Chicago Authors Build Legacy of Suspense

Sara Paretsky and Scott Turow

Love reading on the edge of your seat? Let's take a look at two authors sure to keep you there: Sara Paretsky and Scott Turow. These bestselling and prolific authors both call the Chicago area home. We’re grateful for their participation in this year’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, held by the Chicago Public Library Foundation on October […]

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Musicals Based on Books

While Broadway these days often seems to be stuck in a rut, the Off-Broadway scene has given birth to some new works that are injecting the scene with new energy. These brainy, youthful, exuberant musicals are all based on books that, at first glance, would seem to be very unlikely subjects for a hit show, yet that's ultimately […]

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It’s Oktoberfest: Celebrate with German Food and Beer!


The world's largest beer festival is celebrated in Munich from late September through the first weekend of October. Here are a few titles to help you mark this glorious occasion. Julia Skowronek's Biergarten Cookbook has great recipes for roast pork, cheese spaetzle, dumplings, and traditional Bavarian desserts and cakes. For newbies who prefer a modern and […]

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A Guide to Oliver Sacks

Book cover, Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

Neurologist Oliver Sacks passed away last month at the age of 82, leaving behind a tremendous and inspirational body of work. Announcing the return of his cancer in the New York Times earlier this year, Sacks expressed his gratitude for the life he'd been able to live. We're grateful for the wonderful publications he gave us. Sacks was a superb […]

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Spend Some Time with “Queen of Mystery” Agatha Christie

Plaque with photo of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller on September 15, 1890 in Torquay, Devon in southwest England in a middle-class family. Of her childhood she said, "One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood." As the youngest of three children, she had an […]

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Explore Hispanic Art in Chicago

Source: BriYYZ, Flickr

Chicago has long been an artist's metropolis: murals grace buildings and bridges, sculptures can be found scattered throughout the city, our downtown streets play music when you pass. Our museums are among the finest in the United States, and indeed, the world. From street art to gallery exhibitions, Chicago has it all, and Hispanic artists are at […]

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2015 Recipients of Chicago’s Fifth Star Awards

Sandra Cisneros photo

Inaugurated in 2014, the City of Chicago’s Fifth Star Awards honor artists and cultural organizations for significant contributions to our city’s cultural life. This year’s honorees are WXRT Program Director Norm Winer, author Sandra Cisneros, children’s performer and educator Ella Jenkins, architect Stanley Tigerman and the Joffrey Ballet. You can see the Joffrey Ballet perform at […]

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The Matter of Kansas

Kansas Flag

Most people regard Kansas as a place to get through on the way to somewhere else, or as a bastion of conservatism. This mentality has led to books like What's the Matter With Kansas? that ask how the birthplace of the People's Party could come up with Republican stalwarts like Senator Pat Roberts. There are fascinating […]

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Caught Reading: Blue Line, September 2015

Source: Daniel X. O'Neil, Flickr

As summer was winding down, I caught Blue Line riders reading everything from downright academic titles to beach reads. Several readers traveled to exotic locations with trendy fiction. One of you escaped to Nantucket with Elin Hildebrand's summer's bestseller  The Rumor. Her next book, Winter Stroll, debuting October 13, can help us transition to colder weather. Another rider examined Louise Penny's latest murder […]

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Many Nights in Bangkok

The latest book in the Sonchai Jitpleecheep series, The Bangkok Asset, is one to remember. John Burdett writes the series about a Thai policeman who is also a good Buddhist. Sonchai worries about his karma a great deal, but still manages to do his job for his corrupt superiors. While the mysteries in this series often skew toward the […]

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