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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!

Secret Chicago: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

Secret Chicago: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

$20.95
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Secret Chicago: Unique Guidebook to Chicago's Hidden Sights, Sounds, and Tastes

Secret Chicago: Unique Guidebook to Chicago's Hidden Sights, Sounds, and Tastes

$14.95
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Ah, the thrill of discovery. It's exhilarating to unearth new favorite haunts. But how do you discover them if you never stray from the pack? There are thousands of tourist guides but it's no secret that they'll steer you towards safe, predictable, well-trodden places. Secret(TM) Chicago is all about leaving the herd behind and making the Windy City your own. It's a treasure map to the arcane, the cool, and the hushhush hot spots that the locals love. Beautifully illustrated with original photos, Secret(TM) Chicago celebrates Chicago's diverse ethnic population. Sam Weller will take you to a rowdy beer garden, a Persian bakery, and a Vietnamese grocery. And he'll be your guide to the city's many traditions and quirky oddities. Go to downtown blues and comedy clubs, participate in Chicago's annual "smelt season," and visit the country's only holograph museum. It's all here, written by a no-nonsense local from the city renowned for telling it like it is. Ditch the crowds and discover your Secret(TM) Chicago -- completely revised and updated for 2002.
Seeking Chicago

Seeking Chicago

$19.95
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Richly detailed and full of engaging stories, this charming guide traces the history of Chicago's unparalleled architecture.

Meticulously researched, engagingly presented, and richly detailed, Seeking Chicago is truly a must-read for anyone interested in the story of the Windy City and how it got that way. Unlike other books about local history, here Tom Miller reveals the stories of many smaller, more modest buildings that are off the beaten track - the very structures that most guide books overlook - along with the iconic landmarks.

Chicago is possibly the most important American city for experiencing important architectural masterpieces. There are numerous ways to learn about its architectural heritage, from museums to curated walking and driving tours and even a boat tour. While the basic factual histories of Chicago's landmarks are fairly well known, there are additional layers of history - often with dramatic human interest angles - that don't always get included in the official tours. Tom Miller tells the story of Chicago's rich architectural and social history building by building. The stories behind the city's buildings is an impressive architectural history reading and a dramatic sampling of American social history--family feuds, scandals, and mob hits. He excels at uncovering the dramas that have unfolded within the architecture and detailing them to tell an engaging and largely unknown side of Chicago's history.

Seeking Truth While Sifting Through A Global Perspective

$7.95
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Select Chicago

Select Chicago

$15.00
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This is an inspirational guide to the vibrant city of Chicago, offering authentic experiences, fresh discoveries, and a good dose of local culture. It offers 100 ideas for a memorable stay in Chicago, organised by neighbourhood, with plenty of secret gems in the mix.

Self-Titled Debut

$12.00
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Fiction. SELF-TITLED DEBUT is a mess o' finely machined machine-like fictions. There is a sublime relentlessness in the generative power of the permutations at all levels from word to sentence to paragraph to page. He exhausts exhaustion effortlessly. These inventive hypoxic hieroglyphs gin-up ingeniously a whole new notion of genus: story and the species: short. Some debut indeed--Michael Martone.
Sensing Chicago

Sensing Chicago

$25.00
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A hundred years ago and more, a walk down a Chicago street invited an assault on the senses. Untiring hawkers shouted from every corner. The manure from thousands of horses lay on streets pooled with molasses and puddled with kitchen grease. Odors from a river gelatinous and lumpy with all manner of foulness mingled with the all-pervading stench of the stockyard slaughterhouses.

In Sensing Chicago, Adam Mack lets fresh air into the sensory history of Chicago in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by examining five case studies: the Chicago River, the Great Fire, the 1894 Pullman Strike, the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and the rise and fall of the White City amusement park. His vivid recounting of the smells, sounds, and tactile miseries of city life reveals how input from the five human senses influenced the history of class, race, and ethnicity in the city. At the same time, he transports readers to an era before modern refrigeration and sanitation, when to step outside was to be overwhelmed by the odor and roar of a great city in progress.

