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.

Please note that masks are currently optional at Boswell.  Please understand that some events may still require masks and have other requirements at the author's request - see individual event listings for details.

at Boswell
Wednesday, March 29, 6:30 pm

Professor of American Literature Mark Cirino joins us at Boswell for an evening featuring his latest work, One True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway's Art, a celebration and conversation between Hemingway and some of his most perceptive and interesting readers. Essays by writers as varied as Elizabeth Strout, Russell Banks, and Ken Burns each examine a single essay by Papa Hemingway.

Advance registration has closed for this event. Limited walk-up registration is available. 

"All you have to do is write one true sentence," Hemingway wrote in his memoir, A Moveable Feast. If that is the secret to Hemingway’s enduring power, what sentences continue to live in readers’ minds, and why do they resonant? The One True Podcast host has gathered the best of the program (heard by thousands of listeners) and added entirely new material for this collection of conversations about Hemingway’s truest words.

For lovers of American literature, One True Sentence is full of remembrances - of words you read and the feelings they gave you. For writers, this is an inspiring view of an element of craft - a single sentence - that can make a good story come alive and become a great story. Publishers Weekly calls it: "A revelatory compendium… readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of - and even awe at - Hemingway’s vast talent."

Mark Cirino is author/editor of six books about Ernest Hemingway, serves as the general editor for Kent State University Press's Reading Hemingway series, and served as the literature consultant on the forthcoming cinematic adaptation of Hemingway's Across the River and into the Trees. He is host of One True Podcast. Cirino teaches American literature at the University of Evansville.

Lauren Schiller and Hadley Dynak, coauthors, and Rosy Petri, illustrator, of It’s a Good Day to Change the World: Inspiration and Advice for a Feminist Future
at Boswell
Thursday, March 30, 6:30 pm

Authors Lauren Schiller and Hadley Dynak and illustrator Rosy Petri appear at Boswell to discuss their energizing new book, It’s a Good Day to Change the World, which features thirty stories of feminist change to fire you up without burning you out.

Please click here and register to attend this event. You can also order a copy of It’s a Good Day to Change the World now, too.

What does it take to achieve an equal, just, and joy-filled world—and how do we sustain ourselves when the work is daunting? Lauren Schiller and Hadley Dynak, the award-winning team behind the nationally syndicated Inflection Point podcast and radio show about women’s power in our modern world, have created an essential guide for action drawn from their interviews with groundbreaking activists, authors, artists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who have mobilized change and can show us the way.

In It’s a Good Day to Change the World, readers learn from established icons and meet new ones, too. From Ijeoma Oluo to Sarah Silverman, each trailblazer’s story features firsthand narratives and vibrant illustrations. Discover how to push new ideas forward, the significance of building solidarity, the liberating power of laughter, the importance of valuing your own time, and more. Advancing social justice can be a long road, but change is possible.

Lauren Schiller is an award-winning interviewer and the creator of numerous podcasts and radio shows, including Inflection Point, about how women rise up, build power, and lead change. Hadley Dynak is an activist, storyteller, and creative producer who helps organizations and groups express why their work matters, join up with one another, and raise funds for impact. Rosy Petri fuses portraiture and storytelling as an act of witness, and she was an Artist-in-Residence at the bell hooks center and Pfister Hotel.

at Boswell
Saturday, April 1, 11 am

We love welcoming the stars of our favorite classic books for kids to Boswell, and so we’re happy to add a fuzzy new face to the list of costume characters paying us a visit. Dog Man will be at Boswell for a Saturday Morning Special event featuring a story time, activities, and of course, Dog Man will pose for photos with your kids or the whole family, creating memories you can cherish for years to come.

Please click here to register so we know that you’re coming. And be sure to order your copy of Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, the latest Dog Man graphic novel.

Dog Man is back in this highly anticipated new graphic novel. Everyone's favorite canine superhero faces off with Piggy and the most diabolical plot yet. With themes of friendship and doing good, Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea is packed with action and hilarity. Featuring "Chomp-O-Rama," a brand-new song, a monstrous Mighty Mite, and so much more than ever before.


at Boswell
Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 pm

Enjoy an evening with Ryan Castelaz with his new book featuring coffee recipes and inspiration for every taste, mood, and complexity, making for the perfect coffee drink for each moment of the day.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of The New Art of Coffee now as well.

While the popularity of craft cocktails and home bartending have helped people create their own drink-driven memories, the possibilities for coffee have remained rather tame. Much more than a guide to beans or brewing, The New Art of Coffee shares how to create inspiring concoctions and flavor profiles from comforting and rejuvenating to celebratory and adventurous.

Nearly fifty recipes paired with beautiful photography will inspire and offer something for every taste and time of day—hot, iced, carbonated, post-workout, decaffeinated, alcoholic, and deconstructed. Organized by mood, the recipes range in complexity from a quick quaff to a showstopping slow build, allowing readers to match the drink with the moment.

From Sarah Allen, Editor in chief of Barista Magazine: "While the basics of brewing are covered, the aim of The New Art of Coffeeis to push the creative envelope on developing whimsical, thoughtful drinks for cafe service with a thorough how-to in bringing the idea for a drink to life. Castelaz walks the reader through steps to consider and take in dreaming up something that will dazzle visually while pleasing the palate. And for inspiration, the author shares a plethora of his own original and imaginative drink recipes."

Ryan Castelaz is the owner and creative director of Discourse Coffee Workshop, which he opened in Door County, Wisconsin, in 2017, before moving the business to Milwaukee in 2021. His inventive drink making has been featured on the Emmy Award–winning PBS program Wisconsin Foodie and featured in publications such as Barista Magazine, Food & Wine, and The Growler magazine, which called him “The Coffee Wizard of Sister Bay.”

Holly Willson Holladay, author of Parks and Recreation and Erin Giannini, author of The Good Place
a virtual event
Tuesday, April 4, 7 pm

Join us online for a fun, informative evening of television analysis with Willson Holladay and Giannini, authors of two new installments in the TV Milestones series, which offers lively books that tackle the cultural impacts of classic and contemporary television in critical yet accessible style.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copies of Parks and Recreation and The Good Place now, too.

Willson Holladay’s homage to Parks and Recreation offers up an exploration of how the show evolved as a traditional network sitcom in a post-network era. While the media landscape evolved, so did American sociopolitical discourse, and Holladay examines how the series (contained entirely within Obama’s presidency) reflects the role of politics in American life on a micro scale.

Giannini’s light take on the darkly comic The Good Place considers the head-on way in which the show dealt with our fears about how our actions may come back to haunt us. Giannini argues that the show redefines the classic sitcom structure by mixing the genres of fantasy and comedy, while simultaneously teaching the viewers the importance of character development through the analysis of moral and ethical principles.

Holly Willson Holladay is Associate Professor of Media Theory and Criticism at Missouri State University and her research about identity, popular media, and media audiences has been published in journals such as Journal of Fandom Studies, Feminist Media Studies, the Journal of Popular Culture. Erin Giannini is an independent scholar in television studies and has served as an editor for PopMatters. She is the author of Supernatural: A History of Television’s Unearthly Road Trip and Joss Whedon vs. the Corporation.

Kevin Kluesner, author of The Killer Speech
in conversation with DW Hanneken at Boswell
Thursday, April 6, 6:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening with Kevin Kluesner, author of The Killer Speech, the second entry in the series featuring FBI agent Cole Huebsch. 

Click here right now to register for this event. Copies of The Killer Speech will be available to order closer to the event date. Click here to order a copy of The Killer Sermon in the meantime.

