CBR’s 2013 Holiday Reading Guide

CBR_Logo2Here at Chicago Book Review, we hope to help readers find interesting new titles that otherwise might go unexplored. By reviewing titles from local publishers and local authors, as well as those books that have some other Chicago-area angle, we hope to bring to light new books and new authors that readers can discover. Over the past few months, we’ve reviewed a number of great titles—any one (or two or three) of which would make great additions to holiday wish lists. And so we are pleased to provide this 2013 holiday reading list. You can find reviews of each of these books on the site.

While perusing this list, look to your left and check out the links to local publishers and local bookstores. We hope you think local when shopping for your favorite books.

Shop Local. Read Local.

General Fiction

  • Vintage Attraction by Charles Blackstone (Pegasus Books)
  • Recalled to Life by Dan Burns (Eckhartz Press)
  • Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan (Sourcebooks)
  • The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (Sourcebooks)
  • Long Division by Kiese Laymon (Agate Publishing)
  • The One-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier (Sourcebooks)
  • Murder_at__Rosamund¹s_Gate_revised_2The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow (Sourcebooks)


  • Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold by Tim Chapman (Allium Press)
  • A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
  • Havana Lost by Libby Fischer Hellmann (The Red Herrings Press)
  • Buried Truth by Gunter Kaesdorf (Cambridge Books)


  • Highly Recommended by Paul Rand (McGraw-Hill)


  • The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie by Paula Haney (Agate Publishing)


  • Bela Tarr, The Time After by Jacques Rancière (Univocal Publishing)


  • Power Vegan by Rea Frey (Agate Publishing)

9781613744574 hi res cover imageHistory

  • City Water, City Life by Carl Smith (University of Chicago Press)
  • Code Name Pauline by Pearl Witherington Cornioley (Chicago Review Press)
  • Home Front Girl by Joan Wehlen Morrison (Chicago Review Press)
  • Swastika Nation by Arnie Bernstein (St. Martin’s Press)

Local Interest

  • Chicago Skyscrapers by Thomas Leslie (University of Illinois Press)
  • WSC_cvr_webresGold Coast Madam by Rose Laws (Lake Claremont Press)
  • Hollywood on Lake Michigan by Michael Corcoran and Arnie Bernstein (Chicago Review Press)
  • The Supper Club Book by Dave Hoekstra (Chicago Review Press)
  • Wisconsin Supper Clubs by Ron Faiola (Agate Publishing)


  • You Were Never in Chicago by Neil Steinberg (University of Chicago Press)
  • Zen Under Fire by Marianne Elliott (Sourcebooks)



  • Chicago Flashbulbs by Cory Franklin, MD (Academy Chicago)
  • County by David Ansell, MD (Academy Chicago Publishers)
  • Every Day is Election Day by Rebecca Sive (Chicago Review Press)
  • First Son by Keith Koeneman (University of Chicago Press)
  • C_Koeneman_FirstSon_9780226449470_jkt_MBGolden by Jeff Coen and John Chase (Chicago Review Press)


  • Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson (InterVarsity Press)
  • Undone by Laura Sumner Truax (InterVarsity Press)

Science & Nature

  • The Art of Migration by Peggy Macnamara (University of Chicago Press)
  • Art of MigrationThe Longevity Seekers by Ted Anton (University of Chicago Press)


  • Portraits from the Park by Thomas Harney (Columbia College Chicago Press)
  • Ramblers by Michael Lenehan (Agate Publishing)
  • HarneyWrigley Field: The Centennial by Les Krantz (Triumph Books)


  • Expressionista by Jackie Walker and Pamela Dittmer McKuen (Simon & Schuster)

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