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!

Teammate

Teammate

$28.00
More Info
Packed with "compelling inside stories" (Chicago Tribune), Teammate is the inspiring memoir from "Grandpa Rossy," the veteran catcher who became the heart and soul of the 2016 Chicago Cubs championship team and was named manager in 2019.

In 2016 the Cubs snapped a 108-year curse, winning the World Series in a history-making, seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Of the many storylines to Chicago's fairytale season, one stood out: the late-career renaissance of David Ross, the 39-year-old catcher who had played back-up for 13 of his 15 pro seasons.

Beyond Ross's remarkably strong play, he became the ultimate positive force in the Cubs locker room, mentoring and motivating his fellow players, some of them nearly twenty years his junior. Thanks to Cubs Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, "Grandpa Rossy" became a social media sensation. No one, however, could have predicted that Ross's home run in his final career at bat would help seal the Cubs championship.

Now, in Teammate, Ross shares the inspiring story of his life in baseball, framed by the events of that unforgettable November night.

Tender as Hellfire

Tender as Hellfire

$14.95
More Info
"Features some of the liveliest characters that one is apt to meet in a contemporary novel. Vividly described."--Publishers Weekly

"Extremely vivid. . . . Any number of novels have been written about unhappy childhoods and bizarre families, but this one surpasses many."--Kirkus Reviews

Joe Meno limns a near-fantastical world of trailer park floozies, broken-down '76 Impalas, lost glass eyes, and the daily experiences of two boys trying to make sense of their random, sharp lives.

Joe Meno is the author of the novels Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails, and How the Hula Girl Sings. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Theater of Our Own: A History and a Memoir of 1,001 Nights in Chicago

$21.95
More Info
Winner of the Illinois State Historical Society Book Award for Superior Achievement

A Theater of Our Own is a fascinating, fast-paced, and fact-filled chronicle of Chicago's legendary theater scene by the long-time chief critic for the Chicago Tribune. Who produced the first stage adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" in 1902-nearly forty years before the movie classic? What entertainment juggernaut began in a converted Chinese laundry on Wells Street in 1959? Where did Louis (Studs) Terkel make his stage debut? When did the original production of "Grease" open at Kingston Mines Theater? Richard Christiansen, former chief critic for the Chicago Tribune, answers these and many more questions about the rich role of the theater in Chicago, from its earliest days in 1837 to its present state as a diverse community of artists with international stature.

In A Theater of Our Own, he draws upon his exclusive interviews, insights, and memories gathered over a period of more than forty years of reviewing the arts. This history and memoir traces the evolution of the Chicago theater scene from small theaters to major institutions such as the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Goodman Theater, and The Second City. Along the way, Richard Christiansen relates his behind-the-scenes conversations with some of Chicago's most acclaimed writers, directors, and actors--David Mamet, Frank Galati, Mary Zimmerman, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Harold Ramis, Gary Sinise, and Joe Mantegna--all a part of Chicago's theater renaissance from the 1970s onward. To this day, Chicago remains a city known for its imaginative, innovative, and influential theaters and artists. A Theater of Our Own, a valuable contribution to the history of theater, is a book written for anyone who enjoys the theater and its people as well as the story of Chicago.

Theater of Our Own: A History and Memoir of 1001 Nights in Chicago

Theater of Our Own: A History and Memoir of 1001 Nights in Chicago

$29.95
More Info
Winner of the Illinois State Historical Society Book Award for Superior Achievement

A Theater of Our Own is a fascinating, fast-paced, and fact-filled chronicle of Chicago's legendary theater scene by the long-time chief critic for the Chicago Tribune. Who produced the first stage adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" in 1902-nearly forty years before the movie classic? What entertainment juggernaut began in a converted Chinese laundry on Wells Street in 1959? Where did Louis (Studs) Terkel make his stage debut? When did the original production of "Grease" open at Kingston Mines Theater? Richard Christiansen, former chief critic for the Chicago Tribune, answers these and many more questions about the rich role of the theater in Chicago, from its earliest days in 1837 to its present state as a diverse community of artists with international stature.

In A Theater of Our Own, he draws upon his exclusive interviews, insights, and memories gathered over a period of more than forty years of reviewing the arts. This history and memoir traces the evolution of the Chicago theater scene from small theaters to major institutions such as the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Goodman Theater, and The Second City. Along the way, Richard Christiansen relates his behind-the-scenes conversations with some of Chicago's most acclaimed writers, directors, and actors--David Mamet, Frank Galati, Mary Zimmerman, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Harold Ramis, Gary Sinise, and Joe Mantegna--all a part of Chicago's theater renaissance from the 1970s onward. To this day, Chicago remains a city known for its imaginative, innovative, and influential theaters and artists. A Theater of Our Own, a valuable contribution to the history of theater, is a book written for anyone who enjoys the theater and its people as well as the story of Chicago.