A Black U.S. Senator from Wisconsin gives a rousing speech at his party’s national convention held in his hometown. When he’s gunned down on a quiet Milwaukee street the following morning, Eric Rhodes survives what looks like a straightforward, high-profile hate crime. But nothing is simple in FBI agent Cole Huebsch’s life, not his relationships and certainly not the cases he works.

Cole, FBI analyst Li Song, and reporter Michele Fields won’t stop searching for the truth, even when the most sinister and powerful forces in the country align to shut them down. When Cole faces several cold and calculated attacks on his life and the lives of others he cares about, it only strengthens his resolve. But how far are Cole and his team willing to go when the evil they face is above the law?

From Archer Parquette of Milwaukee Magazine: "It's a joy to follow Special Agent Cole Huebsch through the streets of Milwaukee in this fast-paced thriller. Kluesner exceeds the high standard he set with The Killer Sermon to deliver an exciting, humorous, and thought-provoking story with a phenomenal sense of place."

Kevin Kluesner is the author of The Killer Sermon. He earned both a BA in journalism and an MBA from Marquette University, and he’s worked as the outdoor writer for a daily newspaper, taught marketing and management classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and served as an administrator of an urban safety net hospital. He lives in New Berlin, Wisconsin. DW Hanneken is author of The Home Front.

Jane Roper, author of The Society of Shame
ticketed event at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd in Thiensville
Monday, April 10, 7:30 pm, doors open 7

Join us for a special evening with Jane Roper, author of The Society of Shame, a timely and witty novel in which a viral photo of a politician's wife's “feminine hygiene malfunction” catapults her to unwanted fame in a story that's both a satire of social media stardom and internet activism, and a tender mother-daughter tale. Perfect for fans of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Cosponsored by Milwaukee Reads. Roper appears at Shully's Across the Street.

This is a ticketed event - click right here to purchase a ticket! Each ticket costs $55 plus tax and fee and includes admission, a glass of wine, appetizers, and a copy of The Society of Shame.

Kathleen Held goes viral for all the wrong reasons – not for her house catching fire or her politician husband’s affair with a staffer, but for a photo that captures a period stain on the back of Kathleen’s pants. Overnight, Kathleen finds herself becoming a figurehead for the #YesWeBleed women’s rights movement. When she stumbles upon the Society of Shame, Kathleen becomes part of a group who are all working to change their lives after their own scandals. Using the teachings of the society, Kathleen channels her newfound fame as a means to reap the benefits of her humiliation and reclaim herself. But as she ascends to celebrity status, Kathleen's growing obsession with maintaining her popularity online threatens her most important relationship IRL: that with her budding activist daughter.

Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V, says: "A hilarious, fleet-footed romp that skewers contemporary culture, marriage, politics, and more even as it reveals the fears and desires that so often pit us against each other and ourselves, The Society of Shame made me laugh, wince, and think at every turn."

Jane Roper is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is the author of two previous books: a memoir, Double Time, and a novel, Eden Lake. Her short fiction, essays, and humor have appeared in publications including McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, Poets & Writers, and more.

at Boswell
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30 pm

Wisconsin journalist, author, and On Boys podcaster Jennifer LW Fink joins us at Boswell for presentation of her new book, Building Boys, which offers tips and tools that parents can use to help boys move beyond persistent gender stereotypes to full humanity.

Please click here to register for this event at Boswell. And be sure to order your copy of Building Boys now as well.

Confounded by rapidly changing gender norms, today’s parents are attempting to raise kind, compassionate, emotionally sensitive boys in a society that simultaneously rewards stereotypical masculinity and is increasingly hostile to boys. Fink offers ten rules that parents can use to guide their parenting choices throughout their sons’ live - guidelines that are as relevant to parenting toddlers as they are to parenting teenagers. And because these rules are broad, they are as applicable to boys with ADHD, autism and learning challenges are they are to neurotypical boys.

From New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian: "Jennifer Fink is a tireless advocate for boys, with four boys of her own…. Not only do her guidelines and analysis fit the newest research on boys, they also fit common sense - which is something that parents today find immensely important. I highly recommend this book to anyone raising boys."

Jennifer LW Fink is author of The First-Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys: Practical Advice for Your Son’s Formative Years, founder of BuildingBoys.net, a website and global community for parents of boys, and co-host of the podcast ON BOYS: Real Talk about Parenting, Teaching, & Reaching Tomorrow’s Men.

at Boswell
Wednesday, April 12, 6:30 pm

Enjoy an evening with Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Timothy Egan featuring his brand new book, which tells the riveting story of the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of A Fever in the Heartland now as well.

The Roaring Twenties have been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson.

From Boswellian Tim McCarthy: "This is essentially the story of human failure focused on one sadistic, brutal man, but Egan turns it into an encompassing and oddly surprising portrait of 1920s America. The connections and references he weaves had me doing triple-takes, and frankly they got me through the moments when these violent predators terrified me. Egan makes it spellbinding." And from Daniel Goldin: "Egan’s meticulous research and lively storytelling combine for a powerful work with obvious contemporary parallels. I’m definitely going to be reading more Egan!"

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer-winning reporter and author of nine other books, most recently A Pilgrimage to Eternity and The Immortal Irishman. The Worst Hard Time won a National Book Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and his account of photographer Edward Curtis, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, won the Carnegie Medal for nonfiction.

Thomas Brussig, author of The Short End of the Sonnenallee
with translators Jonathan Franzen and Jenny Watson
at the Tony and Lucille Weasler Auditorium, 1506 W Wisconsin Ave
Thursday, April 13, 4 pm

Marquette Center for the Advancement of the Humanities and the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences present an afternoon with author Thomas Brussig and translators Jonathan Franzen and Dr. Jenny Watson, professor of German at Marquette University English. Brussig, Franzen, and Watson will be presenting the English translation of The Short End of the Sonnenallee, a novel set in Communist Eastern Germany in the decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Boswell will be on hand at the event to sell copies of the book. Click here to reserve your spot for this event.

Young Micha Kuppisch lives on the nubbin of a street, the Sonnenallee, whose long end extends beyond the Berlin Wall outside his apartment building. Micha is desperate for one thing. It’s not what his mother wants for him, which is to be an exemplary young Socialist and study in Moscow. What Micha wants is a love letter that may or may not have been meant for him, and may or may not have been written by the most beautiful girl on the Sonnenallee. Stolen by a gust of wind before he could open it, the letter now lies on the fortified “death strip” at the base of the Wall, as tantalizingly close as the freedoms of the West and seemingly no more attainable.

The Short End of the Sonnenallee, finally available to an American audience in a pitch-perfect translation by Jonathan Franzen and Jenny Watson, confounds the stereotypes of life in totalitarian East Germany. Brussig’s novel is a funny, charming tale of adolescents being adolescents, a portrait of a surprisingly warm community enduring in the shadow of the Iron Curtain. As Franzen writes in his foreword, the book is “a reminder that, even when the public realm becomes a nightmare, people can still privately manage to preserve their humanity, and be silly, and forgive.”

