Upcoming Events

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Wednesday, July 17, 7 pm, at Boswell

One of America’s foremost authorities on modern-day monsters, Linda S Godfrey haunts Boswell with her latest work, chatting with Milwaukee author Tea Krulos about ancient myths and indigenous legends that have informed modern sightings of walking wolves, dire dogs, deer people, and other strange beasts in rural America.

Wisconsin’s own Godfrey asks which came first, the myth or the monster? The monsters of ancient mythology, folklore, and more contemporary urban legend have long captured the popular imagination. Godfrey has interviewed countless eyewitnesses to strange phenomena and explores uncanny encounters with werewolves, goatmen, Bigfoot, and more.

Godfrey has found it often unclear whether sightings are simply mistaken animals, hoaxes, or coincidence. Are the creatures real, or are they entirely other-world? Godfrey’s search for answers will fascinate casual observers and enthusiasts alike as she discusses what Publishers Weekly calls, “a striking collection of cryptozoological creatures and fantastical folklore from North America.... This quirky, deeply researched guide will be a great resource for monster hunters.”

Linda S Godfrey is author of more than a dozen books, including The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf, Monsters Among Us, and Weird Wisconsin. She has appeared on MonsterQuest, Inside Edition, and Coast to Coast AM. Tea Krulos is the Milwaukee-based author of Monster Hunters: On the Trail With Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators and Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement.

New Venue! Chuck Klosterman, author of Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction, in conversation with Doug Gordon
Thursday, July 18, 7:00 pm, at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee, 2211 N Prospect Ave

Klostermaniacs rejoice. Boswell Book Company presents special evening with beloved cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We’re Wrong? and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, with his latest, a razor-sharp, hilarious collection of “fictional nonfiction” - stories so true they had to be wrapped in fiction for our own protection. He’ll chat with Doug Gordon, host of WPR’s BETA. Cosponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio. Do note that this event has been moved from its previous location. All tickets already purchased will be honored at The Back Room  - you will not need to exchange your tickets.

Tickets cost $27, and include admission to the event and an autographed copy of Raised in Captivity. Available at pabsttheater.org/event/chuckklosterman2019.

Advance reviews of Klosterman’s latest have been raves. Kirkus calls it a “crisp collection of imaginative snippits,” and, “a colorful, somewhat wicked collection of stories that are touching as often as they are laugh-out-loud funny.” Publishers Weekly says, “No matter the topic, Klosterman’s gimlet eye and trenchant prose bedazzle.” And Boswell’s Chris Lee says, “A collection of bite sized stories with twist endings like O’Henry’s on acid, Raised in Captivity is the best book Klosterman has written yet.”

Raised in Captivity is ceaselessly inventive, hostile to corniness in all its forms, and mean only to the things that really deserve it. Klosterman’s wildly entertaining and mind-bending stories are microdoses of straight dope, a fever graph of our deepest unvoiced hopes, fears, and preoccupations. A man flying first class discovers a puma in the lavatory. A band wrestles with new-found fame when its song becomes a white supremacist anthem. A man sees a whale struck by lightning and knows that everything about his life has to change.

Funny, wise, and weird, these stories converge in one of the most original and exciting collections in recent memory, one that marks a cosmic leap forward for one of our most consistently interesting writers, the man The Los Angeles Times says, “has a knack for holding up a magical high-def mirror to American pop culture.”

Chuck Klosterman is author of eight nonfiction books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, I Wear the Black Hat, and Killing Yourself to Live, and the novels Downtown Owl and The Visible Man. He has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and ESPN and served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine. Klosterman appeared as himself in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits and was a founder of Grantland.

Thursday, July 18, 7 pm, at Boswell

Psychotherapist Solden and Wisconsin native Frank, a clinical psychologist, offer this radical guide to cultivating individual strengths, honoring neurodiversity, and learning to communicate with confidence and clarity for any woman with ADHD who wants to live boldly.

Solden and Frank offer the first guided workbook for women with ADHD designed to break the cycle of negative self-talk and shame-based narratives that stem from the common and limiting belief that brain differences are character flaws. Their groundbreaking approach blends traditional treatment with contemporary treatment methods like acceptance and commitment therapy to help you untangle the beliefs that keep women from reaching their potential in life.

