unnerving for any number of reasons.


Peng Shepherd, author of All This and More
in conversation with Lisa Romella at Boswell
Thursday, July 11, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes back Peng Shepherd, the critically-acclaimed author of novels like The Cartographers and The Book of M for an evening with her inventive new book, All This and More. It’s a literary choose-your-own-adventure about a woman who wins the chance to rewrite every mistake she’s ever made and find her elusive "happily ever after." In conversation with Lisa Romella of Awkward Nerd Events, our cohost for this event.

Please click here to register for this event at pengshepherdmke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of All This and More now, too.

Marsh is forty-five and her life is in shambles: stagnant career, imploded marriage, and a teenage daughter growing more distant by the day. Convinced she’s missed her chance at everything, Marsh is desperate for a do-over. So when she’s selected to star in a game show that uses quantum technology to allow contestants to revise their past, Marsh is determined to get it right this time. But as she turns things around, she begins to fear the show’s promises might be too good to be true.

Perfect for fans of The Midnight Library, Shepherd’s All This and More is an utterly original, startlingly poignant novel with an interactive twist.

Peng Shepherd is author of The Cartographers, named a Best Book by the Washington Post, and The Book of M, which won the 2019 Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction. In 2020, Shepherd received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Kevin Barry, author of The Heart in Winter
in conversation with José Lanters at Boswell
Friday, July 12, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with Kevin Barry, author of books including Night Boat to Tangier and That Old Country Music. Barry visits us all the way from Ireland with his new novel, The Heart in Winter. It’s his first book set in America, a savagely funny, romantic tale of young lovers on the lam in 1890s Montana. Cohosted by Celtic Milwaukee. Barry will be in conversation with José Landers, UWM Emerita Professor of English.

Please click here to visit kevinbarrymke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of The Heart in Winter now as well.

In a lyrical, profane and propulsive love story for the ages, Barry once again proves himself to be a master stylist, an unrivalled humorist, and a true poet of the human heart. In 1891, a hard winter approaches Butte, Montana, a city rich in copper mines and rampant with vice and debauchery among a hard-living crowd of immigrant Irish workers. Tom Rourke is a young poet and fearsome degenerate. Polly Gillespie is the bride of a devout mine captain. A thunderbolt love affair sparks, and they strike out west on a stolen horse with a posse of deranged Cornish gunmen in hot pursuit. With everything to lose and the safety of San Francisco still a distant speck on their horizon, the choices they make will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The Heart in Winter is a Guardian, Observer, and Irish Times Most Anticipated Book of the Year. And here’s a note from Daniel Goldin: "When the often-soused Tom Rourke lays eyes on the bewitching Polly Gillespie, you know that nothing good can come of it. But off they go, into the Montana wilderness with a price on their heads, following a storied history of doomed lovers in the Old West. This may be Kevin Barry’s first novel set in the United States, but it’s as if they jumped out of one of Barry’s other books and said, let’s cross the Atlantic on a lark and see what trouble we can get into. The result? Bawdy, debauched, and pure poetry."

Kevin Barry is author of Beatlebone and City of Bohane, and his stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta and elsewhere. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter and lives in County Sligo, Ireland.


Amy T Waldman and Peter Jest, author and subject of of We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter
in conversation with Dave Luhrssen at Shank Hall, 1434 N Farwell Ave
Saturday, July 13, 7 pm

Amy Waldman and Peter Jest appear at Shank Hall for a conversation about We Had Fun and Nobody Died, Waldman’s new biography of Jest that chronicles his life in Milwaukee as an independent music promoter and owner of Shank Hall. Cosponsored by Boswell.

No registration required to attend this event. You can order a copy of We Had Fun and Nobody Died now. Boswell will be on hand at the event with copies available for sale, too.

Peter Jest and Amy Waldman share behind-the-scenes stories of how he helped put Milwaukee music on the map, promoting acts such as the Violent Femmes, John Prine, Patti Smith, and many more. This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus at UWM, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

This funny, nostalgia-inducing book shines a light into the seldom-seen world of music promotion, as Jest negotiates with agents, deals with fires (both real and metaphorical), struggles through a pandemic, and takes pleasure in presenting music of all kinds, from world-famous acts to up-and-coming local bands. As the music industry has become dominated by profit-driven corporations, We Had Fun and Nobody Died chronicles the career of an independent promoter whose hardheadedness and love of music have helped him keep it real and make it in the music business for more than forty years.