There Are No Children Here: Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America

There Are No Children Here: Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America

$16.00
More Info
NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A moving and powerful account by an acclaimed journalist that informs the heart. [This] meticulous portrait of two boys in a Chicago housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape (The New York Times).

Alex Kotlowitz joins the ranks of the important few writers on the subiect of urban poverty.--Chicago Tribune

The story of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

There Goes The Neighborhood

There Goes The Neighborhood

$23.95
More Info
A stunning, long-awaited book that looks at the (still) shocking truths of race, ethnicity, and class in America today.
William Julius Wilson, among our most admired sociologists and urban policy advisers, author of "When Work Disappears" ("Profound and disturbing"--"Time;" "His magnum opus"--David Remnick, "The New Yorker"), and Richard P. Taub, chairman of the Department on Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago, spent three years with a group of researchers studying four working- and lower-middle-class Chicago neighborhoods: African American, white ethnic, Latino, and one in transition from white ethnic to Latino.
Their focus: to understand how and why certain urban residents react to looming racial, ethnic, or class changes, and what their reactions mean in terms of the stability of their neighborhood.
Using first-person narratives and interviews throughout, "There Goes the Neighborhood "gives voice to attitudes and realities few Americans are willing to look at. Their findings lay bare a disturbing and incontrovertible truth: that the American dream of racial integration, forty-two years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, still eludes us--and, in fact, may not happen in the foreseeable future.
The authors examine the ways in which forces that contribute to strong neighborhoods work against the idea of integration. They explain why residents of neighborhoods with weak social organizations often choose to move rather than confront unwanted ethnic or racial change. Finally, the authors make clear that the racial and ethnic tensions that have become all but inherent to urban neighborhoods have urgent implications for Americans at every level of society.
Groundbreaking, authoritative, eye-opening--and certain to rekindle, and permanently alter, the discussion of race relations in our time.
Thieves of Manhattan

Thieves of Manhattan

$15.00
More Info
The famously false memoirs of James Frey may be yesterday's news, but as this funny riff reminds us, literary fakes are as old as literature itself. Ian Minot is an aspiring writer who labors over short stories that seem destined to remain unread. His beautiful Romanian girlfriend, Anya Petrescu, finds success more easily--and leaves Ian for Blade Markham, a bloviating ex-gangbanger whose "so-called memoir" is a best-seller. When Ian is approached by ex-editor Jed Roth, who wants Ian to publish Jed's pulpy tale of book theft and murder as a memoir, then renounce it, it's a chance for both of them to get revenge: Jed on his former employer, and Ian on the world. Although Langer may be too cute for some (he employs made-up slang in which a penis is a portnoy), he does an engaging job with the hall-of-mirrors plot. And if readers can predict that the book they're reading is the one that Ian ends up writing, they'll never guess the ending. Just when you want a surprising twist, Langer delivers several.
Third Coast

Third Coast

$20.00
More Info
Winner of the Chicago Tribune's 2013 Heartland Prize

A critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century, featuring many of the incredible personalities that shaped American culture

Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to-coast journey included a stop in Chicago, and this flow of people and commodities made it the crucible for American culture and innovation. In luminous prose, Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America--from Chess Records to Playboy, McDonald's to the University of Chicago. Populated with an incredible cast of characters, including Mahalia Jackson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Sun Ra, Simone de Beauvoir, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Studs Turkel, and Mayor Richard J. Daley, The Third Coast recalls the prominence of the Windy City in all its grandeur.

Third Coast

Third Coast

$29.95
More Info
A "New York Times" Notable 100 Book of the year and "Chicago Tribune "Best Book of 2013
Though today it can seem as if all American culture comes out of New York and Los Angeles, much of what defined the nation as it grew into a superpower was produced in Chicago. Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to coast journey included a stop there, and this flow of people and commodities made it America's central clearinghouse, laboratory, and factory. Between the end of World War II and 1960, Mies van der Rohe's glass and steel architecture became the face of corporate America, Ray Kroc's McDonald's changed how we eat, Hugh Hefner unveiled Playboy, and the Chess brothers supercharged rock and roll with Chuck Berry. At the University of Chicago, the atom was split and Western civilization was packaged into the Great Books.

Yet even as Chicago led the way in creating mass-market culture, its artists pushed back in their own distinct voices. In literature, it was the outlaw novels of Nelson Algren (then carrying on a passionate affair with Simone de Beauvoir), the poems of Gwendolyn Brooks, and Studs Terkel's oral histories. In music, it was the gospel of Mahalia Jackson, the urban blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and the trippy avant-garde jazz of Sun Ra. In performance, it was the intimacy of Kukla, Fran and Ollie, the Chicago School of Television, and the improvisational Second City whose famous alumni are now everywhere in American entertainment.

