View your shopping cart.

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!

Banner Message

Please note that online availability does not reflect stock in store!

Please check your SPAM folder for communications from us- for some reason our messages are being sent there more than usual :(

Chicago Books!

Backyard birdsong guide to eastern and central north america

Backyard birdsong guide to eastern and central north america

$24.95
More Info
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.
Bar Secrets Chicago: Drink

Bar Secrets Chicago: Drink

$9.95
More Info
The coolest lounges and the wildest bar scenes are identified in this guide to the best bars in town. This convenient deck of 52 cards is the ideal way to pinpoint the perfect location for a quiet conversation over a glass of wine, a gathering of friends for a couple of beers, or an epic night of celebration. The Windy City has all the great makings of a bar fly's heaven on earth with a variety of establishments from classic neighborhood taverns and musical showcases to the latest in gastropubs and hipster clubs. Whether sampling a world of great beer at the Map Room, celebrating biker culture at Handlebar, or venturing back in time to the world of Al Capone and great jazz at the Green Mill, this guide offers many an opportunity to raise a glass early and often.

Barack Obama, Commander in Speech

$14.99
More Info
Barn House

Barn House

$22.95
More Info
A harrowing, hilarious memoir about fixing up an old house in the city and pursuing the urban version of the American Dream. From the longtime editor of the aStraight Dope.a
In 1993, after more people had fled Chicago for the suburbs than in any other city in America, Ed Zotti and his wife, Mary, chose not only to stay but to gamble their future fixing up a dilapidated Victorian home in a dicey neighborhood on Chicagoas North Side.
Two doors up from a murder/arson scene and across the alley from a former drive- up drug mart, the Barn House (as the Zottisa unimpressed daughter dubbed it) was a rehabberas nightmare. Ed and his family had to contend not just with collapsed ceilings and shorted-out wiring but burglars, gunshots, and the trumpet-playing homeless guy in the basement.
But THE BARN HOUSE is more than just the story of a home-renovation project from hell. Ultimately it's a celebration of cities, chronicling not just a house but a decaying town come back to life. Along the way Ed offers some shrewd observations about gentrification, urban decline and revival, and what it means to be a city guy. His book is timely and a great read and will appeal to anyone with a soft spot for old houses or old towns.
Barn House: Confessions of an Urban Rehabber

Barn House: Confessions of an Urban Rehabber

$16.00
More Info
A rollicking yarn about a home-improvement project that took a man and his family to hell and back.

In 1993, after Chicago lost many of its residents to the suburbs, Ed Zotti and his family gambled their future by fixing up a dilapidated Victorian home in a dicey neighborhood. Where most saw a shabby façade, the Zottis saw promise?even when it dragged and drained every resource. ?The Barn House? had a collapsed ceiling, wiring that shorted, and oak floors painted red, white, and blue. Unsettling discoveries included a box of .38 caliber bullets?with five missing?and the mere fact that the house was built on a bed of sand.

Alternately harrowing and hilarious, this is a classic account of one family's private urban renewal project, featuring burglars, irate neighbors, and a lively cast of workers. From its grim beginning to its unexpected outcome, The Barn House is the inspiring story of what it means to live (and totally rewire) the American Dream.

Barns of Illinois

Barns of Illinois

$39.95
More Info

As a state abounding with broad farmlands, Illinois has depended heavily on its barns. At once imposing and humble, the barns of Illinois are much more than simply a place to store equipment and livestock. As gathering places for friends and family, they have become focal points of local communities, an enduring link between the present day and the traditions of the past. With these iconic structures as our guideposts, we find our way across the open landscape of the geography and history of the Midwest.

In this magnificent new collection, renowned photographer Larry Kanfer documents the diversity of barns throughout the Prairie State, from weathered, abandoned shelters in the countryside to proudly well-preserved landmarks featured in barn tours and even Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Kanfer presents barns from every angle, inside and out, from a distance and up close, to capture the many reasons why they fascinate, inspire, and reassure.

With engaging prose, Alaina Kanfer recounts the histories of many of the barns featured, revealing each barn's unique character and tracing its distinctive imprint on the land and on people's lives. While many of the buildings continue to function within family farms for storage and shelter, others have been rescued and restored and put to a wide array of new uses, such as schools and gymnasiums in Kane and Effingham Counties, an animal rescue organization in McLean County, a winery in St. Clair County, and workshops in Sangamon and Union Counties.

With more than one hundred full color photographs of dozens of barns from across the state, Barns of Illinois presents these proud emblems of the heartland as never before--a unique chronicle of a state and its evolving way of life.