Amy T Waldman is an award-winning writer and editor whose feature articles, reviews, profiles, and essays have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Shepherd Express, and Milwaukee Magazine. She was an editor for the Marshfield News Herald where she wrote Fresh Sounds, a biweekly record review column. Peter Jest has promoted music in Wisconsin and the Midwest for more than forty years and is the owner of the Milwaukee music venue Shank Hall.


Emily Giffin, author of The Summer Pact
a ticketed event at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 3270 Mitchell Park Dr
Monday, July 22, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company and Books & Company of Oconomowoc present a special, ticketed evening with Emily Giffin, the bestselling author of novels such as Meant to Be and The Lies That Bind. Giffin visits with The Summer Pact. When four college friends make a pact in the wake of tragedy, they have no idea it will bring them back together a decade later to embark upon a life-changing adventure.

Tickets for this event cost $36 and include admission, facilities fee, and a copy of The Summer Pact. Click here and purchase your tickets now at ticketing.wilson-center.com/giffin/63190.

Four freshmen arrive at college from completely different worlds, and soon after moving into their shared dorm, the seeds of friendship are planted. As their college years fly by, their bond intensifies and the four become inseparable. But as graduation nears, their lives are forever changed after a desperate act leads to tragic consequences. Stunned and heartbroken, they make a pact, promising to always be there for each other in their times of need.

Ten years later, one of their lives is suddenly turned upside down. Calling on her closest friends, it soon becomes clear that they are all facing their own crossroads. True to their promise, they agree to take time out from lives headed in wrong directions and embark on a shared journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and acceptance. In this tender portrayal of grief, love, and hope, Giffin asks: When things fall apart, who will be at our sides to help us pick up the pieces?

Emily Giffin is the author of eleven internationally bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Love the One You're With, and Where We Belong. Five of her novels have been optioned for film and are in different stages of development. A Chicago native, Giffin graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law.


at Boswell
Thursday, July 25, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes UWM alum and former Wheel and Sprocket bike mechanic Sam Tracy for an event featuring his new book, Riding More with Less, a bike repair manual for the rest of us. Cohosted by Truly Spoken Cycles

Please click here to register for this event at samtracymke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of Riding More with Less now, too.

Eschewing the disposability of consumer economies, Tracy has surveyed experienced bike shop mechanics worldwide to identify the best and safest repair solutions when new parts are not an option. For those familiar with the finer arts of bicycle preservation, Tracy collects useful technical references and effective, low-cost and for-free repair techniques. And for the uninitiated, the book includes an overview of the community bike shops many readers may find in their own neighborhoods, where many begin to discover real alternatives. In a compact, info-rich style, Tracy’s book demonstrates just how common these approaches really are.

From Craig O’Hara of the Bike Den: "Seasoned wrench and rider Sam Tracy combines decades of personal experience with input from dedicated community bike shops thriving on low-cost or no-cost repairs. Even as bicycle transportation remains undervalued, cycling generates a sense of freedom that is hard to replicate yet begs to be shared. Some maintenance required."

Sam Tracy is author of Roadside Bicycle Repair: A Pocket Manifesto, How to Rock and Roll: A City Rider's Repair Manual, and Bicycle! A Repair & Maintenance Manifesto, and has been managing editor of the Auto-Free Time. He began working as a bike mechanic in 1993 at Wheel and Sprocket in Milwaukee and has been developing and refining safe and effective low-cost repair techniques ever since. He has a BA in Politicial Science from UW-Milwaukee.


in conversation with Julianne Manske Rollefson at Boswell
Monday, July 29, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes social worker and grief activist Lisa Keefauver for an event featuring her new book, Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch, a comprehensive and compassionate new guide to navigating loss. Keefauver will be in conversation with Milwaukee psychotherapist Julianne Manske Rollefson.

Please click here to visit lisakeefauvermke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Grief Is a Sneaky Bitch now as well.

