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Miss Nili is back with virtual storytime to celebrate the release of the picture book Moo-Moo, I Love You by Tom Lichtenheld (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Stick & Stone) and Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Plant a Kiss, Straw!)
Both Amy and Tom's books fly off the shelves here! Add Miss Nili's charming storytelling skills, and it's sure to be a lovely morning diversion for the littlest readers in your life.
Arvin Ahmadi is back! We loved hosting him for the launch of Girl Gone Viral, and are excited to celebrate How It All Blew Up, which has been described as "Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy"
(Photo credit: Joe Power)
"Arvin Ahmadi has written a novel that is authentic, hilarious, and heart-wrenching all at once. A unique point of view combined with riveting storytelling, How It All Blew Up will grab you from the first page and won't let go."--Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up
About How It All Blew Up: Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature... until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.
About Arvin Ahmadi: Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he's not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel, followed by Girl Gone Viral.
Two local crime fiction powerhouses, two unsolved mysteries, one evening! Charlie Donlea and Kevin O'Brien both have new installments in their respective new thriller series. Also, it may or may not be Kevin's birthday. Just saying.
About The Suicide House: Inside the walls of Indiana's elite Westmont Preparatory High School, expectations run high and rules are strictly enforced. But in the woods beyond the manicured campus and playing fields sits an abandoned boarding house that is infamous among Westmont's students as a late-night hangout. Here, only one rule applies: don't let your candle go out--unless you want the Man in the Mirror to find you. . . .
One year ago, two students were killed there in a grisly slaughter. The case has since become the focus of a hit podcast, The Suicide House. Though a teacher was convicted of the murders, mysteries and questions remain. The most urgent among them is why so many students who survived that horrific night have returned to the boarding house--to kill themselves.
Rory, an expert in reconstructing cold cases, is working on The Suicide House podcast with Lane, recreating the night of the killings in order to find answers that have eluded the school, the town, and the police. But the more they learn about the troubled students, the chillingly stoic culprit, and a dangerous game gone tragically wrong, the more convinced they become that something sinister is still happening. Inside Westmont Prep, the game hasn't ended. It thrives on secrecy and silence. And for its players, there may be no way to win--or to survive. . . .
About The Bad Sister: The site of the old campus bungalow where two girls were brutally slain is now a flower patch covered with chrysanthemums. It's been fifty years since the Immaculate Conception Murders. Three more students and a teacher were killed in a sickening spree that many have forgotten. But there is one person who knows every twisted detail. . . .
Hannah O'Rourke and her volatile half-sister, Eden, have little in common except a parent. Yet they've ended up at the same small college outside Chicago, sharing a bungalow with another girl. Hannah isn't thrilled--nor can she shake the feeling that she's being watched. And her journalism professor, Ellie Goodwin, keeps delving into Hannah and Eden's newsworthy past. . . .
When Hannah and Eden's arrival coincides with a spate of mysterious deaths, Ellie knows it's more than a fluke. A copycat is recreating those long-ago murders. Neither the police nor the school will accept the horrific truth. And the more Ellie discovers, the more she's convinced that she won't live to be believed. . . .
About Charlie Donlea: USA Today and #1 international bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children. Readers can find him online at charliedonlea.com.
About Kevin O'Brien: KEVIN O'BRIEN grew up in Chicago's North Shore, but now lives in Seattle, Washington, where he is currently working on his next thriller. Readers can visit his website at kevinobrienbooks.com.
Join us for the launch of Rachel Swearingen's debut story collection How to Walk on Water! Swearingen will be joined by Kate Wisel, author of Driving in Cars with Homeless Men!
Join us on Zoom here!
About How to Walk on Water: In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.
About Rachel Swearingen: Rachel Swearingen’s stories and essays have appeared in VICE, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, Agni, American Short Fiction, and others. Her debut story collection, How to Walk on Water was the winner of the 2018 New American Fiction Prize. She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. In 2019, she was named one of “30 Writers to Watch” by the Guild Literary Complex. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD from Western Michigan University. She currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
About Driving in Cars with Homeless Men: Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bards, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of working-class Boston.
