Apply to be a World Book Night book giver!

Apply now so you can be part of this great campaign to give free books to light or non-readers on April 23, 2013, Shakespeare’s birthday. Please apply now at www.worldbooknight.org. We at after-words will be a World Book Night participating bookstore, so we hope you’ll apply to be a giver soon.


2012 Blues Before Sunrise Film Festival

Sunday December 2, 2012 - Free Admission

Steve Cushing, Blues Before Sunris, WDCB, Jazz Record Mart & Delmark Records invite you to Steve's Pre-Christmas film party. The screening will be held here, at after-words bookstore. Films start at noon. Jazz Record Mart will be open special extended Sunday Hours for BBS fans, 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.

See early jazz short films from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Includes work by Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Helen Humes, Ethel Waters, Mahalia Jackson, Lena Horne, Bessie Smith and many, many more.


Signing for Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows November 29, 6:30 p.m.

Richard Cahan and Michael Williams will be at After-Words books on November 29, 2012, starting at 6:30 p.m., talking about and signing copies of their book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows (Cityfiles Press, $60, Hardback). Wine and nibbles provided. Vivian Maier, known as “the nanny photographer,” became an internet sensation after her work was put online soon after her death in 2009. Since then, Maier’s work has been shown throughout Europe and in major cities across the United States. Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows is the first book that tells her life store in pictures and words. To better understand Maier, authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams studied census records, ship manifests and interviewed every person they could find who knew Maier, from her childhood days in the French Alps to the families whose children she cared for. They combined this biographical information, much of it unreported, with more than 300 photographs that she took starting in 1949 to create the first comprehensive record of her life story—in words and pictures. This book is based on the largely unseen collection of about 18,000 Maier negatives, owned by Jeffrey Goldstein of Chicago. This is the first time Maier’s life story has been paired with her photographs so that readers can understand the woman and the work that went viral soon after her pictures went online. This book presents her in a new light by showing more personal photographs. The book Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows is the eighth by the award-winning team of Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. They are the coauthors of Richard Nickel’s Chicago and Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home. Other titles can be found cityfilespress.com.


The Book Thief by Mark Zusak is the Fall Selection for One Book, One Chicago

Award-winning author Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief has been lauded by critics and audiences alike, and loved by readers of all ages around the globe. Through the eloquent and surprisingly sympathetic narrator Death, Zusak introduces us to Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside Munich during World War II. As war shapes the world around her, she finds courage in books and in friendship with a Jewish man whom her foster family shelters in their basement. Author John Green reviewed the book in The New York Times, hailing it as “[b]rilliant” and “achingly sad,” and said of the heroine, “[t]he hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence.” This October the Chicago Public Library offers rare program opportunities to enhance the reading of this unforgettable novel. In addition to appearances by Markus Zusak on October 22, further offerings include an appearance by Rwandan activist Paul Rusesabagina in conversation with Jerome McDonnell on the atrocities of war, and panel discussions at DePaul University on the “History of Reading” and “The Book as Object.” Lastly, there is a chance to see the novel brought to life at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where the stage adaptation written by Heidi Stillman and directed by Hallie Gordon runs through November. One Book, One Chicago was launched in fall 2001 as an opportunity to engage and enlighten our residents, foster a sense of community and create a culture of reading in our city. By offering free public programming around each One Book, One Chicago selection and hosting dozens of book discussion groups in locations across the city, the Chicago Public Library aims to enrich the experience of reading for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, income or the neighborhood they call home. For more information visit: http://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/onebook_onechgo.php

Banned Books Week

Every year we look forward to spreading the word about Banned Books Week. This is the 30th anniversary year and will be celebrated September 30−October 6, 2012. We participate by making a display on our large octagon table with books that have either been banned or challenged in schools or libraries sometime in their published history. These challenges go back to the 1500s and stretch throughout history up to and including this year. Every year books are challenged and banned. In every case, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom is there to defend the book under scrutiny. Support your local bookstores and libraries by reading a banned book. For more information you can visit: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned

Moleskine's Are In!

Due to popular demand, we are proud to add the Moleskine line to our inventory. We have lined and unlined, hardbound and paperback, small and large and a selection of colors. Stop by anytime to check out our display.

