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Did you know Chicago is home to absolute scads of wonderful authors? We here at The Book Cellar love supporting local, and here you can find books written by your fellow Chicagoans in addition to titles that'll teach you The Windy City has a richer history than you'd even guess!

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Chicago Books!

Art of Migration

Art of Migration

$25.00
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Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago's lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region's two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi.

As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist's notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area.

A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.

Arts Club of Chicago at 100

Arts Club of Chicago at 100

$45.00
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Founded in 1916 in the wake of the scandalous Armory Show, the Arts Club of Chicago aimed to present the city with new images, sounds, and ideas. Conceived as an exhibition and social space that would cultivate sophisticated conversations around a range of media, the Arts Club has maintained its core interest in presenting culture "in the making." Today, it continues to serve as a key venue in Chicago for the presentation of work by the national and international avant-garde, including such artistic luminaries as Sharon Lockhart, Josiah McElheny, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and many more.

This volume addresses the visual art, music, theater, dance, architecture, and literature presented by the Club over its one-hundred-year history with new scholarship by leading writers in each field. Janine Mileaf and Susan F. Rossen offer an in-depth look at the tastemakers of modernism in the city, from Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein to local cultural player Rue Winterbotham Carpenter. In addition, each copy of the book also includes an original artist's project by Walid Raad. A dynamic exploration of the intertwined histories of the Arts Club and Chicago, The Arts Club of Chicago at 100 celebrates both an institution and a city that have remained innovative and forward-thinking throughout the decades.

Artwise Chicago: Art and Architecture Map

Artwise Chicago: Art and Architecture Map

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Streetwise Maps makes the best laminated Chicago museum map available for purchase on the market today. Easy to read and accordion fold for effortless use, all of our detailed travel maps are pocket size for discretion so you don't stick out like a tourist. Search for Streetwise Maps today to look for other great travel maps in addition to this Chicago museum map.

About Streetwise Maps:

Originators of the laminated accordion-fold map, Streetwise makes WATER RESISTANT city maps, street maps, road maps & metro maps of major destinations around the world, including locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, South America and Asia. Streetwise Maps are designed AND printed in the United States.

At City's Edge

At City's Edge

$45.00
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An iron-gray slate on a cold and blustery day, a respite from the summer heat, the engine of the city's notorious blizzards: Lake Michigan is an integral part of the landscape of Chicago. Bob Thall has been photographing the skyline and streets of Chicago for over thirty years, and here in" At City's Edge" he chronicles the twenty-five-mile shoreline where the asphalt meets the inland sea.
Thall's stark yet rich images take viewers from the Evanston border on the North Shore down to 100th Street on the South Side, documenting the natural scenery, architectural structures, and people that populate the coastline. From the lakefront parks to summer beaches to the Air and Water Show, Chicago enfolds Lake Michigan into its urban character, but Thall's images make clear that the lake remains a dynamic and powerful force, with nature and civilization clashing at its rim. "At City's Edge" brings the lakefront to life in all its complexity, chronicling in its elegant visual sequence the sand-covered city beaches, the rock-studded shoreline, the running paths, and the buildings built along this unique intersection.
Thall writes, "Since the age of five or six, I've spent much of my life at the beach, not only in the summer, but throughout the year. I can't imagine my life in this city without Lake Michigan nearby."" At City's Edge" redefines the shores of Lake Michigan as a vital element in the urban landscape of Chicago and reveals the complex forces that shape the lakefront as one of Chicago's most public communal spaces.
At Home in Chicago

At Home in Chicago

$65.00
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Imagine a book that takes you into more than fifty of Chicago's most striking homes. No need to knock or ring. Here's your chance to take a slow ramble through lavish dining rooms, working kitchens, private bedrooms, and cozy patios of homes that reveal the city's 184-year history.

You'll be accompanied by an experienced docent. And you'll join Chicago's preeminent architectural photographer, who will show you things you might never notice.

Open your eyes and take in At Home in Chicago: A Living History of the Domestic Architecture in the City, the first comprehensive look at the city's most private residences. You've probably heard of some of these places: Frank Lloyd Wright's sleek Robie House, Mies van der Rohe's groundbreaking 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, Jeanne Gang's sublime Aqua Tower. But most are off limits from Chicago's famous architectural tours.

At Home in Chicago is the sixth book by Patrick F. Cannon and James Caulfield. Now they focus on Chicago's domestic architecture: the log cabins, cottages and bungalows, greystones, three-flats and mansions. The houses that made Chicago.

