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Staff Picks


Three things I like: breakfast food, mountains, and the sound of automatic doors opening

Currently Reading: The Master and Margarita By Mikhail Bulgakov

ISBN: 9780316199988
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 8th, 2014

This is a tale about an imaginary friend waiting to be imagined by a child. It's an adorable story about finding your place in the world & making friendships that fit you you are.--Bec 

ISBN: 9780618492398
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - August 13th, 2004

This story is about the "green and crazy summer" during which 12 year old Frankie "belonged to no club" and "hung around in doorways." I usually love stories with child protagonists and McCullers depicts the end of childhood so well.Also, the descriptions of summer are so vivid that I always feel like it's summer, no matter what the weather's like.--Bec 

By Greg Rucka, J. H. Williams, III (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781401231460
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Published: DC Comics - June 14th, 2011

I love staring at the art in this series. I think I actually got tangled up once in Batwoman's hair just by reading this. The storyline and characters are well developed, and this is a great book to introduce the series. --Bec 

ISBN: 9780544002234
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Published: Mariner Books - April 2nd, 2013

This memoir is in the form of a graphic novel and is beautifully illustrated in shades of red and grey. Bechdel uses classic literature, psychological studies, and her own keen insight to explore and better understand her relationship with her mother, and, in the process, better understand herself.--BecP.S. Bechdel's Fun Home is also amazing!


Three things I like: Derrick Rose's crossover, heist-related film and literature, and the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack.

Currently Reading: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto Burning Down the House by Charles BaxterThe King in Yellow by Robert Chambers, Correction by Thomas Bernhard

ISBN: 9780307279415
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books - April 9th, 2013

The single most useful book on writing I've ever read and I've read an embarrassing number of them.--Sky 

ISBN: 9780547572529
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Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2012

Mariner Books has done its civic duty by reissuing PKD's entire archive in beautiful editions and giving second life to a few of his more obscure titles. Imagined as an unofficial sequel to Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Bloodmoney's post-bomb America is a toxic country populated by a human race deeply effected both emotionally and genetically by fallout. Centered around the man responsible for the planet-wide catastrophe, Dr. Bloodmoney himself, the novel terrified me in a way all great sci-fi should: because the world feels all too real. Also, Roberto Bolaño called it a "masterpiece," so that's something.--Sky 

ISBN: 9780316074315
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Published: Little Brown and Company - October 15th, 2013

Just fun, excellent storytelling. The scope and structure of the plot is amazingly executed. At 28 years old, Catton understands things about fiction that most contemporary writers can only gesture towards. Back when I read her debut novel, I knew she was good, but I didn't know she was this good. She makes all other working writers look lazy as hell.

ISBN: 9780307947512
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Published: Vintage Books - June 4th, 2013

I have complicated feelings about Dave Eggers. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was important to me in my early 20s, and was a gateway to larger literary drugs, but he's become a symbol of an overexposed literary movement. BUT, with A Hologram for the King, he has matured into a damn fine storyteller. The language reflects his influences (think a flowery Hemingway and a hopeful Beckett), the structure is gently complex, and even though nothing really happens (which is kinda the point) the plot clicks along at a strangely quick pace. Dave Eggers is a relevant fiction writer again and accomplishes what Franzen only promises. --Sky 

By John Gardner, Raymond Carver (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780393320039
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 17th, 1999

So, you wanna be a novelist, huh? Well, this is pretty much required reading for you then. If you're looking for all the magic answers they will not be found in this book. Gardner offers wisdom, honesty, and spiritual instruction to the young writer full of self-doubt. Garnder doesn't sugar coat the writing life and tells you all the things you needed to hear but were too afraid to admit to yourself. The truth you learn from Gardner will discourage you at first but like all great truths, it will lift you up.-Sky- 


Three things I like: soccer, swords, and sandwiches. 
Currently reading: Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
ISBN: 9781442426412
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - December 7th, 2010

This AMAZING series is what made me fall in love with books! It's the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to follow her dreams and become a knight. These books are packed with action, adventure, the drive to overcome adversity, and just the right amount of MAGIC!!--Danielle 

ISBN: 9780385743563
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Published: Delacorte Press - September 24th, 2013

