Tag Archives: summer preview

Chicago Book Review’s Summer 2016 Preview

CBR_Logo2If winter makes us bibliophiles dream about curling up on a cozy sofa under a warm blanket and reading a good book in front of a crackling fire, well, then, summer has us dreaming about kicking back on a chaise lounge with a tall glass of something cold and reading a good book under a canopy of shady trees.

Or maybe that’s just me.

No matter where your summer dreams take you—back yard, beach, poolside, inside with the a/c blasting—reading a good book is easy when you have dozens of new releases to choose from. And that’s just what we have here in our 2016 Summer Preview.

This annual guide is, as usual, packed with a whole lotta titles from local authors and local publishers, as well as new books that tackle local subject matter. That’s not to say that these books don’t have wider appeal because they do. In this wonderful, fabulous, lovely long list, readers from all walks of life with all manner of interests can find something enticing. Fiction and nonfiction. For adults and kids of all ages.

This month-by-month list will have you adding all sorts of good books to your to-read pile between now and September, a sunny season full of opportunities to explore new authors and #ReadLocal.


9 arts_978-1-4964-0576-0The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations
by Mary Schaller and John Crilly
$15.99, paperback, 256 pages
Tyndale House: Evangelism
It can feel scary, awkward, and uncomfortable as we try to navigate loaded questions and different perspectives in conversations with people who have different beliefs than us. Drawing straight from the life and ministry of Jesus, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations offers simple practices to help you build relationships with people who believe differently and encourages readers to create a safe space to have natural, loving, and spiritual conversations with others.

bob-segers-house-and-other-storiesBob Seger’s House and Other Stories
Michael Delp and M. L. Liebler (eds.), foreword by Charles Baxter
$24.99, paperback, 376 pages
Wayne State University Press/Made in Michigan Writers Series: Fiction
Bob Seger’s House and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by some of Michigan’s most well-known fiction writers. This collection of twenty-two short stories serves as a celebration not only of the tenth anniversary of the Made in Michigan Writers Series in 2016 but also of the rich history of writing and storytelling in the region.

by Zofia Nalkowska (translated by Ursula Phillips)
$35.95, paperback, 272 pages
Northern Illinois University Press: Literature in Translation
Available for the first time in English, Zofia Nalkowska’s modernist novel, Boundary, was originally published as Granica in Poland in 1935. Nalkowska was a pioneer of feminist fiction in Central Europe. Her observation of inequality in the treatment of men and women is at the heart of Boundary, which explores a transgressive love affair and its repercussions.

brazil_9781608463602.01_0Brazil’s Dance With the Devil
by Dave Zirin
$17.95, paperback, 276 pages
Haymarket Books: Culture & Media
The people of Brazil celebrated when they learned that in the space of two years their country would host the world’s two largest sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn’t seen in decades. Relying on fieldwork from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin exposes how sports and politics have collided in spectacular fashion. This updated edition examines the final tally of debt and displacement that accompanied the 2014 World Cup, eyewitness accounts of the militarized police crackdown, and new reporting on the pre-Olympic plans in cities across Brazil.

broken-ground-9781476794839_lgBroken Ground
by Karen Halvorsen Schreck
$14.99, paperback, 336 pages
Howard Books: Fiction
When a young oil rig widow escapes her grief and the Texas Dust Bowl, she discovers a surprising future—and new passion—awaiting her in California in this lyrically written romance by the local author of Sing for Me. Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start.

downstate dealmakersThe Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois
by Robert E. Hartley
$27.50, paperback, 208 pages
Southern Illinois University Press: History
From 1945 to 1975, downstate lawmakers dominated the Illinois political arena. In The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois, Robert E. Hartley details the lives and contributions of three influential southern Illinois politicians: Paul Powell, Clyde Choate, and John Stelle. The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois is a vivid, straightforward tale of fighting in the legislative chambers, backstabbing behind the scenes, and trading special favors for votes in pursuit of not only personal gain but also the advancement of a regional agenda.

gates harvard_9781616894641Gates of Harvard Yard
by Blair Kamin (ed.), foreword by Ann Marie Lipinski
$15.95, paperback, 96 pages
Princeton Architectural Press: Essays/Architecture
Offering the complete, never-before-told story of the twenty-five gates that form portals to Harvard Yard, this beautiful gift book recounts the aesthetic vision for America’s preeminent university. Written by Pulitzer prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, the book discusses the architectural intentions of the gates, as well as the human drama behind their fruition—tales of wealth, power, and institutional and personal ambition. Illustrated with previously unpublished sketches by Roger Erickson, architect and landscape architect; stunning color photographs of each gate by Ralph Lieberman; and a beautiful hand-drawn three-dimensional aerial map of Harvard Yard that denotes the location of each gate by RISD graduate student Christopher Beck.

great-lakes-island-escapes_0Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure
by Maureen Dunphy
$29.99, paperback, 272 pages
Wayne State University Press: Great Lakes/Travel
Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure explores in depth more than thirty of the Great Lakes Basin islands accessible by bridge or ferry and introduces more than fifty additional islands. Includes helpful information about getting to each featured island, what to expect when you get there, the island’s history, and what natural and historical sites and cultural attractions are available to visitors. Each chapter lists special island events, where to get more island information, and how readers can help support the island.

Cocola_webPlaces in the Making: A Cultural Geography of American Poetry
by Jim Cocola
$55, paperback, 288 pages
University of Iowa Press: Cultural Studies
Places in the Making maps a range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American poets who have used language to evoke the world at various scales. Distinct from related traditions including landscape poetry, nature poetry, and pastoral poetry—which tend toward more idealized and transcendent lyric registers—this study traces a poetics centered upon more particular and situated engagements with actual places and spaces.

redemption roadRedemption Road: From Grief to Peace Through Walking the Camino de Santiago
by Brendan McManus, S.J.
$13.95, paperback, 195 pages
Loyola Press: Self-Improvement
Redemption Road is the story of a broken man putting one foot in front of the other as he attempts to let go of the anger, guilt, and sorrow that have been weighing him down. But the road to healing is fraught with peril: steep hills and intense heat, wrong turns and blistered feet. Worse still, a nagging leg injury could thwart Brendan’s ultimate goal of reaching the Camino’s end and honoring his brother in a symbolic act at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Constantly tempted to quit his quest, Brendan relies on the principles of Ignatian spirituality to guide him on his journey from desolation to consolation. For anyone going through the process of grieving, Redemption Road offers real hope—not that the path to peace will be easy, but that Christ, who himself suffered and died, will be with us every step of the way and lead us at last to wholeness and healing.

robert nixon chicagoRobert Nixon and Police Torture in Chicago, 1871–1971
by Elizabeth Dale
$32, hardcover, 184 pages
Northern Illinois University Press: History/Regional Studies
Elizabeth Dale uncovers the lost history of police torture in Chicago between the Chicago Fire and 1971, tracing the types of torture claims made in cases across that period. To show why the criminal justice system failed to adequately deal with many of those allegations of police torture, Dale examines one case in particular, the 1938 murder trial of Robert Nixon.

a-self-made-man-9781476777252_lgA Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809–1849
by Sidney Blumenthal
$35, hardcover, 576 pages
Simon & Schuster: History/Biography
The first of a multi-volume history of Lincoln as a political genius—from his obscure beginnings to his presidency, assassination, and the overthrow of his post-Civil War dreams of Reconstruction. This first volume traces Lincoln from his painful youth, describing himself as “a slave,” to his emergence as the man we recognize as Abraham Lincoln. From his youth as a “newsboy,” a voracious newspaper reader, Lincoln became a free thinker, reading Tom Paine, as well as Shakespeare and the Bible, and studying Euclid to sharpen his arguments as a lawyer.

cards bucket_9781629371979The St. Louis Cardinals Fans’ Bucket List
by Dan O’Neill, foreword by Adam Wainwright
$16.95, hardcover, 272 pages
Triumph Books: Sports
Every St. Louis Cardinals fan has a bucket list of activities to take part in at some point in their lives. But even the most die-hard fans haven’t done everything there is to experience in and around St. Louis. From visiting Ballpark Village to learning how to do an Ozzie Smith backflip, author Dan O’Neill provides ideas, recommendations, and insider tips for must-see places and can’t-miss activities near Busch Stadium. But not every experience requires a trip to St. Louis; long-distance Cardinals fans can cross some items off their list from the comfort of their own homes. Whether you’re attending every home game or supporting the Cards from afar, there’s something for every fan to do in The St. Louis Cardinals Fans’ Bucket List.