When Lisa Keefauver became a widow, she was alarmed to discover that even though 100 percent of us experience loss, we’re living in a grief illiterate world. In her work as a therapist and in her search for help in the wake of her own loss, Keefauver began to see how the misguided stories we consume about grief lead to unnecessary suffering. Responding to the problematic narratives that grief is something to move on from after completing the five stages like some sort of to-do list, Keefauver became a grief activist. Her new book is both a manual full of insights and skills and, even more importantly, a thoughtful companion that helps readers feel seen and held.

Author Melissa Gould says: "This must-read companion guide for those who are grieving has captured the heartbreak of grief with compassion, insight, and humor. Grief is a Sneaky Bitch is the book we have been missing!"

Lisa Keefauver is Founder of Reimagining Grief. She is an adjunct professor of loss and grief at the University of Texas at Austin, an organizational consultant, and a keynote speaker, including at TEDx, and she created the popular podcast Grief is a Sneaky Bitch.


Alex Pickett, author of Camera Lake
at Boswell
Tuesday, August 6, 6:30 pm

Wisconsin native Alex Pickett visits Boswell for an evening with his new book, Camera Lake, a collection of short stories about unspoken dreams, haphazard choices, and the risks of vulnerability.

Please click here to visit alexpickettmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Camera Lake now as well.

In a (mostly) Midwestern landscape, Alex Pickett’s characters specialize in breaking rules, trying to bend their situations to fit their needs or fulfill their desires. The results are rarely completely disastrous or successful, but are tinged with a humor that rides comfortably alongside embarrassment, regret, and longing, and in the process, Pickett remind readers that it is achingly hard to live up to expectations.

Alyson Hagey, author of Scribe, says: “Camera Lake is such a powerful read… will grip you with their fully imagined characters, these flawed Americans who have made the beds they lie in with open eyes.” And from Steven Hyden, author of Twilight of the Gods: “If the Coen Brothers had adapted a collection of Raymond Carver stories into a funny and disquieting film, I imagine it would feel a lot like reading Alex Pickett’s Camera Lake."

Alex Pickett is author of The Restaurant Inspector. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the Southern Review, Passages North, and Green Mountains Review.


Katee Robert, author of Dark Restraint
in conversation with Brittainy Cherry at Boswell
Friday, August 9, 7 pm

Boswell hosts a ticketed event with Katee Robert, the New York Times bestselling author of Neon Gods. They visit with Dark Restraint, the seventh entry in their Dark Olympus series in which they put a modern, romantic spin on Greek Mythology. Robert will be in conversation with Brittainy Cherry, author of the Slow Burn romance novels.

Tickets for this event cost $16.99 plus tax and ticket fee. Each ticket includes admission and a paperback copy of Dark Restraint. Click here to visit kateerobertmke.eventbrite.com and purchase tickets for this event nowPlease note: Masks are required at this event at the request of the author.

Ariadne Vitalis is in trouble. She’s betrayed her father and his benefactor, and now she’s left to rely on the questionable mercy of Olympus to keep her safe. As with everything in this city, mercy comes with a price. For Ariadne, that means a marriage to Dionysus. She has no choice but to agree, even if there’s only one man she’s ever wanted, a man she’s feared just as much as she desires.

The Minotaur never had any illusions about Minos’s plans. He was willing to get his hands dirty as long as the old man kept his word—at the end of this, the Minotaur would be given Ariadne as a reward. Nowhere in that deal was her walking down the aisle to a different man. Ariadne knows better than to encourage the Minotaur. Her relationship with her new fiancé might be more friendship than burning passion, but she knows all too well how much fiery passion can hurt. But when the Minotaur’s hands are on her body and his wicked words are whispered in her ear, she might just be willing to let all of Olympus burn.

Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of spicy romance. Entertainment Weekly calls their writing "unspeakably hot."


Marc Cameron, author of Bad River
at Boswell
Tuesday, August 13, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts Marc Cameron, the award-winning author of the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan Sr. books. Cameron visits Boswell with the latest in his Arliss Cutter series, in which Cutter sets off on an icy trail of murder and madness into the darkest heart of the Alaskan wilderness. It’s high stakes suspense, great for fans of Allen Eskens and CJ Box.

Please click here to visit marccameronmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Bad River now as well.

