Due to COVID-19, our in-person events have been cancelled. We're hoping to rescheduled as many things as we can - many events may become virtual, while others still will become featured interviews and essays. 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.
Did you miss a virtual event you were excited about? Find recordings of a number of our past virtual events on our Event Video page.
Abbi Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, joins the Lynden Sculpture Garden and Boswell Book Company for a virtual conversation with Margy Stratton as part of the Women’s Speaker Series.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today! Purchase a copy of I Was Told It Would Get Easier for 10% off list price from Boswell through the event date.
Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures. BookRiot calls it “funny and insightful,” and Booklist says, “Waxman shines at creating characters that feel like best friends, inspiring compassion, laughs, and cheers."
From Boswellian Jen Steele: “Jessica Burnstein and her 16-year-old daughter Emily are off on a week-long college tour. While Jessica hopes for some mother-daughter bonding time, a crisis at work may end up interrupting her plans. For Emily, dealing with the pressure to go to college and get good grades is very stressful, and she's unsure how to tell her mom what she really thinks. Along the way they have fights, awkward encounters, unspoken truths, and an overzealous college tour guide to deal with. Funny, emotional, and relatable, Abbi Waxman delivers another feel-good novel!”
Abbi Waxman is author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, Other People’s Houses, and The Garden of Small Beginnings.
Author of The Samurai’s Garden, Tsukiyama chats about her latest work, a historical novel that tells the evocative story of a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawaii's sugar plantations. She'll be in conversation with Wisconsin's own Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards and The Book of Ruth.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of The Color of Air from Boswell from now through the event date for 20% off list price.
In 1930s Hawaii, a tightknit community grows even closer in the weeks after the eruption of a nearby volcano threatens their town and brings up old secrets. Lisa See, author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, says "In The Color of Air, Tsukiyama has created a community with characters who meet difficulties and persist with grace and endurance; whose dependence on one another is, in fact, their greatest strength. A rich historical novel that illustrates why connection is more important and more vital than ever."
And from Kirkus's starred review: "Through tragedy and joy, Tsukiyama crafts characters whose reliance on each other is their greatest strength, with many strong women leading the way... Well-paced and lush, this is a captivating historical novel that shows the power of love and human resilience." Booklist starred Tsukiyama's latest, too!
Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of seven previous novels, including Women of the Silk, The Samurai's Garden, and most recently, A Hundred Flowers, and has received the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. Jane Hamilton is the twice-Oprah's-book-club-selected author of novels such as A Map of the World.
Boswell Book Company and Oconomowoc’s Books and Company join forces for a joint event featuring native Wisconsinite Schwarz, the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club selection Drowning Ruth. She’ll chat about her latest novel, which vividly evokes the perennially fascinating true crime love affair of Bonnie and Clyde in this suspenseful, gorgeously detailed fictional portrait of Bonnie Parker, one of America’s most enigmatic women.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click this link to register right here today! And purchase your copy of Bonnie from Boswell for 20% off list price.
Born in a small town in the desolate reaches of western Texas and shaped by her girlhood in an industrial wasteland on the outskirts of Dallas, Bonnie Parker dreamed of being a movie star or a singer or a poet. But her dramatic nature, contorted by her limited opportunities and her overwhelming love for Clyde Barrow, pushed her into a course from which there was no escape but death.
From Publishers Weekly: “"Expertly magnifies the characters’ desperation and intertwines the excitement of eluding the law with their magnetic sexual attraction. Schwarz’s rich narrative brings fresh life into the notorious tale of two American outlaws.” Infusing the psychological acuity of literary fiction with the relentless pacing of a thriller, Bonnie follows Bonnie from her bright, promising youth to her final month of shoot-outs, kidnappings, and desperate car chases through America’s hinterland in the grip of the Great Depression, as the noose of the law tightened around her. Enriched by extensive research in the footsteps of Bonnie and Clyde and written with her powerful sense of place and time, Bonnie is a plaintive and page-turning account of a woman destroyed by a lethal combination of longing and love.
