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Signed Books

All Hands On

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All This Heavenly Glory

All This Heavenly Glory

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A glittering book from the author hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "unique, intriguing, and often hilarious."

Here are the events that make up a life: a junior high school fashion crisis, a best friend's betrayal, substance abuse, recovery, finding a satisfying career, dating fiascos, the perfect relationship, the illness and slow death of a parent. This is the life of Charlotte Anne Byers, told by Elizabeth Crane, whose debut, When the Messenger Is Hot, has been praised across the country for its humor and grace.

From the time she moved to New York as a young girl, desperate to tame her ridiculed southern accent, Charlotte Anne Byers has struggled to fit in-even while her strong will makes her clash with everything and everyone around her. With her mother pursuing a career as an opera singer and her father returning to Iowa, Charlotte is caught in the divide between her parents' dreams. She finds a touchstone in Jenna, a friend who will be by Charlotte's side through the death of her mother, several failed career moves, even more failed romances, a detour into alcoholism, and finding true love. In her lifetime Charlotte finds hope and disappointment mingled with faith and desperation, laughter on the heels of weeping, and success assuaging the pain of the most embarrassing failures-her path both all her own and instantly familiar.

All This Heavenly Glory confirms Elizabeth Crane's talents as the writer the San Francisco Chronicle called "hilariously off kilter and utterly refreshing." With whimsy, skepticism, and undaunted emotional frankness, she paints a dazzling portrait of one woman's unique desires and heartbreaks.

American Idea: The Best of The Atlantic Monthly

American Idea: The Best of The Atlantic Monthly

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"What is 'the American idea'? It is the fractious, maddening approach to the conduct of human affairs that values equality despite its elusiveness, that values democracy despite its debasement, that values pluralism despite its messiness, that values the institutions of civic culture despite their flaws, and that values public life as something higher and greater than the sum of all our private lives. The founders of the magazine valued these things--and they valued the immense amount of effort it takes to preserve them from generation to generation."
--The Editors of "The Atlantic Monthly," 2006

This landmark collection of writings by the illustrious contributors of "The Atlantic Monthly "is a one-of-a-kind education in the history of American ideas.

"The Atlantic Monthly" was founded in 1857 by a remarkable group that included some of the towering figures of nineteenth-century intellectual life: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell.For 150 years, the magazine has continued to honor its distinguished pedigree by publishing many of America's most prominent political commentators, journalists, historians, humorists, storytellers, and poets.
Throughout the magazine's history, "Atlantic" contributors have unflinchingly confronted the fundamental subjects of the American experience: war and peace, science and religion, the conundrum of race, the role of women, the plight of the cities, the struggle to preserve the environment, the strengths and failings of our politics, and, especially, America's proper place in the world.
This extraordinary anthology brings together many of the magazine's most acclaimed and influential articles. "Broken Windows," by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, took on the problem of inner-city crime and gave birth to a new way of thinking about law enforcement. "The Roots of Muslim Rage," by Bernard Lewis, prophetically warned of the dangers posed to the West by rising Islamic extremism. "Letter from Birmingham Jail," by Martin Luther King, Jr., became one of the twentieth century's most famous reflections upon--and calls for--racial equality. And "The Fifty-first State," by James Fallows, previewed in astonishing detailthe mess in which America would find itself in Iraqa full six months before the invasion.The collection also highlights some of "The Atlantic"'s" "finest moments in fiction and poetry--from the likes of Twain, Whitman, Frost, Hemingway, Nabokov, and Bellow--affirming the central role of literature in defining and challenging American society.
Rarely has an anthology so vividly captured America. Serious and comic, touching and tough, "The American Idea" paints a fascinating portrait of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.

Armillary Sphere

Armillary Sphere

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Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson's award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it. Just as the interlocking rings of the armillary sphere of the title represent the great circles of the heavens, so do the poems herein demonstrate out of the beautiful, the extraordinary, and the cast off, a fresh scaffolding, a new way to see out from the center of our selves, a new measure of our relationship to the things of this world and the next.