Set the Night on Fire

Set the Night on Fire

$16.99
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Someone is trying to kill Lila Hilliard. During the Christmas holidays she returns from running errands to find her family home in flames, her father and brother trapped inside. Later, she is attacked by a mysterious man on a motorcycle. . . and the threats don't end there. As Lila desperately tries to piece together who is after her and why, she uncovers information about her father's past in Chicago during the volatile days of the late 1960s . . . information he never shared with her, but now threatens to destroy her. Part thriller, part historical novel, and part love story, Set the Night on Fire paints an unforgettable portrait of Chicago during a turbulent time: the riots at the Democratic Convention . . . the struggle for power between the Black Panthers and SDS . . . and a group of young idealists who tried to change the world.
Short Bike Rides Chicago

Short Bike Rides Chicago

$11.95
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For the avid cyclist or for the family planning a weekend activity, these carefully selected, well-researched routes are appropriate for everyone.
Sidewalks

Sidewalks

$32.00
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"A wonderful book that tells you the basic truths of our city." --Studs Terkel

Few people know Chicago as do Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood, and their "Sidewalks" column for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine is a tour of the city like no other, taking readers to the off-beat and quintessential spots that give Chicago its character--that make its inhabitants feel at home and tell its visitors that they have arrived.

Accompanied by evocative color photographs by Charles Osgood, Kogan's pieces revisit the lost places and people of Chicago, and take readers down the quiet byways and thriving thoroughfares, pointing out the characters and cornerstones, the oddities and institutions that make the city what it is. In this collection you will find an elegy for Maxwell Street, the marketplace that pulsed with city life for more than 100 years; a remembrance of a disturbing advertisement ("Are you a slave to housework?") on the side of a building on Irving Park Road; a cross marking a deadly intersection; a magical miniature golf course; as well as ballad singer Fred Holstein, the denizens of the World Gym and memories of Bensinger's pool hall, the day-camp kids of summer, bike couriers, the creatures of the beach, and much, much more. Here is Chicago, past, present, and--let's hope--future, captured in the unique archive of Sidewalks.

Sidewalks II: Reflections on Chicago

Sidewalks II: Reflections on Chicago

$24.95
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Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago

Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago

$21.95
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"A wonderful book that tells you the basic truths of our city." --Studs Terkel

Few people know Chicago as do Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood, and their "Sidewalks" column for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine is a tour of the city like no other, taking readers to the off-beat and quintessential spots that give Chicago its character--that make its inhabitants feel at home and tell its visitors that they have arrived.

Accompanied by evocative color photographs by Charles Osgood, Kogan's pieces revisit the lost places and people of Chicago, and take readers down the quiet byways and thriving thoroughfares, pointing out the characters and cornerstones, the oddities and institutions that make the city what it is. In this collection you will find an elegy for Maxwell Street, the marketplace that pulsed with city life for more than 100 years; a remembrance of a disturbing advertisement ("Are you a slave to housework?") on the side of a building on Irving Park Road; a cross marking a deadly intersection; a magical miniature golf course; as well as ballad singer Fred Holstein, the denizens of the World Gym and memories of Bensinger's pool hall, the day-camp kids of summer, bike couriers, the creatures of the beach, and much, much more. Here is Chicago, past, present, and--let's hope--future, captured in the unique archive of Sidewalks.