Edward Hallowell, coauthor of Driven to Distraction, says, “Solden, for years the great pioneer in working with women and ADHD, has now teamed up with Michelle Frank to create this dynamic, valuable workbook that will help women embolden themselves to break out of whatever self-imposed exiles they may have lived in and soar to the heights they deserve and will love.”

Psychotherapist Sari Solden is author of Women with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journeys Through ADDulthood. She serves on the professional advisory board of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association and is a past recipient of their award for outstanding service by a helping professional. Michelle Frank is a clinical psychologist from Wisconsin and serves as Vice President of the board of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. She speaks nationally on issues related to ADHD, neurodiversity, and women’s empowerment.

Bianca Marais, author of If You Want To Make God Laugh
Friday, July 19, 2 pm, at Boswell

Author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words visits with her new novel, an unforgettable story of women in post-Apartheid South Africa. Please register for this free event at maraismke.bpt.me.

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, a seventeen-year-old pregnant girl lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Across the country, a wealthy socialite is suffering a nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. Their stories converge, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.

As the three complicated lives become inextricably linked, what follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves? Boswellian Jenny Chou says, “Set in South Africa during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, there’s no question that If You Want to Make God Laugh tells a heart wrenching story, but it’s also exactly the kind of thought-provoking book that stays with me long after turning the last page. The writing is so lovely I could blanket the sky with the stars this book deserves. Don’t miss this one!”

As a bonus for this event, we'll be giving out $5 gift cards to ten lucky attendees. No purchase necessary, but you must register in advance and then attend the event to qualify for this drawing.

South Africa native Bianca Marais is author of Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and teaches creative writing at University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Before writing, she started a corporate training company and volunteered with Cotlands, where she assisted care workers in Soweto with providing aid for HIV/AIDS orphans.

Carson Vaughan, author of Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream, in conversation with Larry Waston
Monday, July 22, 7 pm, at Boswell

Journalist Carson Vaughan, a native Nebraskan, chats about his book with former Marquette Professor Larry Watson. Zoo Nebraska is the true story of small-town politics and community perseverance and of decent people and questionable choices.

Royal, Nebraska, population eighty-one. The church, high school, and post office stand abandoned. But for nearly twenty years, there was a zoo, seven acres that rose from local peculiarity to key tourist attraction to devastating tragedy, which all began with one man.

When Dick Haskin’s plans to assist primatologist Dian Fossey in Rwanda were cut short by her murder, Haskin returned to his hometown with Reuben, an adolescent chimp, and transformed a trailer home into the Midwest Primate Center. As the tourist trade multiplied, so did the inhabitants of what would become Zoo Nebraska, the unlikeliest boon to Royal’s economy in generations and, eventually, the source of a power struggle that would lead to the tragic implosion of Dick Haskin’s dream.

Carson Vaughan is a freelance journalist from Nebraska whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and many other publications. Larry Watson is author of Montana 1948, As Good as Gone, and several other books. He taught writing and literature at UW-Stevens Point and Marquette University.

Michael Wert, author of Samurai: A Concise History
Tuesday, July 23, 7 pm, at Boswell

Marquette University Associate Professor of East Asian History Michael Wert brings to life the history of the samurai, both famed and ordinary, who shaped Japanese history.

The idea of the sword-wielding samurai, beholden to a strict ethical code and trained in deadly martial arts, dominates popular conceptions of the samurai. This legacy remains with us today in the legendary Akira Kurosawa films, the shoguns of HBO's Westworld, and countless renditions of samurai history in anime, manga, and video games. Acknowledging these common depictions, Wert introduces the real samurai as they lived, fought, and served.

The samurai controlled Japan from the fourteenth century until their demise in the mid-nineteenth century. On and off the battlefield, their story is one of adventures and intrigues, heroics and misdeeds, unlikely victories and devastating defeats. Wert traces the samurai throughout this history, exploring their roles in watershed events such as Japan's invasions of Korea at the close of the sixteenth century and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. Wert illustrates accounts of the samurai and their commanding influence over politics, art, philosophy, and religion for centuries.

Michael Wert is Associate Professor of East Asian History at Marquette University. He is the author of Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan.

Wednesday, July 24, 7 pm, at Boswell

Former Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Charles Benjamin Schudson explores the decision-making process of judges, going behind the bench to hear judges forging appellate decisions about life and death, multimillion-dollar damages, and priceless civil rights.