Chosen from hundreds of manuscripts as this year's winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Ann Hudson's The Armillary Sphere possesses, in the words of final judge Mary Kinzie,

"... a brightness of spirit and quickness of thought that are conveyed with extraordinary care as she frames moments of experience. Her style is unobtrusive--no fireworks of phrasing obscure the thing felt and seen. So simple a device as taking an intransitive verb transitively can shed strong light on the moment: "A fine sheen /of sweat glistens the cocktail glasses,"--and Hudson studies emotions with a brave restraint that resists cliché, while deftly joining together intuitions that bring contradictory or opposing charge.... Both circular and digressive, Hudson's portrayal of beings of all ages poised on their varying thresholds brings a novelist's sense of details unfolding into their future under the control of a fine poet's pure and condensed language of likeness."Insomnia

If you were awake too, I'd tell you
the whole story, how I dreamt
we never saw the child, how easily

we forgot. Instead I shuffle
to the porch to watch
traffic pass the house

and an occasional bat dive
under the streetlamps, ruthless
after its dark targets.

Art of Mending

Art of Mending

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - Revelations about a seemingly ordinary mother force her adult children to reexamine their lives in this "absorbing novel about family secrets" (The Dallas Morning News).

Laura Bartone anticipates her annual family reunion in Minnesota with a mixture of excitement and wariness. Yet this year's gathering will prove to be much more trying than either she or her siblings imagined. As soon as she arrives, Laura realizes that something is not right with her sister. Forever wrapped up in events of long ago, Caroline is the family's restless black sheep. When Caroline confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences in the same house. But a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness.

Readers have come to love Elizabeth Berg for the "lucent beauty of [her] prose, the verity of her insights, and the tenderness of her regard for her fellow human" (Booklist). In The Art of Mending, she confronts some of the deepest mysteries of life, as she explores how even the largest sins can be forgiven by the smallest gestures, and how grace can come to many through the trials of one.

Black Bodies and Quantum Cats

Black Bodies and Quantum Cats

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Physics, once known as natural philosophy, is the most basic science, explaining the world we live in, from the largest scale down to the very, very, very smallest, and our understanding of it has changed over many centuries. In Black Bodies and Quantum Cats, science writer Jennifer Ouellette traces key developments in the field, setting descriptions of the fundamentals of physics in their historical context as well as against a broad cultural backdrop. Newton's laws are illustrated via the film Addams Family Values, while Back to the Future demonstrates the finer points of special relativity. Poe's The Purloined Letter serves to illuminate the mysterious nature of neutrinos, and Jeanette Winterson's novel Gut Symmetries provides an elegant metaphorical framework for string theory. An enchanting and edifying read, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats shows that physics is not an arcane field of study but a profoundly human endeavor--and a fundamental part of our everyday world.
Blade Itself

Blade Itself

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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.
Bodies in Motion

Bodies in Motion

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Like the sweet heat of a curry prickling your tongue or the bursting radiance of bougainvillea, the short stories in Mary Anne Mohanraj's gorgeous debut collection, Bodies in Motion, will delight your senses and your sensibilities. Linked by the thread of kinship, these stories trace the lives of two generations of two families living on the cusp of disparate worlds: America and Sri Lanka. Through them we see just how the emigrant-immigrant ebb and flow shapes lives and the bonds of family.

Mohanraj writes effervescent prose, distilling intimate moments to reveal the tug-of-war between generations and gender as modernization comes into conflict with centuries of tradition. Sensual and honest, the stories chronicle love, ambition, and spiritual and sexual quests of mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. Bodies in Motion promises to be a collection you will come back to, again and again.

Bradbury Chronicles

Bradbury Chronicles

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Ray Bradbury is an American literary icon, an architect of wonders whose life has been as fascinating, momentous, and inspiring as his fiction, which has enthralled millions of readers the world over for more than six decades.

Born Rae Douglas Bradbury on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, he displayed an affinity for the fantastic at an early age -- spending hours at the local movie theater, fighting his fear of the dark to escape into glorious made-up worlds. Though he once dreamed of becoming an actor, writing was his true calling, and he remained resolute in his art throughout his early adult years despite numerous rejections -- finally breaking through with publications of his horror and fantasy stories in the "pulp" magazines of the forties. It was not long before he ascended to a higher literary plane, creating the acclaimed works that would solidify his place as one of the most important and influential authors of the twentieth century: Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine, to name a very few.