9780226314433Two Weeks in the Midday Sun: A Cannes Notebook
by Roger Ebert
$16, paperback, 200 pages
University of Chicago Press: Film Studies/Entertainment
More about people than movies, this book is an intimate, quirky, and witty account of the parade of personalities attending the 1987 festival—Ebert’s twelfth, and the fortieth anniversary of the event. Illustrated with Ebert’s charming sketches of the festival and featuring both a new foreword by Martin Scorsese and a new postscript by Ebert about an eventful 1997 dinner with Scorsese at Cannes, Two Weeks in the Midday Sun is a small treasure, a window onto the mind of this connoisseur of criticism and satire, a man always so funny, so un-phony, so completely, unabashedly himself.

Women in BlueWomen in Blue: 16 Brave Officers, Forensic Experts, Police Chiefs, and More
by Cheryl Mullenbach
$19.99, hardcover, 240 pages
Chicago Review Press: Juvenile Nonfiction
They were called sleuths in skirts, guardian mothers, copettes, and police in petticoats. It would be a long time—well over 150 years—before women in law enforcement were known simply as police officers. Balancing the stories of trailblazers from the past with those of today’s dedicated officers, chiefs, FBI agents, and forensics experts, this collection of riveting biographies traces the evolution of women in policing. Women in Blue is part of CRP’s Women of Action series for young adult readers.

you-may-see-a-strangerYou May See a Stranger
by Paula Whyman
$17.95, paperback, 216 pages
Northwestern University Press: Stories
Miranda Weber is a hot mess. In Paula Whyman’s debut collection of stories, we find her hoarding duct tape to ward off terrorists, stumbling into a drug run with a crackhead, and—frequently—enduring the bad behavior of men. A drivers’ education class pulsing with racial tension is the unexpected context of her sexual awakening. As she comes of age, and in the three decades that follow, the potential for violence always hovers nearby. She’s haunted by the fate of her disabled sister and—thanks to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, the wars in the Middle East, and sniper attacks—the threat of crime and terror in her hometown of Washington, DC. Miranda can be lascivious, sardonic, and maddeningly self-destructive, but, no matter what befalls her, she never loses her sharp wit or powers of observation, which illuminate both her own life and her strange, unsettling times.


adversity-and-justice_0Adversity and Justice
by Kevin M. Ball
$39.99, hardcover, 296 Pages
Wayne State University Press/Great Lakes Books Series: Legal History
More than a million individuals and thousands of businesses sought relief in the United States’ ninety-three bankruptcy courts in 2014, more than twenty-seven thousand of them in the Eastern District of Michigan. Adversity and Justice presents a chronological history of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the site of the city of Detroit’s landmark bankruptcy case.

the alliance 27381338The Alliance
by Jolina Petersheim
$22.99, hardcover, 364 pages
Tyndale House: Fiction
Midwestern author Jolina Petersheim looks at what happens when the outside world begins to besiege an Old Order Mennonite community after a national emergency takes America off the power grid and everyone must decide how far they are willing to go to protect their beliefs and their way of life.

Goats_CVR_feb26The Audacity of Goats
by J. F. Riordan
$24.95, hardcover, 396 pages
Beaufort Books: Literary Fiction
All is not well north of the tension line. A series of unsettling nighttime incidents have left the islanders uncertain whether to be nervous or annoyed. Are they victims of an elaborate teenage prank, or is there a malevolent stranger lurking on the island? Written by Midwestern author J. F. Riordan, Book 2 in the award-winning “North of the Tension Line” series, The Audacity of Goats, is the continuing tale of Fiona Campbell, and her reluctant adventures among the pleasures, mysteries, and exasperations of small town life in Door County, Wisconsin.

big hurt 9781629372297The Big Hurt’s Guide to BBQ and Grilling
by Frank Thomas
$19.95, paperback, 176 pages
Triumph Books: Cooking
Hall of Famer and Chicago icon Frank Thomas shares his passion for grilling and cooking with baseball fans everywhere for the first time. Grilling is perhaps as essential and synonymous with American culture as baseball itself, and Frank Thomas is ready to share all of his home run recipes. Whether you’re looking for barbecue basics or grilling greatness, these sizzling steaks, slow-cooked smoked ribs, and mouthwatering burgers are sure to please every palate, from healthy fare to hearty indulgences. Beautiful full-color photographs and easy-to-follow instructions set you up for culinary success alongside legendary former White Sox player Frank Thomas.

the curveThe Curve
by Jeremy Blachman and Cameron Stracher
$26.95, hardcover, 229 pages
Ankerwycke: Fiction
The Curve tells the story of students at Manhattan Law School, a decrepit institution on the edge of the toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, who are geographically-challenged and mad as hell—in debt up to their eyeballs and fighting over the few legal jobs left for those who are far outside the Ivy League. With its colorful cast of eccentrics and law school misfits, a satirical plot that, without too much of a stretch, could be ripped from the headlines, and a proven author duo who know this world and have six previous books between them, The Curve is a hugely entertaining and deeply felt novel that satirizes the current state of higher education and reads like a cross between Dangerous Minds and The Paper Chase.

9780253019394_medDealing With Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942–1989
by László Borhi (translated by Jason Vincz)
$68, hardcover, 562 pages
Indiana University Press: History/Politics/International Studies
Dealing With Dictators explores America’s Cold War efforts to make the dictatorships of Eastern Europe less tyrannical and more responsive to the country’s international interests. During this period, U.S. policies were a mix of economic and psychological warfare, subversion, cultural and economic penetration, and coercive diplomacy. Through careful examination of American and Hungarian sources, László Borhi assesses why some policies toward Hungary achieved their goals while others were not successful. The story of the process by which the transition from Soviet satellite to independent state occurred in Hungary sheds light on the dynamics of systemic change in international politics at the end of the Cold War.

roy imagination_0The End of Imagination
by Arundhati Roy
$19.95, paperback, 390 pages
Haymarket Books: Essays
The End of Imagination brings together five of Arundhati Roy’s acclaimed books of essays into one comprehensive volume for the first time and features a new introduction by the author. This new collection begins with her pathbreaking book The Cost of Livin—published soon after she won the Booker Prize for her novel The God of Small Things—in which she forcefully condemned India’s nuclear tests and its construction of enormous dam projects that continue to displace countless people from their homes and communities. The End of Imagination also includes her nonfiction works Power Politics, War Talk, Public Power in the Age of Empire, and An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, which include her widely circulated and inspiring writings on the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the need to confront corporate power, and the hollowing out of democratic institutions globally.

EBCoverThe Empty Bottle Chicago: 21+ Years of Music / Friendly / Dancing
John Dugan (ed.), foreword by John Darnielle
$34.95, hardcover, 200 pages
Curbside Splendor: Essays
A collection of stories contributed by the community of fans, former bartenders, bouncers, and performers, including The Flaming Lips, Interpol, OK Go, Low, Girl Talk, and more, retelling the eclectic history of one of Chicago’s landmark music venues. The collection also will include full-color photographs and images of old show posters and ephemera.

