Revisiting Wonderland

Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Lewis Carroll's Alice made a lasting impression on me. As a child, I was first fascinated by the Disney movie and later mesmerized by Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The books were full of whimsy, nonsense, fantastical creatures, and an inquisitive and precocious girl protagonist, which were […]

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Top Picks: Ray Charles

Source: dannypigart, Flickr

To celebrate the 85th birth anniversary of American music icon Ray Charles, I’m picking my favorite Ray Charles recordings. The Genius of Ray Charles, released in 1959, was Charles’ sixth studio album. Although this album has been criticized for a number of reasons, it still has held up over the years, and Rolling Stone included […]

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#TBT: Jimi Hendrix

Source: dannypigart, Flickr

Jimi Hendrix had a short but remarkable career as a musician, and he was at the height of his career when he passed away in London from drug-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970. The Chicago Tribune's "Last Days of a Pop Idol" provides details about his final days. Hendrix had accomplished much during the previous […]

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The Suspect: 5 Articles About Robert Durst


Jinx, The - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which aired on HBO earlier this year, will be released on DVD this month. You've probably heard of the chilling documentary mini-series even if you have not yet watched it. It’s a fascinating true-crime story with a bizarre real-life protagonist, Robert Durst, a suspect in the […]

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Thrillers Jaws and Psycho Celebrate Anniversaries

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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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