A world full of superpowers, but no heroes... Set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, the city is ruled by the most notorious and powerful Epic (as the superpowered are known), Steelheart. One ordinary boy, David, has a plan to take down Steelheart and stop the Epics' reign over humanity. This is an action-packed ride that grabs you from the start, keeps you guessing, and leaves you wanting more.--Danielle 

ISBN: 9780062192134
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 11th, 2013

The Game:  Book One is a well written sci-fi-esque young adult novel.  It's a fast paced action packed story with description that will pull you in and leave you wanting more.  I would love to give a detailed synopsis of the story line but it would ruin half of the fun of reading the book.  While it's not necessarily post apocalyptic, fans of the genre will love it!  This book will keep you guessing until the very end and you won't be disappointed. -Danielle- 



Three things I like: red meat, Nintendo, my bed .

Currently Reading:  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


ISBN: 9780679728757
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - May 5th, 1992

Terrifying.  McCarthy didn't just change the novel of the American West, he changed the novel period.  The only way this book could be more frightening is if it were written in blood.-Heather- 



Three things I like: scuba diving, Indian food, and Moroccan Riads.

Currently reading: The Circle, by Dave Eggers 

ISBN: 9780062015839
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - August 23rd, 2011

I chose this book because I was in the mood for a love story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find much more. This novel is an intelligently written and engrossing take on time travel and the dilemna of choice-making. Mandery explores the possibility of controlling the outcome of your life while still maintaining purpose. Worth a read!--Karrie 

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ISBN: 9780770436407
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hogarth - May 7th, 2013

I usually struggle with plots that move back and forth through space and time, but this book flowed unlike any I've ever read.  It is beautifully written and very moving.  You'll also learn a lot about Chechnya.-Karrie- 


Three things I like:  all things spicy, all things tiny, crossword puzzles over coffee.
ISBN: 9780802133885
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 6th, 1994

The south has rarely been portrayed with such tenderness, violence and humor as in the works of Barry Hannah.  "Airships", Hannah's first collection of stories, stands out as some of his funniest.  From the Civil War to the Vietnam War; from teenagers fighting in a cemetery to old men making up stories by the lake--Hannah captures a brief history of the South in all its grit and glory.-Jon- 


Three things I like:  eggs, hiphop, and frisbee.
By Hassan Blasim, Jonathan Wright (Translator)
ISBN: 9780143123262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 5th, 2014

Bolaño, Poe, and Kafka chained naked to a wall in a hole. There is no light. They are being tortured. Instead of confessions, their tormentors demand stories. The tales they scream from the darkness resemble those in The Corpse Exhibition.Hassan Blasim's stories sound the depths of human misery and evil (much deeper than you thought), probe the transient line between Magic and Madness, and ask "can Literature really save anything?" I read these stories with dread and wonder. I want to say they're ultimately hopeful. There is no hope, but I think, maybe, there is Art.--Riley 

By Oakley Hall, Robert Stone (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171615
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Published: New York Review of Books - November 21st, 2005

Well now, this Oakley Hall feller's gone n writ himself a dang good book! I tell ya, Warlock sucked me in like a deep patch of mud sucks up yer boot. It's got heroes n guns n workin men n frontiers men all workin out-- well, tryin ta work out-- them big questions long troublin this here country of ours. 

ISBN: 9781555976514
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - September 24th, 2013

Sooo you've read Tenth of December, and now you need something to fill that void. Ok. I present to you Kevin Barry, in my opinion, one of the most exciting new writers working in the English langauge. In Dark Lies the Island, Barry, like Saunders, probes the mundanity of everyday life-- peeling away the facades we so carefully build to feign normalcy and revealing uncomfortable, often painful, realities of "normal life," or, sometimes, glimmers of hope where there seemed only darkness. He is a writer to watch. 

ISBN: 9780062041289
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - February 14th, 2012

Eli and Charlie Sisters kill people. They are very good. But Eli is having something of a mid-life crisis; just because you're good at something, does that mean you're meant to do it? Patrick deWitt's novel has everything you could ask of a Western-- wit, violence, treasure. The only trouble is, it moves so fast, it's easy to overlook the fact deWitt is doing some pretty big things, too. 

By Orhan Pamuk, Maureen Freely (Translator)
ISBN: 9781400078653
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Books USA - July 11th, 2006

 Anyone who cares about, or thinks about, Art or Literature will find in Black Book a profound and lyrical love letter. But it's also about love and coping and lines--the lines between individuals (is there such a thing?), between Truth and story, between writer, reader, narrator, character--or the dissolving of lines. When you finish, you will feel as though you've undergone some strange mitosis and meiosis, dividing and reassembling with some unexpected pieces. 