TheGoodDivide_Cover300The Good Divide
by Kali VanBaale
$15, paperback, 196 pages
MG Press: Fiction
In the lush countryside of Wisconsin, Jean Krenshaw is the ideal 1960s dairy farm wife. She cooks, sews, raises children, and plans an annual July 4th party for friends and neighbors. But when her brother-in-law Tommy, who lives next door, marries leery newcomer Liz, Jean is forced to confront a ten-year-old family secret involving the unresolved death of a young woman. With stark and swift prose, The Good Divide explores one woman’s tortured inner world, and the painful choices that have divided her life, both past and present, forever.

abernathyThe Inequality Equalizer
by Jena E. Abernathy
$27.95, hardcover, 327 pages
Ankerwycke: General Business/Career
Executive career coach Jena Abernathy, a nationally recognized leader in human capital management, performance excellence, and organizational development, shares the career advice you’ll wish someone had told you years ago. You’ll find insight that you never learned in grad school—and you’ll learn how to get real about getting ahead. Packed with real-world lessons and no-nonsense advice, The Inequality Equalizer shows employees what it takes to level the playing field, achieve their professional goals, and enjoy a long, successful career.

curiosity 27015411Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet
by H. P. Wood
$15.99, paperback, 368 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark: Historical Fiction
A hypnotic debut in turn-of-the-century Coney Island, where an abandoned girl collides with a disgruntled ménage of circus freaks. With shades of Water For Elephants and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet sweeps readers into a mesmerizing world where nothing is as it seems, and where “normal” is the exception to the rule.

NY1960CoverNew York, 1960
by Barry Gifford
$16.95, paperback, 90 pages
Curbside Splendor: Poetry
Barry Gifford’s newest collection of poetry captures the disarray of a life lived with passion, and in many places. In his signature laconic style, Gifford ponders serendipitous acquaintances, mourns the deaths of old friends and squandered relationships, and writes light and love-filled notes to his daughter and granddaughter. An evocative collection from an enduring voice.

978-1-63146-619-9- us usUs Versus Us
by Andrew Marin
$14.99, paperback, 240 pages
NavPress: Religion/Sexuality & Gender Studies
Written by local author Andrew Marin, a world-renowned voice on the intersection of faith and sexuality, this book provides ground-breaking findings for navigating a clear path forward in the battle regarding religion and the LGBT community in today’s culture.

supclubWisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round
by Ron Faiola
$35, hardcover, 224 pages
Agate Midway: Cooking/Regional
This highly anticipated follow up to the hugely popular Wisconsin Supper Clubs profiles fifty more family-owned establishments that exemplify Wisconsin’s beloved supper club tradition. Through interviews with the proprietors and local customers, author Ron Faiola once again takes readers deep into the world of this authentic upper Midwestern experience.


all but normalAll But Normal
by Shawn Thornton
$22.99, hardcover, 320 pages
Tyndale House Publishers: Memoir
A window into the masked realities of mental illness—a rare, untold perspective on the tempestuous nature of family life from behind closed doors—where a mother’s psychological and physical debilitations wreaked havoc throughout the dysfunctional childhood home in which her son grew up. This memoir also looks at how he came to embrace the underrated value of brokenness—and what led him to the profound life lesson that, when it comes to family, normal is a relative term. A heartwarming coming-of-age story, All But Normal is a powerful reminder that sometimes the “broken” people in our lives are the ones who need fixing the least.

chicago transformedChicago Transformed
by Joseph Gustaitis
$29.95, paperback, 368 pages
Southern Illinois University Press: History
Between 1913 and 1919, Chicago transitioned from a nineteenth-century city to the metropolis it is today, but this period in Chicago has not been documented adequately. Chicago Transformed: World War I and the Windy City fills this gap, covering the important wartime events, developments, movements, and people that helped shaped Chicago.

DiscoCoverDisco Demolition: The Night Disco Died
by Dave Hoekstra in collaboration with Steve Dahl, photographs by Paul Natkin, foreword by Bob Odenkirk
$34.94, hardcover, 200 pages
Curbside Splendor: Local History/Music
On July 12, 1979, more than 70,000 White Sox fans rushed the field at Comiskey Park to destroy disco records in retaliation of the genre’s recent rise to popularity to the detriment of rock music. Featuring more than thirty interviews conducted by legendary journalist Dave Hoekstra, with help from Steve Dahl, Disco Demolition examines the night that changed America’s disco culture forever.

9780830840991The Face of Forgiveness: A Pastoral Theology of Shame and Redemption
by Philip D. Jamieson
$18, paperback, 192 pages
InterVarsity Press: Practical Theology
Utilizing contemporary distinctions between shame and guilt, Philip Jamieson shows how traditional Western atonement models have frequently failed to deal adequately with the full extent of Christ’s victory. Jesus Christ has answered both the problem of human guilt and shame. It is only in facing Christ that we find our sins forgiven and receive a new identity. The author concludes by offering several strategies to aid Christians in understanding and appropriating the fullness of God’s loving and forgiving work.

9780830844654Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Struggle for the Soul of Civilization
by Os Guinness
$16, hardcover, 239 pages
InterVarsity Press: Cultural Analysis
More than ever, Christians must resist the negative cultural forces of our day with fortitude and winsomeness. What is needed is followers of Christ who are willing to face reality without flinching and respond with a faithfulness that is unwavering. Os Guinness describes these Christians as “impossible people,” those who have “hearts that can melt with compassion, but with faces like flint and backbones of steel who are unmanipulable, unbribable, undeterrable and unclubbable, without ever losing the gentleness, the mercy, the grace and the compassion of our Lord.”

9780807524565_Preschool-ChloeZoe-512x512It’s the First Day of Preschool, Chloe Zoe!
by Jane Smith
$12.99, hardcover, 32 pages
Albert Whitman: Picture Books
Chloe Zoe is starting preschool today, but she’s a little nervous. What if she doesn’t like it? Mommy tells her that she will get to sing songs, read stories, and paint pictures. But Chloe Zoe isn’t so sure. She’d rather stay at home and play with her little sister. Will Chloe Zoe discover how fun preschool is before the day is over?

by Chelsea Martin
$14.95, paperback, 200 pages
Curbside Splendor: Fiction
After breaking up with her boyfriend Mickey, a young woman struggles to situate her life and her art, and reach her estranged mother. Told in a series of vignettes, Mickey is one young woman’s journey to figuring out life (or not) amidst drunken mistakes, reality TV marathons, bathroom sex, and the daydreamed titles of imaginary art installations.

9781572841741_halal kitchenMy Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Lifestyle Inspiration
by Yvonne Maffei
$29.95, hardcover, 214 pages
Agate Surrey: Cooking
In this beautiful cookbook, Yvonne Maffei of MyHalalKitchen.com shares more than 100 halal-friendly recipes for classic dishes—from American comfort foods to French, Asian, Latin, and Italian favorites—as well as invaluable tips for sourcing (or making) halal substitutes.

Atheism cover - front cover 1000The Necessary Poetics of Atheism
by Martín Espada, Lauren Schmidt, and J. D. Schraffenberger
$15, paperback, 90 pages
Twelve Winters Press: Essays/Poetry
The authors discuss issues related to writing and publishing atheistic poetry in a culture dominated by Christianity, and also how poetry itself is a kind of religion. The collection grew out of the trio’s presentation at the North American Review Bicentennial Conference in 2015. The book includes a foreword by Andrew Sneddon and an introduction by Heid E. Erdrich.

