#TBT: The Cold War

Cover art for The Americans season 1 DVD

On November 19, 1990, the leaders of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which dramatically reduced conventional weapons in Europe, bringing an end to the Cold War. To commemorate the occasion for this Throwback Thursday let’s take a look back at the Cold War […]

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#TBT: John Lennon and 1970

Strawberry Fields Memorial, Central Park

October 9 marks the 75th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth. In honor of the occasion, let’s look back at 1970 for Throwback Thursday. On December 11, 1970 Lennon released his first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. His debut featured the single “Mother” as well as other Lennon classics: “Working Class Hero” and “God,” which, […]

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On the Road with Audiobooks

scene of open road

As we continue to celebrate Audiobook Month in June we’d like to share some titles for anyone venturing out on a road trip this summer. Let’s start with an award winning title. Not only did Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year; it also took home an […]

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Spring Cleaning

Source: Maria, Chicago Public Library

The weather can't seem to decide if it's spring or winter. So with plenty of cold and rainy days ahead to put a damper on outdoor plans, it’s the perfect time to tackle those dust bunnies and overflowing closets. Daunting, you say? Why not consult the experts? Who better to start with than the queen of […]

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In Memoriam


The world lost many great writers, artists and performers in 2014. Whether through their written words or performances on stage and screen, they entertained, inspired and gave joy to many. Let's take a moment as we come to the end of another year to remember them. Maya Angelou Lauren Bacall Shirley Temple Black Roberto Gomez Bolanos […]

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Serial: A Podcast


Have you been listening to the Serial podcast? If you’re a fan of true crime or hard-hitting journalism, this is a must for you. The premise: Journalist and This American Life producer, Sarah Koenig, hosts this nonfiction podcast unraveling the story of a 15-year-old murder case. Each week Koenig delves into details of the case. […]

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James Beard Foundation Book Awards

The James Beard Foundation presents annual awards for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing and culinary education. Here are some highlights of the winners in the categories for culinary writing. Amy Thielen took home the prize in the American Cooking category with The New Midwestern Table.  In the Baking and Dessert race the prize went to […]

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Tournament of Books: Championship

Toy rooster

We’ve come to the end of yet another tournament. What a whirlwind it’s been! With a roster of titles that ranged from the critically acclaimed to those flying under the radar, it was a real toss up as to who would emerge victorious and take home the Rooster. I certainly do not want to outrage […]

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Tournament of Books: Quarterfinals

Have you been keeping up? Although, I've known about the ToB for years now, this is the first time I've checked in every day of the competition. It's been a lot of fun reading all the judgments and commentary. As you might recall, I was particularly interested in the matches featuring Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and […]

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One More Thing

Do you all remember Ryan from The Office? You know the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Kelly Kapoor. Well, Ryan, err, B. J. Novak, has a new book out, One More Thing. I happened across a reading of one of these little gems, "Julie and the Warlord," on This American Life. I found it funny and […]

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