Despite this diversity, racial divisions informed virtually every aspect of life in Chicago. The chaos both constructive and destructive of this period was set into motion by the second migration north of African Americans during World War Two. As whites either fled to the suburbs or violently opposed integration, urban planners tried to design away "blight" with projects that marred a generation of American cities. The election of Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1955 launched a frenzy of new building that came at a terrible cost monolithic housing projects for the black community and a new kind of self-satisfied provincialism that sped the end of Chicago's role as America's meeting place. In luminous prose, Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America."

Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Pai

Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Pai

$24.95
More Info
Chronicling the author's 10,000-mile "Great Lakes Circle Tour," this travel memoir seeks to answer a burning question: Is there a Great Lakes culture, and if so, what is it? Largely associated with the Midwest, the Great Lakes region actually has a culture that transcends the border between the United States and Canada. United by a love of encased meats, hockey, beer, snowmobiling, deer hunting, and classic-rock power ballads, the folks in Detroit have more in common with citizens in Windsor, Ontario, than those in Wichita, Kansas--while Toronto residents have more in common with Chicagoans than Montreal's population. Much more than a typical armchair travel book, this humorous cultural exploration is filled with quirky people and unusual places that prove the obscure is far more interesting than the well known.
Third Rail

Third Rail

$14.95
More Info
A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work. An hour later, a second woman is gunned down as she rides an elevated train through the Loop. Two hours after that, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack. The city of Chicago is under siege, and Michael Kelly, cynical cop turned private investigator, just happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.

Kelly is initially drawn into the case by the killers themselves, then tasked by Chicago's mayor and the FBI to hunt down the bad guys and, all things being equal, put a bullet in them. Kelly, of course, has other ideas. As he gets closer to the truth, his instincts lead him to a retired cop, a shady train company, and an unnerving link to his own past. Meanwhile, Kelly's girlfriend, Rachel Swenson, becomes a pawn in a much larger game, while a weapon that could kill millions ticks away quietly in the very belly of the city.

The Third Rail
is stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.

Third Rail

Third Rail

$24.95
More Info
The ferocious new novel from the author of The Chicago Way (A major new voice--Michael Connelly) and The Fifth Floor finds Michael Harvey at the top of his game in an expertly plotted, impossible to put down thriller set in Chicago's public transit system.
Harvey's tough talking, Aeschylus quoting, former Irish cop turned PI, Michael Kelly, is backin a sizzling murder mystery that pits him against a merciless sniper on the loose. After witnessing a shooting on an L platform--and receiving a phone call from the killer himself--Kelly is drawn toward a murderer with an unnerving link to his own past, to a crime he witnessed as a child, and to the consequences it had on his relationship with his father, a subject Kelly would prefer to leave unexamined. But when his girlfriend--the gorgeous Chicago judge Rachel Swenson--is abducted, Kelly has no choice but to find the killer by excavating his own stormy past.
Stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.
Thirsty Chicago

Thirsty Chicago

$14.95
More Info
This Used to Be Chicago

This Used to Be Chicago

$20.95
More Info
Warning: with This Used to Be Chicago as your guide, you may never look at Chicago the same again. Every building has a past -- author Joni Hirsch Blackman finds the stories behind more than 90 Chicago buildings that used to be something else: the liquor store that used to be a speakeasy during Prohibition; the yacht club that used to be a ferry boat; the countless condominiums that used to be cracker, shoe, postcard or piano factories and, perhaps the most incongruous, the circus school that used to be a church. Imagine what your favorite buildings will house in another 100 years -- that's this book backwards! Explore your own neighborhood with a new eye, find places you remember from your youth, appreciate a new part of town you've considered only as it is now.
Thousand

Thousand

$24.95
More Info
Kevin Guilfoile's riveting follow-up to "Cast of Shadows" ("spellbinding"--"Chicago Tribune;" "a masterpiece of intelligent plotting"--"Salon") centers on an extraordinary young woman's race to find her father's killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.
In 530 B.C., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.
Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her father's unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.
In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy. "The Thousand" is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile's enormous talent.
Thousand and One Afternoons

Thousand and One Afternoons

$15.00
More Info
In 1921, Ben Hecht wrote a column for the Chicago Daily News that his editor called "journalism extraordinary; journalism that invaded the realm of literature." Hecht's collection of sixty-four of these pieces, illustrated with striking pen drawings by Herman Rosse, is a timeless caricature of urban American life in the jazz age, updated with a new Introduction for the twenty-first century. From the glittering opulence of Michigan Avenue to the darkest ruminations of an escaped convict, from captains of industry to immigrant day laborers, Hecht captures 1920s Chicago in all its furor, intensity, and absurdity.

"The hardboiled audacity and wit that became Hecht's signature as Hollywood's most celebrated screen-writer are conspicuous in these vignettes. Most of them are comic and sardonic, some strike muted tragic or somber atmospheric notes. . . . The best are timeless character sketches that have taken on an added interest as shards of social history."--L. S. Klepp, Voice Literary Supplement

Thousand and One Afternoons In Chicago

Thousand and One Afternoons In Chicago

$24.95
More Info
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

Threshholds

$10.00
More Info