Preston TuckerPreston Tucker and His Battle to Build the Car of Tomorrow
by Steve Lehto, foreword by Jay Leno
$27.99, hardcover, 272 pages
Chicago Review Press: Transportation/History
In the wake of World War II, the U.S. automobile industry was fully unprepared to meet the growing demands of the public, for whom they had not made any cars for years. In stepped Preston Tucker, a salesman extraordinaire who announced the building of a revolutionary new car: the Tucker ‘48, the first car in almost a decade to be built fresh from the ground up. Tucker’s car, which would include ingenious advances in design and engineering that other car companies could not match, captured the imagination of the public, and automakers in Detroit took notice. Steve Lehto presents the first comprehensive, authoritative account of the Tucker ’48, its downfall, and its lasting legacy.

russian realismRussian Realisms
by Molly Brunson
$59, paperback, 264 pages
Northern Illinois University Press: Russian Studies/Art History/Literature
In this original study, Molly Brunson traces many paths that converged to form the tradition of nineteenth-century Russian realism. Brunson integrates the lesser-known tradition of Russian painting with the familiar masterpieces of Russia’s great novelists, highlighting both the common ground in their struggles for artistic realism and their cultural autonomy and legitimacy.

you me 9781492638858You and Me, Always
by Jill Mansell
$14.95, paperback, 384 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark: Fiction
On Lily Harper’s twenty-fifth birthday, she receives the last letter written by her deceased mother—all about the first and only love of her life. Before long, secrets begin to emerge, and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again.


come to the tableCome to the Family Table
by Ted & Amy Cunningham
$14.99, paperback, 224 pages
NavPress: Family
Prioritizing mealtime slows us down long enough to enjoy our food, each other, and Jesus. Inspired by the slow food movement, Come to the Family Table seeks to encourage families with intentional strategies to engage one another and create the table as a space for practical ministry to their community.

Courageous Women of the Civil WarCourageous Women of the Civil War: Soldiers, Spies, Medics, and More
by M. R. Cordell
$19.99, hardcover, 256 pages
Chicago Review Press: Juvenile Nonfiction
Courageous Women of the Civil War reveals the exploits of sixteen of these remarkable women who served as medics, spies, battlefield helpers, and even soldiers on the front lines. Meet fascinating figures such as Maria Lewis, a former slave who fled with the Union Army as it swept through Virginia. Disguised as white male soldier, she “put the fear of Hell” into Confederate enemies. Kady Brownell supported her husband’s Rhode Island regiment as a vivandière, training with the soldiers, fighting in battle, and helping the injured. Mary Carroll, a Missouri Rebel, forged a copy of a jail cell key to break her brother out before his scheduled execution.These and other little-known stories are told through gripping narrative, primary source documents, and contextualizing sidebars. Civil War history is woven throughout, offering readers a clear overview of the era and the war.

darkness knows 26213995The Darkness Knows
by Cheryl Honigford
$15.99, paperback, 352 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark: Mystery
It’s October 1938, and radio is king. Vivian Witchell is determined to be a star, and with her new role in the popular detective serial The Darkness Knows, everything she’s dreamed of is finally within her grasp. Until the night she steps into the employee lounge and stumbles upon the body of the station’s biggest—and most reviled—actress. Clutched in the dead woman’s hand is a threatening letter that targets Vivian as the next victim. Suddenly, Viv’s biggest worry isn’t remembering her lines—it’s staying alive.

Stuart_SkidRow_9780226370811_jkt_MBDown, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row
by Forrest Stuart
$27.50, hardcover, 352 pages
University of Chicago Press: Political Science/Current Events
This book presents a close-up look at the hows and whys of policing poverty in the contemporary United States. Stuart reveals a situation where a lot of people on both sides of this issue are genuinely trying to do the right thing, yet often come up short—sometimes in ways that do serious harm.


The Five Life Decisions: How Economic Principles and 18 Million Millennials Can Guide Your Thinking
by Robert Michael
$20, paperback, 232 pages
University of Chicago Press: Economics/Self-Improvement/
Using basic economic concepts and data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Robert T. Michael provides a framework for young adults who want to make better decisions about college, career, partners, parenting, and health.

9780830846085The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places
by Mark Yaconelli
$16, paperback, 151 pages
InterVarsity Press: Self-Help
In many ways society teaches us to try to have everything under our control. If we are honest, we tend to think that this can be true even of our spiritual lives. Using extraordinary stories from his own life and the lives of others, Yaconelli offers a narrative journey through ways in which disappointments have turned into gifts. In these pages are is wealth of spiritual practices that will carry us deeper into the grace we find in unexpected places.

9780807533888_IsItSukkotYetIs It Sukkot Yet?
by Chris Barash;
 illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
$16.99, hardcover, 32 pages
Albert Whitman: Picture Books
The first sights of fall arrive—pumpkins, gourds, and colorful leaves—and that means Sukkot
is almost here. Sukkot is the Jewish holiday celebrating the fall harvest and commemorating the time when the children of Israel spent forty years wandering the desert and living in temporary shelters (rebuilt as a sukkah during Sukkot). Soft illustrations and thoughtful, gentle text pair for a charming invitation for children to celebrate the joyful holiday.

lennon vs usaJohn Lennon vs. The USA
by Leon Wildes, foreword by Michael Wildes
$35, hardcover, 267 pages
Ankerwycke: History/Legal Studies
For the first time, noted New York immigration attorney Leon Wildes tells the incredible story of this landmark case—John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.—that set up a battle of wills between John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and President Richard Nixon. Although Wildes did not even know who John Lennon and Yoko Ono were when he was originally retained by them, he developed a close relationship with them both during the eventual five-year period while he represented them and thereafter. This is their incredible story.

KanferF16A Prairie State of Mind
by Larry Kanfer
$34.95, hardcover, 128 pages
University of Illinois Press: Photography
With A Prairie State of Mind, celebrated photographer Larry Kanfer shows the American heartland as he can, taking readers over fields fertile and fallow and through the eternal cycle of the seasons.

9781250089588Sorrow Road
by Julia Keller
$25.99, hardcover, 368 pages
Minotaur Books: Fiction
In 1944, three young men from a small town in West Virginia are among the American forces participating in D-Day, changing the fortunes of the war with one bold stroke. How is that moment aboard a Navy ship as it barrels toward the Normandy shore related to the death of an old man in an Appalachian nursing home seventy-two years later? In Sorrow Road, the latest mystery from Pulitzer Prize-winning local author Julia Keller, two stories—one set in the turbulent era of World War II and one in the present day—are woven together to create a piercingly poignant tale of memory and family, of love and murder.


9780226396699The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age
by Bill Dahl
$35, hardcover, 224 pages
University of Chicago Press: Art/Music
This stunning book charts the rich history of the blues, through the dazzling array of posters, album covers, and advertisements that have shaped its identity over the past hundred years. The blues have been one of the most ubiquitous but diverse elements of American popular music at large, and the visual art associated with this unique sound has been just as varied and dynamic. There is no better guide to this fascinating graphical world than longtime music journalist and historian Bill Dahl.

WelkerF16Baring Witness: 36 Mormon Women Talk Candidly About Love, Sex, and Marriage
by Holly Welker (ed.)
$19.95, paperback, 320 pages
University of Illinois Press: Religion/Current Events
In Baring Witness, Welker and thirty-six Mormon women speak to a diversity of life experiences: what happens when one partner rejects Church teachings; marrying outside one’s faith; the pain of divorce and widowhood; the horrors of spousal abuse; the hard journey from visions of an idealized marriage to the everyday truth; sexuality within Mormon marriage; how the pressure to find a husband shapes young women’s actions and sense of self. An unflinching look at the earthly realities of an institution central to Mormon life.

boy 9Boy, 9, Missing
by Nic Joseph
$15.99, paperback, 336 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark: Fiction
This suspenseful debut explores the ramifications of revenge, justice, and the aftermath of a terrible night in the lives of two families. It should have been just a quiet evening with friends. But Francis lost his brother that night in what was ruled a tragic accident. He’s tried to move on in the past twenty-three years, even though his father certainly hasn’t. Indeed, his father still blames the lone witness, Sam, the nine-year-old son of friends. Perhaps if Sam would have just said something, anything, about what happened that night, but Sam still seems unable—or unwilling—to utter a word about the accident. And now, twenty-three years later, Sam’s own nine-year-old son has disappeared.

chicago block 9780226385853Chicago’s Block Clubs: How Neighbors Shape the City
by Amanda I. Seligman
$30, paperback, 312 pages
University of Chicago Press: History/Social Science
Omnipresent yet evanescent, block clubs are sometimes the major outlets for community organizing in the city—especially in neighborhoods otherwise lacking in political strength and clout. Drawing on the stories of hundreds of these groups from across the city, Seligman vividly illustrates what neighbors can—and cannot—accomplish when they work together.

