Murder Among the Ruins: Ancient Roman Mysteries

For fans of historical novels, the ancient Romans are an entertaining bunch. If you like mysteries as well, there are definitely authors who cater to you. Below are three series that take place in the Eternal Empire. All are richly detailed and have a touch of humor to go with the whodunit. The Flavia Albia series by […]

Read More

Noir in Space

Moon 1

Science fiction is a big genre, with room for just about everyone. Today, I'd like to focus on modern noir set in orbit, whether around Earth or someplace else. The title of Anthony O'Neill's The Dark Side refers to Earth's moon, where lies the territory of Purgatory and its capital, Sin. Damien Justus is the new police sergeant there, […]

Read More

Caught Reading at the Beach, July 2016

Chicago beach filled with people, high-rises in the background

What could be better than catching up with a good book while sitting on the beach? Maybe the people watching? On a couple recent weekends, I combined these two beach favorites: I caught you reading along our beautiful lakefront. Your interesting and wide-ranging book choices were perfect for inspiring other readers. I caught you matching your reading […]

Read More

Podcast Pairings

Source: Maria, Chicago Public Library

To close out Audiobook Month, let’s take a look at another listening experience that seems to have exploded in recent years—the podcast. These audio shows are so popular now that there are even podcast conferences. One of which is happening in Chicago next week: Podcast Movement 2016. I’m a big fan of these shows, which […]

Read More

National Park Service Centennial

Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turns 100!  The centennial celebration pays homage to the Organic Act of 1916, which established the Park Service and brought a number of parks already in existence together under its auspices.  However, the rich history of the parks movement predates this, beginning in earnest in the 1860s. […]

Read More

Listen All the Way

Source: kazzpoint0, Flickr

June is winding down, but summer has just begun! As we continue to celebrate Audiobook Month, we've set our sights on great titles for those of you hitting the road. As fun as road trips can be, there are only so many rounds of I Spy or 20 Questions a person can take. Give everyone a break […]

Read More

Tudor Queens

As Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her birthday last weekend, it might be fun to take a look at her female predecessors on the throne, especially the mightiest of them all: the Tudor queens. Alison Weir made her name writing biographies of English royals, including the excellent The Life of Elizabeth I. Her new fictional series, […]

Read More

Suspenseful Debut Novels

tree and shed on farm

I love reading debut novels because they always hold the hope of discovering a new author or a new voice. The only problem in finding a good one, though, is having to wait for more! The following debut novels offer a double whammy with stories full of psychological suspense and the suspense of waiting for the next […]

Read More

Books Celebrating Queer Latinx Identity

Rainbow Pride flag in the sky

Pride Month is a time of celebration, of coming together as one queer community of all cultures and ethnicities. But for people of color, sexuality intersects with ethnic cultures in a distinct and important way. These titles celebrate our queer Latinx family and honor the unique stories they have to tell. From Macho to Mariposa, edited by Charles […]

Read More

Caught Reading: Humboldt Park, June 2016

Humboldt_Park_Lagoon

As the weather warms up, I love to spend time in our city's beautiful parks. The Chicago Park District is the oldest and one of the largest public park districts in the United States. From public beaches to pools to tennis courts to playgrounds, Chicago's parks have something to offer all ages. Recently I ventured […]

Read More