Coupon Faux Pas

Dear Customers, As some of you may know there was a printing mistake on the September birthday coupons. It states that the expiration date is the end of August. It does not expire until the end of September. Apologies for any confusion. Birthday coupons are good for the entire month of your birthday. If for any reason you do not get your postcard, whatever the month, and you are in our database you can come in anytime during that month and apply it to your purchase. Let us know about any updates to your address so that we can make sure that the coupons we do send will get to you. Thank you again for your understanding.


Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

BACKBONES will be hosting a Scavenger Hunt in Chicago in honor of SCI Awareness Month. Groups will be required to have at least one person using a wheelchair for the duration of the hunt (if no one in the group is a wheelchair user, we will provide a wheelchair) with the purpose of educating people on SCI. In addition, all clues will be SCI or disability related. after-words is pleased to participate in this event by welcoming scavenger hunters on the afternoon of September 29th.

Visit their site to find out more about this remarkable organization.


Or if you want to read more about living with spinal cord injuries, here are two recommendations:

Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me by Jerry Mcgill

Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence by Matthew Sanford


Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever by Frank Sennett book signing

Frank Sennett will be at After-Words books on June 14, 2012 at 7 p.m. reading from and answering questions about his book Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever: The Inside Story of How One Insane Gamble, Tons of Unbelievable Hype, and Millions of Wild Deals Made Billions for One Ballsy Joker (St. Martin’s Press/ Hardcover/ June 2012/ ISBN 978-1250000842 $25.99). Wine reception following.

In late 2010, Groupon completely lost its mind. Rather than take Google’s unheard-of $6 billion buyout offer, founder Andrew Mason turned the search giant down and decided to go it alone. The experts laughed at Mason’s audacious gamble. Groupon was little more than two years old at the time and staffed from top to bottom with inexperienced twenty-somethings.  There was no way they would ever be able to recoup that kind of money.

Well who’s laughing now?  An online discount service that offers a deal a day at local merchants in cities in more than forty-three countries, Groupon recently had the largest IPO by any Internet company since Google in 2004 and is currently the fastest-growing company in Internet history. Committed to innovating a new model for commerce, Groupon is renowned for an unorthodox office culture and editorial voice based on radical transparency and absurd humor.

Time Out Chicago Editor in Chief and author Frank Sennett has unprecedented access to Groupon and its executives including CEO Andrew Mason. His new book, Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever is the exclusive and unparalleled account of the incredible rise of discount giant Groupon and the compelling story of its offbeat founder Andrew Mason as he created a juggernaut of online commerce and ignited a consumer revolution.

FRANK SENNETT is the editor-in-chief and president of Time Out Chicago. He edited the first story ever published about Groupon and later wrote a Time Out cover story on the company that led to this book project. In the 17 months he spent reporting on the company, Frank was the only journalist with inside access to Groupon's top leaders during the SEC quiet period before the company went public; became the first and only reporter to get a full account of Groupon's sale negotiations with Google and Yahoo. He conducted the only joint interview founders Andrew Mason and Eric Lefkofsky ever gave recounting the company's first years and was the only reporter on the floor of the NASDAQ MarketSite on the day of Groupon's IPO. Frank is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana and has published seven previous books in the past decade.


Wounded I Am More Awake by Julia Lieblich book signing

Julia Lieblich will be at After-Words books on Monday, May 14th at 6p.m. reading and signing copies of her book Wounded I am More Awake: Finding Meaning After Terror (Vanderbilt University Press, Paperback, $19.95).

Wounded I Am More Awake follows the story of Esad Boskailo, a doctor who survives six concentration camps in Bosnia and emerges with powerful new lessons for healing in an age of genocide. This gripping account raises questions for healers, survivors, and readers striving to understand the reality of war and the aftermath of terror. Is it possible to find meaning after enduring crimes against humanity? Can people heal after trauma?  Human rights journalist Julia Lieblich takes the reader through Boskailo's early years under Tito to the wars when friends turned on friends. She documents his harrowing experiences in the camps, where the men he once joined for coffee murder his best friend from childhood.  But the story does not end there. Boskailo moves to the United States and decides to become a psychiatrist so he can guide survivors through the long-term process of restoring hope. Today, inspired by the late psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, Boskailo uses his own experience to help patients mourn their losses and find meaning in the aftermath of terror.

Julia Lieblich is an award-winning human rights journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Time, Life, and Ms. A former religion writer for the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press, she is an assistant professor of journalism at Loyola University Chicago.


World Book Night

WHO: From Kodiak, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, in 6,000 towns and cities across America, volunteers will give away half a million free books on one day: April 23, 2012. Come meet those volunteers and hear the stories of where they will be distributing their books — as varied and colorful as the people themselves, and as engaging as their book choices.

WHAT: World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give away half a million free, specially printed books across America. Volunteer book lovers will help promote reading by going into their communities and distributing free copies of a book they enjoy to new or light readers, reaching them especially in underserved places – and even some fun spots. Volunteers from your area will be picking up the books they selected to share in locations as diverse as VA hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, ballparks, mass transit, diners, and more.

We are proud to be a community partner for the first World Book Night in the U.S., following the impressive launch of this campaign by our bookstore, library, author, and publisher colleagues in the UK and Ireland last year.

We will be hosting activities the week before World Book Night, in preparation for the givers going out into the community on April 23.


California Girl Chronicles by Michelle Gamble-Risley book signing

Michelle Gamble-Risley will be at After-Words books on April 11 at 7p.m. signing copies of her book California Girl Chronicles (3L Publishing, Paperback, $12.95).

Michelle Gamble-Risley, author of the internationally critically-acclaimed new book, California Girl Chronicles, kicks off her book tour at After-Words Bookstore.

One of the sexiest hot sellers this summer will be the new internationally critically acclaimed book, California Girl Chronicles: Brea and the City of Plastic which is a sexy, witty romp that takes readers into the life of Brea Harper as she tries to break into Hollywood as a screenwriter only to be continually distracted by her romantic escapades. Numerous reviewers have praised the book, and author Michelle Gamble-Risley has been chosen by Chicago-based bookstore, After-Words, to launch her spring and summer book tour with a wine reception on April 11, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 

“After-Words Bookstore is the ideal bookstore to launch this fun and fascinating story about a sexually empowered, adventurous woman, who is confident and secure enough to pursue her dreams whether in the entertainment industry or the bedroom,” said Gamble-Risley, who is also the CEO of the highly successful independent publishing company, 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com). “I wanted to write a strong female protagonist like Sookie Stackhouse in the Charlaine Harris series. Only this time, I didn’t want the girl to be violated in extreme ways and then return to her attacker’s arms. I feel like I’ve seen enough of the victimization of women in literature. I felt it was time to put the true ‘girl power’ back into the girl and imagine a woman, who under no circumstances, would return to a man who would violate her. I think that sends the wrong message to younger and older women alike.”

The result of Gamble-Risley’s effort is the witty, wonderful and sexy Brea Harper. Gamble-Risley is pleased to report that many reviewers have indeed lauded the fact that Brea is a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. While also flawed and sometimes just misguided, she is self-aware enough to know she’s making mistakes when she makes them. “You know we get to repeat our lessons until we learn them,” said Gamble-Risley. “Brea takes a few hard falls, but you will see as the series progresses, she does learn, change and evolve – that’s what makes her so interesting and relatable to younger and older women.”

You can now watch the new California Girl Chronicles book trailer on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDiZdVC08Mc


The Icon Thief by Alec Nevala-Lee book signing

First time local author, Alec Nevala-Lee, will be at After-Words Books on Thursday March 29, 2012 from 6:30-8:30 reading from and signing copies of his first book The Icon Thief (Signet; 978-0-451-23620-3; March 6, 2012 $9.99). Wine reception following.

A controversial masterpiece resurfaces in Budapest. A ballerina's headless corpse is found beneath the boardwalk at Brighton Beach. And New York's Russian mafia is about to collide with the equally ruthless art world.

Maddy Blume, an ambitious young art buyer for a Manhattan hedge fund, is desperate to track down a priceless painting by Marcel Duchamp, the most influential artist of the twentieth century.  The discovery of a woman's decapitated body thrusts criminal investigator Alan Powell into a search for the same painting, with its enigmatic image of a headless nude.  And a Russian thief and assassin known as the Scythian must steal the painting to save his reputation--and his life. 

The murderous race is on. And in the lead is an insidious secret society intent on reclaiming the painting for reasons of its own—and by any means necessary.

Alec Nevala-Lee was born in 1980 in Castro Valley, California. He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in Classics, and worked for several years as an associate at a global investment firm based in New York. His first novel, The Icon Thief, will be released by Signet in March 2012, to be followed by a sequel, City of Exiles, later this year. He lives with his wife in Oak Park, Illinois.


