Tag Archives: YA

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’s Favorite Books of 2015

CBR_Logo2Chicago’s literary community is full of readers and writers, authors and agents, editors and publishers, publicists and marketers … a bevy of bibliophiles who read plenty of books during the course of any given year. We wanted to see what people have been reading, and so we asked a bunch of them what their favorite books of 2015 were. Some of their favorite books have local twists, others don’t, but they’re all favorites of some of the area’s finest literary forces. What you’ll find here is an interesting mix of titles for children, young adults, and grown-ups from some of the luminaries of Chicago’s lit scene. In addition to our Best Books of 2015 list (which will come out next week), our Summer 2015 Preview, our Fall 2015 Preview, and our 2015 Holiday Reading Guide, this list of a dozen titles proves to be yet another source of good reading.

So here goes: some of Chicago’s Favorite Books of 2015, brought to you by some of the area’s literary faves.


Layout 1Atlas of an Anxious Man
by Christoph Ransmayr
University of Chicago Press

1094Imagine if W. G. Sebald went on a trip around the world and you’d pretty much have this book. Atlas of an Anxious Man is a memoir, history, travelogue, and seemingly everything else imaginable, written in near-perfect prose and struggling with what it means to be human,
no matter the geography.
Noah Cruickshank, marketing manager, Open Books


before I go

Before I Go
by Colleen Oakley
Gallery Books

Mary Kubica-9

Before I Go tells the story of a young woman trying to find a new wife for her husband before she dies of cancer. Equal parts heartbreaking and humorous, I cherished Oakley’s endearing and true-to-life characters and truly admired the way she was able to bring joy to such a dark theme; she’s a gifted storyteller. An uplifting tearjerker that drew me in from the very first page.
Mary Kubica, bestselling author of The Good Girl and Pretty Baby


Binary Starbinary star
by Sarah Gerard
Two Dollar Radio


I read and reviewed nearly a hundred books in 2015 for our blog, but Sarah Gerard’s Binary Star easily stands out as one of the most memorable. Published by our neighbors in Ohio, the rapidly ascending indie press Two Dollar Radio, this semi-autobiographical tale recounts the sometimes darkly humorous horrors that come with twenty-something hipsters trying to grow up, in this case woven around a coast-to-coast road trip by a dysfunctional couple while our female narrator also struggles with an eating disorder. Poetic in its prose and like a trainwreck in its plot, this is a great example of all the daring things an indie publisher can get away with that mainstream presses can no longer afford to take a chance on.
Jason Pettus, owner, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography


bone-gapBone Gap
by Laura Ruby
Balzar + Bray
dana-kaye-headshot-croppedBone Gap is a beautiful work of magical realism, set in a rural town, about a girl who is kidnapped and the boy who witnessed the crime, but can’t seem to identify the kidnapper. Ruby has a unique and poignant voice, telling a story that’s both quiet and deceivingly high-concept.
Dana Kaye, founder of Kaye Publicity, Inc.


cover_girl_waits_with_gun_amy_stewartGirl Waits With Gun
by Amy Stewart
Houghton Mifflin

Kate Hannigan Head Shot small

This is historical fiction at its finest. Girl Waits With Gun tells the story of the real-life Kopp sisters, who in 1914 find their quiet world upended after their buggy collides with the automobile driven by a bullying local factory owner. After the sisters—sturdy Constance, pigeon-obsessed Norma, and the theatrical Fleurette—demand he set things right, the local bully begins a campaign of intimidation to scare the sisters off. But instead of backing down, the Kopps gloriously fight back. Stewart’s sly humor hooked me from the first pages, and I adored the unconventional charms and strengths of Constance and her sisters. An absorbing, fun read.
Kate Hannigan, author of the middle-grade historical detective novel The Detective’s Assistant (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015)


Daoud_MeursaultInvestigation-260x390The Meursault Investigation
Kamel Daoud
Other Press
_DSC0374 - Version 2The protagonist of this novel is Harun, the brother of ‘the Arab. Musa (with no name in The Stranger) is killed by Meursault, Albert Camus’s anti-hero in The Stranger. The opening line of The Stranger is “Mother died today.” Kamel’s The Meursault Investigation opens with “Mama is still alive today.” It is Daoud’s homage to Camus and a wonderful retelling of the story from the Arab’s perspective.
Syed Afzal Haider, senior editor, Chicago Quarterly Review, and author, To Be With Her