Silas Jayne

Silas Jayne

$19.99
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His name might not have the same notoriety that belonged to Al Capone or John Wayne Gacy, but Silas Jayne's life carved a similarly brutal arc through the Windy City's history. Even the mob was reluctant to compete with a man who burned his own horses alive for insurance money and ordered the assassination of his own brother in the same unhesitating fashion that he reportedly axed a flock of geese when he was six. Protected by bribery and intimidation, Jayne preyed on the innocence of the girls who took riding lessons in his stables and remained perversely untouched in the background of infamous Chicago crimes like the Schuessler-Peterson murders and the disappearance of candy heiress Helen Brach.
Sin in the Second City

Sin in the Second City

$25.95
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Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history-and the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago's notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century, the Club's proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion, where thirty stunning Everleigh "butterflies" awaited their arrival. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot's earnings and kept a "whipper" on staff to mete out discipline, the Everleighs made sure their girls dined on gourmet food, were examined by an honest physician, and even tutored in the literature of Balzac.
Not everyone appreciated the sisters' attempts to elevate the industry. Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field, Jr. But the sisters' most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of "white slavery"----the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels. This furor shaped America's sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, "Hinky Dink" Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott's colorful, nuanced portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our nation's hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, "Sin in the Second City" offers a vivid snapshot of America's journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.
Visit www.sininthesecondcity.com to learn more!
Praise for "Sin in the Second City:
""Assiduously researched... ["Sin in the Second City"] describes a popular culture awash in wild tales of sexual abuse, crusading reformers claiming God on their side, and deep suspicion of the threat posed by "foreigners" to the nation's Christian values."
----Janet Maslin, "The New York Times
"
"Lavish in her details, nicely detached in her point of view, [and with] scrupulous concern for historical accuracy, Ms. Abbott has written an immensely readable book. "Sin in the Second City" offers much in the way of reflection for those interested in the unending puzzle that goes by the name of human nature." -- "The Wall Street Journal "
"
""Abbott's first book is meticulously researched and entertaining... a colorful history of old Chicago that reads like a novel."
----The Atlanta Journal Constitution

"With gleaming prose and authoritative knowledge Abbott elucidates one of the most colorful periods in American history, and the result reads like the very best fiction. Sex, opulence, murder -- What's not to love?"
---- Sara Gruen, author of "Water for Elephants
"
"A detailed and intimate portrait of the Ritz of brothels, the famed Everleigh Club of turn-of-the-century Chicago. Sisters Minna and Ada attracted the elites of the world to such glamorous chambers as the Room of 1,000 Mirrors, complete with a reflective floor. And isn't Minna's advice to her resident prostitutes worthy advice for us all: "Give, but give interestingly and with mystery."'
---- Erik Larson, author of "The Devil in the White City
"
"
""Karen Abbott has combined bodice-ripping salaciousness with top-notch scholarship to produce a work more vivid than a Hollywood movie."
---- Melissa Fay Greene, author of "There is No Me Without You

"""Sin in the Second Cit"y is a masterful history lesson, a harrowing biography, and - best of all - a superfun read. The Everleigh story closely follows the turns of American history like a little sister. I can't recommend this book loudly enough."
---- Darin Strauss, author of "Chang and Eng "

"This is a story of debauchery and corruption, but it is also a story of sisterhood, and unerring devotion. Meticulously researched, and beautifully crafted, "Sin in the Second City" is an utterly captivating piece of history."
---- Julian Rubinstein, author of "Ballad of the Whiskey Robber"

Sin in the Second City

Sin in the Second City

$18.00
More Info
Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history-and the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago's notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century, the Club's proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion, where thirty stunning Everleigh "butterflies" awaited their arrival. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot's earnings and kept a "whipper" on staff to mete out discipline, the Everleighs made sure their girls dined on gourmet food, were examined by an honest physician, and even tutored in the literature of Balzac.

Not everyone appreciated the sisters' attempts to elevate the industry. Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field, Jr. But the sisters' most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of "white slavery"----the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels. This furor shaped America's sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, "Hinky Dink" Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott's colorful, nuanced portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our nation's hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, Sin in the Second City offers a vivid snapshot of America's journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.

Visit www.sininthesecondcity.com to learn more!