Thomas Brussig is the author of seven novels, including Wie es leuchtet and Helden wie wir. Jonathan Franzen is the author of six novels, including The Corrections, Freedom, Purity, and Crossroads, and five works of nonfiction, most recently The Kraus Project and The End of the End of the Earth. Jenny Watson is an associate professor of German at Marquette University.

ticketed event at Sip & Purr Cat Café, 2021 East Ivanhoe Place
Thursday, April 13, 7 pm

Boswell and Sip & Purr Cat Café present an evening featuring Milwaukee’s preeminent spiritual scholar for a conversation about his new book, Sit in the Sun, in which he offers a playful, gentle, and profound meditation on the many spiritual truths and practices of our favorite feline companions.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets cost $40 plus tax and ticket fee and include admission, one non-alcoholic drink, and a copy of Sit in the Sun. Click right here to purchase a ticket

As a spiritual pilgrim for more than half a century, Sweeney has practiced with teachers of many religious traditions. He's gone looking for wisdom, beauty, and truth wherever it can be found. But recently he's found himself learning closer to home - from the teacher-cats he lives with. What he discovered is that our greatest spiritual teachers are at our feet. Literally. They are the cats we love and treasure. Nearly 60 million cats live in US households today. These feline teachers have much to offer us about living in the present, loving unconditionally, approaching life with a sense of playfulness, and trusting others, all the while being independent spirits.

Here’s early praise from author Kathleen Deignan: "Sweeney graces us with a volume seemingly simple yet richly composed from his own domestic practice with feline gurus, enriched by insight gleaned from the lovers and researchers of this 4,400-year-old tribe." And here's a bit from The Booklist review: "Every chapter features ruminations on cat-dom, bolstered by comments from religious leaders of all denominations and translated into thoughts that could enrich lives. Simply written, with complexities to ponder. Includes sources for further reading."

Jon M Sweeney is author of over thirty books and has been interviewed in print by a range of publications from the Dallas Morning News to The Irish Catholic, and on television for CBS Saturday Morning and many other programs, about spirituality, spiritual practices, the pope, and the great lover of all creatures, Saint Francis.

in  conversation with Sally Haldorson at Boswell
Friday, April 14, 3 pm

Boswell presents an afternoon featuring Meg Zucker, empowerment speaker, UW-Madison grad, and author of Born Extraordinary, which offers a parent's guide to empowering children to embrace their visible and invisible differences. In conversation with Sally Haldorson, Managing Director of Porchlight Book CompanyCosponsored by Independence First and Porchlight Book Company. 

Please click here and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Born Extraordinary now, as well.

Meg Zucker was born with one finger on each hand, shortened forearms, and one toe on each misshapen foot, caused by a genetic condition called ectrodactyly. She would eventually pass this condition on to her two sons, and, along with her husband, raise them and their adopted daughter, who has her own invisible differences. Born of the family’s hard-won experiences, this book offers invaluable advice on raising confident, empathetic, and resilient children who succeed, not despite but because of their differences.

Born Extraordinary helps parents of children with differences and disabilities to relinquish their instinctive anxieties, embrace their new normal, and ultimately find joy in watching their children thrive. Zucker and her sons have learned to ignore what others think and live fearlessly. Zucker gives parents the tools to meet their children’s emotional needs while supporting the whole family unit. Parents learn how best to empower their children to confront others’ assumptions, grow in confidence, and encourage dialogue, rather than silence, fear, and shame, around difference.

Meg Zucker is founder and president of Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, a nonprofit with the mission of advancing understanding and mutual respect for people’s differences. A graduate of the UW−Madison and New York University School of Law.

Bill Schweigart, author of The Guilty One
in conversation with Nick Petrie at Boswell
Friday, April 14, 6:30 pm

Bill Schweigart visits Boswell for a Thrillwaukee evening featuring his latest novel, The Guilty One, a thriller inspired by Jack the Ripper’s infamous serial murders in which a hero cop thwarts a brutal murder and can’t remember a thing about it. In conversation with Milwaukee writer Nick Petrie, author of the Peter Ash series.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Guilty One, too.

In this breathlessly paced thriller for fans of David Ricciardi and Michael Connelly, when a hero cop’s memories begin to return, nightmares come along with them. Detective Cal Farrell stopped an active shooter and became the darling of the Alexandria press. The problem is that Cal remembers nothing from that day. He’s working with a psychiatrist to recover his memories, but hasn’t had much luck.

Then, on his morning run, he is once again the first on scene for a grisly discovery - a body hanging impossibly high on a tree. Soon there’s another victim. As the bodies begin to stack up, each staged more gruesomely than the last, Cal sees a baroque pattern to the crimes that no one else seems to understand - something out of legend. Don Bentley says: "The Guilty One is the perfect kind of crime novel. Crackling with suspense and chock full of compelling characters, this book grabs you by the throat and never lets go. I absolutely loved it!"

Bill Schweigart is the author of The Fatal Folklore Trilogy, Running Light, and Slipping The Cable. A former Coast Guard officer, Schweigart daylights as a branch chief with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Nick Petrie is author of novels such as The Drifter, The Wild One, and most recently, The Runaway.

Elizabeth Berg, author of Earth’s the Right Place for Love
at Boswell
Rescheduled to Monday, April 17, 6:30 pm

Boswell is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Berg back for an evening featuring her latest book, Earth’s the Right Place for Love, a beautiful book that tells the story of two young people growing up in Mason, Missouri, and how Arthur Moses, a shy young man, becomes the wise and compassionate person readers loved in The Story of Arthur Truluv.

Please click here and register for this event now. We are keeping the same registration for the new event.

Nola McCollum is the most desirable girl in Arthur’s class, and he is thrilled when they become friends. But Arthur wants far more than friendship. Unfortunately, Nola has a crush on the wrong Moses - Arthur’s older brother Frank, who is busy pursuing his own love interest and avoiding the boys’ father, a war veteran with a drinking problem and a penchant for starting fights. When a sudden tragedy rocks the family’s world, Arthur struggles to come to terms with his grief. In the end, it is nature that helps him to understand how to go on, beyond loss, to create a life of forgiveness and empathy. But what can he do about Nola, who seems confused about what she wants in life, and only half aware of the one who loves her most?

From Rachel Joyce, author of Miss Benson's Beetle and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry : "Compassionate, witty, and delicate, here is a story about the people who find themselves on the sidelines and yet who manage - despite losses of their own - to be true to themselves and find their way. A celebration of small communities and the small kindnesses that, bit by bit, change a life." 

Elizabeth Berg is the award-winning author of novels including The Story of Arthur Truluv, Open House, an Oprah's Book Club Selection, and Talk Before Sleep, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Three of her novels have been turned into movies. She is the founder of Writing Matters.

at Boswell
Wednesday, April 19, 6:30 pm

Boswell hosts an evening with activist and author Jon Melrod for a conversation about his new book, Fighting Times, a deeply personal account of his own journey to harness working-class militancy and jump start a revolution on the shop floor of American Motors in Milwaukee.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Fighting Times now as well.

Melrod faced termination, dodged the FBI, and became the central figure in a lawsuit against the labor newsletter as he strived to build a class-conscious workers’ movement from the bottom up. Containing dozens of archival photographs, Fighting Times captures the journey of a revolutionary who rose to the highest elected ranks of his UAW local without compromising his politics or his dedication to building a class-conscious workers’ movement. Melrod’s book will arm and inspire a new generation of labor organizers with the skills and attitude to challenge the odds and fight the egregious abuses of the exploitative capitalist system.

Noam Chomsky says of Melrod’s book: "An eloquent voice from the frontlines of the hard, bitter, exhilarating struggles for freedom and justice that have made the world a better place. And an inspiring guide for carrying the crucial struggle forward."

Jon Melrod began his activism in the student movement that opposed the Vietnam War and as a supporter of black liberation. He left the campus for the and immersed himself in the day-to-day struggles of Milwaukee's working class. Despite FBI surveillance and interference, Jon rose through union ranks to a top leadership position in UAW Local 72. His law practice in San Francisco has successfully represented hundreds of political refugees.