Needneed 20550148
 Joelle Charbonneau
Houghton Mifflin
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High School students join a new social networking site that grants them what they most Need, but as they soon learn, that gift comes with a hefty price. I found the story compelling—it reminds me of Lois Duncan’s thrillers for teenagers. So I recommended it to my twelve-year-old son, Alex, and he’s halfway through it already. I asked him what he thought and said, “I really just want to know what comes next!”
Susanna Calkins, author of The Masque of a Murderer (Lucy Campion mysteries/Minotaur-St. Martins)


nightingale 9780312577223The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin’s Press
Libby Hellmann
I couldn’t put it down. So sad. And brave. And surprising. In books about World War 2, we tend to overlook the fact that people in the occupied countries suffered as well. This was a gentle but
poignant reminder.
Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of The Incidental Spy,
a WW2 Novella


On the WayCyn+Vargas+-+On+The+Way
by Cyn Vargas
Curbside Splendor
McNair Headshot HiRes
In this compelling collection of contemporary short stories, Cyn Vargas plumbs the depths of loss, need, family, desire, and otherness, in situations great and small. Here is the man who works at the DMV and longs for the new driver behind the wheel; here is the daughter whose mother disappears while they are on a family trip to Guatemala; here is the young woman who comes face-to-face with her first abusive, then absent father at her grandmother’s funeral. There is no sugar coating on these stories, and that is part of what I love most about them. That, and the beautiful, straightforward voice and sense of story, the way Cyn lures me in with the ease of her storytelling, the way she holds me in the pages, reading, reading, reading, satisfied, but still (like her characters) wanting more.
Patricia Ann McNair, author of The Temple of Air


pretend-i-m-deadPretend I’m Dead
by Jen Beagin
Northwestern University Press
mare049 copy2Meet Mona, a twenty-four-year-old house cleaner. She falls in love with a heroin addict, she moves away, she meets odd characters, such as the hippies next door who build their own instruments and make their own “music.” I simply couldn’t put this book down; Beagin creates characters and situations so vividly, you can see them. Like the hippies—I could hear their awful music. Through Mona’s journey, she uncovers some deep-buried secrets. You’re crying for her and laughing through this book.
Mare Swallow, Executive Director, Chicago Writers Conference


Searching for Sundaysearching for sunday
by Rachel Held Evans
Thomas Nelson
Author photo 2-M
Fatigued by the culture wars, hypocrisy, and scandals, Rachel Held Evans lost interest in attending church but could never fully let go. In this timely, beautifully written book, Evans echoes the cry of her millennial peers as she wrestles with her uprooted faith and searches for a spiritual home. It’s difficult to leave the evangelical world because it is uniquely gifted at forging committed, generous community; but when that generosity does not extend to friends who are LGBTQ, feminists, immigrants, and from other disenfranchised corners of society, it’s difficult to reconcile the divide. I loved reading this book because, as a former evangelical, I could identify with the tension Evans describes.
Deborah Lee, author of Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism (Beacon Press, 2015)


And, although a writer shouldn’t necessarily insert herself into her own feature, one of my own favorites of 2015 …

fractureFracture: Life & Culture in the West, 1918–1928
by Philipp Blom
Basic Books
kelli-christiansenThe period between the wars (i.e., WWI and WWII) fascinates me, that strange mix of peace and optimism with war mongering and unfinished business. Philipp Blom divides this period into two spans: postwar and prewar, focusing on everything from music to technology to politics, noting that “progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia.” Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. A great read for history buffs—and for anyone who wants to understand both the times we’ve lived through and the times we’re living in.
—Kelli Christiansen, founder bibliobibuli, Chicago Book Review, and Chicago Publishing Network


So, what’s your favorite? Chime in with your favorite book of 2015. The 25th person to comment noting their favorite book of this year will win a $25 bookstore gift card to start 2016 off with a good book!