From a remote village perched on Arctic permafrost to the Badlands of South Dakota, Arliss Cutter is searching for answers about his brother’s mysterious death. When his visit only raises more questions without any lead, he returns to Alaska only to find that his brother had something in common with the frozen body of a woman who disappeared years ago that’s just been found in the walls of an ice cellar.

William Kent Krueger says: "Great storytellers aren’t made. They’re born. It’s in their DNA. And Marc Cameron is one of the great ones. Cameron’s novels hook you from the first line, cement your eyes to the page, and grip your heart in a vice. His characters are raw and real, their complexity shaped by Cameron’s deep understanding of human frailty. His plot lines are so cleverly twisted you never see the switchbacks coming. Honest to God, I can’t think of another writer whose work I admire more."

Marc Cameron is author of the Jericho Quinn series, the Arliss Cutter novels, and Tom Clancy Jack Ryan Sr books like Power and Empire. Before his career as an author, Cameron had a storied career as in law enforcement, including his career as a US Marshal. He teaches defensive tactics to law enforcement agencies and civilian groups.


at Milwaukee Public Library Mitchell Branch, 906 W Mitchell St
Saturday, August 24, 12 pm

Milwaukee Public Library presents a community meal featuring Milwaukee author and publisher Christina Ward and her latest work, Happy Days: The Official Cookbook. Cosponsored by Boswell.

Registration link coming soon. You can order a copy of Happy Days: The Official Cookbook now as well. Boswell will also be on hand at the event with copies available for purchase.

Relish in nostalgia and relive the pop culture of the 1950s and 60s with Richie, Fonzie, and friends from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Happy Days: The Official Cookbook. From the Cunningham kitchen to Arnold’s “greasy spoon” diner, this cookbook’s more than 90 recipes draw their inspiration from the beloved sitcom and act as a guide to the familiar flavors of mid-century America.

Christina Ward offers a variety of recipes for chefs of all levels. From appetizers to main courses and from drinks to desserts, each chapter includes delicious show-focused food for fans to enjoy with family.

Christina Ward is author of books such as Preservation, Holy Foods, and American Advertising Cookbooks. She is also Vice President and Editor of the publisher Feral House. Ward can trace her Milwaukee and Wisconsin roots to the early 1800s.


Maribeth Fischer, author of A Season of Perfect Happiness
in conversation with Mike Fischer at Boswell
Wednesday, August 28, 6:30 pm

Maribeth Fischer appears at Boswell with her new novel, A Season of Perfect Happiness, a propulsive, beautifully heartrending portrayal of one woman’s efforts to find her voice. Set in Wisconsin while paying homage to Ten Chimneys and the Lunts, it asks fundamental questions of what makes a “good” mother. In conversation with Milwaukee theater critic Mike Fischer – her brother!

Please click here to register for this event at maribethfischermke.eventbrite.com. And be sure to order your copy of A Season of Perfect Happiness now as well.

Ten years after an unspeakable tragedy caused Claire to flee her hometown, she finally has a quiet, tidy life in Wisconsin and a carefully constructed identity predicated on a simple plan: keep the past a secret. But when she meets Erik, a lighthearted theater nerd who gives Claire more of a chance than she’s given herself in a long time. Claire discovers that life after an accident could be full of joy

But when a person from her past arrives, Claire is forced to confront what happened all those years ago. As her past is revealed, her new life and the deep friendships she’s made hang in the balance. If Claire confides in the people she’s grown to love, will they be able to forgive her? Will she finally forgive herself? Or will the life she’s spent the last decade building fall apart?

Maribeth Fischer is author of The Language of Goodbye and The Life You Longed For. She is founder and executive director of the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild, has received three Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowships and two Pushcart Prizes, and holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.


William Kent Krueger, author of Spirit Crossing
in conversation with Nick Petrie at Boswell
Saturday, September 7, 11 am

Boswell hosts a Saturday morning Thrillwaukee event with Edgar Award-winning author William Kent Krueger for his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Spirit Crossing. Cork and his family are in the crosshairs of a killer in the twentieth book in this beloved series. Krueger will be in conversation with Milwaukee author Nick Petrie.

Please click here to visit williamkentkruegermke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Spirit Crossing now as well.