Maggie Smith, author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful
in conversation with Erika Meitner for a ticketed event at Boswell
Friday, April 21, 6:30 pm

Join us for a special evening with Maggie Smith, author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful. In conversation with University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Erika Meitner. Cosponsored by Woodland Pattern Book Center

This is a ticketed event - please click right here to purchase a ticket! Each ticket costs $28 plus tax and fee and includes a copy of the book, to be picked up at the event. $5 from every purchase will be donated back to Woodland Pattern.

In her memoir, Maggie Smith explores the disintegration of her marriage and her renewed commitment to herself in lyrical vignettes that shine, hard and clear as jewels. With the spirit of self-inquiry and empathy she’s known for, Smith interweaves snapshots of a life with meditations on secrets, anger, forgiveness, and narrative itself. The power of these pieces is cumulative: page after page, they build into a larger interrogation of family, work, and patriarchy. It is a story about a mother’s fierce and constant love for her children, and a woman’s love and regard for herself. Above all, this memoir is an argument for possibility. With a poet’s attention to language and an innovative approach to the genre, Smith reveals how, in the aftermath of loss, we can discover our power and make something new. Something beautiful.

From the Booklist starred review: "Smith opens her heart like a book, dog-earing moments both painful and joyous... Smith's conjuring of beauty through pain and her special blend of vulnerability and encouragement go down like a healing tonic."

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change; Good Bones; The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison; and more. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received several Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been widely published, appearing in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and more.

in conversation with Emmy Yates at Boswell
Tuesday, April 25, 6:30 pm

Writer and comedian Blythe Roberson stops by Boswell for a conversation about her latest work, America the Beautiful?, which examines Americans' obsession with freedom, travel, and the open road in this funny, entertaining travelogue that blends the humorous observations of Bill Bryson with the piercing cultural commentary of Jia Tolentino. For this event, Roberson will be in conversation with local writer and artist Emmy Yates.

Click here right now to register for this event. You can also pre-order a copy of America the Beautiful? now. 

For writer and comedian Blythe Roberson, there are only so many Mary Oliver poems you can read about being free before you too are itching to take off. Canonical American travel writers have long celebrated the road trip as the epitome of freedom. But why does it seem like all those canonical travel narratives are written by white men who have no problems, who only decide to go the desert to see what having problems feels like? To fill in the literary gaps and quench her own sense of adventure, Roberson quits her day job and sets off on a Great American Road Trip to visit America’s national parks.

Borrowing her Midwestern stepfather’s Prius, she heads west to the Loop of mega-popular parks, over to the ocean and down the Pacific Coast Highway, and, in a feat of spectacularly bad timing, through the southwestern desert in the middle of July. The result is a laugh-out-loud-while-occasionally-raging-inside travelogue, filled with meditations and many, many jokes on ecotourism, conservation, freedom, traffic, climate change, and the structural and financial inequalities that limit so many Americans’ movement. Ultimately, Roberson ponders the question: Is quitting society and going on the road about enlightenment and liberty—or is it just selfish escapism?

From Samantha Irby, author of Wow, No Thank You.: "America the Beautiful? is so funny and special and illuminating that it makes even me, a person who cannot tolerate trees or weather, wish I could've tagged along in the back seat."

Blythe Roberson is a comedian, a humor writer, and author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men. She has written for The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Kinfolk, and more, as well as the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Emmy Yates is a Milwaukee-based writer, artist, amateur naturalist, and a licensed urban beekeeper. She works in bicycle advocacy for Bublr Bikes, and writes life stories for the elderly. 

in Conversation with Daniel Goldin, Lisa Baudoin, and Christina Clancy, at Boswell
Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 pm

We’re so glad to welcome back J Ryan Stradal, author of beloved Midwestern-y books such as Kitchens of the Great Midwest, for a conversation about his delicious new book, set in rustic Minnesota, about families and food, legacies and love. This special, in-person edition of Readings from Oconomowaukee features Stradal joined for a conversation by bookstore proprietors Goldin and Baudoin as well as Wisconsin author Clancy.

Please click here and register to attend this event at Boswell. And be sure to order your copy of Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club now, too. Note, there is also a 2 pm event the same day featuring Stradal at Books & Company in Oconomowoc. More info about that event here.

Mariel Prager needs a break. Her husband Ned is having an identity crisis, her spunky, beloved restaurant is bleeding money by the day, and her mother Florence is stubbornly refusing to leave the church where she’s been holed up for more than a week. The Lakeside Supper Club has been in her family for decades, and while Mariel’s grandmother embraced the business, seeing it as a saving grace, Florence never took to it. In the aftermath of a devastating tragedy, Ned and Mariel lose almost everything they hold dear, and the hard-won victories of each family hang in the balance. With their dreams dashed, can one fractured family find a way to rebuild despite their losses, and will the Lakeside Supper Club be their salvation?

From Kirkus: "The Midwest setting is written with love and respect, and while the story is often heartbreakingly sad, there’s also real warmth and comfort in Stradal’s writing. A loving ode to supper clubs, the Midwest, and the people there who try their best to make life worth living."

J Ryan Stradal is author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Rumpus. His debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the American Booksellers Association Indies Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year.

Rebecca Makkai, author of I Have Some Questions for You
for the Spring Literary Luncheon at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W Wisconsin Ave
Thursday, April 27, Noon

The Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library present the annual Spring Literary Luncheon featuring National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Makkai, author of novels such as The Great Believers, for a special afternoon featuring her new novel, I Have Some Questions for You. This novel is a stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, with a transfixing mystery at its heart.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $100 each and include lunch and an autographed copy of I Have Some Questions for You. Friends members can purchase tickets for $80. A virtual option, which includes an autographed book and access for one device to the virtual program is offered for $60. Sponsorship options are also available. To purchase tickets and find more information, click this sentence and visit the Friends website now.

Successful film professor and podcaster Bodie Kane is content to forget her past - the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws.

Advance praise comes from Rumaan Alam, who says: “Both a deeply satisfying crime story and a thoughtful, even provocative, novel of ideas, I Have Some Questions for You narrates one woman’s interrogation of her own past while in turn posing difficult questions directly to its reader: about sex, power, privilege, and the ambient violence of contemporary American life. What a feat.” And Pulitzer winner Andrew Sean Greer says: “I’ve been waiting years for a book like this! You will laugh, think, think again, cry and stay up all night finishing it. Unputdownable and unforgettable. Makkai has written the book of the season.”

Rebecca Makkai is author of The Great Believers, winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

P David Allen II and Susan Campbell, coauthors of Paper Valley: The Fight for the Fox River Cleanup
at Boswell
Thursday, April 27, 6:30 pm

Join us for an evening with environmental writers Allen and Campbell as they chat about Paper Valley, their new book in which they recount the true story of the tumultuous fight for the $1 billion Wisconsin Superfund site cleanup, and how the corporate polluters were ultimately held accountable.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Paper Valley now as well.

In the 1990s, the Fox River near Green Bay was dominated by hulking paper mills, noxious industrial odors, and widespread ecological damage. Two small but vital players, government scientist Allen and journalist Campbell were relentless in bringing the case to the public at the time. In a rare and major environmental win, the Fox River became the site of the largest polychlorinated biphenyls cleanup in history, paid for by the paper companies rather than taxpayers, to the tune of $1.3 billion, and completed in 2020.

