Caught Reading: Spring Days in Chicago, May 2017

People gather in small groups under the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park; Chicago skyline in the background

While this week isn't a great example, Chicago's had some beautiful weather this spring, and I really enjoy getting outside at lunch. Sometimes I walk around my neighborhood, and other days, I just sit down with a good book. During my last trip downtown, I saw that people in the Loop also enjoy sitting outside with a book. Here […]

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Top Picks: The Words of John F. Kennedy

Avid sportsman, visionary leader, newspaper reporter, war hero, statesman, civil rights activist, Peace Corps founder—and author. So many books have been written about John F. Kennedy, examining his short, yet remarkable life from a myriad of viewpoints, and no doubt hundreds more will follow. Born May 29, 1917, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of […]

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Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists

Granta Best Young American Novelists 3 cover

Every 10 years, British literary magazine Granta selects their picks for the best American novelists of their generation. (Access their 1996 picks and 2007 picks on the magazine's website.) It's quite an honor and a career boost for authors to be selected, and we're excited to further explore their latest picks, featured in the new […]

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Enter the Detecting Lady: Victorian Mysteries

When I went looking for readalikes for Kaite Welsh's The Wages of Sin, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of books I discovered. It seems that the past few years have seen the starts of several mystery series set in the Victorian era and featuring intrepid heroines. Here then, are some of them: The Wages […]

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#TBT: Star Wars Premieres in May 1977

Darth Vader

The year was 1977. Jimmy Carter was president, the first Apple II computers were on the market, disco was at its peak, and punk music from the Ramones, Sex Pistols and Elvis Costello was challenging conventional norms. Then, a pop culture phenomenon was born: Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope was released on May 25. For this Throwback Thursday, […]

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3 Short Story Collections by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood with laptop on porch

If you're watching The Handmaid's Tale miniseries or reading The Handmaid's Tale, there's plenty more of Margaret Atwood to enjoy. Her short stories are wonderful snippets of thought, with the same intelligence, humor and vinegar that permeate her novels. Mostly set in the here and now, but sometimes veering off into fantasy and science fiction, Atwood's short stories […]

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Down These Mean Streets…African American Detectives

Most mystery readers are familiar with Walter Moseley and his Easy Rawlins mysteries, set in bygone Los Angeles. However, there are other African American mysteries, set mostly in modern Los Angeles, that deserve your attention. Here are a few. IQ by Joe Ide follows a young man named Isaiah Quintabe (I.Q.) who, like Easy Rawlins, does favors for […]

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#TBT: Centennial Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald headshot

Source: Courtesy the Fraser MacPherson estate c/o Guy MacPherson, Wikimedia Commons For this Throwback Thursday, we celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of one of my most favorite songstresses, Ella Fitzgerald. Born April 25, 1917, Ella was known as "The First Lady of Song" and "The Queen of Jazz." She recorded over 200 albums throughout her […]

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Sandburg Award Honors Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers

Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers

Authors Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers will receive the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library. Natalie Y. Moore will receive the 21st Century Award. The Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner will honor the authors Wednesday, October 11 at The Forum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Atwood […]

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