A local politician’s teenaged daughter disappears in Minnesota. During the manhunt, Cork O’Connor’s grandson stumbles across the shallow grave of a young Ojibwe woman, but nobody seems that interested. Nobody, that is, except Cork and the newly formed Iron Lake Ojibwe Tribal Police. As Cork and the tribal officers dig into the circumstances of this mysterious and grim discovery, they uncover a connection to the missing teenager. And soon, it’s clear that Cork’s grandson is in danger of being the killer’s next victim.

The New York Times Book Review calls Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series: “genuinely thrilling and atmospheric.” And the Washington Post says of his writing: “the prose is elegant, the landscape of Minnesota’s northeastern triangle is vividly portrayed, [and] the character development is superb.”

William Kent Krueger is author of The River We Remember, This Tender Land, and Ordinary Grace, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. He has also written twenty books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series.


Jodi Picoult, author of By Any Other Name
a ticketed event at The Pabst Theater, 144 E Wells St
Monday, September 9, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company and the Pabst Theater present a ticketed event with #1 New York Times bestseller Jodi Picoult, author of novels such as Mad Honey, Small Great Things, and Wish You Were Here. She visits for a conversation about her latest, By Any Other Name, a book about two women, centuries apart - one of whom is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays - who are both forced to hide behind another name. WUWM/89.7 is a presenting sponsor for this program.

Tickets for this event cost $32.50 plus tax and ticket fee, and each includes admission to the event and an autographed copy of By Any Other Name. Click here and purchase tickets now at pabsttheatergroup.com/events/detail/jodi-picoult-2024. Please note, all books are presigned. In lieu of personalization, each attendee will receive a professional photograph with Picoult. 

Playwright Melina Green has written a new work inspired by the life of her Elizabethan ancestor Emilia Bassano. But seeing it performed is unlikely in a theater world where the playing field isn’t level for women. Then her best friend takes the decision out of her hands and submits the play to a festival under a male pseudonym. In 1581, young Emilia Bassano is a ward of English aristocrats. She has a gift for storytelling, but like most women of her day, she is allowed no voice of her own. Forced to become a mistress to the Lord Chamberlain, who oversees all theater productions in England, Emilia sees firsthand how the words of playwrights can move an audience. She begins to form a plan to secretly bring a play of her own to the stage by paying an actor named William Shakespeare to front her work.

Told in intertwining timelines, By Any Other Name is a sweeping tale of ambition, courage, and desire that centers two women who are determined to create something beautiful despite the prejudices they face. Should a writer do whatever it takes to see her story live on, no matter the cost? This remarkable novel ensures the name Emilia Bassano will no longer be forgotten.

Jodi Picoult is author of twenty-nine novels, including A Spark of Light, Leaving Time, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page.


Emily Jon Tobias, author of Monarch: Stories
in conversation with Valerie Laken at Boswell
Tuesday, September 17, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts native Midwesterner Emily Jon Tobias for a conversation about Monarch, her new collection of short stories. She’ll be in conversation with UWM Professor Valerie Laken, author of Dream House.

Please click here to visit emilyjontobiasmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Monarch now as well.

With her new collection, Emily Jon Tobias subverts common perceptions about love, loss, suffering, and second chances. America's cities, sewers, alleyways, and bars are the landscape of wars as characters heal and transform on open roads, in golden cornfields, and with the wails of Chicago blues. The characters in this collection suffer and wander; they are marginalized and wounded and do not fit in. They are heroes shaped by grief and redemption, though not defined by their scars.

Pulitzer-winner Junot Díaz says: "Superb, original and thoroughly alive with heartbreak and wonder. Tobias is electrifying.” And from Chris Abani: “This remarkable debut collection that traverses many of the parts of America that are unseen."

Emily Jon Tobias’s writing work has been featured in literary journals such as Santa Clara Review, Talking River Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University Oregon.


at Boswell
Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes Mike Bass, author of the Folklore Oracle and owner of Madison’s Zip Dang shop, for an event featuring his latest book, Frightful Folklore of North America. This beautifully illustrated book collects scary legends and folklore from Canada to Mexico. Perfect pre-Halloween reading!

Please click here to visit mikebassmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Frightful Folklore of North America now as well.