This true story of struggle, perseverance, and success inspires hope for environmentalists who strive to restore natural landscapes. Allen and Campbell eloquently outline the problematic bureaucracy involved in environmental cleanup efforts and reveal tactics to compel corporate entities who would dodge accountability for decades worth of contamination.

P David Allen II is a retired wildlife biologist and environmental consultant, who has worked for federal, state, tribal, and local governments in twenty-five states. Susan Campbell is a former environmental reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the coauthor of Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise.

in conversation with Kyle Cherek at Boswell
Tuesday, May 2, 6:30 pm

Chicago’s James Beard Outstanding Baker Greg Wade joins us for a conversation about his new book, one of Food Network’s Best Cookbooks of 2022, which offers up a groovy master class in healthy, sustainable, naturally delicious breads of the new bread renaissance. In conversation with Milwaukee culinary historian and food essayist Cherek.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Bread Head now as well.

Greg Wade is an expert in the out-of-this-world tastes and textures of long-fermented, hand-shaped breads. Wade is committed to spreading the love for local, organic flours and long-fermented sourdough loaves far and wide as he improves readers baking know-how, confidence, and zeal in the kitchen. From foundational recipes like Farmhouse Sourdough and Marbled Rye to unexpected and delicious bakes, the science and techniques of these inventive recipes will expand culinary repertoires.

From Amy Scherber of Amy’s Bread, NYC: "Greg Wade is an incredibly talented and passionate baker. From his own commitment to local grains to the mastery of sourdough, soakers, and porridges, he shares his knowledge about all the elements that make up his extraordinary bread. Greg’s curiosity and creativity shine through as he reminds us that baking is a lot of fun. He makes everything feel easy and accessible - this book is a gift to bakers at all levels and a must for the bakers of today!"

Greg Wade is the head baker at Chicago's Publican Quality Bread. He is an active member of local, regional, and national farming organizations devoted to producing ethical, quality ingredients.

in conversation with Jim Higgins at Boswell
Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 pm

Join us for a conversation with beloved Chicago Tribune journalist Barbara Mahany who introduces us to The Book of Nature, an ancient theology that considers literature, science, theology, and practice in order to understand God's presence as first revealed to us in the natural world. In conversation with Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Arts and Books Editor Jim Higgins.

Click here to register now for this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Book of Nature now as well.

Throughout millennia and across the monotheistic religions, the natural was often revered as a sacred text. By the Middle Ages, this text was given a name, 'The Book of Nature,' the first, best entry point for encounter with the divine. Weaving together the astonishments of science with the profound wisdom of thinkers, poets, and observers and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature, her experiential framework of the divine.

From Booklist: "Mahany's lyrical, thoughtful, most recent work beautifully complements her shelf of awe-inspired books about nature and will appeal to fans of Shauna Niequist and Anne Lamott."

Barbara Mahany is an author and freelance journalist known for her features in the Chicago Tribune. She is the author of Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door.

in conversation with Sally Haldorson for a virtual event
Thursday, May 4, 6 pm

Boswell and Porchlight Book Company present a virtual event with Sara Elise to discuss her debut, A Recipe for More, which explores the ideas of abundance, pleasure, and self-expansion by examining our connection to concepts like self-inflicted suffering, toxic positivity, rest, rage, visibility, and agency. In conversation with Porchlight Managing Director Sally Haldorson.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of A Recipe for More as well.

In this expansive debut, creative, host, and pleasure doula Sara Elise offers a profound and challenging inquiry into the forces that keep us in a state of survival and limitation and asks us to consider a new way to live. A Recipe for More is a quest to examine the ingredients of our lives, those essential components that make up our days. Have we chosen rest, breath, movement, agency, visibility, play, and pleasure? Or are we trapped in the numbing and violent pattern of self-inflicted suffering? Do we celebrate the unique and precious wiring of our brains? Are our relationships a garden of ever-growing and evolving roots? Do we nourish our bodies with what it requires to sense and receive? Are we liberated, awakened, and alive? In the tradition of Adrienne Maree Brown and Sonya Renee Taylor, A Recipe for More is a radical argument for dismantling the systems that oppress us. But it begins with the individual, and the simple recipe of our every day.

From singer, actor, artist, and author of The Memory Librarian Janelle Monáe: "Deeply honest, compassionate, and wise... A Recipe for More is a generous book about breaking cycles of suffering, but also, choosing pleasure, offering kindness to self, cultivating an electric network of friendships, and embracing this sweet life. I treasured every page.”

Sara Elise has been featured in Afropunk, Well + Good, and them, among others. She is a pleasure doula; the co-founder and designer of Apogeo Collective, a hospitality experience centering QTPOC; and the founder of Harvest & Revel, an event catering and design company.

David Roth and Rinee Shah, author and illustrator of LOl 101: A Kid's Guide to Writing Jokes
at Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave
Monday, May 8, 6:30 pm

Comedian David Roth and illustrator Rinee Shah appear at Shorewood Public Library to present their new book, a fun-filled guide for any kid who’s ever wanted to write their own jokes.

Click right here to register! And be sure to order your copy of LOL 101 now, too.

Packed with fun-filled illustrations, easy-to-follow exercises, and sample jokes, this humorous how-to joke book for kids proves that with a little elbow grease, anyone can write jokes that really make people LOL. Covering everything from surprise to wordplay to visual jokes, plus tips on how to perform a joke so it lands, LOL 101 is the approachable and (of course) funny guide for any kid ready to channel their inner comedian.

Highly visual and perfect for reluctant readers, this lighthearted guide makes it easy for any kid to start cooking up jokes right away. Telling jokes and spreading laughter helps kids make friends, build social skills, and have fun. Writing and telling their own jokes encourages kids to grow their confidence and stretch their creative muscles!

David Roth is a stand-up comedian who performs all over the United States and has written jokes for magicians, public speakers, rappers, and SNL stars. David co-produces the hit show The Charm Offensive at Punch Line San Francisco. He's also a highly awarded advertising creative director and has written and produced two Super Bowl commercials. Rinee Shah is an illustrator and advertising creative director and her illustration projects have been featured in Wired, The Huffington Post, and Fast Company. She's also the author-illustrator of The Made-Up Words Project and the illustrator of Off: The Day the Internet Died, a Bedtime Fantasy.

Julie Gerstenblatt, author of Daughters of Nantucket
ticketed event at Shully’s ATS, 143 Green Bay Rd in Thiensville
Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 pm, doors open 7

Join us for a special evening with Julie Gerstenblatt, author of Daughters of Nantucket, a page-turning novel inspired by real events, about the days leading up to Nantucket's historic fire of 1846 and its dramatic aftermath as three very different women must pull together when their lives are irrevocably altered in the wake of this infamous disaster. Perfect for fans of Jenna Blum and Christina Baker Kline. Gerstenblatt appears at Shully's Across the Street.

This is a ticketed event - click right here to purchase a ticket! Each ticket costs $48 plus tax and fee and includes admission, a glass of wine, appetizers, and a copy of Daughters of Nantucket.

Authentic and engaging, Gerstenblatt’s novel creates a vivid portrait of three women’s lives converging at a prime inflection point in the history of Nantucket, and the history of American commerce, civil rights, and social change. When a massive fire breaks out in the middle of a July night, the three women (a whaling captain’s wife, an astronomer-librarian, and a pregnant free Black woman) are brought together, and each is forced to reevaluate her priorities and answer the harrowing question: “What - and whom - would you save?”

Jenna Blum says: "These extraordinary women navigate abolitionist undertow, financial crises, and tempting lovers until their rivalries, ambitions, and secret desires are all exposed by a terrifying disaster."