Christina Schwarz is author of five novels, including The Edge of the Earth and the #1 New York Times bestseller Drowning Ruth.
State Director of Bird City Wisconsin and former Editor in Chief of BirdWatching magazine, Charles Hagner chats about the wonderful wildlife of Wisconsin’s skies depicted in his latest work with Don Quintenz, Senior Ecologist at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Cosponsored by the Schlitz Audubon.
Broadcast via Zoom, registration is required. Click right here to register today! American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin is on sale at Boswell for 10% off list price.
With more than 15,000 interior lakes and bordering both Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the east, Wisconsin is famous as a place to observe waterbirds of all types. It also has expansive forested areas, plains, and farmlands providing ideal habitats for hummingbirds, raptors, warblers, sparrows and more. And with nine national wildlife refuges, two national parks, and more than three million acres of IBAs (Important Bird Areas), Wisconsin is truly a great state for birds and birders.
Written by expert Wisconsin birder Hagner and filled with gorgeous color images, the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin is the perfect companion for anyone wanting to learn more about the natural history and diversity of the state's birds and when and where to see them.
Charles Hagner is Board Chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory and a member of the Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. He was also Editor in Chief of BirdWatching magazine.
We’re excited to host a virtual event with Larry Watson, the acclaimed author of Montana, 1948, for a chat about his brand new novel a multigenerational story of the West told through the history of one woman trying to navigate life on her own terms. He'll chat with Teich, of North Country Public Radio and former Producer and Host of WUWM's Lake Effect.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom. Registration will be required – register right here via this link! Check back on this page.
Edie - smart, self‑assured, beautiful - always worked hard. She worked as a teller at a bank, she worked to save her first marriage, and she worked to raise her daughter even as her second marriage came apart. Edie just wanted a good life, but everywhere she turned, her looks defined her. Two brothers fought over her. Her second husband became unreasonably possessive and jealous. Her daughter resented her. And now, as a grandmother, Edie finds herself harassed by a younger man. It’s been a lifetime of proving that she is allowed to exist in her own sphere. The Lives of Edie Pritchard tells the story of one woman just trying to be herself, even as multiple men attempt to categorize and own her.
From Kirkus's starred review: "Watson is insightful in his depiction of Edie and those who seek to control her, and his descriptions of small-town Montana life, where guns are frequently a menacing presence, reflect how the potential for violence is ever present beneath the surface of things. The novel crackles with tension, especially the second and third acts; Watson is a born storyteller, and it shows on every understated page. But Edie's story also rings with a hardscrabble poetry... A riveting and tense examination of identity, violence, and female anger."
Larry Watson is author of ten critically acclaimed books, and his fiction has received numerous prizes and awards. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A film adaptation of Watson's novel Let Him Go is currently in production with Kevin Costner and Diane Lane and due to release in 2020. Watson retired from teaching at Marquette University.
We’re pleased to host a virtual event with Bump, who’ll chat about his darkly funny, heartfelt debut novel with Milwaukee educators Nasif Rogers and Shana Lucas. Cosponsored by ACCESS.
Broadcast via Zoom, this event will require registration - click right here to register now! And purchase your copy of Everywhere You Don't Belong for 20% off the list price until July 29.
Tommy Orange, author of There There, calls Bump’s novel “A comically dark coming-of-age story about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, but it’s also social commentary at its finest, woven seamlessly into the work . . . handled so beautifully that you don’t know he’s hypnotized you until he’s done.” And Daniel Goldin concurs, saying, “Told in episodic bursts filled with emotional resonance, Everywhere You Don’t Belong is a powerful coming-of-age debut that will stick with you long after the last page is turned.”
Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude is an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home. Raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change, he decides to escape Chicago for college. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.
Gabriel Bump is a South Shore, Chicago native. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington Post, and Springhouse Journal. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Boswell (virtually) welcomes Wisconsin author Pederson back to celebrate his fifth novel in the Heath Barrington mystery series, Death Overdue.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration will be required. Click right here to register today! Purchase your copy of Death Overdue via the link above.