With experience as both a trial and appellate judge, Schudson knows the burdens on judges. With engaging candor, he probes judicial minds analyzing actual trials and sentencings, of abortion protesters, murderers, sex predators, white supremacists, and others. Schudson exposes the financial, political, personal, and professional pressures that threaten judicial ethics and independence.

As political attacks on judges increase, Schudson calls for reforms to protect judicial independence and for vigilance to ensure justice for all. Independence Corrupted is invaluable for students and scholars, lawyers and judges, and all citizens concerned about the future of America's courts.

Charles Benjamin Schudson has appeared on PBS, NPR, and Oprah and before the National Association of State Judicial Educators, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is coauthor of On Trial: America’s Courts and Their Treatment of Sexually Abused Children.

Tom Miller, author of The Philosopher’s War
Thursday, July 25, 7 pm, at Boswell

The Madison-based and Wauwatosa-born author returns to Boswell to talk about the second book in his thrilling adventure series that began with The Philosopher’s Flight.

The Philosopher’s War is the electrifying next chapter in Robert Weekes’s story, filled with heroic, unconventional women, thrilling covert missions, romance and, of course, plenty of aerial adventures. As a rookie Rescue and Evacuation flier on the front lines of World War I in France, Weekes came to save lives, but has no idea how far he’ll have to go to win the war.

Kirkus Reviews calls it, “a fantastic example of worldbuilding on a grand scale that combines cinematic action with historical accuracy… The combat is incredibly tense, the palpable tension between characters is genuinely authentic, and the character arc that changes Weekes from an eager young soldier to a hardened veteran is truly compelling.” Associated Press says Miller’s latest, “grabs readers from its opening lines and doesn’t loosen its grip or lessen its hold all the way through.”

Tom Miller is author of The Philosopher’s Flight. He graduated from Harvard University, earned an MFA from Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh, and works as an ER doctor in Madison.

Friday, July 26, 7 pm, at Boswell

Peabody winner Veronica Rueckert, former host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time and now National Media Relations Specialist for University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses how women can claim the power of their voices and what needs to change so they can be heard. This event will feature a musical introduction by Boswellian and instrumentalist Olivia Valenza and vocalist Amanda Schoofs.

Women’s voices aren’t being heard. From the Supreme Court to the classroom, women find themselves interrupted more often than their male counterparts. A 2015 Yale University study revealed that women executives who spoke more often than their peers were rated 14% less competent, while male executives who did the same thing enjoyed a 10% competency bump. The fault lies not with women, but in a culture that seeks to silence women’s voices.

Rueckert offers a substantive yet entertaining analysis of why most males and many females don’t grant women the power to speak and solutions for change. Positive, confident and supportive, this welcome and much need guide will help reshape the world and make it better for women and for everyone.

Veronica Rueckert is a Peabody Award-winning communications specialist. She was the host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s statewide news magazine Central Time and was a senior producer and contributor on the national program To the Best of Our Knowledge. Her essays have aired on NPR and PRI. She currently conducts media training and national media outreach at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Charles Springfield, author of The Less Is More Approach to Wine, in conversation with Vivian L King
Saturday, July 27, 6 pm, at Boswell

Spend a delicious evening with certified sommelier and wine educator Charles Springfield, who offers a digestible serving of wine education, sprinkled liberally with generous pinches of entertainment, that will take you a journey from the origins of wine thousands of years ago to the present day. Let us know you're coming for this grapey good evening - RSVP right here today!

When equipped with the proper information, wine lovers can feel confident and empowered to make decisions that are better suited for their own personal enjoyment - not what someone else tells them they should or should not like or drink. Springfield offers an ideal guide for anyone getting into wine for the first time or people who've worked with wine for some time and want to deepen their understanding.

Charles wants to make wine accessible, approachable and fun. He is part of a growing number of wine intellectuals and leaders of the new school in wine education throughout the United States that want to democratize wine for the enjoyment of the masses.

Charles Springfield teaches wine classes as well as hosting food and wine pairing events and private and corporate events and seminars. He is the producer and host of the web series Maneuvering Wine with Style.