Julie Gerstenblatt holds a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and teaches writing at Roger Williams University. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Cognoscenti, and other outlets, and she is a producer for A Mighty Blaze.

Soman Chainani, author of Fall of the School for Good and Evil
at Boswell
Wednesday, May 10, 6:30 pm

Join us for an evening featuring Soman Chainani, author of the beloved (and bestselling!) School for Good and Evil series visits with the latest installment, in which the twin Schoolmasters are at the brink of war and students’ courage is tested. Great for ages 8 and up.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Fall of the School for Good and Evil now, too.

The Great War begins in Fall of the School for Good and Evil, and brother battles brother, students’ loyalties are strained, and the school is changed forever, just in time for the arrival of two best friends named Sophie and Agatha and the new future they bring.

Publishers Weekly writes: "In this provocative prequel to the School for Good and Evil series, Chainani expands on the world’s mythos by returning to the institution’s earliest days. While this tale is enriched by previous series knowledge, and fans will enjoy watching the narrative foreshadow events to come, it is still accessible to newcomers. An episodic, adventurous fantasy offering."

Soman Chainani is the New York Times bestselling author of the School for Good and Evil series, which will will soon be a major motion picture from Netflix, which Soman will executive produce. Chainani is a graduate of Harvard University and received his MFA from Columbia University.

Renée Rosen, author of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
at Boswell
Thursday, May 11, 2 pm

Boswell is pleased to welcome Renée Rosen back for an afternoon featuring her latest book, Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl, dazzling new novel about Estée Lauder from the bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

Please click here and register for this event now. And make sure to preorder your copy of the book, too. 

In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission, and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to reckon with the price that comes from daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.

From Marie Benedict, author of The Personal Librarian: “In this captivating novel, Renée Rosen invites readers to peer behind the lovely façade of the iconic Estee Lauder, at her real origin and hardscrabble rise. This illuminating tale about ambition and friendship between Estee and Gloria Downing, another young woman who has changed her name and her identity, explores the dangers inherent in embellishing the truth. A fascinating glimpse into a legend who has changed the face of cosmetics forever.”

Renée Rosen is the bestselling author of The Social Graces, Park Avenue Summer, Windy City Blues, and more. She is also the author of Every Crooked Pot, a YA novel published in 2007.

Tania Malik, author of Hope You Are Satisfied
in conversation with Jeannée Sacken at Boswell
Tuesday, May 16, 6:30 pm

Join us for an event with Tania Malik who chats about her novel which presents a lovably sarcastic cast of misfits who will undo the “guest worker” stereotype one tequila shot at a time, while the world teeters around them on the cusp of an explosive global conflict. In conversation with Shorewood author Sacken.

Click here to register for this event, please. And be sure to order your copy of Hope You Are Satisfied now as well.

The Sheik is pissed. Along with his wives and children, the Sheik got put on the wrong plane, and ended up waiting hours in the desert on a hot tarmac for a crew that never came. As usual, it’s Riya’s fault. Riya works for Discover Arabia, a rinky-dink tour guide company in the far-flung desert outpost of Dubai. It's 1990, and the city’s iconic skyline, and its global reputation, remains but a gleam in developers’ eyes. For twenty-five year-old Riya, Dubai is a desert purgatory that spreads out between her family back home in India, and an as-yet-defined future ahead of her. But now, with international arms dealers, American soldiers, CIA consultants, corrupt bosses, and wayward vacationers all scrambling around her, will a favor from Dubai’s most notorious fixer get Riya back in everyone’s good graces? Or will the impending possibility of an invasion by Saddam Hussein make Riya’s problems (along with everyone else’s) a moot point?

Tania Malik is the author of the novel Three Bargains, which received a Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred review.

Colleen Cambridge, author of Mastering the Art of French Murder
in conversation with Erica Ruth Neubauer at Boswell
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 pm

Boswell welcomes author Colleen Cambridge for her latest, Mastering the Art of French Murder, a magnifique new historical mystery series starring Julia Child’s (fictional) best friend, combining a fresh perspective on the iconic chef’s years in post-WWII Paris with a delicious mystery and a unique culinary twist.

Registration is required to attend, so click here and reserve your space now. Make sure to preorder your copy of Mastering the Art of French Murder now, too.

Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay in Paris with her French grandfather, is on a journey of discovery. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, Tabitha’s sojourn is proving thoroughly delightful. That is, until the cold December day they return to Julia’s building and learn that a body has been found in the cellar. Tabitha recognizes the victim as a woman she’d met only the night before, and the murder weapon found nearby is recognizable too—a knife from Julia’s kitchen.

Tabitha is eager to help the investigation, but is shocked when Inspector Merveille reveals that a note, in Tabitha’s handwriting, was found in the dead woman’s pocket. Is this murder a case of international intrigue, or something far more personal? From the shadows of the Tour Eiffel at midnight, to the tiny third-floor Child kitchen, to the grungy streets of Montmartre, Tabitha navigates through the city hoping to find the real killer before she or one of her friends ends up in prison… or worse.

Colleen Cambridge is the bestselling author of the American in Paris Mysteries and the Phyllida Bright Mysteries, the first of which, Murder at Mallowan Hall, was an Indie Next Pick and Agatha Award finalist. An accomplished historian whose meticulously researched novels appeal to fans of historical fiction and mysteries alike, she also writes under the pennames C.M. Gleason and Colleen Gleason.

Howard Seaborne, author of Ten Keys West
at Boswell
Friday, May 19, 6:30 pm

Boswell presents an evening with Howard Seaborne, author of Ten Keys West, the tenth installment in the Divisible Man series.

Click here right now to register for this event. And make sure to preorder the book as well. Order the paperback here, or order the hardcover here

So close. A fraction of a second. A hair's breadth. A terrifying brush with death on duty lands Andy in the grip of an indelible nightmare. Old lies refuse to die. The top echelon of the FBI warns Will and Andy of extremist threats. Left to her own devices, Andy launches a crusade to save a child that collides with a scheme to raise a fortune and reveals that no life has value when billions are at stake. As events tumble out of control, Will and Andy call for help from an old friend, and place their trust in a highly unlikely ally to avoid revealing Will's secret to the world.

From Kirkus: “Seaborne is never less than a spellbinding storyteller.”

Howard Seaborne is the author of the Divisible Man series of novels, as well as a collection of short stories, called Engine Out, featuring the same cast of characters. He is a former flight instructor and commercial charter pilot licensed in single- and multi-engine airplanes as well as helicopters. He writes and flies during all four seasons in Wisconsin, never far from Essex County Airport.

Renée Graef, author of Gertie, the Darling Duck of WWII
at Boswell
Saturday, May 20, 11 am

Wisconsin illustrator Renée Graef visits Boswell for a special Saturday morning event featuring her latest work, which brings to life the historic tale of one plucky Milwaukee duck. This is sure to be a great event for picture book lovers of all ages.

Please click here and register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Gertie, the Darling Duck of WWII as well.

In 1945, the attention of the United States, along with the rest of the world, was focused on World War II. After more than five years of fighting, downcast, war-weary people were looking for signs of hope of a better future. One April morning, a duck searching for a nesting spot lands on a tall post sticking out of the Milwaukee River.

Situated near a busy drawbridge and the noisy city, this was an unlikely, precarious spot for a soon-to-be-mama duck to build her nest. But that is exactly where Gertie (named by a local reporter) decided to make her home and lay her eggs. Crowds begin visiting the bridge to watch Gertie and speculate how she will safely hatch her babies. Soon, news outlets around the world are carrying the hopeful tale of the plucky duck, raising spirits, and giving readers a shared sense of community.