In Pederson’s latest installment, Heath’s life was now in jeopardy. He had no choice but to confront his blackmailer and find out what he has. But then, the decision’s made for him when the blackmailer turns up dead. Is Heath a murderer? Even he isn’t sure, thanks to several double martinis. Other suspects include a voluptuous neighbor, a smarmy grocer, a ruthless gangster, Heath’s cousin Liz, who was once married to the blackmailer, and Miss Caldwell, a wily librarian who has eyes for the blackmailer’s wife. Heath tries to read between the lines to solve the case of a death overdue before he’s arrested for the crime.
Wisconsin’s David S Pederson is author of five Heath Barrington novels, including Death Checks In, a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist.
Plimpton Prize Winner Kelli Jo Ford joins us for a chat about her first novel, a remarkable debut that follows four generations of Cherokee women across four decades. She'll be in conversation with Bowell Book Company's proprietor Daniel Goldin.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click right here to register today!
Ford's debut has earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, which says "Ford's storytelling is urgent, her characters achingly human and complex, and her language glittering and rugged. This is a stunner."
It's 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine's father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church - a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But Justine does her best as a devoted daughter until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever. In lush and empathic prose, Kelli Jo Ford depicts what this family of proud, stubborn, Cherokee women sacrifices for those they love, amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture. This is a big-hearted and ambitious novel of the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters by an exquisite and rare new talent.
Kelli Jo Ford is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the anthology Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial.
We’re pleased to host Shorewood author Hopper as he chats about his memoir. Cosponsored by Red Oak Writing.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Register by clicking this sentence today! Purchase your copy of My Father’s Shadow from Boswell via the link above.
Kim Suhr, director of Red Oak Writing, says, “The very best writing connects us - to each other and to our humanity. My Father’s Shadow does exactly that.” And Jennifer Rupp, author of the Highlanders of Balforss series (as Jennifer Trethewey) calls Hopper's book, “beautifully written and deeply emotional stories about the confusing and often painful journey through life.”
A little boy with hair the color red - his scarlet letter - and family secrets to be disclosed only decades later. A man late in life confronted with looming mortality. These are the bookends of My Father’s Shadow, a narrative nonfiction collection of timely stories with universal themes that are heartwarming, painful, distressing, humorous. This memoir examines how one person has managed to thrive in a world replete with wild imperfections and an eclectic array of people and relationships, some nurturing, others much less so. My Father’s Shadow delves deep into the pain and joy of life itself.
Myles Hopper is a cultural anthropologist and former faculty member at universities in Canada and the United States. His writing has appeared in the Jewish Literary Journal and Creative Wisconsin Anthology, and has been anthologized in Friends: Voices on the Gift of Companionship and Family Stories from the Attic.
Boswell Book Company presents Miles Harvey, author of The Island of Lost Maps, who’ll chat about his latest, the story of the most infamous American con man you've never heard of: James Strang, the self-proclaimed divine king of earth, heaven, and an island in Lake Michigan.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Click this link to register right here today! And purchase your copy of The King of Confidence from Boswell using the link above for 20% off the list price through the event date.
Vanity Fair calls it “A rollicking story ripe for the Hollywood treatment.” And Jennifer day, writing for the Chicago Tribune, says ”Harvey serves up what promises to be a page-turner about this bizarre moment in Michigan history where fair Beaver Island served as an epicenter of fraud, polygamy and piracy."
In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sect's leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king. The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatan's turbulent twelve years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man. Full of adventure, bad behavior, and insight into a crucial period of antebellum history, The King of Confidence brings us a compulsively readable account of one of the country's boldest con men and the boisterous era that allowed him to thrive.
Miles Harvey is the author of the national and international bestseller The Island of Lost Maps and the recipient of a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship. His book Painter in a Savage Land was named a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. He teaches at DePaul University.