Award-winning journalist Sam Weller has been granted unparalleled access to Bradbury's private archives, and has spent hundreds of hours interviewing longtime friends, family members, colleagues, and the author himself. As a result, Weller gives us a uniquely balanced, in-depth, and utterly remarkable portrait of a remarkable man, the life story up until now of a brilliant visionary artist and enigmatic mass of contradictions -- the writer who envisioned rocket travel to the stars but who never learned to drive a car; the futurist who brought astonishing tomorrows to life yet refuses to operate a computer; the passionate free spirit who remained devotedly married to one woman -- his beloved Marguerite -- for more than fifty years.

The Bradbury Chronicles is, at once, a poignant love story, an inspiring tale of struggle and accomplishment, and a spellbinding record of an extraordinary era in America's history and the man who helped define it. Here is Ray Bradbury -- dreamer, author, humanist, poet, innovator -- a one-of-a-kind literary force of nature whose extraordinary life can now be celebrated along with the enduring masterworks with which he has graced the world.

Chicago Stories: Tales of the City

Chicago Stories: Tales of the City

$14.95
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Hometown and host to talents as diverse as Richard Wright, David Mamet, Maya Angelou, Saul Bellow, and Mike Royko, Chicago boasts a rich tradition of writers who have helped shape our sense of the city even as the city informs their best work. It's a writer's town . . . a fighter's town, according to Nelson Algren, and this anthology proves it. With a striking new cover, Chicago Stories collects the most evocative writing on the city, its gritty realism, and indomitable spirit.
Childhood and Other Neighborhoods

Childhood and Other Neighborhoods

$16.00
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In Stuart Dybek's Chicago, wonder lurks in unexpected places--in garbage-strewn alleys, gloomy basement apartments, abandoned rooms at the top of rickety stairs periodically rumbled by passing el trains. Transformed through the wide eyes of Dybek's adolescent heroes, these grimy urban backwaters become exotic landscapes of fear-filled possibility, of dreams not yet turned to nightmares. Chronicling what happens when Old World faith meets the dark side of the American dream, Dybek's poignant stories of coming of age in Chicago alternately appall, amaze, and just simply entertain.
Coast of Chicago

Coast of Chicago

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The stolid landscape of Chicago suddenly turns dreamlike and otherworldly in Stuart Dybek's classic story collection. A child's collection of bottle caps becomes the tombstones of a graveyard. A lowly rightfielder's inexplicable death turns him into a martyr to baseball. Strains of Chopin floating down the tenement airshaft are transformed into a mysterious anthem of loss. Combining homely detail and heartbreakingly familiar voices with grand leaps of imagination, The Coast of Chicago is a masterpiece from one of America's most highly regarded writers.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Slam Poetry

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Get in on the action...CD included!
According to the PBS television series The United States of Poetry, a "strand of new poetry began at Chicago's Green Mill Tavern in 1986 when Marc Smith found a home for the Poetry Slam." Since then, performance poetry has spread throughout the United States. Now, the father of the poetry slam presents the most comprehensive book on spoken-word poetry performances.

Crowdpleaser

$12.50
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Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

$29.95
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This is the story of a political miracle -- the perfect match of man and moment. Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March of 1933 as America touched bottom. Banks were closing everywhere. Millions of people lost everything. The Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. With the craft of a master storyteller, Jonathan Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic. Facing the gravest crisis since the Civil War, FDR used his cagey political instincts and ebullient temperament in the storied first Hundred Days of his presidency to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that lifted the country and saved both democracy and capitalism.

Who was this man? To revive the nation when it felt so hopeless took an extraordinary display of optimism and self-confidence. Alter shows us how a snobbish and apparently lightweight young aristocrat was forged into an incandescent leader by his domineering mother; his independent wife; his eccentric top adviser, Louis Howe; and his ally-turned-bitter-rival, Al Smith, the Tammany Hall street fighter FDR had to vanquish to complete his preparation for the presidency.

"Old Doc Roosevelt" had learned at Warm Springs, Georgia, how to lift others who suffered from polio, even if he could not cure their paralysis, or his own. He brought the same talents to a larger stage. Derided as weak and unprincipled by pundits, Governor Roosevelt was barely nominated for president in 1932. As president-elect, he escaped assassination in Miami by inches, then stiffed President Herbert Hoover's efforts to pull him into cooperating with him to deal with a terrifying crisis. In the most tumultuous and dramatic presidential transition in history, the entire banking structure came tumbling down just hours before FDR's legendary "only thing we have to fear is fear itself" Inaugural Address.