Renée Graef has illustrated more than 80 books for children, including Everybody's Tree and the Lulu & Rocky Adventures series.

Ashley Winstead, author of The Boyfriend Candidate
in conversation with Rachel Copeland for a virtual event
Tuesday, May 30, 2 pm

Author Ashley Winstead joins us from Texas for a virtual afternoon event featuring The Boyfriend Candidate, a laugh-out-loud romcom about learning to embrace living outside your comfort zone. In conversation with romance enthusiast and Boswellian Rachel Copeland.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of The Boyfriend Candidate as well.

As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek—in bed!—she decides she needs to change, starting with her first one-night stand. Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. When their hookup is interrupted by a hotel fire, and the two end up partially clothed, in the street—and it turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot politician challenging the Texas Governor’s seat. The salacious images are poised to sink his career—and jeopardize Alexis’s job—until a solution is proposed: to squash the scandal, he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day... in two months. What could possibly go wrong?

Publishers Weekly gave The Boyfriend Candidate a starred review: "Readers will cheer Alexis on her path to discovering her inner strength and swoon over idealistic Logan. This is a winner.” And Rachel agrees, saying “Political romance novels should be so difficult to write, but Winstead manages to make it look easy. And I'm allergic to politics! I was clapping with glee, yelling "just kiss already!" randomly, gesticulating wildly to make well thought-out points to fictional characters who couldn't possibly see me, and it was so much fun.” This series starts with Fool Me Twice, and luckily there's plenty of time to catch up - order the first book here!

Ashley Winstead is an academic turned novelist with a PhD in contemporary American literature. She writes both romantic comedy and thrillers centering strong women.

Stacey Abrams, author of Rogue Justice: A Thriller
ticketed event at Oriental Theatre, 2230 N Farwell Ave
Wednesday, May 31, 7 pm

Boswell Book Company and Milwaukee Film present a very special, ticketed event with #1 New York Times bestselling author Stacey Abrams and her latest novel, Rogue Justice, another riveting, intricately plotted thriller that follows up While Justice Sleeps.

Tickets cost $38 and each includes admission and one copy of Rogue Justice. The first 500 people to buy tickets will get an autographed copy, too! Please click here and visit mkefilm.org/staceyabrams to purchase your tickets now.

In Rogue Justice, a blackmailed federal judge, a secret court, and a brazen murder may lead to an unprecedented national crisis. Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene is back, trying to get her feet on solid ground after unraveling an international conspiracy. But as the sparks of Congressional hearings and political skirmishes swirl around her, Keene is approached by an unassuming fellow law clerk who believes his boss, a recently murdered federal judge, was being blackmailed before her death.

Drawn from today’s headlines and woven with her unique insider perspective, Stacey Abrams combines twisting plotlines, wry wit, and clever puzzles to create another immensely entertaining and suspenseful novel.

Stacey Abrams served as Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and was the first Black woman to become gubernatorial nominee for a major party in United States history. Abrams has launched multiple nonprofit organizations devoted to democracy protection, voting rights, and effective public policy. She is also author of While Justice Sleeps.

Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Good Night, Irene
at Boswell
Thursday, June 1, 6:30 pm

Pulitzer finalist and acclaimed novelist Luis Alberto Urrea visits with his new novel, a searing epic based on the magnificent and true story of heroic Red Cross women on the front lines of WWII, which draws inspiration from his mother’s own Red Cross service.

Click here to register for this event, please. And be sure to order your copy of Good Night, Irene, as well.

What if a friendship forged on the front lines of war defines a life forever? In the tradition of The Nightingale and Transcription, Urrea’s latest is a searing epic based on a magnificent and true story. In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross and head to Europe. She makes fast friends in training with Dorothy Dunford, a towering Midwesterner with a ferocious wit. After D-Day, these two join the Allied soldiers streaming into France. Urrea’s story of women’s overlooked heroism in World War II is an affecting and uplifting portrait of friendship and valor in harrowing circumstances.

Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins, says: "Good Night, Irene is a marvel of storytelling, wrenching at times, breathlessly entertaining at others, a testament both to Urrea’s sublime talent and to his mother’s incredible life." And from Kristin Hannah: "A beautiful, heartfelt novel that celebrates the intense power and durability of female friendship while shining a light on one of the fascinating lost women’s stories of World War II. Powerful, uplifting, and deeply personal."

Luis Alberto Urrea is author of The Devil’s Highway, a Pulitzer finalist, as well as numerous other works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, including The Hummingbird’s Daughter and The House of Broken Angels, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He has been recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, among many other honors.

at Boswell
Friday, June 9, 6:30 pm

Boswell Book Company presents an evening with Kristine Hansen, author of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin, a comprehensive guide to Wright’s designs (and those of his protégés) that are open to the public for the architecture or history fan looking for tours, overnight stays or creative inspiration.

Registration is required to attend, so click here and reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of Frank Lloyd’s Wisconsin now, too.

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in 1867 in the rolling hills of Richland Center, Wisconsin, to a family of Unitarians and Quakers. Even with world-class commissions like New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, his organic architecture remains rooted in Wisconsin’s landscape, from affordable-housing prototypes in Milwaukee to his summer home and architecture school in rural Spring Green.

Bobby Tanzilo, author of Hidden History of Milwaukee, says "Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin is a long-overdue look inside the Wisconsin works of Wisconsin's greatest architect and the people who inhabit and care for them. Hansen's great stories are also beautifully illustrated, making this a must for all fans of Wright, of architecture and of Wisconsin's history and treasures."

Based in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, Kristine Hansen is a nationally recognized food, drinks and travel author with articles published on the websites for Architectural Digest and Travel and Leisure and in Milwaukee Magazine, and more. She is also the author of Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook: Creamy, Cheesy, Sweet, and Savory Recipes from the State’s Best Creameries.

at Boswell
Saturday, June 17, 4 pm

Boswell presents a special Saturday afternoon event with Neil Diboll, coauthor of The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants, a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated reference for all gardeners passionate about native plants and prairie restoration. Cohosted by Prairie Nursery

For this event, Diboll will be in conversation with Mike Yanny. Click right here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants now as well.

The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants is the one-stop compendium for all gardeners aspiring to use native prairie plants in their gardens. Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox—two renowned prairie gardeners—compile more than four decades’ worth of research to offer a wide-ranging and definitive reference for starting and maintaining prairie and meadow gardens and restorations.

This book provides all the inspiration and information necessary for eager native planters from across the country to welcome these plants back to their landscapes. The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants is a must-have reference for gardeners, restorationists, and every flora fan with a passion for native plants, prairies and meadows.

From Douglas W. Tallamy, University of Delaware: “If you are looking for the complete—and I do mean complete—guide to prairie ecosystems, you will not do better than this much-needed book. Diboll and Cox cover not only what prairie species look like at each of their growth stages (a first!), they also dive deep into their historical and ecological roles in prairie ecosystems.”

Neil Diboll has been president and consulting ecologist for Prairie Nursery, Inc. for over forty years, having previously held positions with the United States Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum.

at Boswell
Tuesday, June 27, 6:30 pm

Environmental and Humanities scholar and journalist Christina Gerhardt appears at Boswell for an evening featuring her new book, Sea Change, an immersive portal to islands around the world which highlights the impacts of sea level rise and shimmers with hopeful solutions to combat it.

