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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!

Big Bill of Chicago

Big Bill of Chicago

$19.95
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Winner of 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Book Award-Certificate of Excellence

To some he was a humanitarian and builder. Others scorned him as a fake and friend of gangsters with the carcass of a rhinoceros and the brain of a baboon. This rollicking history traces the rise of William Hale Big Bill Thompson, Chicago's famous reform mayor, from his upper class roots to his years as a teenaged cowboy, from his fame as a star athlete to the years as a master politician in a world where the ward boss ruled and whiskey for the voters cost a quarter a shot. Big Bill of Chicago profiles the whole brawling arena of city politics from the turn of the century to the Prohibition Era. It is a primer in the way American politics worked-and works-and a map along the countless winding ways even the dirtiest deal can lead to something great.

Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories

Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories

$19.95
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Hauntings lurk and spirits linger in the Prairie State Reader, beware! Turn these pages and enter the world of the paranormal, where ghosts and ghouls alike creep just out of sight. Author Troy Taylor shines a light in the dark corners of Illinois and scares those spirits out of hiding in this thrilling collection. From a gallows tree in Greene County where an apparition can still be seen hanging, to the lingering spirits of warring mobsters at the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, these stories of strange occurrences will keep you glued to the edge of your seat. Around the campfire or tucked away on a dark and stormy night, this big book of ghost stories is a hauntingly good read.
Big City Bad Blood

Big City Bad Blood

$7.99
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Disillusioned newspaper reporter-turned-private detective Ray Dudgeon doesn't want to save the world; he just wants to do an honest job well. But when doing an honest job threatens society's most powerful and corrupt, Ray's odds of survival make for a sucker's bet . . .

A simple bodyguard job for a Hollywood locations manager uncovers a rats' nest of sexual blackmail, murder, and high-level political corruption . . . and Ray Dudgeon is caught in a war between the FBI, the Chicago police, and the mob. With the line between good and bad blurring, Ray doesn't know who he can trust--or if he can even trust himself.

Biking Illinois

Biking Illinois

$19.95
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From Chicago's magnificent lakefront to the mountain trails of the Shawnee National Forest, no state has more varied terrain for the cyclist than Illinois. Large, full-detail maps guide you confidently on city streets or prairie back roads, and concise, entertaining trail descriptions make your bicycle adventure come alive. Includes 60 rides for cyclists of all ability levels, tips on where to find water, snacks, lodging, repairs, fascinating notes that help you appreciate the nature and history along the trail, and much more.
Billy Sunday and Other Poems

Billy Sunday and Other Poems

$9.95
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Unexpurgated and uncollected poems, many of which remained unpublished because their language was too raw, their attitude and politics too daring. Edited and with an Introduction by George and Willene Hendrick; photographs.
Birder's Guide to the Chicago Region

Birder's Guide to the Chicago Region

$29.00
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Identifying more than 250 top sites for birding within a 65-mile radius from downtown Chicago, this useful guide provides maps, directions, and other information essential for discovering the birds of the area in their natural habitats. The most thorough guide of its kind, it covers nineteen counties of the greater Chicago area.

A Birder's Guide to the Chicago Region includes detailed descriptions of local habitats and maps that show where to find birds in nearby Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, as well as Illinois. While providing a wealth of practical information, the guide is enriched with insightful accounts of the natural history and ecology of particular areas.

An essential guide for either beginning or experienced birders, this book will appeal to anyone who appreciates nature and wants to learn more about the natural history, ecology, and especially the birds of the Chicago area.

Birds of Illinois

Birds of Illinois

$12.95
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Go Birding with Illinois's Best-Selling Bird Guide!

Learn to identify birds in Illinois, and make bird-watching even more enjoyable. With Stan Tekiela's famous field guide, bird identification is simple and informative. There's no need to look through dozens of photos of birds that don't live in your area. This book features 111 species of Illinois birds organized by color for ease of use. Do you see a yellow bird and don't know what it is? Go to the yellow section to find out.

Book Features:

  • 111 species: Only Illinois birds
  • Simple color guide: See a yellow bird? Go to the yellow section
  • Compare feature: Decide between look-alikes
  • Stan's Notes: Naturalist tidbits and facts
  • Professional photos: Crisp, stunning full-page images
  • This field guide includes the most common and important species to know, professional photographs and range maps, relevant information, and plenty of Stan's expert insights. So grab Birds of Illinois Field Guide for your next birding adventure--to help ensure that you positively identify the birds that you see.

    Biting Bad

    Biting Bad

    $15.00
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    Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she's already seen a lifetime's worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

    Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

    Merit and her allies rush to figure out who's behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there's any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.

    Black Baseball in Chicago

    Black Baseball in Chicago

    $18.99
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    When the Negro National League was formed in Kansas City in 1920, a new chapter in sports history began. The city of Chicago played no small part in the creation and content of this historic chapter. Black Baseball in Chicago chronicles the history of the teams and players that spent time in the "Windy City." In 1911, the Chicago American Giants were born. This team drew some of the best players from the league, including such legendary stars as Bruce Petway, Pete Hill, Grant "Home Run" Johnson, and future hall-of-famer John Henry "Pop" Lloyd. On any given Sunday afternoon, the Chicago American Giants games often outdrew those of the cross-town rivals, the White Sox and the Cubs.
    Black Book Guide to Chicago

    Black Book Guide to Chicago

    $9.95
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    Hundreds of succinct listings for a city's hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels fill this sleek guide for nightlife connoisseurs. Written by and for discerning city savants, this offshoot of BlackBook magazine's Little BlackBook offers smart, fresh, and pithy listings for the most intriguing and fashion-forward hot spots. Each easily totable guide contains the latest information, signature cocktail recipes and photographs from featured venues, interviews with nightlife icons, and numerous two-tone city maps ensure that glamour never has to pause for bad directions.
    Black Book list: Chicago 2006