Bartlett: Our Past and Our Progress, IL

Bartlett: Our Past and Our Progress, IL

$19.99
More Info
The Village of Bartlett got its official start on February 11, 1891 when the petition for incorporation was filed in Springfield, Illinois. Beginning with the fledgling Village that existed at the turn of the century and continuing through Bartlett's coming of age in the mid-1960s, Bartlett: Our Past and Our Progress chronicles the emergence of a community that has grown to epitomize the all-American town. This historical walk through Bartlett includes more than 200 images that portray many of the area's important firsts, as well as its ongoing traditions. It features photographs of significant local landmarks such as the first train depot, Immanuel United Church of Christ, Bartlett Grade School, and most importantly, many wonderful pictures of its residents--past and present. Residents have generously shared their photos and recollections with the Bartlett History Museum in order to tell the story of their hometown.
Battle of Lincoln Park

Battle of Lincoln Park

$16.95
More Info

"A brief, cogent analysis of gentrification in Chicago ... an incisive and useful narrative on the puzzle of urban development."--Kirkus Reviews

In the years after World War II, a movement began to bring the middle class back from the Chicago suburbs to the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the city's North Side. In place of the old, poorly maintained apartments and dense streetscapes of taverns and butchers, "rehabbers" imagined a new kind of neighborhood--a renovated, modern community that held on to the convenience, diversity, and character of a historic urban quarter, but also enjoyed the prosperity and privileges of a new subdivision.

But as the old buildings came down, cheap studios were combined to create ever more spacious, luxurious homes. Property values swiftly rose, and the people who were being evicted to make room for progress began to assert their own ideas about the future of Lincoln Park. Over the course of the 1960s, divisions within the community deepened. Letters and picket lines gave way to increasingly violent strikes and counterstrikes as each camp tried to settle the same existential questions that beguile so many cities today: Who is a neighborhood for? And who gets to decide?

A riveting historical look at gentrification and urban renewal projects that still resonates across every American city today.

Bears by the Numbers

Bears by the Numbers

$14.99
More Info
For Chicago Bears fans, anyone who ever wore the uniform is like family. Bears by the Numbers reintroduces readers to some of their long-lost ancestors, even those they think they already know.

What do Al Campana, Frank Dempsey, Stan Wallace, Don Mullins, Gale Sayers, and Steve Trimble all have in common? They all wore number 40 for the Chicago Bears, even though more than four decades passed between the last time Campana last pulled on his jersey and the number was retired for Sayers in 1994 (along with 51 for Dick Butkus).

Since the Chicago Bears first adopted uniform numbers in 1932, the team has handed out only 99 numbers to more than 1,000 players. That's a lot of overlap. It also makes for a lot of good stories. Bears by the Numbers tells those stories for every Bear since '32, from Red Grange to Pernell McPhee.

This book lists the players alphabetically and by number; these biographies help trace the history of one of football's oldest and most beloved teams in a new way.

Bears Essentials: Everything You Need to KNow to be A Real Fan

Bears Essentials: Everything You Need to KNow to be A Real Fan

$19.95
More Info
A one-stop record containing everything Bears fans want to know about their favorite football team, this resource is packed with anecdotes, history, explanations of traditions, statistics, trivia, and photos.
Beast of Chicago

Beast of Chicago

$8.95
More Info
He was the world's first serial killer and he existed in the late 19th century, operating around the Chicago World's Fair, building a literal house of horrors, replete with chutes for dead bodies, gas chambers, surgical rooms. He methodically murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women. The infamous H. H. Holmes is the next subject of Geary's award-winning and increasingly popular series.
Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats

Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats

$15.95
More Info
When the Beat Cop pauses from taking a bite out of crime, he takes a bite out of donuts, polish sausage, fried chicken, enchiladas, and omelettes

Lake Claremont Press's 2004 award-winner, "The Streets & San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats," delivered tongue-in-cheek style and food-in-mouth expertise by a certified expert of the City of Chicago's Department of Lunch: streets & sanitation department electrician Dennis Foley.

Now, Sgt. David J. Haynes of the Chicago Police Department, and his partner-in-crime, humorist and blogger Christopher Garlington, want to take on Foley's street-level guide to the best mom-and-pop food bargains in Chicago with their follow-up: "The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats": "We're funnier, better-looking, and have the street smarts, girth, and weaponry to meet him in any alley, taqueria, or rib joint."

Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago

Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago

$24.95
More Info
Skilnik takes readers back in time to the beginnings of an industry that once wielded tremendous influence, wealth, and power over Chicago. He goes on to describe a contemporary Chicago, where some of the biggest national breweries battle to fill the void
Berghoff Family Cookbook: From Our Table to Yours, Celebrating a Century

Berghoff Family Cookbook: From Our Table to Yours, Celebrating a Century

$29.99
More Info
Where schnitzel meets ahi tuna for a beer." --New York Times

In The Berghoff Family Cookbook, the fourth generation of Chicago's Berghoff clan presents traditional favorites from the city's famed Berghoff Restaurant alongside contemporary culinary creations.

The history of Chicago's Berghoff Restaurant spanned three generations and 107 years. It was one of America's oldest family-owned restaurants. To commemorate such a rich culinary history, Carlyn Berghoff and her mother, Jan Berghoff, collected 150 of the restaurant's most popular recipes, including classics such as Creamed Spinach, Berghoff Rye Bread, and Wiener Schnitzel. They paired them up with more contemporary offerings such as the Shrimp Martini, Grilled Vegetables with Red Pepper Aoli, and Brie and Raspberry Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to create The Berghoff Family Cookbook: From Our Table to Yours, Celebrating a Century of Entertaining.

* Recipes are presented alongside tempting four-color photographs and informative sidebars that offer tips on dressing salads, serving soups, pairing culinary flavors, and more.

* The book's introductory narrative tells the Berghoff family's story and introduces the next generation of the Berghoff legacy.

Fourth-generation entrepreneur Carlyn Berghoff operates her own catering company, Artistic Events, out of the famous Chicago building at 17 West Adams. She has also opened 17/West at the Berghoff, more casual fare is still offered at the downstairs Cafe, and the Berghoff Cafe still operates out of locations at O'Hare International and Midway airports.

Best Bike Rides Near Chicago

Best Bike Rides Near Chicago

$16.95
More Info
Written for the cyclists of all stripes, Best Bikes Rides Near Chicago marks the debut of a new series that offers a diverse array of scenic tours in some of America's largest urban destinations--from easy excursions for the Sunday cyclist to challenging treks for the veteran. Here, veteran author and cyclist Ted Villaire presents 35 diverse rides in and around the Windy City. As amply demonstrated by this guide, Chicago's heritage as a transportation hub has reaped huge rewards for local cyclists. Twenty miles of lakeshore parkland and an elaborate system of leafy boulevards connect a series of mega-parks throughout the city. Coupled with this is an ever-expanding cycling infrastructure featuring more than 100 miles of bikes lanes. The Illinois Prairie Path, which runs between the Des Plaines River and Wheaton, was one of the first linear trails in the nation converted from a railroad line--and today it is part of the most extensive collection of rail trails in the Midwest, perhaps the nation.
Best Hikes Near Chicago

Best Hikes Near Chicago

$18.95
More Info
Who says you have to travel far from home to go on a great hike? In Best Hikes Near Chicago author Adam Morgan details the best hikes within an hour's drive of the greater Chicago area perfect for the urban and suburbanite hard-pressed to find great outdoor activities close to home. Each featured hike includes detailed hike specs, a brief hike description, trailhead location, directional cues, and a detailed map.
Best in Tent Camping Illinois

Best in Tent Camping Illinois

$15.95
More Info
For the outdoor enthusiast, Illinois has it all: rivers to canoe, lakes to fish, trails to hike and bike, and plenty of quiet places to camp. This indispensable guide is aimed at the tent camper who wants to enjoy these things up close. Unlike other guides that merely list all campgrounds, The Best in Tent Camping: Illinois profiles in detail the 50 best sites in the state for campers who seek the serene and secluded. Here is essential information about each campground (including season, facilities, rates, directions, GPS coordinates, and websites), as well as a description of the campground, the best sites, and nearby activities such as hiking, canoeing, fishing, and mountain biking. The guide covers well-known parks as well as some campgrounds that are local secrets that can't be found on Internet searches.
Beyond Burnham: Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region

Beyond Burnham: Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region

$19.95
More Info

Beyond Burnham provides a fascinating account of a century of visionary planning for metropolitan Chicago. From Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett's famed 1909 Plan of Chicago to the push for superhighways and airports to battles over urban sprawl, the book showcases an illustrated portrait of the big personalities and the "big plans" they espoused.

The human face of planning appears in the interplay between public officials and citizen advocates. Powerful institutions--the Chicago Plan Commission and Regional Transportation Authority, among others--emerge to promote metropolitan goals. Some efforts succeed while others fail, but the work of planners lives on in efforts to shape new visions for the region's future.