The Literary Legacy of Waterloo

Painting of the duke of weelington at the battle of waterloo

Imagine you're standing in a wet, grassy field on a small hill. From this hill, you look over a large camp. There is smoke from the campfires, or is it from the artillery? Soldiers are mustering themselves under the blue, white and red banners. 26,000 of them will be dead by dusk. June 18 marks the […]

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4 New Books Featuring Chicago

Cloud gate

I've discovered four new books that have either come out in May or will come out in May that feature Chicago prominently. One is nonfiction, but the others are flights of imagination. You do not want to miss any of them. Aleksandar Hemon has written his first comedic novel: The Making of Zombie Wars. Joshua seems […]

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Poor Memories

Famous People Lie

People, as a rule, are generally awful, and when people start worrying about their reputations, they instinctively stretch the truth to make their lives more appealing than they actually are. So it's fun to read books about famous people talking about themselves. When you worry what you'll look like in the light of day, reality starts to bend. […]

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70 Years Later: V-E Day

V-E Day

May 8 is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, when the Germans surrendered to the Allies, ending World War II in Europe. Not many veterans are still around to celebrate, but it is still important. Here are some titles that help us remember. The Day the War Ended by Martin Gilbert follows the last […]

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Vikings Spotted on Lake Michigan!

Source: One luck guy, Flickr

The northmen of legend have landed at the Field Museum with a wealth of history and ancient treasures for you to discover! In the new Vikings exhibit, you'll explore the relics, legends and legacy of Viking civilization. Here at CPL, you can continue your journey with these epic tales: Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom is […]

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More Great Reads for Fans of Wolf Hall

Painting of Thomas Cromwell

Wolf Hall is everywhere lately, with adaptations of Hillary Mantel's prize-winning novels about Thomas Cromwell (Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies) on both PBS and Broadway. The third novel in the trilogy (reportedly to be titled The Mirror and the Light) has not yet been published, but fans of these addictive tales of court intrigue set during the reign of […]

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Last Voyage of the Lusitania: Dead Wake Readalikes

Lusitania 1

Erik Larson is best known in these parts for The Devil in the White City, about H.H. Holmes, one of America's first known serial killers and the World's Fair of 1893, held here in Chicago. In Dead Wake, Larson addresses the sinking of the Lusitania, a key factor in America's entry into World War I. […]

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I Don’t Like Nazis

I Don't Like Nazis

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I'm sure I'm going to offend somebody, but sometimes a man just needs to take chances. I have to say it. I don't like Nazis. They rub me the wrong way, and for some reason, they have a bad habit of turning up everywhere. Swastika […]

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More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye

If I've learned anything, it's that I should never ask questions. Whenever I ask a question, I run the risk of learning things I never wanted to learn. What looks like nothing at first might actually mean something, and even when I think I know what I'm talking about, I'm likely to be wrong. I have the misfortune of being educated […]

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How to Pretend to Be Real

Pretend That You're Real

Did you ever want to pretend you existed in a different time and place? Honestly, I haven't, which is why I'm interested in reading about people who are. There are a great many people out there who love putting on costumes and living anywhere else but here and now. All Shall Be Well; and All […]

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