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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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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 

Email or call for price.
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
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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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Book Cellar Book Club

The Book Cellar book club meets to discuss The Wind is Not a River by Brian Payton. As always, everyone is welcome and wine and beer are 50% off!

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
ISBN: 9780062279989
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - September 2nd, 2014

Events Terms: 

Leslie Parry Author Launch Party

The Book Cellar welcomes local author Leslie Parry to celebrate the launch of her debut novel, Church of Marvels, on May 6th at 7pm. 


Leslie Parry is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her stories have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, The Cincinnati Review and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She was recently a resident at Yaddo and The Kerouac House. Her writing has also received a National Magazine Award nomination and an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2013. She lives in Chicago. 


“This quite literally marvelous novel takes you on a hallucinatory ride through old New York, until the four threads of its protagonists’ lives tangle and tighten like a noose. Irresistible.”

   — Emma Donoghue, author of ROOM 

Event date: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
ISBN: 9780062367556
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - May 5th, 2015

Events Terms: 


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

Event date: 
Friday, May 8, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
Events Terms: 

1st Annual Chicago Young Adult Book Fest!!!


Calling all YA fans!

We are absolutely thrilled to invite you all to the first ever Chicago Young Adult Book Fest! This will be an incredible day filled with books, readings, and a slew of your favorite (or soon to be favorite!) Young Adult authors.

The day kicks off at 10:00am. Join us and the authors at Conrad Sulzer Regional Library for a series of fascinating panel discussions.

Then, at 5:00pm, mosey on down to The Book Cellar for a reception and book signing, where you'll get a chance to meet and rub shoulders with all the great writers you heard throughout the day. Ask them for tips, have them sign your well-worn copy of their book, or discover a new favorite.

Click HERE for a look at the full schedule, there are tons of cool panels to check out so you'll have plenty to talk about when you meet the authors later at The Book Cellar!

This is a day not to be missed!

Check out the authors below, and click their pictures to follow them on Twitter, and join the conversation on using #CYABookFest2015.

Chicago Young Adult Book Fest Authors (in alphabetical order):

Molly Backes (The Princesses of Iowa)

 Joelle Charbonneau (Testing Trilogy)

 Brandy Colbert (Pointe)

 Christa Desir (Fault Line)

Rachel Dewoskin (Blind)

 Jessie Ann Foley (The Carnival at Bray)

 T.M. Goeglein (The Cold Fury Trilogy)

 Aaron Hartzler (Rapture Practice)

 Todd Hasak-Lowy (Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You)

 James Klise (The Art of Secrets)

 Terra Elan McVoy (Drive Me Crazy)

 Carrie Mesrobian (Perfectly Good White Boy)

 J. Adams Oaks (Why I Fight)

 Erica O'Rourke (Dissonance)

 Adam Selzer (Play Me Backwards)

 Philip Siegel (The Break-Up Artist)

 Andrew Smith (The Alex Crow)

 Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ash


Event date: 
Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:00am to 7:00pm
Event address: 
4455 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
Events Terms: 

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day from The Book Cellar! There's still time to pick up a last-minute (yet still thoughtful) gift today--we're open from noon to 6pm, and moms love books and wine! 

Event date: 
Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 12:00pm
Event address: 

Afterwords Book Group

The Afterwords book group meets to discuss their selection for May, TBD.

Event date: 
Monday, May 11, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
Events Terms: 
All titles are subject to availability. Prices Subject to Change. Please call (773) 293-2665 to confirm.
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