Joey Grihalva, author of Milwaukee Jazz
Monday, July 29, 7 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee music and cultural critic Joey Grihalva takes us on a jazz odyssey through his hometown, illuminating the histories and influence of local luminaries. This special evening will also feature songs performed by Milwaukee singer and author of the book’s foreword, Adekola Adedapo.

Milwaukee's jazz scene has forever stood in the shadow of Chicago's illustrious institution, but it stands strong. The Cream City has produced a wealth of talent, attracted top-notch transplants, and hosted legends like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Billie Holiday, and Wynton Marsalis.

From the heyday of the 1940s and 1950s to the renaissance of the 1970s, from the streets to the classrooms, grand ballrooms to outdoor festivals, from swing to bebop, smoky bars to dimly lit clubs like the Flame, Thelma's Back Door, and the Jazz Gallery, Grihalva chronicles how Milwaukee has been a hotbed of improvised music, providing a noteworthy contribution to the story of jazz in America.

Joey Grihalva is a Milwaukee writer whose work has appeared in Urban Milwaukee and Wisconsin Gazette, and he is a feature writer for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. A Milwaukee native, Grihalva holds degrees from University of Minnesota and Concordia University Montreal. Adekola Adedapo is a vocalist based in Milwaukee and Coordinator of Multicultural Programs at Alverno College.

Lee Zacharias, author of Across the Great Lake
Tuesday, July 30, 7 pm, at Boswell

Midwestern native Lee Zacharias presents her 2019 Michigan Notable Book, the story of a daughter and her father’s journey across Lake Michigan and a secret almost seventy years old.

Zacharias’s historical novel recounts the memories of Fern Halvorson, now in her eighty-fifth year, who tells the story of a childhood journey across Lake Michigan and the secret she has kept since that ill-fated voyage on a huge and powerful ship.

As his wife lies dying in the brutally cold winter of 1936, Henrik Halvorsen takes his daughter Fern away with him. He captains a great coal-fired vessel, the Manitou, transporting railroad cars across the icy lake. The five-year-old girl revels in the freedom of the ferry, making friends with a stowaway cat and a gentle young deckhand. The sighting of a ghost ship, though, presages danger for all aboard.

Lee Zacharias is the author of four previous books, including The Only Sounds We Make and Lessons, a Book of the Month Club selection. Her work has also appeared in the Best American Essays. Born in Chicago and raised in Hammond, Indiana, she is professor emerita of English at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

David S Pederson, author of Death Takes a Bow
Wednesday, July 31, 7 pm, at Boswell

Wisconsin author David S Pederson returns to Boswell with the fourth installment of his mystery series starring Detective Heath Barrington. Death Checks In, his previous book in this series, is a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist.

Alan Keyes takes a break from his police duties to scratch his acting itch in a local stage production. But the leading man is murdered during the opening night performance, and Alan’s partner, Detective Heath Barrington, is thrust into the limelight to find the killer. Alan soon learns the theater has a deadly past and ghostly forebodings, including a telegram that seems to have come from the beyond.

Among the large cast of suspects is Oliver Crane, the director whose finances depend on the success of this play, Jazz Monroe, Milwaukee’s sweetheart with a secret, and the handsome actor Henry Hawthorne, who has designs on Alan. When Alan seems to return Henry’s attentions, Heath must put his jealousy and insecurities aside to determine what’s real, what’s illusion, and who’s acting and who’s telling the truth before death takes a bow.

David S Pederson is the Wisconsin author of the Detective Heath Barrington mystery novels, including the 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Death Checks In.

Thursday, August 1, 2 pm, at Boswell

Harper Lee biographer and true crime writer Casey Cep visits Boswell. Cep’s New York Times bestseller delves deeper than ever before into Lee’s life after Mockingbird and reveals never before seen research and information about the author’s struggles with writing, drinking, and her decades long fascination with accused murdered Reverend Willie Maxwell.

Cep’s book is at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and biography of Harper Lee. Casey Cep brings to life the shocking murders, courtroom drama, and the racial politics of the Deep South while at the same time offering a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members in the 1970s who escaped justice until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier.

Casey Cep graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and earned an MPhil in theology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among other publications.

Thursday, August 1, 7 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee-based philosopher and scientist Callif, a Marquette graduate, appears with his book, which asks, where does consciousness fit into biology, how did life evolve, and what makes us human?