    Black Book list: Chicago 2006

    $9.95
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    Hundreds of succinct listings for Chicago's hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels fill this sleek guide for nightlife connoisseurs. Written by and for discerning city savants, this offshoot of BlackBook magazine's Little BlackBook Lists offers smart, fresh, and pithy listings to the second city's most intriguing and fashion-forward hot spots. Chicago's avant-garde culture is highlighted with listings for festivals and special events throughout the year, and 24 pages of full-color city maps ensure that glamour never has to pause for bad directions.
    Black Chicago Renaissance

    Black Chicago Renaissance

    $27.95
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    Beginning in the 1930s, Black Chicago experienced a cultural renaissance that lasted into the 1950s and rivaled the cultural outpouring in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The contributors to this volume analyze this prolific period of African American creativity in music, performance art, social science scholarship, and visual and literary artistic expression. Unlike Harlem, Chicago was an urban industrial center that gave a unique working class and internationalist perspective to the cultural work being done in Chicago. This collection's various essays discuss the forces that distinguished the Black Chicago Renaissance from the Harlem Renaissance and placed the development of black culture in a national and international context. Among the topics discussed in this volume are Chicago writers Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright, The Chicago Defender and Tivoli Theater, African American music and visual arts, and the American Negro Exposition of 1940. Contributors are Hilary Mac Austin, David T. Bailey, Murry N. DePillars, Samuel A. Floyd Jr., Erik S. Gellman, Jeffrey Helgeson, Darlene Clark Hine, John McCluskey Jr., Christopher Robert Reed, Elizabeth Schlabach, and Clovis E. Semmes.
    Black Hand: Terror by Letter in Chicago

    Black Hand: Terror by Letter in Chicago

    $25.00
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    This book examines the history of Black Hand crime in Chicago primarily from 1905 to 1920 and challenges the belief that the Black Hand was an extension of the Sicilian Mafia. A crude method of extorting money from primarily wealthy Italians, the Black Hand involved sending victims a letter stating that they would come to harm if the blackmailers' demands were not met; the threatening letter often included a drawing of a black hand or other frightening symbols.

    While many criminologists and scholars believe that Black Hand crime originated in Italy, that only Southern Italians and Sicilians committed Black Hand crime, and that only Southern Italians and Sicilians were Black Hand victims, Robert M. Lombardo argues that Black Hand crime actually evolved as the result of social conditions within American society such as the isolation of the Italian community, political corruption, and an ineffective criminal justice system. He shows that this association of the Black Hand and the Sicilian Mafia is a media construction, resulting from a narrative created by the news media despite the fact that many non-Italians also committed Black Hand crimes. Looking at the Black Hand from a sociological perspective, the book discusses the "news-making criminology" that tied Black Hand crime to the Sicilian Mafia and Neapolitan Camorra and the evolution of traditional organized crime in Chicago and elsewhere.

    Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance, 1970-2010

    Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance, 1970-2010

    $34.95
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    Black Theater Is Black Life fills a critical gap in the history of African American culture in Chicago. Through interviews with prominent producers, directors, choreographers, designers, dancers, and actors, Young and Zabriskie create a portrait of a diverse, dynamic artistic community between 1970 and 2010. They frame this history with helpful guides, including a chronology of key events, a glossary of names, and an appendix of leading performing arts institutions in Chicago.
    BlackBook Guide to Chicago 2008/09

    BlackBook Guide to Chicago 2008/09

    $9.95
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    Hundreds of succinct listings for a city's hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels fill this sleek guide for nightlife connoisseurs. Written by and for discerning city savants, this offshoot of BlackBook magazine's Little BlackBook offers smart, fresh, and pithy listings for the most intriguing and fashion-forward hot spots. Each easily totable guide contains the latest information and numerous two-tone city maps ensure that glamour never has to pause for bad directions.
    Blackbook List Chicago 2007

    Blackbook List Chicago 2007

    $9.95
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    Hundreds of listings for Chicago's hippest restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels fill this guide for nightlife connoisseurs. Written by and for discerning city savants, this offshoot of BlackBook magazine's Little BlackBook Lists offers smart and pithy listings to the Second City's most intriguing hot spots.
    Blade Itself

    Blade Itself

    $6.99
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    In this widely praised and explosive debut thriller, a young Chicago professional learns that the more he has, the more he has to lose. Taut, involving, and memorable, Marcus Sakey is an authentic, original new voice in crime fiction.--George Pelecanos. Martins Press.
    Block by Block: Neighborhoods and Public Policy on Chicago's West Side

    Block by Block: Neighborhoods and Public Policy on Chicago's West Side

    $37.00
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    In the decades following World War II, cities across the United States saw an influx of African American families into otherwise homogeneously white areas. This racial transformation of urban neighborhoods led many whites to migrate to the suburbs, producing the phenomenon commonly known as white flight. In Block by Block, Amanda I. Seligman draws on the surprisingly understudied West Side communities of Chicago to shed new light on this story of postwar urban America.

    Seligman's study reveals that the responses of white West Siders to racial changes occurring in their neighborhoods were both multifaceted and extensive. She shows that, despite rehabilitation efforts, deterioration in these areas began long before the color of their inhabitants changed from white to black. And ultimately, the riots that erupted on Chicago's West Side and across the country in the mid-1960s stemmed not only from the tribulations specific to blacks in urban centers but also from the legacy of accumulated neglect after decades of white occupancy. Seligman's careful and evenhanded account will be essential to understanding that the flight of whites to the suburbs was the eventual result of a series of responses to transformations in Chicago's physical and social landscape, occurring one block at a time.