Suzy T

Three things I like:  animals, traveling, golf 
ISBN: 9780307955913
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth - March 12th, 2013

The watch was one of my favorite fiction reads last year.  The story describes a sentinel event for the characters during the Afghan war.  Each chapter tells the same event from a different characters point of view.  My heart raced and pounded as if I were present.-Suzy- 



Three things I like: succulent gardens, exploitative reality TV shows, and making lists of threes.

Currently reading: Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish.

ISBN: 9781400077809
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 9th, 2004

Lightman explores differenent ideas of "time" in the most lovely book. Reading this book feels like a dream upon waking-- hard to remember and packed with strange and beautiful things.--Claire 

ISBN: 9780743236720
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 1st, 2013

Andrew Solomon investigates horizontal identities. This book is for anone not a carbon-copy of their parents (so, everyone). Nonfiction that reads like literature-- often heartbreaking, always illuminating!--Claire 

ISBN: 9780143038580
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2007

I read this book maybe annually and then am unable to eat anything (animal or vegetable) guilt-free for the next 6 months--until I forget it all, and eat everything in happy forgetful ignorance.  But really, read this book.  It makes me wish i had a garden.-Claire- 

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FINALLY. I am so sorry about the wait! I had forgotten how long these actually took me, and then life got chaotic! I’m so sorry! I hope you all like it! 

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Shoot me an ask for the links to the pdf versions!

Wowowow!! 😍

These are fantastic!!

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Salon Classics Book Club

The Salon Classics book group meets to discuss A Death in the Family by James Agee. 

Event date: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
By James Agee, Steve Earle (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780143105718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 2009


Join us for a night of comedy with our favorite comedians, The Kates! Arrive early for seats and drinks.


Event date: 
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
Events Terms: 

Berry Memorial Book Group

The Berry Memorial Book Group discusses Thich Nhat Hanh's book "True Love: A Practice of Awakening the Heart" 



Event date: 
Monday, June 1, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave
ISBN: 9781590304044
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Shambhala Publications - September 12th, 2006

Events Terms: 

Desi Lit Book Club

Desi Lit Book Group discusses "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" by Mohsin Hamid

Event date: 
Monday, June 1, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave
ISBN: 9781594632334
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 4th, 2014

Events Terms: 

Book Cellar Book Club

The Book Cellar Book Club reads "The Farm" by Tom Rob Smith

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
ISBN: 9780446550734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 3rd, 2014

Events Terms: 

Sarah Pekkanen "Things You Won't Say"

Sarah Pekkanen celebrates her new novel Things You Won't Say

About Things You Won't Say
In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting. How far would you go to save your family?
Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There's been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn't hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband's insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger. But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie's world. It's about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike's flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie's younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes. In her characteristic exploration of true-to-life relationships, Sarah Pekkanen has written a complex, compelling, and openhearted novel her best yet.

About Sarah Pekkanen
Sarah Pekkanen was born in New York City, and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, where she cowrote her first book“Miscellaneous Tales and Poems.” After college and a solo backpacking trip around Europe, Sarah began working as a journalist covering Capitol Hill. Sarah has also worked briefly as an on-air correspondent for e! Entertainment Network, with Gannett New Service/USAToday, and the Baltimore Sun. When she left her journalism job to chase around after her three active sons, Sarah began writing a column for Bethesda Magazine and started work on a novel. Soon after, she debuted her book, The Opposite of Me. Sarah’s subsequent novels Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us and Catching Air have been published by Atria internationally in China, Australia, Germany, Italy, Holland, Poland, Canada, Russia and Spain.

She will be accompanied by authors Liz Fenton and Lisa SteinkeThe Status of All Things

About The Status of All Things:
The Status of All Things is a heartwarming and hilarious novel that follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.
Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

About Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke:
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for 25 years and survived high school and college together. Liz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and two children. Lisa, a former talk show producer, now lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, daughter and two bonus children. You can read more about them on their website


Event date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
ISBN: 9781451673555
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Washington Square Press - May 26th, 2015

ISBN: 9781476763415
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Washington Square Press - June 2nd, 2015

Events Terms: 
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