AWP Conference Event with the 2009 Bread Loaf Waiters

The 2009 Bread Loaf Waiters will be at After-Words books on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 8-10 pm reading from their work

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is one of America's most valuable literary institutions.  For the past 87 years, the workshops, lectures, and classes, held in the shadow of the Green Mountains have given America proven models of literary instruction. Bread Loaf is not a retreat—not a place to work in solitude. Instead it provides a stimulating community of diverse voices in which to test our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers.

Ten poets and fiction writers from all over the country will be here and reading from their latest work.Dara Barnat, Greg Brown, Jennine CapĆ³ Crucet, Reese Okyong Kwon, Jane Lin, Peter Mountford, Roger Reeves, Giuseppe Taurino, Ross White, Alexi Zentner are Bread Loaf Waiters or “work study scholars” who received one of the most coveted scholarships to the Bread Loaf Conference. These promising writers earned their keep by serving three meals a day to the paying guests.


AWP Event sponsored by Drunken Boat

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the WebReading to be held Thursday, March 1, 2012 at After-Words Book

Various authors and poets visiting for the AWP conference, hosted this year in Chicago, http://www.awpwriter.org/ will be at After-Words books on Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 6:15-8:15 pm. Wine reception.

Join Drunken Boat, Memorious, failbetter.com, Blackbird, and Midway Journal for night of worry free, poetry and prose! Come hear authors Michael Martone, Randall Brown, Kent Shaw, Margaret Luongo, Nicky Beer, Erica Dawson, Caki Wilkinson, Daniel Nester, Sibyl Baker, Michelle Chan Brown, and Shira Dentz.


A Greater Monster by David David Katzman book signing

David David Katzman will be at After-Words books on February 29, 2012 from 6-8 pm signing copies of his book A Greater Monster (Paperback, $17.95, Beadhead Books).

Local author David David Katzman’s second novel, A Greater Monster, is a groundbreaking multimedia work that includes 65 pages of illustrations, numerous graphic design elements, visual text poetry, and links to two websites, one of which features original music composed to mirror events in the book and another featuring an animated sequence.

This story itself is a psychedelic fairytale for the modern age - influenced by Alice in Wonderland, Williams S. Burroughs, and graphic novelist Grant Morrison. This darkly poetic tale takes you on a trip into a twisted alternate reality that reflects civilization like a funhouse mirror. A Greater Monster breathes new life into the possibilities of fiction.

David David Katzman’s first novel, Death by Zamboni, continues to be an acclaimed success. He was published in Bridge Literary Magazine and Tailspins magazine. Katzman has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from The Ohio State University.


Latin Lessons by Hal Weitzman book signing

Hal Weitzman will be at After-Words books on February 16, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. giving a talk and signing copies of his book Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering (Hardback, Wiley, $25.95).  Wine reception following.

In recent years, the U.S. economy has fallen on hard times, with persistently high unemployment, stagnant wages, and a fast-expanding national debt burden. At the same time, South America has been booming, with rapid economic growth, falling jobless rates and decreasing indebtedness.  In Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering, Financial Times reporter Hal Weitzman explains how, after many decades of destructive political and military interference and disastrous economic and trade policies, many South American countries have had enough of the American way of doing things. Thanks to demand from big emerging economies, which has caused commodity prices to surge and cash to flow in to the continent, most South American governments have become increasingly “resource nationalistic” and have ramped up social spending to meet the needs of the poor and the indigenous, causing poverty levels to drop – at the same time as poverty has been on the increase in the United States.

Combining sharp wit and great storytelling with trenchant analysis, Hal Weitzman examines how America “lost the South” and argues that if the United States is to find a new role in a world of emerging superpowers, it must reengage with Latin America. Hal Weitzman explores the mistakes the United States has made in Latin America—and the high price it will pay for them.

Hal Weitzman has been on the staff of the Financial Times since 2000, and is currently Chicago and Midwest bureau chief. He first joined as an editor on the FT’s Op-ed desk, was named Americas News Editor in 2002, and was the newspaper’s Andes bureau chief from 2004 to 2007. He was based in Lima but traveled extensively, reporting from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile. As well as the FT, his reporting from the region also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, New Statesman, The Irish Times, The Australian and Jane’s Foreign Report. Originally from Wales, he was educated at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; Oriel College, Oxford; and Leeds University.