Epigenetics (‘above and beyond genetics’) is an exciting new field that suggests that genetics is not the foundation of inheritance and life. Callif walks us through the history of evolution and modern biology, the basics of genetics and genes, and the complexities of cells and inheritance, and proposes that epigenetics can provide a new perspective on identity, consciousness, and the origins of life itself.

In Organumics, living things are not discrete, isolated units (organisms). Instead, life is an inseparable and interconnected fractal that emerges through the cooperation of self-directed and self-contained individuals - organa. As an organum, we each play a vital role in the direction of evolutionary progress through our thoughts, feelings, and intentions. What we do changes who we are, and who we are influences what our descendants might one day become.

Ben L Callif is a Milwaukee-based philosopher and scientist interested in the paradoxes of consciousness and how science intersects with a holistic sense of purpose. His work focuses on circadian rhythms, spinal cord injury, and genetic engineering. He produces the YouTube show The Paradox Perspective.

Book Club Summer Celebration!
Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had, and Book Club Recommendations from Jason Gobble
Tuesday, August 6, 7 pm, at Boswell

Boswell hosts a book club summer celebration, featuring a talk by Chicago novelist Claire Lombardo about her sweeping debut novel and book club recommendations from Lombardo and Penguin Random House Sales Rep extraordinaire Jason Gobble.

Pulitzer Finalist Rebecca Makkai says, “Everything about this brilliant debut cuts deep: the humor, the wisdom, the pathos. Claire Lombardo writes like she’s been doing it for a hundred years, and like she’s been alive for a thousand.” And the Guardian says, “Outstanding… [the] literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler.”

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. The Most Fun We Ever Had has been named a most anticipated book of the summer by O Magazine, People, Chicago Tribune, and too many more publications to list.

Claire Lombardo earned an MFA in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Formerly a social worker, she now teaches fiction writing.

Joe Sacksteder, author of Make/Shift
Wednesday, August 7, 7 pm, at Boswell

Joe Sacksteder, Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts, appears at Boswell to talk about and read from his collection of stories, winner of the 2017 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature.

Situated in the absurd and pop culture, these stories land athletes, actors, musicians, and grievers at the center of more dire spectacles than they’d anticipated. Matt Bell, author of Scrapper calls Make/Shift, “a marvelously inventive book, formally restless, endlessly playful even at its bleakest, a Rube Goldberg machine of experimental fiction artfully hammered together.” And Caitlin Horrocks, author of This is Not Your City, says, “Sacksteder shapes the noisy ‘and and and’ of modern life into wonderfully surprising, unruly stories.”

Sacksteder confronts moments in which status and ceremony are destabilized - sorting through the suddenly unfamiliar contents of a time capsule, hanging poolside with parents while their hockey player sons devastate a hotel, and wandering the memory palace of a traumatized valedictorian during a commencement address. He includes flash vignettes based on corporate slogans that saturate the story collection with greater and greater frequency, like the commercials of a TV movie.

Joe Sacksteder is Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts. His writing has appeared in The Literary Review, The Rumpus, and Hobart and his novel Driftless Quintet is forthcoming as well.

Thursday, August 8, 7 pm, at Boswell

Germantown author Marty Peck talks about what it was like to grow up on a golf course, with behind-the-scenes escapades right out of a movie like Caddyshack.

Peck shares the stories of three generations of greenskeepers, blending themes of coming of age and fatherhood with golf history and plenty of humorous and lifelong lessons. In One Country Club Drive, Peck depicts the evolution of a historic course, beginning with its horse-drawn construction one-hundred years ago. Peck shares stories of humble caretakers, slot-machine con artists, ravaging fires and floods, and watching the likes of Walter Hagan, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer play in their back yard.

Marty Peck grew up on the links, experiencing the sport from behind the scenes. Marty Peck is Principal of Creative Lighting Design & Engineering and has worked on historic projects including The Ghost Train in Shorewood, NASA’s Rocket Garden at Cape Kennedy, and the 1890’s Great Fire recreation in the Third Ward.

Sunday, August 11, 2 pm, at Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd

Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC and Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center present an afternoon with Chicago Tribune staff writer Reich, the son of Holocaust survivors, whose book recounts the newspaper assignment to interview Elie Wiesel that evolved into a friendship.