The authors travel across the metropolitan region to present an eye-opening look at the city's 200-year history through different home styles. They inspect houses built before the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, walk through the mansions that rose during the Gilded Age, check out the apartments finished before the Depression, and scrutinize mid-century and new-century homes.

It's a once-in-a-lifetime look at buildings that are alive and well in 2021 Chicago. Never before have you been offered such an intimate view.

At Home in Chicago tells an astonishing story about Chicago. It reveals the city's history through a chronological procession of dwellings--both big and small. These homes show how we lived and how we continue to live in the place we call home.

At Home In Our Old Town

$19.95
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At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life

At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life

$15.00
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We all dream about it, but Wade Rouse actually did it. Discover his journey to live the simple life in this hilarious memoir.

Finally fed up with the frenzy of city life and a job he hates, Wade Rouse decided to make either the bravest decision of his life or the worst mistake since his botched Ogilvie home perm: to uproot his life and try, as Thoreau did some 160 years earlier, to live a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions.

In this rollicking and hilarious memoir, Wade and his partner, Gary, leave culture, cable, and consumerism behind and strike out for rural Michigan--a place with fewer people than in their former spinning class. There, Wade discovers the simple life isn't so simple. Battling blizzards, bloodthirsty critters, and nosy neighbors equipped with night-vision goggles, Wade and his spirit, sanity, relationship, and Kenneth Cole pointy-toed boots are sorely tested with humorous and humiliating frequency. And though he never does learn where his well water actually comes from or how to survive without Kashi cereal, he does discover some things in the woods outside his knotty-pine cottage in Saugatuck, Michigan, that he always dreamed of but never imagined he'd find-happiness and a home.

At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream is a sidesplitting and heartwarming look at taking a risk, fulfilling a dream, and finding a home-with very thick and very dark curtains.

At Maxwell Street

At Maxwell Street

$45.00
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At the City's Edge

At the City's Edge

$7.99
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Jason Palmer loved being a soldier. But after returning from Iraq with an "other than honorable" discharge, he's finding that rebuilding his life is his toughest battle yet.

Elena Cruz is the first woman to make Chicago's prestigious Gang Intelligence Unit. A fearless cop, she's ready for any challenge...until Jason Palmer's brother, a prominent community activist on the South Side, is murdered--in front of his son.

Now Jason and Elena are caught in a conspiracy stretching from the darkest alleys of the ghetto to the manicured lawns of the city's power brokers. In a world where corruption and violence are simply the cost of doing business, the two of them are all that stand between an innocent child--and the killers that hunt him.

At the City's Edge

At the City's Edge

$24.95
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Home from Iraq and still reeling from his discharge, Jason Palmer plans to spend the summer drinking too much and chasing girls. But when his brother is brutally murdered, Jason is all that stands between his eight-year-old nephew and a pair of ruthless killers with a mysterious agenda.

Auditorium Building

$12.95
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Celebrates one of Chicago's most beautiful and venerated landmarks.
Autobiographies of the Haymarket Martyrs

Autobiographies of the Haymarket Martyrs

$19.00
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The life stories of eight working-class militants railroaded to prison or the gallows for the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago. Written from prison, these accounts present a living portrait of the labor movement of the time, as well as the lives and ideas of these fighters for workers' rights.
Avant Guide Chicago

Avant Guide Chicago

$20.00
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Chicago gets the Avant-Guide treatment in this eye-opening exposé of the city's hip and hidden attractions. With razor-sharp editorial focus, this book breaks fresh ground by way of new discoveries and authoritative reports on stylish hotels, the latest restaurants, unique shops, and the best nightspots. Among the suggested lodging and itinerary options are hip boutique hotels like the Hotel 7 on Wacker Drive, Lula Café, a hot new style-spot with a deliciously eclectic menu nestled in beautiful Logan Square, and a ride on an "architectour" boat down the Chicago River. Later, you can check out the jet-set new boutiques along the Miracle Mile, followed by a visit to Foodlife, a bustling new restaurant bursting with singles, couples, and young urban families. After sunset, head over to Tomboy, a lofty lounge on Randolph Street that serves over 100 wines by the glass. Then arrive at the kitschy Club Foot just before midnight and take a whirl on the floor of this tremendously fun nod to new wave and glam rock. And that's just day one.
Avengers and Defenders: Glimpses of Chicago's Jewish Past

