The Tale of the Nutcracker Isn’t Hard to Crack

Various nutcracker figurines

I have probably seen some version of The Nutcracker ballet every year since I was a child. There was the annual holiday field trip to the Auditorium Theater to see the Joffrey Ballet production in elementary school. Sometimes my family would cozy up in the living room to watch whatever ballet version was playing on PBS. […]

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Baby Boomers vs. Millennials: Who Will Win The Next America?

In the revolutionary war, America fought and won against the British. During the Civil War, it was North versus South. Today and in the not too distant future, it will be Baby Boomers versus Millennials. In The Next America by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center, Taylor lays out through facts and figures, the demographics […]

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Not Your Average Supermodel

What happens to the models when a season of America's Next Top Model ends? That is the question Melda Beaty tries to answer in her debut novel, Lime. Follow Lime Prince, a young woman of Ethiopian and Jamaican descent, as she enters the world of the New York fashion industry. Lime isn't your stereotypical supermodel- […]

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Having Children Can Be A Challenge

In honor of Mother's Day, let's take a look at two different mothers in the world of fiction. In The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, follow the Shepherd family through multiple decades of the African-American Great Migration. Starting with the death of her newborn twins, each of Hattie's children has a chapter in this novel […]

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Classic Romantic Comedy Back on the Big Screen

red seeds form shape of heart

The first movie I ever saw about adult relationships was Sleepless in Seattle. I remember my mother dragging me with her to a random movie theater in the western suburbs to see some movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan that in my mind was for "old people." I was 13 years old and hadn't […]

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Two Books to Get You through Valentine’s Day

Leaf with a heart-shaped hole in it

Don't worry. I'm not going to suggest a Sex-and-the-City type novel or a 18th century romance for my top picks for February. Instead I thought I would take a realistic approach to the month of love. The lead character in Hilma Wolitzer's An Available Man isn't a 30-something single woman or a man who just can't […]

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New Food for the New Year

Instead of giving up chocolate or vowing to make your diet consist completely of vegetables, maybe you've just decided to simply change the way you eat in 2014. For those of you like me who have a brand-new Kitchen Aid mixer that's been sitting on the living room floor since spring, you just want the accomplishment of […]

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Can You Work Out in 15 Minutes?

hand gripping weight

Working out is one of life's horrible contracts. If you want to be healthy...you have to exercise. Fine, but I won't like it. I wanted to get a jump on the whole exercising thing, but I didn't want to spend the cash to join a gym or hire a personal trainer. So my other option […]

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Being in the “Middle” of Family Drama That Never Ends

Thanksgiving not only brings great food, but of course tons of family drama. Whether you are caught in the middle or just an innocent bystander, here are two novels that are my favorites when it comes to family. The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg takes a look at a suburban Chicago family dealing with divorce, obesity and […]

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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 […]

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