Chicago’s Early Metalsmiths

If you know Chicago trivia, you may already know that the oldest business in continuous operation is C.D. Peacock Jewelers. Founded in 1837, the same year Chicago was incorporated as a city, Peacock's was actually one of five jewelry stores in the infant city. These days when you think of jewelry stores what comes to mind…
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Surrender the sandals!

I am in total denial about the changing of the seasons. I know the leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping and taffy apples and candy corn are in the aisles of the local grocery store - not to mention the Christmas lights and candy canes. These are all signs that summer is ending and fall has…
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Tough Broads

It is with great pleasure that I welcome a new author to the mystery genre: Minerva Koenig. In Nine Days, she creates truly memorable characters and a quick-turn-that-page story. Julia Kalas is staring down forty and is not a completely socially acceptable dress size. An expert house renovator and remodeler, she is now in the federal witness protection…
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Celebrate Your Freedom to Read

Thanks to the First Amendment, all people in the United States—even kids—have the right to read whatever they choose.  The First Amendment protects the freedom of all Americans by making sure that the government cannot stop the expression of an idea, even if that idea is unpopular. Sometimes people challenge the right of a library…
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A Sweet New Year!

My favorite fall holiday is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. It’s filled with reflection, sounds of the shofar, planning for the new year and best of all, sweet foods for a sweet year. In my house we begin with a celebratory dinner that includes symbolic foods, like round challah, to celebrate the cycle of the year…
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Sounds of Sabor!

From samba to cumbia to norteñas to merengue, Latin music is filled with upbeat cadences and robust sounds that tantalize the senses, transporting listeners on an exquisite auditory journey. Here are a few biographies, recordings and movies about and from some of my favorite Latin musicians. Born in Havana, Cuba, Celia Cruz (affectionately known as…
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Happy Birthday to a Dreamer!

On Wednesday, September 24, we should all take a moment to remember a man whose creative genius has had an impact on our lives. Whether you grew up watching Sesame Street, are old enough to remember that he was once in the cast of Saturday Night Live or even had a Kermit Clein poster on your bedroom…
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Be a Reading Rebel

Did you know reading can be a form of rebellion? Growing up, I thought a forbidden book was one from my older sister's bedroom that I was not allowed in. Or maybe it was one from that section of the bookstore people are embarrassed to be found in...you know which section! As far as I…
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