Please click here to register for this event. And be sure to order your copy of Sea Change now, too.

Low-lying islands are least responsible for global warming, but they are suffering the brunt of it. This transportive atlas reorients our vantage point to place islands at the center of the story, highlighting Indigenous and Black voices and the work of communities taking action for local and global climate justice. Full of immersive storytelling, scientific expertise, and rallying cries from island populations that shout with hope, this atlas will galvanize readers in the fight against climate change and the choices we all face.

Rebecca Solnit says: "In Christina Gerhardt's stunning atlas of the present and future, we not only see these living places disappear in stages, but hear from their inhabitants in this mix of cartography, science, history, and urgent outcry about the climate crisis. This book makes tangible and visible both the physical changes and their cultural, emotional, and social impact."

Christina Gerhardt is Associate Professor at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Senior Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Barron Professor of Environment and the Humanities at Princeton University. Her environmental journalism has been published by The Nation, The Progressive, and the Washington Monthly.

at Boswell
Wednesday, July 19, 6:30 pm

Author, attorney, and cofounder of Life After Justice Jarrett Adams appears at Boswell for an evening featuring his book Redeeming Justice, a memoir that John Grisham calls "nothing less than heroic." Cohosted by Wisconsin State Public Defenders.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of Redeeming Justice now as well.

Adams was seventeen when an all-white jury sentenced him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a pioneering lawyer, his memoir recounts the journey that led to his exoneration and inspired him to devote his life to fighting the many injustices in our legal system. In this illuminating story of hope and full-circle redemption, Adams draws on his life and the cases of his clients to show the racist tactics used to convict young men of color, the unique challenges facing exonerees once released, and how the lack of equal representation in our courts is a failure not only of empathy but of our collective ability to uncover the truth. An unforgettable firsthand account of the limits and possibilities of our country’s system of law.

From The Washington Post: "His observations of lawyers helped usher him into a career as one, just as his experience of wrongful accusation spurred his interest in exonerating the innocent… The intimacy of Adams’s writing illustrates the inherent violence of our carceral system in a way that would be impossible without his firsthand experience - and without his willingness to share it."

Jarrett Adams earned his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. After working for the Innocence Project in New York, he launched the Law Office of Jarrett Adams and practices in both federal and state courts throughout the country. Adams is also the co-founder of Life After Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing wrongful convictions and building an ecosystem of support and empowerment for exonerees.

Reed Farrel Coleman, author of Sleepless City: A Nick Ryan Novel
in conversation with Nick Petrie at Boswell
Thursday, June 20, 6:30 pm

Join us for a Thrillwaukee evening featuring Reed Farrel Coleman, author of many novels, including six entries in the bestselling Robert B Parker Jesse Stone series. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan calls him a "hard-boiled poet." He visits to chat about the first book in his new Nick Ryan series with Milwaukee’s Nick Petrie, author of the Peter Ash thrillers.

Please click here and register to attend this event. And be sure to order your copy of Sleepless City now as well.

When people get in trouble, they call 911. When cops are in trouble, they call Nick Ryan. He doesn’t wear a uniform, but he is the most powerful cop in New York. Nick Ryan can find a criminal who’s vanished. Or he can make a key witness disappear. With conflicted loyalties and a divided soul, he’s a veteran cop still fighting his own private war. He’s a soldier of the streets with his own personal code. But what happens when the man who knows all the city’s secrets becomes a threat to both sides of the law?

Lee Child says, "What’s one cop gonna do against a rigged system? Sleepless City answers that question in a blaze of pace, action, suspense, and intrigue, all underpinned by thoughtful moral questions and a truly great new character in Nick Ryan. Coleman is a noir grandmaster and I hope this series runs forever."

Reed Farrel Coleman is author of the New York Times-bestselling novel Blind Spot, among several Robert B Parker novels, as well as nine books in the critically acclaimed Moe Prager series. He is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best Detective Novel of the Year, a winner of the Barry and Anthony Awards, and is a three-time Edgar Award nominee. Nick Petrie is author of the Peter Ash thrillers, including titles such as The Drifter, The Breaker, and The Runaway.

Carlene O’Connor, author of Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here
at Boswell
Friday, August 18, 2 pm

Boswell welcomes queen of the cozy police procedural Carlene O’Connor for an afternoon event for not one but two books: Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here. Cosponsored by the Milwaukee Irish Fest

Registration is required to attend, so click here and reserve your space now. And be sure to preorder your copy of Murder at an Irish Bakery and No Strangers Here now, too.

Murder in an Irish Bakery returns to County Cork in Ireland’s lush countryside, where locals are simmering with excitement over the reality TV baking contest coming to town —until day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie. The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently?

In No Strangers Here, on a rocky beach in the southwest of Ireland, the body of wealthy racehorse owner Johnny O’Reilly is propped on a boulder, staring sightlessly out to sea. A cryptic message is spelled out next to the body with sixty-nine polished black stones and a discarded vial of deadly veterinarian medication lies nearby. For veterinarian Dimpna Wilde, home means family drama and personal complications. Faced with a triple bombshell—her mother rumored to be in a relationship with Johnny, her father’s dementia is escalating, and her brother is avoiding her calls—Dimpna moves back to clear her family of suspicion.

From the Publishers Weekly starred review of Murder at an Irish Bakery: “Distinctive, captivating characters match a gripping plot full of surprises. O’Connor reinforces her place among the top rank of cozy writers.” And from the starred Kirkus review of No Strangers Here: "Exciting, convoluted, and rich with compelling characters, this is the best of O’Connor’s Irish mysteries to date."

Carlene O’Connor is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the author of the acclaimed Irish Village Mysteries, the County Kerry Novels, and the Home to Ireland Mysteries. Born into a long line of Irish storytellers, her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland filled with tales in 1897 and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places she’s wandered across the pond, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork, the setting of her Irish Village Mystery series.

Louise Hare, author of Harlem After Midnight
in conversation with Louise Hare for a virtual event
Thursday, August 31, 2 pm

Historical mystery writer Louise Hare joins us from across the pond for a virtual afternoon event featuring Harlem After Midnight, an evocative, twisting new novel from the author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. In conversation with Boswellian Rachel Copeland.

Click here to register now for this virtual event. And be sure to order your copy of Harlem After Midnight as well.

Harlem, 1936: Lena Aldridge grew up in a cramped corner of London, hearing stories of New York City from her father. But now her father is dead, and she’s newly arrived and alone, chasing a dream that has quickly dried up. When Will Goodman—the handsome musician she met on the crossing from England—offers for her to stay with his friends in Harlem, she jumps at the chance to get to know him better and see if she can find any trace of the family she might have remaining. Just as Lena discovers the stories her father once told her were missing giant pieces of information, she also starts to realize the man she’s falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And they might just place a target on her back. Especially when she is drawn to the brightest stage in town.

Rachel loves the first book in the series, Miss Aldridge Regrets: "There's nothing better than a deftly plotted historical mystery - I really was guessing the whole time! But the real star here is Hare's smooth navigation through the issues surrounding Lena's parentage, her ability to pass as white amongst society's upper echelons, and her discomfort with the idea of leaving her father's people, and her people, behind in favor of an easier life. I can't wait to eagerly follow this new mystery series for years." There's plenty of time to catch up on this series - order the hardcover of Miss Aldridge Regrets here, or order the paperback here

Louise Hare is the London-based author of Miss Aldridge Regrets. Her debut novel, This Lovely City, was published in the UK to wide acclaim, and was a Between the Covers Book Club Pick on BBC Two. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of London.

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.