9780226384429Debating Darwin
by Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse
$30, hardcover, 320 pages
University of Chicago Press: Science/History
Charles Darwin is easily the most famous scientist of the modern age, and his theory of evolution is constantly referenced in many contexts by scientists and nonscientists alike. And yet, despite how frequently his ideas are evoked, there remains a surprising amount we don’t know about the father of modern evolutionary thinking, his intellectual roots, and the science he produced. Debating Darwin seeks to change that, bringing together two leading Darwin scholars—Robert J. Richards and Michael Ruse—to engage in a spirited and insightful dialogue, offering their interpretations of Darwin and their critiques of each other’s thinking.

grant parkGrant Park
by Leonard Pitts
$16, paperback, 408 pages
Agate Bolden: Fiction
This is the first paperback edition of Grant Park, the critically acclaimed third novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. Pitts delivers a powerful, emotionally resonant story that follows two veteran journalists whose personal stories extend from Martin Luther King’s final days in Memphis to the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama.

natural heritage illinoisThe Natural Heritage of Illinois: Essays on Its Lands, Waters, Flora, and Fauna
by John E. Schwegman
$24.50, paperback, 240 pages
Southern Illinois University Press: Nature
A collection of ninety-four essays on the lands, waters, plants, and animals of Illinois, this book discusses how wind, water, glaciers, earthquakes, fire, and people have shaped Illinois’ landforms, natural habitats, and rivers and streams, and the ways in which native plants and animals have thrived, survived, or died out.

VirginityofFamousMen_HC_r7The Virginity of Famous Men
by Christine Sneed
$26, hardcover, 320 pages
Bloomsbury USA: Fiction/Stories
The Virginity of Famous Men, award-winning story writer Christine Sneed’s deeply perceptive collection on the human condition, features protagonists attempting to make peace with the paths they have taken thus far. Long intrigued by love and loneliness, Sneed leads readers through emotional landscapes both familiar and uncharted. These probing stories are explorations of the compassionate and passionate impulses that are inherent in—and often the source of—both abiding joy and serious distress in every human life.

—Kelli Christiansen



Filed under feature

Chicago Book Review’s Summer 2015 Preview

CBR_Logo2A hammock, a tall glass of something cold, and a book. That sounds like pretty much the perfect summer day.

With so many books coming from so many local authors and publishers, you can fill your beach bag with a summer-full of reading material (from your local bookstore, of course) and #ReadLocal all season long.

Here at Chicago Book Review, we once again asked area publishers to share information about some of their hottest upcoming titles. The result is CBR’s Summer 2015 Preview, a month-by-month listing of some of the most exciting books coming out from local authors and local publishers between now and Labor Day. In the list below, you’ll find information about books covering an interesting array of subject matter, fiction and nonfiction, for adults, young adults, and children alike. CBR’s Summer 2015 Preview promises something for every reader—books from local authors and publishers that are sure to please, whether you’re at the beach, at the cottage, or hanging out on the back porch or at the pool.

Happy Reading!

Almost Crimson_CoverAlmost Crimson

by Dasha Kelly
$15.95, paperback,  300 pages
Curbside Splendor: Fiction
From a young age, CeCe copes with her mother’s crippling depression, their severe poverty, an absentee father, and her own insecurities. With gorgeous language, a vivid cast, and an eye for poignant detail, Dasha Kelly brilliant debut tells the story of CeCe’s struggle to break free from codependency and poverty to find confidence and success in life and love.

Big Venerable
by Matt Rowan
$14.99, paperback, 258 pages
Chicago Center for Literature and Photography: Short Stories
A darkly surreal yet absurdly funny short-fiction writer, Matt Rowan has been a Chicago local secret for years. This latest collection of pieces, all of which originally appeared in the pages of the CCLaP Weekender in 2014 and ‘15, is set to garner him the national recognition his stories deserve, a Millennial George Saunders who is one of the most popular authors in the city’s notorious late-night literary performance community.

Bowie on Bowie 9781569769775Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters with David Bowie
by Sean Egan (Ed.)
$28.95, hardcover, 432 pages
Chicago Review Press: Music/Biography
Bowie on Bowie presents some of the best interviews David Bowie has granted in his near five-decade career. Each featured interview traces a new step in his unique journey, successively freezing him in time in all of his various incarnations, from a young novelty hit-maker and Ziggy Stardust to plastic soul player, 1980s sell-out, and the artistically reborn and beloved elder statesman of challenging popular music.

chicago-and-its-botanic-gardenChicago and Its Botanic Garden: The Chicago Horticultural Society at 125
by Cathy Maloney
$35, hardcover, 280 pages
Northwestern University Press: Local Interest
Chicago and Its Botanic Garden: The Chicago Horticultural Society at 125 is a lushly illustrated and thoughtful history of the Society and its evolution from a producer of monumental flower and botanical shows, through a fallow period, to the opening in 1972 of the Chicago Botanic Garden, a living museum and world leader in horticulture, plant science and conservation, education, and urban agriculture. Author Cathy Jean Maloney combines meticulous scholarship with a flair for storytelling in a narrative that will delight everyone from casual strollers of the grounds to the volunteers, professionals, and scientists who compose the influential society.

Cuba’s Racial Crucible: The Sexual Economy of Social Identities, 1750–2000
by Karen Y. Morrison
$80, hardcover, 372 pages
Indiana University Press: Cultural Studies
Cuba’s Racial Crucible explores the historical dynamics of Cuban race relations by highlighting the racially selective reproductive practices and genealogical memories associated with family formation. Karen Y. Morrison reads archival, oral-history, and literary sources to demonstrate the ideological centrality and inseparability of race, nation, and family, in definitions of Cuban identity.

detective's assistantThe Detective’s Assistant
by Kate Hannigan
$17, hardcover 368 pages
Little, Brown for Young Readers: Children’s Fiction
Hyde Park resident Kate Hannigan’s latest is The Detective’s Assistant, which tells the story of eleven-year-old Nell, who comes to live with her remarkable aunt, Kate Warne, America’s first woman detective, and joins her on wild adventures.

The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic
by Jessica Hopper
$17.95, paperback, 250 pages
Featherproof Books: Essays/Criticism
With this premiere volume, spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly’s past, The First Collection leaves no doubt why the New York Times has called Hopper’s work “influential.” Not merely a selection of two decades of Hopper’s most engaging, thoughtful and humorous writing, this book serves as a document of the past twenty years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. Through this vast range of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music, the ideas in songs and albums, how fantasies of artists become complicated by real life, and just what happens when you follow that obsession into muddy festival fields, dank basements, corporate offices or court records.

Henry Ford's PlanHenry Ford’s Plan for the American Suburb: Dearborn and Detroit
by Heather B. Barrow
$38, hardcover, 230 pages
Northern Illinois University Press: History
Around Detroit, suburbanization was led by Henry Ford, who not only located a massive factory over the city’s border in Dearborn, but was the first industrialist to make the automobile a mass consumer item. The example of the Detroit metropolis asks whether the mass suburbanization, which originated there represented the “American dream,” and if so, by whom and at what cost.

