Finding Beauty in the City

Source: Robin, Chicago Public Library

Chicago is a bustling metropolis filled with cultural diversity, history and entertainment. Yet it also contains stunning natural sanctuaries that make you feel like you're miles away from busy city streets—places like Promontory Point, one of my favorite spots in Chicago (pictured at sunrise). City life can sometimes be draining, so it's important to rediscover the […]

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Amor: Discover Latin American Romance

Source: sierragoddess, Flickr - resized

I once thought the term "romance language” meant language about romance and love, not realizing that it refers to languages of the Roman Empire descended from Latin. I think my misunderstanding stemmed from the fact that so many of my favorite Spanish-language authors write about love. I started studying Spanish in middle school and enjoyed practicing by reading bilingual […]

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Surrealists and Selfies

Source: Chagall - Flickr, Andrea & Stefan

If you're in downtown Chicago, you should visit Cloud Gate, nicknamed "The Bean." It's a sculpture in Millennium Park by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. Its shiny surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline, making it a popular attraction. Walk around and under it, and see how your body becomes warped and distorted against the background of the sky. Get creative, […]

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Exploring Art at the Library

Source: Nalleli Sierra, Chicago Public Library

If you’re stopping by YOUmedia to hang out or simply returning books at the downtown Chicago Public Library, why not take a moment longer to relax and reflect? Put on some jazzy tunes to set the mood and explore all the wonderful artwork that hangs on the walls of Harold Washington Library. Witness the Events […]

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New Teen Series to Read Before the Sequel

Source: muvuca, morgueFile

Have more free time now that school's out for summer? Grab one of these action-packed novels and pull up your beach chair before the sequels hit the shelves. In The Wrath & the Dawn, Shahzrad marries the caliph with plans to avenge her cousin's death. The sequel to this thrilling retelling of Arabian Nights, The Rose and the […]

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A Big Year for Birds

Source: r4n, Flickr - resized

Have you ever heard of Big Year birding competitions? The Cook County Forest Preserve is hosting one this year, so not only are Chicagoans outside counting birds this very minute, they'll be keeping an eye out for new species until the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Intrigued? Check out the following titles to find out more. Since I'm a big […]

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Folded and Unfolded: The Art of Paper Engineering

Hanging Cranes

Paper folding isn't just for kids anymore: this summer, you can explore Unfolded: Made With Paper, an amazing exhibit in the Block 37 building at the Chicago Design Museum. Unfolded highlights awesome works of paper created by the Chicago design community and imaginative contributions from around the world. Visit the exhibit before July 30, snap a picture of […]

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Explore Japan Travelogues

Source: rosevita, morgueFile

Have you always wanted to go to Japan? Love manga and anime, but curious to know more about the culture? In these three travelogues, cartoonists and writers show the country from an outsider's perspective—take a look inside to see what you might experience in the Land of the Rising Sun. Betty Reynolds lived in Japan for seven years, chronicling her everyday life in […]

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Teen Pride 2016

Source: stampstars, Flickr

Summer is my favorite time of year. The restaurant patios come back, the lake is slightly less frigid and there's Pride Month, the best of all months! To celebrate, here are some teen books that feature protagonists who identify as LGBTQ. Malinda Lo's duet Adaptation and Inheritance is pure science fiction with a wonderfully queer twist. Reese and her […]

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Celebrating the Art of Drag

Source: mantasmagorical, morgueFile

In 2016, drag queens are everywhere: reality TV, anti-smoking campaigns, mainstream modeling... and they've even come to a library near you! If you'd like to learn more about drag culture, check out the following titles. At the helm of RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul Charles is one of the most famous drag performers in the world. Learn how Ru rose from poverty to become Supermodel of […]

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