Let’s Have Some Winter Fun!

Source: stevendepolo

It’s a magical time of year following the holidays and ringing in the New Year. But now that the kids' holiday excitement may be turning into boredom, how are you going to spend your time until they go back to school? If you don't have one already, I’ve got just the plan for you. Chicago is […]

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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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Chicago’s Farming History

Source: Chicago Public Library, Trade Catalog Collection

This year's One Book, One Chicago, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, encourages readers to think about their relationships with the food they eat. Kingsolver and her family complete a yearlong challenge to grow, produce or buy locally all of their food. The book also criticizes the international food industry for compromising health in favor of efficient production, and for its environmental impact. While […]

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Chi-Town Comics Spill the Beans


A lot of funny people have passed through Chicago; some have stayed and some have moved to the other coasts. However, this post is about comedians who were born in Chicago and vicinity, most of whom also grew up and cut their comic teeth here. This is a collection of their autobiographical material. Bob Newhart was […]

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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

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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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How We Make The Funny


The Daily Show was a little nothing of a property when it debuted in the mid-90s. With the leadership of Jon Stewart, however, it became a cultural touchstone and the place where millions got their news. The Daily Show (the Book) by Chris Smith is an oral history of the high times and raucous humor of this staple […]

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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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