In a major historical find, Alter unearths the draft of a radio speech in which Roosevelt considered enlisting a private army of American Legion veterans on his first day in office. He did not. Instead of circumventing Congress and becoming the dictator so many thought they needed, FDR used his stunning debut to experiment. He rescued banks, put men to work immediately, and revolutionized mass communications with pioneering press conferences and the first Fireside Chat. As he moved both right and left, Roosevelt's insistence on "action now" did little to cure the Depression, but he began to rewrite the nation's social contract and lay the groundwork for his most ambitious achievements, including Social Security.

From one of America's most respected journalists, rich in insights and with fresh documentation and colorful detail, this thrilling story of presidential leadership -- of what government is for -- resonates through the events of today. It deepens our understanding of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt restored hope and transformed America.

"The Defining Moment" will take its place among our most compelling works of political history.

Diva's Fool

Diva's Fool

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On the night of her final performance, Opera Diva Carmen Dellamorte, famous for her passion of Tarot cards, staggers onto the Chicago Lyric Opera House stage and dies. Is it the curse of Macbeth or a malevolent plot to dethrone the queen? Alexandria Vilkas, Chicago reporter, does more than write the supernatural. She peeks behind the viel of death to investigate murders of the paranormal, solving the mysterious death of a Diva is the first step on her journey. Around the world, enthusiasts and masters of the Tarot look to these popular cards for guidance and divination. The deck begins with the Fool, representing the Uninitiated Person beginning a journey consisting of 22 phases, coinciding with the archetypical characters and themes of the Major Arcana, otherwise known as the Greater Secrets.
Dream When You're Feeling Blue

Dream When You're Feeling Blue

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"New York Times" bestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love.
As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters-Louise to her fiance, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family.
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

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A memoir in bite-size chunks from the author of the viral Modern Love column "You May Want to Marry My Husband."

"[Rosenthal] shines her generous light of humanity on the seemingly humdrum moments of life and shows how delightfully precious they actually are." --The Chicago Sun-Times

How do you conjure a life? Give the truest account of what you saw, felt, learned, loved, strived for? For Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the surprising answer came in the form of an encyclopedia. In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life she has ingeniously adapted this centuries-old format for conveying knowledge into a poignant, wise, often funny, fully realized memoir.

Using mostly short entries organized from A to Z, many of which are cross-referenced, Rosenthal captures in wonderful and episodic detail the moments, observations, and emotions that comprise a contemporary life. Start anywhere--preferably at the beginning--and see how one young woman's alphabetized existence can open up and define the world in new and unexpected ways.

An ordinary life, perhaps, but an extraordinary book.

Paperback Fiction

Songs in Ursa Major
By: Brodie, Emma
Last Graduate
By: Novik, Naomi
Embassy Wife
By: Crouch, Katie
She Who Became the Sun
By: Parker-Chan, Shelley
Rock Paper Scissors
By: Feeney, Alice
Secret Keeper of Jaipur
By: Joshi, Alka
Dead Romantics
By: Poston, Ashley
Hell of a Book
By: Mott, Jason
State of Terror
By: Clinton, Hillary Rodham
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
By: Austin, Emily

Hardcover Non-Fiction

Rogues
By: Keefe, Patrick Radden
Metaphysical Animals
By: Wiseman, Rachael
How to Raise an Antiracist
By: Kendi, Ibram X
As Cooked on TikTok
By: Tiktok
Immense World
By: Yong, Ed
Life in Light
By: Pipher, Mary
His Name Is George Floyd
By: Olorunnipa, Toluse
Boys and Oil
By: Brorby, Taylor
Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden
By: Li, Zhuqing

Hardcover Fiction

Poets House
Author: Thompson, Jean
Ballad of Perilous Graves
Author: Jennings, Alex
Dele Weds Destiny
Author: Obaro, Tomi
Scent of Burnt Flowers
Author: Bazawule, Blitz
Catch
Author: Fairbrother, Alison
Learning to Talk
Author: Mantel, Hilary
Mirror Mended
Author: Harrow, Alix E
Girls in Queens
Author: Kandic Torres, Christine
Lapvona
Author: Moshfegh, Ottessa
Horse
Author: Brooks, Geraldine