Serena, Frankie, Raffa and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Through the gritty, unraveling truths of their lives, they find themselves in the bed of an overdosed lover, through the panting tongue of a rescue dog who is equally as dislanguaged as his owner, in the studio department of a compulsive liar, sitting backward but going forward in the galley of an airplane, in relationships that are at once playgrounds and cages.
About Kate Wisel: Kate Wisel is the author of Driving in Cars With Homeless Men, winner of the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, selected by Min Jin Lee. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Gulf Coast, Tin House online, Los Angeles Review, New Ohio Review, The Best Small Fictions 2019, Norton Anthology: Flash Fiction America, Redivider (as winner of the Beacon Street Prize), and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the “Poetry on the T” prize and the Marcia Keach Prize. She was a Carol Houck fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and awarded scholarships at The Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, the Juniper Institute, Writing x Writer’s at Tomales Bay and Methow Valley and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University.
The Racial Justice Book Club will meet (virtually) to discuss their August pick,
Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side by Eve L. Ewing
Join us virtually as Northwestern University School of Professional Studies faculty
Miles Harvey, Juan Martinez, and Natalie Y. Moore are joined by recent graduates for a night of readings!
Joshua Bohnsack is the author of Shift Drink (forthcoming Spork Press) and his work has appeared in The Rumpus, Hobart, SAND, and others. He is assistant managing editor for TriQuarterly, editor-in-chief of Oyez Review and Long Day Press, and lives in Chicago where he works as a bookseller. joshuabohnsack.com
Allison Epstein is a Michigan native, current Chicagoan, and hopefully someday the owner of a New England lighthouse. She works as a copywriter for Lipman Hearne, a communications agency serving not-for-profit clients in higher education and the arts. Her writing has been published in Luna Station Quarterly, Hypertrophic Literary, the Chicago Reader, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, a sixteenth-century spy thriller titled A Tip for the Hangman, will be published by Doubleday in February 2021.
Former attorney and Northwestern University MFA graduate Tara Stringfellow’s debut novel Memphis will be published in Spring 2021 by Dial Press in the US and by John Murray in the UK. Memphis is a multi-generational bildungsroman based on the author’s rich Civil Rights history, and it is a recent winner of the Book Pipeline Fiction Contest. Third World Press published Tara’s first collection of poetry, More Than Dancing, in 2008. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, as well as a Best of the Net award, and her poems have appeared,or are forthcoming, in Collective Unrest, Jet Fuel Review, Minerva Rising, Women’s Arts Quarterly, Transitions, and Apogee Journal, among others. A cross-genre artist, Tara was Northwestern University’s first MFA graduate in both poetry and prose. If she isn’t writing, she’s gardening. If she isn’t in Memphis, she’s in Italy.
Miles Harvey’s new book is The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch, published by Little, Brown in May 2020. His previous work includes The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime, a bestseller USA Today named one of the ten best books of 2000, and Painter in a Savage Land: The Strange Saga of the First European Artist in North America, awarded an Editors’ Choice honor from Booklist, and a best-books citation from the Chicago Tribune. A former Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan, Harvey is a full-time creative writing professor at DePaul University and a part-time creative writing faculty member at Northwestern University. His author website is milesharvey.com.
Juan Martinez is a fiction writer. He was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and has since lived in Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. His work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Ecotone, Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, TriQuarterly, Conjunctions, National Public Radio's Selected Shorts, Norton's Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and The Perpetual Engine of Hope: Stories Inspired by Iconic Vegas Photographs. His collection of stories, Best Worst American came out from Small Beer Press in February 2017. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada and is currently at work on a novel.
Natalie Y. Moore is the South Side bureau reporter for WBEZ, the NPR-member station in Chicago. Before joining WBEZ, she covered the Detroit City Council for Detroit News. She worked as an education reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a reporter for the Associated Press in Jerusalem. Her work has been published in Essence, Black Enterprise, the Chicago Reporter, In These Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. In 2010, she received the Studs Terkel Community Media Award for reporting on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. In 2009, she was a fellow at Columbia College’s Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, which allowed her to take a reporting trip to Libya. Natalie has won several journalism awards, including a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Other honors are from the Radio Television Digital News Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, National Association of Black Journalists, Illinois Associated Press and Chicago Headline Club. The Chicago Reader named her best journalist in 2017. She was also awarded the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library and Foundation in 2017. She lives in Chicago with her husband and four daughters.