Tapping into the roots of North American horror and folklore, Bass’s new book is illustrated with 75 linocut-style artworks. Bass offers scary legends and folklore from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, including Native American tales, settlers’ stories, and African-American legends, as well as ghost stories and modern tales of cryptids. Shake in your shoes as you read about Qallupilluit of the Inuit, the Ghost Moose of Maine, the Camazotz of Mexico, and more.

From author V Castro: "The brilliance of Frightful Folklore of North America is how it captures the expansiveness of the land, the various cultures (both Native and non-Native), the stories told over time… This impressive collection will haunt your imagination in the best of ways. I hope you enjoy these wonderful tales as much as I did."

Mike Bass grew up in a house with spirits and has always been fascinated by myths, folklore and the supernatural. He is a print maker, folklorist, and storyteller, and with his wife owns the Zip-Dang shop in Madison.


at Boswell
Thursday, September 19, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an event with National Book Award finalist Sarah Smarsh, author of Heartland, who visit us with Bone of the Bone, her incisive and provocative new collection of her essays and reporting. It’s a book that offers a perspective-shifting discussion of class in America.

Please click here to visit sarahsmarshmke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Bone of the Bone now as well.

Smarsh brings her graceful storytelling and incisive critique to the challenges that define our times - class division, political fissures, gender inequality, environmental crisis, media bias, the rural-urban gulf. Smarsh, a journalist who grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas and was the first in her family to graduate from college, has long focused on cultural dissonance that many in her industry neglected until recently. Now, this thought-provoking collection of more than thirty of her highly relevant essays from the past decade, Smarsh demonstrates a life and a career steeped in the issues that affect our collective future.

The early Kirkus starred review glows: "The author of Heartland returns with a collection of pieces that illuminate the plights and humanity of her working-class subjects. This collection’s impact is staggering, and [with] a distinct style, Smarsh’s voice is constant, studied, and compassionate. This powerful reckoning with the costs of being poor should be required short-form nonfiction reading."

Sarah Smarsh is a journalist who has reported for the New York Times, Harper’s, Guardian, and many other publications. Her first book, Heartland, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second book, She Come By It Natural, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


Dan Kois, author of Hampton Heights
in conversation with Liam Callanan at Boswell
Friday, September 20, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes Milwaukee native Dan Kois back for an event featuring his new novel, Hampton Heights, a hair-raising and rollicking adventure story set on one night in 1987, when six paperboys must confront a slew of monsters as well as their own personal demons in a haunted Milwaukee neighborhood. He’ll be in conversation with Liam Callanan, author of When in Rome and Paris by the Book.

Please click here to visit dankoismke.eventbrite.com and register for this event. Be sure to order a copy of Hampton Heights now as well.

On a cold winter’s evening, six middle-school paperboys wander an unfamiliar Milwaukee neighborhood, selling newspaper subscriptions, fueled by their manager Kevin’s promises of cash bonuses and dinner at Burger King. But the freaks come out at night in Hampton Heights. Funny, outrageous, and sneakily beautiful, Kois’s Hampton Heights captures the dreams and fears of teenage boys in a tender horror-comedy about camaraderie, bravery, vulnerability, and the terrifying prospect of growing up.

Boswellian Chris Lee is an early fan. He says: "As dusk falls on Milwaukee’s strangest neighborhood, six middle-school paperboys and their ne'er-do-well boss pile out of a shitbox van on a mission to grow the subscriber list for the Milwaukee Sentinel. Over the course of one harrowing, haunted 1987 night, they might just find themselves growing up instead. Kois’s Hampton Heights is completely charming; far more Brothers Grimm than grisly gorefest, the squeamish need not fear. Not too much, anyway. Full of surprises, as well as succubi, werewolves, witches, and trolls, this dark fable / coming-of-age tale is a heartfelt ode to outsiders finding friendship in unexpected places."

Dan Kois is author of the novel Vintage Contemporaries, the memoir How to Be a Family, and coauthor of The World Only Spins Forward, a Stonewall Honor Book. He is a frequent guest and host of Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast, was a founding host of Slate’s Mom and Dad Are Fighting podcast, and hosts The Martin Chronicles, a podcast about Martin Amis. He grew up in Milwaukee, where his first job was delivering the Milwaukee Sentinel.


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.