Thrillers Jaws and Psycho Celebrate Anniversaries

Source: wahlander, Flickr

It’s that time of year when studios release high-budget films with wide appeal in hopes of having the next summer blockbuster. And this year, two iconic summer films—both thrillers—are celebrating anniversaries: Jaws and Psycho. Jaws, arguably the first summer blockbuster in history, celebrates its 40th anniversary in June. Beachgoers of 1975 were probably less interested in taking […]

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Caught Reading: Red Line, June 2015

Source: moriza, Flickr

I caught you reading, Chicago, and I like your taste in books! I spied several intriguing book selections on the Red Line these past few days and from the looks of it, you are really enjoying these books. I saw someone with a well-loved copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. With the much anticipated publication […]

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#TBT: 1960s Sounds of Summer

People sit on the trunk of a car while other people stand in the background

Music permeates the summer landscape: it can be heard from car windows, at the beach and during street festivals. For Throwback Thursday, here are some of my favorite summer hits of the 1960s: In July 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Beach Boys charted their first number one hit, […]

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Five of the Worst Mothers in Fiction

retro image of mother and child

Some mothers are good, some are bad and some are absolutely awful. In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the worst mothers fiction has to offer. From brainwashing to exorcisms to arsenic-laced donuts, here are some fictional mothers you'll love to hate: In The Manchurian Candidate, Eleanor Iselin is not […]

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The Winner of the Greatest Ever Chicago Book

source: chloeloe, flickr

The Chicago Reader has finally decided the winner of the Greatest Ever Chicago Book NCAA-style tournament and it is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson's history of the Great Migration beat out Studs Terkel's Working, a book about the lives of working people. It was a close race, however, with six judges selecting […]

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The Girl on the Train and Other Unreliable Narrators

Source: flickr, dr_john2005

Paula Hawkins' debut novel, The Girl on the Train, is a hit. Readers and critics alike appear to love Hawkins' gripping psychological thriller. With some incredibly satisfying plot twists and an unreliable narrator to keep things interesting, it's shaping-up to be this season's Gone Girl, and I have noticed engrossed readers toting this book around everywhere. An […]

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The Greatest Ever Chicago Book

source: chloeloe, flickr

Many of you likely have an opinion on the subject of the greatest ever Chicago book. Lucky for you, the Chicago Reader has chosen sixteen diverse books, fiction and nonfiction, and is running a NCAA-style tourney. They also chose a handful of excellent judges to determine the winner of each bout and contribute an essay […]

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Blue Note Records Turns 75

record, lp, blue note

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Blue Note Records, one of the most important labels in jazz music. Founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, the label is responsible for some of the most important jazz recordings in history, such as Coltrane's Blue train, the only record Coltrane made on […]

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Elvis Releases First Single

Source: rbglasson, Flickr

On the evening of July 5, 1954, Elvis was in Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, recording some tracks. During a recording break, he began playing around with the tune "That's All Right (Mama)" on his guitar, a song written by blues artist Arthur Crudup. Elvis’ fast version of the song caught the attention of Sun […]

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Go Meet Magritte at the Art Institute of Chicago

end table with bowler hat and an apple on top. Photo pays homage to surrealist artist Magritte

Magritte, the popular Belgian surrealist painter, is the subject of a recently opened exhibit at the Art Institute and a great reason for art enthusiasts to find their way over there this summer. The exhibit, which runs through October 13, is a focused look at the artist’s work created between 1926 and 1983 in Brussels, […]

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