Reich, the son of Holocaust survivors, offers an unprecedented, in-depth look at his conversations with Elie Wiesel. During the last four years of Wiesel’s life, he met frequently with Reich to discuss the subject that linked them: Reich’s father Robert and Wiesel, both liberated from the Buchenwald death camp on April 11, 1945.

Reich and Wiesel believed their colloquy represented a unique exchange between two generations deeply affected by a cataclysmic event. Wiesel looks back on his ideas and writings on the Holocaust, synthesizing them in his conversations with Reich. Reich illuminates Wiesel’s insights on life, ethics, and memory to help not only descendants of Holocaust survivors, but everyone, young or old.

Howard Reich has written for the Chicago Tribune since 1978 and joined the staff in 1983. He is author of five other books, including Prisoner of Her Past: A Son's Memoir. Reich has won an Emmy Award, and the Chicago Journalists Association named him Chicago Journalist of the Year in 2011.

Robert Crais, author of A Dangerous Man, in conversation with Nick Petrie
Sunday, August 11, 3 pm, at Boswell

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Crais visits Boswell for the first time to chat with Nick Petrie about the latest Cole and Pike thriller. Cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine. Register for free at craismke.bpt.me or upgrade to a book-with-registration option before on-sale date August 6 and get 20% off A Dangerous Man, then pick up your book any time after the book is on sale, including at the event.

Joe Pike didn’t expect to rescue anyone that day. He was just running errands. But when bank teller Izzy is abducted, Joe gets involved. Two men are arrested, but that’s only the beginning of Joe and Izzy’s trouble. After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?

A Dangerous Man has received high pre-publication praise, with starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, which says, “Crais is a whip-smart writer… This is one of the very best entries in a long-running and still first-rate series.”

Robert Crais is author of twenty-one novels. Before writing his first novel, Crais spent several years writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and LA Law. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, and one of his stand alone novels, Hostage, was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. Nick Petrie is the Milwaukee-based author of the Peter Ash thriller series, included the Edgar Award nominated book The Drifter.

Monday, August 12, 7 pm, at Boswell

Milwaukee author of A Tuscan Series, Paul Salsini continues his fictional explorations of the haunted side of Tuscany.

Strange things are known to happen in the rugged Garfagnana region. It is a little-known area of high mountains, either brilliantly white or deeply forested, small villages, some of them abandoned, and rippling streams. And there is something eerie and mysterious about it.

This was the place with a bridge built by a devil in the Middle Ages, a mountain that contains a witches’ coven, an underground cavern where voices can be heard, and a village that had been flooded but whose church bells can be heard under the lake on cold winter nights. Salsini reflects this mood with supernatural stories - a friendly ghost haunts a monastery, a statue cures the sick, and a village sleeps for a hundred years. All these and more make their appearance in Salsini’s latest, The Ghosts of the Garfagnana.

Paul Salsini is the Milwaukee-based author of The Cielo, Sparrow's Revenge, and The Fearless Flag Thrower of Lucca. Salsini is an instructor at Marquette University and formerly worked for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Andrew Shaffer, author of Hope Rides Again
Tuesday, August 13, 7 pm, at Boswell

The New York Times bestselling author rides into Boswell with the sequel to his hit Obama and Biden mystery, Hope Never Dies, in which the former POTUS and VPOTUS reprise their roles as BFFs-turned-amateur-sleuths as they chase Obama’s stolen cell phone through Chicago.

Shaffer chats about the second entry into his series that The New Yorker calls, “a giddy premise, a bit of Resistance wish-fulfillment for those who’d like to see Biden and Obama trading one-liners and cracking skulls.” In Hope Rides Again, Biden’s old pal Obama invites him to meet a benefactor whose endorsement could turn the tide for Joe if he decides to run for president. But the two friends barely have time to catch up before another mystery lands in their laps.

When their number-one suspect winds up full of lead on the South Side, the police are content to write it off as just another gangland shooting. But Joe and Obama smell a rat. Set against the backdrop of a raucous city on St. Patrick’s Day, Joe and Obama uncover a vast conspiracy that goes deeper than the waters of Lake Michigan - exactly where they’ll spend the rest of their retirement if they’re not careful.

Andrew Shaffer is author of more than a dozen books, including Literary Rogues, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, and Catsby: A Parody.

