The Vic Hosts Three Great Acts

Chicago is a great stop for musical acts and the Vic Theatre is definitely one of the coolest venues Chicago has to offer performers and concert-goers. This month I was able to see three great shows at the Vic: Janelle Monae, Sea and Cake, and Toro y Moi. Janelle Monae put on a great show on October […]

Read More

Rick Riordan Q&A

Finger man with a question mark over his head.

Get to know Rick Riordan, October's Author of the Month. He explains the inspiration behind his writing, how he got his start and what makes the Heroes of Olympus series unique.

Read More

Author of the Month Rick Riordan

Photo of Rick Riordan

Go on a journey to an ancient land to fight a common foe in The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, October’s Author of the Month. The seven demigods are finally together and traveling to Rome to fulfill the prophecy and close the Doors of Death. Along the way they encounter love-sick nymphs, twin giants, schizophrenic […]

Read More

The Mysterious Life of J.D. Salinger

Salinger book cover

Perhaps no writer in history avoided the press more than J. D. Salinger. David Shields and Shane Salerno have tackled the tough task of chronicling the life of America’s most reclusive author in Salinger. In addition to their exhaustive 700-page biography, they’ve created an accompanying documentary that will be featured on PBS Masters in January. The […]

Read More

Horror Films for the Jaded

Haunted house with tree in front

Every fall at the first whiff of mulled cider I get excited about the prospect of the season's new crop of horror movies. “Prepare to be scared!” states the promotional poster of one. “Simply terrifying!” intones the voiceover on the trailer of another. However, as horror film aficionados well know, it is the rare film that lives up […]

Read More

Happy 200th, Giuseppe Verdi

Pastel drawing of Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, 1886

October 10, 2013 marked the 200th birthday of Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra celebrated the occasion with a performance of Verdi's Requiem at Orchestra Hall, conducted by Music Director Riccardo Muti (who is a Verdi specialist) with soloists Tatiana Serjan, soprano; Daniela Barcellona, mezzo-soprano; Mario Zeffiri, tenor; and Ildar Abdrazakov, bass. Missed the concert? You are in luck, as the webcast and […]

Read More

A Library Full of Wonder Thanks to Science Mentors

With a trained scientist from Mad Science of Chicago, children and familes explored the hows and whys of solar energy, flight, electricity and other key science concepts with paper airplanes, solar powered bugs and slime. My favorite activity was all about the power of the sun. Armed with flashlights, solar-powered critters and UV sensitive beads, […]

Read More

Perfect Party Playlists

The holiday party season is upon us. Turkey dinner with your city-orphaned friends. Post-game party with your drunk uncles. Drinking red and green cocktails while strategically avoiding the mistletoe. And if you’re the host, you’ll need to plan the perfect playlist sure to get your crowd moving and keep the positive energy flowing. CPL has tons […]

Read More

When Sweet Is Not Enough

As Annabel Lyon’s The Sweet Girl depicts, a respectable woman’s life in ancient Greece was very circumscribed. She had to be veiled and her name was not to be mentioned in public even if she was the daughter of Aristotle, the great philosopher and scientist. Pythias, or Pytho, as her family calls her, still leads an […]

Read More

Listening to Sense (and Sensibility)

Portrait said to be of Jane Austen

I confess, I find Jane Austen daunting. I do not fault Miss Austen for that: I have gotten too used to "quick reads" and the literary equivalent of the greasy spoon to easily consume the haute cuisine that are her novels. But listening to them, there's an idea! So a few months ago I downloaded Sense and […]

Read More