In the All-Night Café: A Memoir of Belle and Sebastian’s Formative Year
by Stuart David
$15.95, paperback, 208 pages
Chicago Review Press: Music
Determined to make his living writing stories and songs, Stuart David had spent several years scraping by on the dole in his small, industrial hometown. Then he had the fateful idea to learn bass guitar, and to head for Glasgow in search of like-minded artists. In the All-Night Café describes his fortuitous meeting with the group’s cofounder Stuart Murdoch in a course for unemployed musicians. It tells of their adventures in two early incarnations of Belle and Sebastian and culminates in the recording of their celebrated debut album, Tigermilk.

circus rose metal pressIn the Circus of You: An Illustrated Novel-in-Poems
by Nicelle Davis and Cheryl Gross
$14.95, paperback, 105 pages
Rose Metal Press: Fiction
In the Circus of You is a deliciously distorted fun house of poetry and art by Nicelle Davis and Cheryl Gross. Both private and epic, this novel-in-poems explores one woman’s struggle while interpreting our world as a sideshow, where not only are we the freaks, but also the onlookers wondering just how “normal” we are—or ought to be. Davis’ poetry and Gross’ images collaborate over the themes of sanity, monogamy, motherhood, divorce, artistic expression, and self-creation to curate a menagerie of abnormalities that defines what it is to be human.

The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey: Memories from the Farm of My Youth
by Alan Guebert (with Mary Grace Foxwell)
$17.95, paperback, 152 pages
University of Illinois Press: Essays
“The river was in God’s hands, the cows in ours.” So passed the days on Indian Farm, a dairy operation on 720 acres of rich Illinois bottomland. In this collection, Alan Guebert and his daughter-editor Mary Grace Foxwell recall Guebert’s years on the land working as part of that all-consuming collaborative effort known as the family farm. Guebert’s heartfelt and humorous reminiscences depict the hard labor and simple pleasures to be found in ennobling work, and show that in life, as in farming, Uncle Honey had it right with his succinct philosophy for overcoming adversity: “the secret’s not to stop.”

madman 9781613730188The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth
by Scott Martelle
$24.95, hardcover, 240 pages
Chicago Review Press: History
Union cavalryman Boston Corbett became a national celebrity after killing John Wilkes Booth, but as details of his odd personality became known, he also became the object of derision. Over time, he was largely forgotten to history, a minor character in the final act of Booth’s tumultuous life. And yet Corbett led a fascinating life of his own, a tragic saga that weaved through the monumental events of nineteenth-century America. The Madman and the Assassin is the first full-length biography of Boston Corbett, a man thrust into the spotlight during a national news event and into an unwelcome transformation from anonymity to fame, and back to obscurity.

the stock theifThe Sock Thief
by Ana Crespo
$16.99, hardcover, 32 pages
Albert Whitman & Co.: Children’s
Felipe doesn’t have a soccer ball. So, when it’s his turn to take one to school, he uses a little bit of creativity… and a few socks. Felipe is the sock thief, but finding socks is not that easy and the neighborhood pets make it even harder. Felipe wonders if he’ll play soccer with his friends today or if he will be caught by a tattle-tale parrot.

Twilight of the Idiots
by Joseph G. Peterson
$14.99, paperback, 228 pages
Chicago Center for Literature and Photography: Short Stories
Just as the doomed sailors of Homer’s Odyssey fail to heed one or the other of these maxims, and end up getting turned to swine or lured to their peril by the singing sirens, so too do the doomed characters in Joseph G. Peterson’s new collection of stories fail idiotically in one way or another and end up, like those ancient sailors, facing the prospect of their own mortal twilight. Set mostly in Chicago and by turns gruesome, violent, comic, lurid, and perverse, these stories are suffused with a metaphorical light that lends beauty and joy to the experience of reading them.

Loyola Walking with JesusWalking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church
by Pope Francis
$22.95, hardcover, 160 pages
Loyola Press: Religion
In Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church, Pope Francis’s own words lead us to the answer. Francis urges us to make Jesus central in our individual lives and in the collective life of the Church—to walk toward him, and ultimately to walk with him at all times and in all places. Each chapter of this book helps us put one foot in front of the other as we move ever closer to God and to our neighbors through the sacraments, prayer, evangelization, the gifts of the Spirit, and service to others.

A Big Enough Lie
by Eric Bennett
$17.95, paperback, 296 pages
Northwestern University Press: Fiction
By turns comic, suspenseful, bitingly satirical, and emotionally potent, A Big Enough Lie pits personal mistruths against national ones of life-and-death consequence. Tracking a writer from the wilds of Florida to New York cubicles to Midwestern workshops to the mindscapes of Baghdad—and from love to heartbreak to solitary celebrity—Bennett’s novel probes our endlessly frustrated desire to grab hold of something (or somebody) true.

centralia 978-1-4143-9041-3Centralia
by Mike Dellosso
$14.99, paperback, 400 pages
Tyndale: Fiction
Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting, strange memories begin to surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t … before he loses everything.

The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy
by Susan S. Phillips
$17, paperback, 256 pages
InterVarsity Press: Christian Living
Sociology professor and spiritual director Susan Phillips walks us through the “circus” of our cultural landscape to invite us into a cultivated life of spirituality. If we want to accept the invitation to return to the garden, then we must face down the temptation to live life as spectators of the circus that plays on around us. We want to be rooted and grounded in Christ, but are pushed toward constant work, alternating between performance and spectacle. Cultivation requires a kind of attentiveness that is countercultural to our age of distraction.

Culture of Terrorism 9781608463985.01Culture of Terrorism
by Noam Chomsky
$23, paperback, 269 pages
Haymarket Books: Current Events
Using the Iran-contra scandal as an example, Chomsky shows how the United States has opposed human rights and democratization to advance its economic interests.

cupcake cousins 2Cupcake Cousins: Book 2, Summer Showers
by Kate Hannigan
$17, hardcover, 240 pages
Disney–Hyperion: Children’s Fiction
The cousins are back, this time for their aunt’s baby shower. But meddling big sisters, a lost family heirloom, and summer storms might soak their big plans. Do Delia and Willow have what it takes to win the County Fair baking contest and save the day?

Dead Letters Sent: Queer Literary Transmission
by Kevin Ohi
$27.50, paperback, 320 pages
University of Minnesota Press: Literature
By exploring how transmission of a minority sexual culture is intertwined with the queer potential of literary and cultural transmission, Dead Letters Sent builds a persuasive argument for the relevance of queer criticism to literary study.

caillebotte 9780226263557Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye
by Mary Morton and George Shackelford
$60, hardcover, 272 pages
University of Chicago Press: Art
This lush companion volume to the National Gallery of Art’s major new exhibition, coorganized with the Kimbell Art Museum, explores the power and technical brilliance of Caillebotte’s oeuvre. The book features fifty of Caillebotte’s strongest paintings, including post-conservation images of Paris Street; Rainy Day, along with The Floorscrapers and Pont de l’Europe.

Model Airplanes Are Decadent and Depraved: The Glue-Sniffing Epidemic of the 1960s
by Thomas Aiello
$35, paperback, 260 pages
Northern Illinois University Press: History
Thomas Aiello tells the story of the American glue-sniffing epidemic of the 1960s, from the first reports of use to the unsuccessful crusade for federal legislation in the 1970s. Just as quickly as it erupted, the epidemic stopped when the media coverage and public hysteria stopped, making it one of the most unique epidemics in American history.

Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain
by Bill Hillmann
$15.95, paperback, 200 pages
Curbside Splendor: Memoir
With a journalist’s ear for detail, master-storyteller “Buffalo” Bill Hillmann narrates his decade-long journey of self-discovery, exploring his transformation from wasted ex-Golden Gloves champ lost in street brawls and cocaine deals on the Chicago streets to running with a world-renowned crew of mozos, masters in the art of running with the bulls. Includes a first-hand account of his infamous goring.

music makkai 9780525426691Music for Wartime: Stories
by Rebecca Makkai
$26.95, hardcover, 240 pages
Viking: Fiction
Highly acclaimed Chicago-area author Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower, returns with a highly anticipated collection of short stories marked with her signature mix of intelligence, wit, and heart. Makkai has been anthologized four times in The Best American Short Stories as well as The Best American Nonrequired Reading. These wide-ranging and deeply moving stories—some inspired by her family history—will delight her many fans, as well as readers of Lorrie Moore, Jim Shepard, and Karen Russell.

nys3cover1400The New York Stories
by Ben Tanzer
$14.99, paperback, 224 pages
Chicago Center for Literature and Photography: Short Stories
In 2006, celebrated author Ben Tanzer began working on a series of short stories all set in the fictional upstate New York town of Two Rivers, most of them published in various literary journals over the years and eventually collected into three small volumes: Repetition Patterns (2008), So Different Now (2011), and After the Flood (2014). Now for the first time, all thirty-three of these stories have been put together into one paperback edition, highlighting the long-term planning of themes and motifs that Tanzer has been building into these pieces the entire time. Featuring dark character studies of childhood, middle age, and (lack of) grace under pressure, these stories are considered by many to be among the best work of Tanzer’s career, and voracious fans of his short work will surely be pleased and satisfied to have these small masterpieces collected together into one easy-to-read volume.

Paper Lantern
by Stuart Dybek
$14, paperback, 224 pages
Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux: Fiction
Operatically dramatic and intimately lyrical, grittily urban, and impressionistically natural, the varied fictions in Paper Lantern (now in paperback) all focus on the turmoil of love as only Dybek can portray it.

Road Trip cover - 1000Road Trip
by Lynette D’Amico
$12, paperback, 94 pages
Twelve Winters Press: Fiction
Myra Stark and Pinkie drive a 1984 Plymouth Turismo through Minnesota and Wisconsin, and along the way they pick up a battered hitchhiker, follow a detour into the darkly comic Stark family history, and veer off track more than once as they consider their complex past. Road Trip is a narrative of disappointment and failed rescues; about the ghosts that haunt us and the relationships we leave behind.

sensing chicago 9780252080753Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers
by Adam Mack
$25, paperback, 184 pages
University of Illinois Press: Regional Interest
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.

Still Throwing Heat: Strikeouts, the Streets, and a Second Chance
by J. R. Richard and Lew Freedman
$25.95, hardcover, 256 pages
Triumph Books: Sports
A flame-throwing star with the Houston Astros, J. R. Richard was at the top of his profession when he inexplicably began complaining of arm weakness in 1980. Initially scoffed at because he continued approaching 100 mph on the radar gun, everything changed when Richard collapsed while playing catch with a teammate—later diagnosed as a life-threatening stroke. The shocking development ended Richard’s major league career and set off a chain of events that led to the former All-Star being homeless by the mid-1990s. J. R. Richard tells that story now in his own words, including the highs and the lows of his brilliant athletic career, the difficulties that befell him on and off the field, abandonment by those he counted on after his stroke, the despair of losing everything, and his ultimate redemption and giving back to the community.

summer cooking 93284100005720LSummer Cooking
by The Chicago Tribune Staff (Eds.)
$24.95, hardcover, 224 pages
Agate Surrey: Cooking
Summer Cooking: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Picnics, Patios, Grilling and More is a one-of-a-kind guide for preparing delicious food that perfectly complements these warm summer days. Curated from the Chicago Tribune‘s extensive database of kitchen-tested recipes, this collection of portable appetizers, quick salads, grilled entrées, creative sides, and refreshing cocktails are ideal for anywhere the summer season takes you.

the time 978-1-4143-9984-3The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told
by Dikkon Eberhart
$15.99, paperback, 320 pages
Tyndale: Memoir
As the son of the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, Dikkon Eberhart grew up surrounded by literary giants. Dinner guests included, among others, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, W. H. Auden, and T. S. Eliot, all of whom flocked to the Eberhart house to discuss, debate, and dissect the poetry of the day. To the world, they were literary icons. To Dikkon, they were friends who read him bedtime stories, gave him advice, and, on one particularly memorable occasion, helped him with his English homework. Anxious to escape his famous father’s shadow, Dikkon struggled for decades to forge an identity of his own, first in writing and then on the stage, before inadvertently stumbling upon the answer he’d been looking for all along—in the most unlikely of places. Brimming with unforgettable stories featuring some of the most colorful characters of the Beat Generation, The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told is a winsome coming-of-age story about one man’s search for identity and what happens when he finally finds it.

by Bert Ashe
$15, paperback 256 pages
Agate Bolden: African-American Studies/Autobiography
This witty, illuminating, and deeply personal account of black male identity deals with an African-American professor’s mid-life experiences when he decides to lock his own hair, and also weaves in a cultural and political history of dreadlocks.

Dime Stories
by Tony Fitzpatrick
$29.95, hardcover, 175 pages
Curbside Splendor: Essays
Originally published as columns in Chicago’s Newcity magazine, the sixty essays and corresponding full-color artwork in Tony Fitzpatrick’s Dime Stories celebrate a life spent passionately devouring stories. Fitzpatrick’s work is as masterfully provocative as long-time fans have come to expect and subjects range from bird watching and getting tattoos, to walking his dog Mr. Cooch and dealing museum-collected art.

WWI pix 9780226284286The First World War: Unseen Glass Plate Photographs of the Western Front
by Carl De Keyzer and David Van Reybrouck (Eds.)
$65, hardcover, 280 pages
University of Chicago Press: History/Photography
A century after it began, we still struggle with the terrible reality of the First World War, often through republished photographs of its horrors: the muddy trenches, the devastated battlefields, the maimed survivors. Due to the crude film cameras used at the time, the look of the Great War has traditionally been grainy, blurred, and monochrome—until now. The First World War presents a startlingly different perspective, one based on rare glass plate photographs, that reveals the war with previously unseen, even uncanny, clarity.

A Giant Reborn
by Johan Van Overtveldt
$24.95, hardcover, 256 pages
Agate B2: Business/Economics
Acclaimed Belgium-based economic journalist Johan Van Overtveldt, author of The End of the EuroBernanke’s Test, and The Chicago School, makes the case for why the United States will continue to be the world’s sole superpower well into the 21st century, fending off China, Europe, and Russia.

Sourcebooks The Girl Who Wrote 9781492608332The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
by Kelli Estes
$14.99, paperback, 400 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark: Fiction
Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara’s life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core—and force her to make an impossible choice. Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.

Groove_HaymarketGroove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time
by Mark Abel
$28, paperback, 268 pages
Haymarket Books: Music & Culture
How does music relate to time? How does rhythm express our experience of time? Mark Abel addresses these questions through his account of the rise to prominence in Western music of a new way of organizing rhythm: groove. He provides a historical account of its emergence around the turn of the twentieth century, and analyses why it works musically.

lori-rader-day-author-little-pretty-thingsLittle Pretty Things
by Lori Rader-Day
$15.95, paperback, 298 pages
Seventh Street Press: Fiction
Juliet Townsend is stuck in a dead-end job cleaning at a cheap motel, stealing little pretty things that catch her eye—until her former best friend and rival, Madeleine Bell, checks in. By morning, Juliet is no longer jealous of Maddy—she’s the chief suspect in her murder.