"Delicious... Abbott describes the Levee's characters in such detail that it's easy to mistake this meticulously researched history for literary fiction." ---- New York Times Book Review

" Described with scrupulous concern for historical accuracy...an immensely readable book."
---- Joseph Epstein, The Wall Street Journal

"Assiduously researched... even this book's minutiae makes for good storytelling."
---- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Karen Abbott has pioneered sizzle history in this satisfyingly lurid tale. Change the hemlines, add 100 years, and the book could be filed under current affairs." ---- USA Today

"A rousingly racy yarn." -Chicago Tribune
"A colorful history of old Chicago that reads like a novel... a compelling and eloquent story." ---- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Gorgeously detailed" ---- New York Daily News

"At last, a history book you can bring to the beach." ---- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Once upon a time, Chicago had a world class bordello called The Everleigh Club. Author Karen Abbott brings the opulent place and its raunchy era alive in a book that just might become this years "The Devil In the White City." ---- Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine (cover story)

"As Abbott's delicious and exhaustively researched book makes vividly clear, the Everleigh Club was the Taj Mahal of bordellos." ---- Chicago Sun Times

"The book is rich with details about a fast-and-loose Chicago of the early 20th century... Sin explores this world with gusto, throwing light on a booming city and exposing its shadows."
---- Time Out Chicago

"[Abbott's] research enables the kind of vivid description à la fellow journalist Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City that make what could be a dry historic account an intriguing read."
- Seattle Times

"Abbott tells her story with just the right mix of relish and restraint, providing a piquant guide to a world of sexuality" ---- The Atlantic

"A rollicking tale from a more vibrant time: history to a ragtime beat."
- Kirkus Reviews

"With gleaming prose and authoritative knowledge Abbott elucidates one of the most colorful periods in American history, and the result reads like the very best fiction. Sex, opulence, murder -- What's not to love?"
---- Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants


"A detailed and intimate portrait of the Ritz of brothels, the famed Everleigh Club of turn-of-the-century Chicago. Sisters Minna and Ada attracted the elites of the world to such glamorous chambers as the Room of 1,000 Mirrors, complete with a reflective floor. And isn't Minna's advice to her resident prostitutes worthy advice for us all: "Give, but give interestingly and with mystery."'
---- Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City


"Karen Abbott has combined bodice-ripping salaciousness with top-notch scholarship to produce a work more vivid than a Hollywood movie."
---- Melissa Fay Greene, author of There is No Me Without You

"Sin in the Second City is a masterful history lesson, a harrowing biography, and - best of all - a superfun read. The Everleigh story closely follows the turns of American history like a little sister. I can't recommend this book loudly enough."
---- Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng

"This is a story of debauchery and corruption, but it is also a story of sisterhood, and unerring devotion. Meticulously researched, and beautifully crafted, Sin in the Second City is an utterly captivating piece of history."
---- Julian Rubinstein, author of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

Sinister Chicago

Sinister Chicago

$19.95
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The bone-chilling breeze off Lake Michigan carries unnerving whispers of days gone by. Sinister Chicago chronicles the unknown, unusual, or otherwise unexplained events that have occurred in Chicago's short history. Author Kali Joy Cramer uncovers the sinister foundations of Chicago's urban legends and unravels the facts around its most notorious murder cases. She looks below the superficial stories of Chicago's most infamous characters and chronicles the tragic accidents that left their mark on the city.

Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy

$21.95
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Sister North

Sister North

$13.95
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Sam was a Chicago lawyer content to drift though life on his good looks and his wife's money, until a violent crime shatters his world. Newly addicted to watching Sister North, a nun with a popular television show, Sam embarks on a trip to Lake Eagleton, Wisconsin, to see the nun personally, seeking forgiveness and spiritual guidance. In Lake Eagleton, he finds out much more about Sister North, himself, and falling in love than he ever expected. "Sister North" is a novel of forgiveness and hope that takes a poignant and humorous look at what passes for love and faith in the twenty-first century.