Avengers and Defenders: Glimpses of Chicago's Jewish Past

$16.95
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Walter Roth delves deep into the archives of Chicago's Jewish past, and provides a new collection of illuminating essays on its various aspects. Booklist said of his previous collection, Looking Backward: True Stories from Chicago's Jewish Past, 'Roth writes about the well-known and the not-so-well-known, bringing to life the peOut of Printle, events and institutions that shaped the Jewish community." Roth is also co-author of An Accidental Anarchist, about the killing of a Jewish immigrant by Chicago's Chief of Police in 1908. Kirkus Reviews said, "The authors have skillfully removed the dust from an obscure but troubling episode." Roth brings his consummate skill as storyteller to bear on this new collection, which makes for entertaining and informative reading.
Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village ( Images of America )

Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village ( Images of America )

$21.99
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Home to Chicago's Polish Village, impressive examples of architecture, and the legendary Olson Waterfall, Avondale is often called "the neighborhood that built Chicago."


Images of America: Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village sheds light on the little known history of the community, including its fascinating industrial past. From its beginnings as a sleepy subdivision started by a Michigan senator, it became a cultural mecca for Chicago's Polish community, playing a crucial role in Poland's struggles for independence. Many people from all over the world also called Avondale home, such as Scottish proprietors, African American freedmen, Irish activists, Swedish shopkeepers, German tradesmen, Jewish merchants, Filipino laborers, and Italian entrepreneurs; a diversity further enriched as many from the former Soviet Bloc and Latin America settled here. Avondale would be unrecognizable today from its humble origins, but the strong sense of community these neighbors have will never change.

Back of the Yards

Back of the Yards

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Visit the Back of the Yards neighborhood and setting for Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.


The Back of the Yards neighborhood, located in back of the Union Stockyards and composed of Packingtown, Town of Lake, and New City, was the setting of Upton Sinclair's classic 1906 novel, The Jungle. Permeated by an unforgettable smell, Back of the Yards was a melting pot of immigrants, many who worked in the stockyards. In 1894, Mary McDowell started the University of Chicago Settlement House in Back of the Yards. She improved living conditions and in 1905 helped create Davis Square Park. The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council was founded in 1939 by Joseph Meegan, Saul Alinsky, and Bishop Bernard Sheil and is America's oldest not for profit community based organization. It consisted of 185 delegate organizations involving residents, business owners, churches, parks, schools, and social clubs that worked to advocate improvements. The council motto continues on as "We the people will work out our own destiny." Relive the bustling activity and the lives of the people in the neighborhood through the historic images in Back of the Yards.

Backyard Birds of Illinois

Backyard Birds of Illinois

$9.99
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BACKYARD BIRDS IS AN EXCITING SERIES of books that explores the top twenty-five backyard birds most commonly found in each state. It includes a profiled size scale that allows the reader to quickly identify the correct bird, and each bird entry is accompanied by a stunning color photograph and specific description, including identification marks, behavior, habitat, and nesting style-even the song the bird makes! As an added feature, author Bill Fenimore also provides expert tips for building the ultimate backyard bird sanctuary, from creating birdbaths and planting proper foliage to offering a bird's favorite foods.

Fenimore was awarded the Ludlow Griscom Award, the American Birding Association's highest honor.

Bird-watching is one of the most popular activities in the United States, with approximately fifty-one million bird-watchers nationwide.

Bird-watching is a $6 million business.

More than $400 million is spent each year on bird-related magazines and books.

The series will soon include all fifty states.

Author is a franchisee of Wild Bird Center, which has more than eighty locations in twenty-nine states.

Bill Fenimore is owner of the National Best Environmental Stewardship Award-winning Wild Bird Center franchise in Layton, Utah. He conducts seminars and workshops that educate the public about birds and their critical habitat needs, and he leads birding field trips for clients from around the globe.

Backyard birdsong guide to eastern and central north america

Backyard birdsong guide to eastern and central north america

$24.95
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Get to know birds by ear with this engaging, one-of-a-kind book. Discover seventy-five unique species from Eastern and Central North America as you enjoy their sounds at the touch of a button-reproduced in high quality on the attached digital audio module-while reading vivid descriptions of their songs, calls, and related behaviors. Learn what Black-capped Chickadees are thinking as they give their unmistakable namesake call, or find out why many songbirds have dialects that vary from region to region. Complete with up-to-date range maps and more than 130 sounds provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's world-renowned Macaulay Library, as well as exquisite illustrations of each species, The Backyard Birdsong Guide will resonate with beginners and experts alike.