Upcoming in September!

 September 23rd, 2021

 The fall season is upon us, and with it comes a rush of new releases.  This year, because so many books were delayed due to the pandemic, it is a particularly intense season.

One I want to highlight is by local author and friend of the store James Kennedy.  It is called Dare to Know.   This dark, mind-bending novel posits a company that can predict the exact moment of your death – if you accept the challenge and can pay the price, of course.  Three of us have read this one, and we all loved it.  The author was kind enough to stop by and sign our first editions.

Two others that I really enjoyed were released this summer.  Both historical fiction.

In the first, Naomi Hirahara’s noir thriller Clark and Division, a Japanese-American family is resettled in Chicago after being released from Manzanar, the internment camp that so many Californians were forced into during WWII.   The eldest daughter dies the night before the family is to be re-united, a supposed suicide.  But her family doesn’t buy it.  The atmosphere is beautifully rendered, and it gives a unique look into a community I was simply not aware of here in my hometown – Japanese-Americans who were forcibly relocated to our city in the 1940’s.

The second was written by Francine Prose.  Her writing style is bold and beautiful, so I could probably read her grocery list and be fascinated.  Her latest is called Vixen, and it is the story of a young Jewish man who gets hired at a major New York publishing house in the 1950’s and is tasked with editing a bodice-ripper based on the lives of the recently executed Julius and Esther Rosenberg.  This assignment plunges our hero into a world he never imagined – one filled with deviousness, deceit, and passion.

There are lots more coming:

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Storyteller Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Renegades Born in the USA by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen

Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Davis (This is a rerelease of her classic book)

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

On Animals by Susan Orlean

This is just a small sampling of the books we will be seeing in the next couple of weeks.  Like a said, a crowded fall.  For me, it is just fun to be thinking about and talking about books again.  So much of the past 18 months has been consumed by pandemic-related issues. 

The other exciting bit of news is that we are cautiously re-launching our event programming next week.

Chicago Fringe Opera Tuesday, September 28th 8pm


Chicago Fringe Opera presents a FREE Spotlight Series concert as part of the Ear Taxi Festival.

The program is inspired by the letter scene in opera, a dramatic device typically employed to express heightened inner emotion or key plot twists.

For FREE Tickets: https://www.chicagofringeopera.com/event/songs-from-letters/

Chicago Fringe Opera is dedicated to presenting innovative vocal works with an emphasis on new and contemporary styles, engaging with the Chicago community through intimate and immersive performance experiences, and fostering and empowering local artists.

Chicago Fringe Opera is at the forefront of producing dynamic contemporary vocal works in the city of Chicago.

Censorship Divides Us, Books Unite Us

Banned Books Week 2021, September 26th- October 2nd

Our front display table this month is devoted to books that have been challenged or banned.  We do this annually to celebrate our freedom to read.  And to remind us that we must remain ever vigilant. 

If you want to read about the books that were challenged and/or banned in libraries, schools, and by government groups around the country in 2020, visit this page on the ALA website.  There, you can download the report of the instances reported to them in the past year.

Access to whatever books we wish to read is not a guarantee.  It is a right we should never take for granted.

In order to celebrate our access to these challenged books, we are running a special for our customers over the course of Banned Books Week.:

Spend $25 or more in the store, get a free pocket Constitution of the USA and a bookstore pin.

Spend $30 or more, get a free ‘Stand Up For Your Right to Read’ t-shirt and a bookstore pin.


Spend $40 or more, we will give you all three in a gift bag.


City on Fire Exhibit Opening October 8, 2021

A rapidly growing city built of wood. A summer-long heat wave. An exhausted and misdirected team of firefighters. Racial, social, and economic tensions bubbling just below the surface. All Chicago needed was a spark.

If you want to read more in depth, about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 may we suggest the following titles:

What Was the Great Chicago Fire? By Janet B. Pascal

The Great Fire by Jim Murphy

The Great Chicago Fire by John Boda

Chicago’s Great Fire by Carl Smith


See more about the exhibit at the Chicago History Museum: