#TBT: Happy Birthday, Betty White!

Betty White

She did it! Betty White survived 2016 and turns 95 January 17. For this Throwback Thursday, we’ll take a look at the storied career of everyone’s favorite funny lady. From radio to game and variety shows to sitcoms, it seems Betty White has done it all. Born in Oak Park, White moved to Los Angeles with […]

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CPL’s Most Popular Books of 2016

The Girls book cover, The Nest book cover

What were our most popular books in 2016? We've crunched the numbers and we're ready to share. Keep in mind that books published in late 2015 and early 2016 have an advantage, and you may see some of fall 2016's biggest blockbusters on next year's report. You might also compare our lists with Publishers Weekly's report […]

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January Reading Challenge: Best of the Best

T-shirt with map of Chicago made up of names of all CPL's locations

Adults, read along with us this winter and be entered in a drawing for a Chicago Public Library T-shirt or a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, this year's One Book, One Chicago selection. This month, read a book we recommended as the Best of the Best 2016. Or, read one of our past Best of the Best […]

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#TBT: Happy Birthday, Patti Smith!

Patti Smith

Multitalented poet, artist and singer-songwriter Patti Smith turns 70 on December 30. In this Throwback Thursday post, we celebrate her long and varied career as a boundary-pushing artist who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has won the National Book Award. Smith was born in Chicago in 1946, grew up in […]

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The Life and Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien

featured image

Even if you've never read a word he's written, you know of J.R.R. Tolkien and the mightiest product of his imagination, Middle Earth. Maybe you read The Hobbit for the first time as a child (or had it read to you as a bedtime story like I did!) and have loved it ever since, or […]

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Farewell, Carrie Fisher

Book cover for The Princess Diarist

Beloved actress and author Carrie Fisher has died at age 60. She will be greatly missed by her legions of fans and admirers. Let's take a brief look back at her career highlights for those still catching up with her or wanting to revisit her work. Fame came to this daughter of Hollywood legend Debbie […]

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Inaugural Chirby Awards Recognize Chicago-Area Authors

Row of Trophy Awards

In recognition of Chicago’s rich literary culture and history, the Chicago Review of Books created its own unique book award this year affectionately called the Chirbys. The award celebrates noteworthy writing published by authors from the Chicagoland area during the current year in a variety of categories. The panel of judges consisted of representatives from Chicago […]

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Caught Reading: Holiday Shopping Edition

rolls of wrapping paper on display

It's become obvious to my family and friends that the best gifts I can give, besides time together and kindness, are books! During my trips to local bookstores, both mainstream and independent, this holiday season, I spotted several shoppers also searching for that perfect book for a loved one. Whether it's for you, your family or your […]

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Wreaths and Wraiths: Holiday with a Touch of Horror

Rathaus Christmas by riayn,; Flickr

The holidays bring images of cheerful songs, feasts and gifts, but as you sit by your yule log, don’t forget your Christmas Eve ghost story. W…what?! When I first discovered this historical tradition a few years ago, I found something lovely and nostalgic about people gathering to eat, drink, make merry and then try scare […]

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Feminist Voices You Should Know

Feminist Voices

We've read many great memoirs, collections of essays and cultural analyses by female authors in recent years. Here are some feminist voices that kept the conversation going this year. In her honest and incisive memoir Shrill, Lindy West examines internet culture and body image through a feminist lens. Her absorbing essays and polemic against rape jokes in comedy combine Roxane Gay's […]

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