Booker Prize and National Book Award Shortlists

The Narrow Road to the Deep North book cover

Yesterday, Australian author Richard Flanagan has won the 2014 Booker Prize for his book The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a book about a POW experience during World War II. It deals with work on the Thai-Burma railway (the Death Railway) made famous by the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. This was the […]

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Fun with Superman

Superman book cover

This year's One Book, One Chicago selection, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, features two ambitious young men creating their own superhero in the late 1930s. Their creation owes a great debt to Superman, and in the same way that author Michael Chabon tips his hat to America's most iconic comic book creation, other writers […]

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Poets Forche and May at CPL for Poetry Day

Flying Geese 1

Poets Carolyn Forché and Jamaal May will be at Harold Washington Library Center for Poetry Day on Thursday, October 16. Given their contrasting styles, it should make for a stimulating, even revelatory evening. Both poets were both born in Michigan, with May staying in the Detroit area and Forché trotting the globe before settling near Washington, D.C.  While Forché […]

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Sample American Cheese Month with These Great Titles

Source:  Stéphanie Kilgast, Flickr

This October, people across the nation are gathering to celebrate the myriad shades, shapes and savors of American-made cheese. Some relish a panoply of flavors ranging from mild to sharp, while others delve into the mysteries of cheesecraft and create their own delicious masterpieces. No matter your taste, we can feed your flavorful obsession with recipes that range from […]

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Guest Blog: Introducing the Ed Paschke Art Center

Nico, Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground

Today we're featuring a guest blog by Thea Nichols, director of community engagement at the new Ed Paschke Art Center. She joins us to talk about the center, its namesake and its collaborations with the Chicago Public Library. Ed Paschke is one of Chicago’s most renowned artists. Born and raised on the North Side, Paschke became […]

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Patrick Modiano Wins the Nobel Prize in Literature

Missing Person book cover

Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature for his lifetime body of work. A French writer, he was relatively unknown outside of France until now. Many of his books are about the French experience during World War II, and he co-wrote a screenplay for Louis Malle's classic movie Lacombe Lucien about a troubled teenage boy during […]

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It’s Easy to DIY Halloween

Black cat with jack-o-lanterns

I love everything about fall—from the changing leaves to the crisp temperatures to the holidays. And I especially love October because I can’t wait for Halloween. It is the one time of year when it’s OK for you to be just a little bit crazy and over the top. I like to make Halloween my own, […]

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10-9: Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day

bike messenger

In 2007, Chicago declared the ninth day of October Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day. Arguably, no other job has been as glorified, vilified or mystified as that of the bike messenger. Despite carrier pigeons, telephones, fax machines, email and 3D printers, (not to mention ill-tempered motorists or extreme weather), the bike messenger continues to deliver. Further, […]

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Harvey Pekar at 75

Bronze Harvey Pekar memorial

"Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff." So said American Splendor author Harvey Pekar, who would have turned 75 on October 8.  Known nearly as well for his curmudgeonly attitude and his love of jazz as his writing, the Cleveland native endeared himself to critics and comic aficionados alike with his work likened to that of Chekov. […]

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Love Bites: Vampire Romances

fake red flowers and fake blood

Maintaining a relationship with a vampire has all sorts of complications: Where to live? Must be able to fit a casket, so scratch the studio apartment. What types of social occasions? Movies, yes; church weddings, no; having friends for dinner...maybe. How to introduce him/her to your family? And then there's the whole drinking blood thing. […]

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