J Ryan Stradal, author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota
Wednesday, August 14, 7 pm, at Café Hollander, 2608 N Downer Ave

J Ryan Stradal, author of the Boswell favorite Kitchens of the Great Midwest, is now appearing at Café Hollander with his new novel about two generations of a Midwestern family and how they save themselves by making (and sometimes losing) a fortune in beer.

This event is free, but we'd love for you to register at stradalmke.bpt.me. There will be food specials for attendees, plus ten lucky attendees will get $5 Boswell gift cards. No purchase required, but you must register in advance and attend to qualify.

Kirkus’s starred review calls The Lager Queen of Minnesota, “an absolutely delightful read, perfect for a summer day with a good beer and a piece of pie.”

Meet a lovable, funny cast of characters eager to make their mark. Two sisters are split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to his younger daughter. Edith struggles to make what most people would call a living while, with the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country - “Drink lots. It’s Blotz.” Yet Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home - if it’s not too late. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we’re surprised, moved, and delighted.

J Ryan Stradal is author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest, which won the American Booksellers Association Indie’s Choice Award and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. He is a contributing editor at TASTE Magazine.

Michael Moreci, author of We Are Mayhem: A Black Star Renegades Novel, in conversation with Javier Ramirez
Thursday, August 15, 7 pm, at Boswell

Michael Moreci had to cancel his June appearance at Boswell, so we have rescheduled his return to the store for a chat with Javier Ramirez, a bookseller at Oak Park’s Book Table, about We Are Mayhem, the second installment of Moreci’s Star Wars-inspired series that Nerdist calls "the next big thing."

A ragtag group of misfits known as the Black Star Renegades not only possesses the will to fight for galactic freedom, they also possess the ultimate ace in the hole: the mythical Rokura, the most powerful weapon ever known. Too bad they haven’t figured out how to use it. Rebel Cade must embark on a dangerous mission into uncharted space to discover the Rokura’s origins and learn how it can be wielded. If he doesn’t, all hope for the galaxy might be lost.

As reviewed in USA Today, “Those who dig Arthurian legend, Guardians of the Galaxy cosmic high jinks and especially Star Wars mythology will find oodles to love.”

Michael Moreci is a Chicago-based novelist and comic books writer recognized as one of Newcity Lit's "Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2018." His comics include Roche Limit and Burning Fields. He's also written Suicide Squad for DC, Planet of the Apes for Boom!, and the forthcoming Black Hole Repo.

More Upcoming Events
  • Thursday, August 22, 2:00 pm, at Boswell – Celebrating the latest Door County mystery with a visit from Patricia Skalka, author of Death by the Bay, featuring Detective Sheriff Dave Kubiak
  • Wednesday, August 28, 7:00 pm reception, 7:30 talk, at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W Brown Deer Road – Francis De Pontes Peebles, author of The Air You Breathe - ticket price and purchase link to come
  • Thursday, September 5, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Former Milwaukeean Susan Welch, author of A Thread So Fine, a novel set in 1940s Minnesota
  • Sunday, September 8, 3 pm, at Boswell – William Kent Krueger, author of This Tender Land, the long-awaited companion novel to Ordinary Grace - Free event - register at kruegermke.bpt.me or upgrade to a copy of This Tender Land – cosponsored by Crimespree Magazine
  • Saturday, September 21, 11:00 am, at Boswell – Fall-themed Storytime with Matthew Farina, and Doug Salati, author illustrator of Lawrence in the Fall - Farina grew up in Waukesha
  • Wednesday, September 25, 6:30 pm, at Greenfield Public Library, 5310 W Layton Ave – Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Lalalani of the North - Registration link to follow
  • Thursday, September 26, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Award-winning journalist Atia Abawi, author of A Land of Permanent Goodbyes, a novel for adults and teens about a Syrian refugee family, cosponsored by University School of Milwaukee
  • Tuesday, October 1, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Carol Anshaw, author of Right After the Weather and Carry the One, in conversation with Jane Hamilton
  • Friday, October 11, 7:00 pm, at Boswell – Elizabeth Ames, author of, The Other’s Gold, a debut novel with this praise from Jesmyn Ward: “Reading Elizabeth Ames's The Other's Gold is like sinking into a lucid dream, wonderful and unsettling in turns, surreally beautiful throughout.”

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