Cosby chats with Barrowman about his debut thriller, a gritty novel about a getaway drive desperate to go straight who gets pulled back into a life of crime by by race, poverty, and his own past.
Broadcast via Zoom, this event will require registration, which you can do by clicking right here today! Preorder your copy of Blacktop Wasteland from Boswell for 20% off list price.
Walter Mosely says “Diamonds and fast cars, trailer park dreams and late night illegal street racing, SA Cosby reinvents the American crime novel. Black and white with bills unpaid and no exit in sight, his characters feel the pull of family and swagger with the melancholy ache of wanting to be someone.” Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River, adds “Blacktop Wasteland is an urgent, timely, pitch-perfect jolt of American noir. SA Cosby is a welcome, refreshing new voice in crime literature.” Cosby’s novel has earned starred reviews from
Beauregard “Bug” Montage used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheel man on the East Coast. After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but to take one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all.
SA Cosby is a writer from Southeastern Virginia. Carole E Barrowman is Director of Creative Studies in Writing at Alverno where she teaches a seminar on the art of mystery.
Whitefish Bay author Jamison chats about her debut novel, a story of five college friends, all Dartmouth grads, who’ve arrived at forty in very different circumstances that’s perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Big Little Lies. She’ll chat with Donna Drosner, Director and Senior Investment Consultant of Baird’s Drosner Phillips Ristau Group.
Broadcast via Zoom, this event requires registration to view – click right here to register today! And purchase your copy of All the Right Mistakes from Boswell for 10% off list price.
When successful Heather writes a wildly popular advice book detailing the key life mistakes of her four college friends - opting out, ramping off, giving half effort, and forgetting your fertility – this friends feel the sting of Heather’s cruel words. Despite their status, these women face everyday obstacles, including work problems, parenting challenges, secondary infertility, racism, sexism, financial stress, and marital woes - and as they weather their fortieth year, each one can’t help but wonder if their life might have been different if they had followed Heather’s advice.
Laura Jamison is an attorney based in Whitefish Bay, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.
Milwaukee author Wiemer chats about her brand new YA novel, inspired by a real-life incident, which explores discrimination and antisemitism and reveals their dangerous impact.
This event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required. Registration link coming soon! And purchase your copy of The Assignment from Boswell for 20% off list price.
When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of high school seniors to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan and Cade are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand. As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for intolerance, justice, and love to prevail?
Thanhhà Lại, author of Butterfly Yellow, says “This wise and nuanced novel has loving arms that, while hugging two teens who must confront a popular teacher, also can reach all those who are belittled and unheard.”
Liza Wiemer is author of the YA novel Hello? as well Waiting for Peace: How Israelis Live with Terrorism. A graduate of UW-Madison, Wiemer has been an award-winning educator for more than two decades in the Milwaukee area.
Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street and The Flight of Gemma Hardy chats about her a poignant and probing psychological drama that follows the lives of three siblings in the wake of a violent crime. Livesey will be in conversation with Callanan, author of Paris by the Book.
This virtual event will be broadcast via Zoom, and registration is required – so click this link to register today! Purchase your copy of The Boy in the Field for 20% off list price from Boswell.
Livesey's latest novel has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and Tessa Hadley, author of “Written in elegant, spare prose, this story flies swiftly forward from the transfixing opening pages. A charming, complicated family dynamic, a twist of eerie magic.” And Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, adds, "“I loved every single sentence of The Boy in the Field. This novel is so intricately woven, its world so vibrantly built, its characters so beautifully and empathically wrought. To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight."
One September afternoon in 1999, three teenagers are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed. Written with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable, The Boy in the Field showcases Margot Livesey’s unmatched ability to, as Lily King, author of Euphoria, says “tell her tale masterfully, with intelligence, tenderness, and a shrewd understanding of all our mercurial human impulses.”
Margot Livesey is author of eight novels, including Mercury, Eva Moves the Furniture, and The Missing World. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Livesey is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Callanan is Professor of English at UWM and author of The Cloud Atlas and All Saints.
More Upcoming Virtual Events to Come
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.