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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A City of Neighborhoods: Fiction Set in Chicago

In his book, Chicago: A Biography, Dominic Pacyga writes: “There seems to be a different Chicago around every street corner, behind every bar, and within every apartment, two-flat, cottage, or bungalow.” Those contrasting views of the city, especially Chicago’s many neighborhoods and its residents, have been well-represented by writers. Readers have had the opportunity to […]

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The Pixies’ Doolittle Turns 25

The Pixies' sophomore album, Doolittle, released on April 18, 1989, turns 25 this week. I stumbled upon this information recently and my first thought was, "I'm really old,” but then I was transported back to high school, a time when I must have played the album hundreds of times. Music has an amazing ability to induce […]

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The Music of Mad Men

"When did music become so important?" Don Draper asks Megan in season five. Megan hands him a copy of the Beatles’ Revolver and tells him to start with the final track on the album. Don drops the needle, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" blasts out of the speakers. Don settles back in his chair with a drink […]

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Chicago in Song

Frank Sinatra may have sung it best with “This is my kind of town, Chicago is.” But don’t limit yourself to Ol’ Blue Eyes when celebrating Chicago with song, because the Windy City has endeared herself to a number of crooners. You’ll find plenty of songs to fit whatever your mood. There’s Sufjan’s Stevens hopeful […]

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Michael Lewis Wins Carl Sandburg Literary Award

Michael Lewis

The Chicago Public Library Foundation presented a Carl Sandburg Literary Award to journalist and nonfiction author Michael Lewis at this year’s annual dinner. The award is presented to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the […]

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