H.P. Lovecraft at 125: Cthulhu Lives

Source: viviannedraper, Flickr

A sickly child, a reclusive adult and a writer of weird, dime-store fiction. All of these are descriptions of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century whose work shapes horror, science fiction and dark, literary fiction to this day. August 20 marks the 125th anniversary of his birth. Let's take a […]

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Studs Terkel: A Chicago Hero

Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

"Why are we born? We’re born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we’re born and we die? We’re born to live." —Studs Terkel, 2003 I didn't know much about Chicago's history before I moved here in 1996. Someone told me I should read Division Street and I'd know everything. While that […]

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Comic Book Babes

Source: JD Hancock, Flickr

Were you looking for a post about sexy comic book hotties? Sorry to disappoint. Even in this age of superhero blockbusters and a thriving nerd culture, it can still be hard to find a lady in the lead. Iron Man. Batman. Superman. Aquaman. It's easy to argue that comic books and their Hollywood counterparts are still […]

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Vital Voices: Jane Addams Hull House Museum

Source: Library of Congress, photo by Moffett

Where would Chicago be if it weren't for Jane Addams? September 18 marks the 125th anniversary of Hull House, the settlement founded by Jane Addams that changed the lives of many individual Chicagoans while also challenging the status quo through reform and activism. The Hull House Association, which carried on the social service aspect of Jane […]

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Around the World in 80 Books


Sure, I guess there's no place like home, but this is the time of year when I'm usually planning my next escape. Travel is an essential part of my life and, unfortunately, getting out of town isn't always easy to do. What I love most about reading (and I'm sure you can relate) is that amazing stories can take me to […]

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A Taste of Taylor Street

Source: Chris RubberDragon, Flickr

Almost every weekend, folks stop by the Roosevelt Branch and ask “What's good to eat around here?" Roosevelt is located on Taylor Street, Chicago’s Little Italy, and there is no shortage of tempting delights. My personal faves are Pompei for budget-friendly sandwiches and pizza strudel or Davanti Enoteca for something a little more romantic. Don't forget […]

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April 2 is National Walking Day

National Walking Day

Exercise doesn't have to be hard. No, really! This April 2, the American Heart Association encourages us all to get moving toward a healthier lifestyle on National Walking Day. Wear your comfy shoes to work and take a walk! It's that simple. 30 minutes of your day, which can easily be broken into 15-minute increments, […]

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My New BFFs: Funny Ladies in the Library

It’s an almost universal truth that making new friends as an adult can be difficult. High school and college make quick bonding feel easy, but adult life seems to get in the way of making deeper connections. I’m not ashamed to say that some of my best new girlfriends have been found at the library. […]

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Love Songs for the Doomed

glowing outline of a heart

When I was in high school, this boy I knew made an amazing mix tape full of goth-y, brooding love songs for his then-girlfriend. I think she dumped him. I may have swooned and then asked for a copy of the mix tape for myself. He never did ask me out (HIS LOSS), but I […]

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Gridiron Greats: Football Reads for Everyone

50-yard line on a football field

I enjoy watching Da Bears from time to time, and by "watching" I mean eating fried foods/pizza with friends. And I don't know much of anything about college football (sorry, Michigan friends). I can't deny, however, that the drama of the game can be pretty exciting. No wonder there are so many great football reads. […]

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