In Memoriam

The world lost many great writers, artists and performers in 2014. Whether through their written words or performances on stage and screen, they entertained, inspired and gave joy to many. Let's take a moment as we come to the end of another year to remember them. Maya Angelou Lauren Bacall Shirley Temple Black Roberto Gomez Bolanos…
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Great Minds Think Alike

Great minds have never thought alike. They have a bad habit of thinking for themselves, and when you put two really smart people in the same room, sparks are bound to fly. It's fun finding out what happens when geniuses collide. Alfred Hitchcock rarely opened up to journalists or fans, but he did open up to famed French New…
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Light a Candle for Kwanzaa

This time of year is all about creating shared memories with loved ones through holiday traditions. If you don't have a special cultural or familial holiday tradition, it's never too late to start one. Why not partake in the nearly 50-year-old tradition of Kwanzaa, a harvest festival of first fruits? Anybody can celebrate Kwanzaa; it's fun for the…
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Nothing Like a Dame: Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench has recently released a new book of photos and anecdotes from her long career: Behind the Scenes. The photographs are both publicity shots and ones from Dench's private collection, documenting both her professional and personal life. The most striking thing I learned from this book was that as a young actor, a…
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Perseverance is Triumph: Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy used to have a high-powered job at Sun Microsystems before delving into her genealogy, leading to three books (so far) imagining her family's history. The  results are historical novels that tell of little-known parts of the American narrative, which we forget to our peril. All three family sagas are moving, atmospheric, and accurate down to the smallest…
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Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Even though we've had our hats, scarves, gloves and coats out for a while, the first day of winter is finally here!  Winter officially begins on December 21, a day that is called the Winter Solstice because it has the shortest amount of daylight. Here in Chicago, winters can be extremely cold, but that doesn't…
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