Pretty Baby
by Mary Kubica
$24.95, hardcover, 384 pages
Harlequin (Mira Books): Fiction/Mystery/Suspense
Heidi Wood is the sort of uber-charitable woman that everyone would like to be. On a freezing Chicago morning, Heidi can’t help but notice a homeless teenage girl, shivering, with a crying baby clutched to her chest. Despite the fervent objections of her husband and daughter, Heidi invites the girl and her child to take refuge in their home. As days become weeks, and her husband begins to uncover clues about the girl’s past, it’s clear this person might not be who she claims. But with Heidi becoming more and more obsessed with the baby, she and her family are forced to decide just how far they are willing to go to help a complete stranger.

remember me 7232Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Black and White Intimacies in Antebellum America
by Sharony Green
$36, hardcover 200 pages/$24.94, paperback
Northern Illinois University Press: History
This fascinating study relies on surviving letters, among them those from an ex-slave mistress who sent her “love” to her former master, to uncover the complexities of antebellum interracial relationships and reveal new insights about the era of slavery.

We Speak: Proclaiming Truth in an Age of Talk
by Mike Baker, J. K. Jones and Jim Probst
$16, paperback, 189 pages
InterVarsity Press: Christian Living
Some of us speak out in our workplaces. Others in our schools or neighborhoods. Our audiences may vary in size, but we are all called to witness to Christ in us. Pastor Mike Baker puts it like this: “Jesus himself has commissioned each of us to be a witness for his kingdom. And every believer has a faith testimony—a story of how Jesus has made all the difference—compelling us to be his representatives.” Written in daily devotional style, this book is designed to be an encouragement and support as you identify and add your voice to the chorus.

grad school 9780226280905
57 Ways to Screw Up in Grad School: Perverse Professional Lessons for Graduate Students
by Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle
$15, paperback, 208 pages
University of Chicago Press: Education
When it comes to a masters or PhD program, most graduate students don’t deliberately set out to fail. Yet, of the nearly 500,000 people who start a graduate program each year, up to half will never complete their degree. Veteran graduate directors Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle have set out to demystify the world of advanced education. Taking a wry, frank approach, they explain the common mistakes that can trip up a new graduate student and lay out practical advice about how to avoid the pitfalls. Along the way they relate stories from their decades of mentorship and even share some slip-ups from their own grad experiences.

The Baghdad Lawyer: Fighting for Justice in Saddam’s Iraq
by Sabah Aris
$26.95, hardcover, 264 pages
Ankerwycke: Memoir
The Baghdad Lawyer is a memoir like no other. The Baghdad Lawyer depicts the challenges of trying to find justice in the shadow of constant political upheaval and the lawlessness this upheaval engenders. It also helps us understand where Iraq is as a country today—post-Saddam, post-Iraq, and in the age of ISIS—and how the events we currently read about in the headlines were seeded years before the world had ever heard of Saddam Hussein. While this book is by and about one of Iraq’s most famous trial lawyers, it is also—perhaps more importantly—about the Iraqi people and the country itself.

by Lindsay Cameron
$26.95, hardcover, 304 pages
Ankerwycke: Fiction
Mackenzie Corbett has always dreamed of living in New York City. Now, almost two years into her job as an associate at a premier Manhattan law firm, she’s living her fantasy—big salary, high-profile deals, cute boyfriend, designer bag on her arm. The giant bags under her eyes from lack of sleep don’t fit into the fantasy, though. To make matters worse, she’s being tormented by a bitter, bitchy senior associate, her cute boyfriend is annoyed she never has time for him, and now she’s stuck on the deal from hell with a partner whose biggest claim to fame is throwing a stapler at a cleaning lady because she touched his ficus plant. In this pitch-perfect, frightening accurate novel, Lindsay Cameron throws back the curtain to this intriguing world exposing the truth about life in Biglaw.

cold war 9781618214195The Cold War: Secrets, Special Missions, and Hidden Facts about the CIA, KGB, and MI6
by Stephanie Bearce
$8.95, paperback, 125 pages
Sourcebooks: Children’s Nonfiction
Learn the true stories of the Cold War and how spies used listening devices planted in live cats and wristwatch cameras. Discover how East Germans tried to ride zip lines to freedom, while the Cambridge Four infiltrated Britain and master spy catchers like Charles Elwell were celebrated. Then make your own secret codes and practice sending shoe messages.

The Great Prince Died: A Novel about the Assassination of Trotsky
by Bernard Wolfe
$18, paperback, 416 pages
University of Chicago Press: Fiction
In The Great Prince Died, Bernard Wolfe offers his lyrical, fictionalized account of Trotsky’s assassination as witnessed through the eyes of an array of characters: the young American student helping to translate the exiled Trotsky’s work (and to guard him), the Mexican police chief, a Rumanian revolutionary, the assassin and his handlers, a poor Mexican “peón,” and Trotsky himself. Drawing on his own experiences working as the exiled Trotsky’s secretary and bodyguard and mixing in digressions on Mexican culture, Stalinist tactics, and Bolshevik history, Wolfe interweaves fantasy and fact, delusion and journalistic reporting to create one of the great political novels of the past century.

Mapping Your Academic Career: Charting the Course of a Professor’s Life
by Gary M. Burge
$16, paperback, 144 pages
InterVarsity Press: Careers/Christian Living
In Mapping Your Academic Career Gary Burge speaks from decades of teaching, writing and mentoring. Along the way he has experienced and observed the challenges and tensions, the successes and failures of the academic pilgrimage. Now, with discerning wisdom and apt examples, he hosts the conversation he wishes he’d had when he started out as a college professor, identifying three cohorts or stages in the academic career and exploring the challenges, pitfalls and triumphs of each.

national jokerThe National Joker: Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Satire
by Todd Nathan Thompson
$29.50, hardcover, 200 pages
Southern Illinois University Press: Politics
Abraham Lincoln’s sense of humor proved legendary during his own time and remains a celebrated facet of his personality to this day. Indeed, his love of jokes—hearing them, telling them, drawing morals from them—prompted critics to dub Lincoln “the National Joker.” The political cartoons and print satires that mocked Lincoln often trafficked in precisely the same images and terms Lincoln humorously used to characterize himself. In this intriguing study, Todd Nathan Thompson considers the politically productive tension between Lincoln’s use of satire and the satiric treatments of him in political cartoons, humor periodicals, joke books, and campaign literature. By fashioning a folksy, fallible persona, Thompson shows, Lincoln was able to use satire as a weapon without being severely wounded by it.

The Pulp vs. The Throne
by Carrie Lorig
$15.95, paperback, 130 pages
Curbside Splendor: Poetry/Essays
In the boundless and strange The Pulp vs. The Throne, Carrie Lorig collides poetic and essay forms, and rides their cataclysmic energy through extremes of language and expression. Only there can writers and readers alike breathe, think, and grow. These complex, wildly attentive poems and essays form crises of intimacy that join our lives with Lorig’s exploding, essential imagination.

summer shermanThe Summer Sherman Loved Me
by Jane St. Anthony
$9.95, paperback, 144 pages
University of Minnesota Press: YA Fiction
A coming-of-age novel set in the early 1960s in Minneapolis, The Summer Sherman Loved Me is an honest look at the struggles of a twelve-year-old girl that transcends time. As Margaret tries to sort out various relationships in her life, readers join her in a journey discovering what it means to grow up.

stolen legacy.Def.LStolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin
by Dina Gold
$26.95, hardcover, 306 pages
Ankerwycke: History
Stolen Legacy is a non-fiction historical narrative centered around a German Jewish family’s legal battle to reclaim ownership of a building stolen from them by the Nazis in the 1930s. The building at Krausenstrasse 17/18 in Berlin was seized by a German businessman with direct ties to the very top of the Nazi Party hierarchy. The book, written by the daughter of one of the original owners of the building, details the history of the Wolff family’s ownership of the building, its confiscation by the Nazis, and the family’s fifty-year legal fight to reclaim ownership of the building, which was finally awarded to them in 2010.

—Kelli Christiansen


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