Happy Holidays—and Happy Reading!

—Kelli Christiansen


Filed under feature

CBR’s Fall 2015 Preview

CBR_Logo2It’s a little difficult to think about fall when, as I write this, the heat index is 89 degrees, the air conditioning is blasting, and the dog is outside sunning herself. But fall is indeed upon us, and publishers across Chicago and the Midwest have been busy putting together their fall lists.

We’ve been working on a list of our own here, too: our Fall 2015 Preview. To compile this extraordinary list, we asked local and regional publishers to share information about some of their key upcoming titles. The result is a month-by-month listing of some of the most exciting books coming out between September and December. CBR’s Fall 2015 Preview features more than five dozen books from more than two dozen publishers—publishers large and small publishing books across a variety of genres.

Our Fall 2015 Preview features books for readers of all ages and for readers whose interests lie in a variety of subjects, from YA to sports to history to mystery to romance to politics to self-help. You’ll find books of local interest as well, including new titles that focus on the Chicago Bears, Cook County Hospital, and Chicago’s Union Stockyards. You’ll find books that look beyond Chicago to Midwestern neighbors like Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. And you’ll find books from local authors, too, including Maggie Kast, Jerome Pohlen, and Michele Weldon.

So curl up with a good book and Read Local, whether you’re snuggling on the sofa under a warm blanket or wearing a cozy sweater while reading next to the outdoor fireplace or basking in the sun of a welcome Indian Summer day. There are plenty of books here to choose from—great reads from local authors and publishers that are sure to please.

Happy Reading!


Ara's Knights COVERAra’s Knights: Ara Parseghian and the Golden Era of Notre Dame Football
by Frank Pomarico and Ray Serafin; Foreword by Regis Philbin; Introduction by Gerry DiNardo
$19.95, paperback, 288 pages
Triumph Books
The ultimate insider’s account of a renowned coach and the athletes he inspired. With this memoir, former Notre Dame captain Frank Pomarico shares with readers what it was like to play for legendary coach Ara Parseghian, a leader whose guidance extended beyond the playing field and whose tips still inspire his players. The book culminates with the 1973 Sugar Bowl, the climactic and memorable game between Bear Bryant’s undefeated Alabama squad and Ara’s undefeated Fighting Irish. Pomarico’s story is amplified by interviews with dozens of former players and coaches whose lives were changed by their experience with the coach. Parseghian was one of the most successful college coaches ever, and the young men who played for him learned about much more than just blocking and tackling. Ara’s Knights is the ultimate insiders’ look at one of the great periods in Notre Dame football history.

are you still there 25361860Are You Still There
by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
$16.99, hardcover 288 pages
AW Teen/Albert Whitman
Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large. And everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends? Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse, she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him? Or will she be too late?

The Axeman
9781492609162-300by Ray Celestin
$14.99, paperback, 448 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark
The Yard meets The Maid’s Version in this debut historical thriller based on actual ev  ents. A serial killer stalks New Orleans, threatening to strike again unless the citizens follow the twisted demands he brazenly publishes in the Times-Picayune. Three individuals set out to stop his killing spree—the official police detective with a dangerous secret, the mafia man newly released from prison, and the unlikely young female sleuth. Will they unmask the killer before he chooses another victim? Or will they find themselves on the wrong end of his ax?

behind the smileBehind the Smile: A Story of Carol Moseley Braun’s Historic Senate Campaign
by Jeannie Morris
$27, hardcover, 384 pages
In 1992, Carol Moseley Braun became the first, and to this day only, African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Behind the Smile is the riveting campaign-trail memoir of a journalist coming to grips with the shortcomings of an ascendant politician—a charismatic trailblazer whose personal relationship with a key staffer led to her undoing. The narrative unfolds as the personal journey of a sympathetic reporter reconciling her own belief in an inspiring figure with her responsibility to deliver the facts. In Behind the Smile, Morris brings the social and political impact of Moseley Braun’s story—from her meteoric rise to her eventual downfall—into clear focus.

burn girl 25335399Burn Girl
by Mandy Mikulencak
$16.99, hardcover, 288 pages
AW Teen/Albert Whitman
Arlie’s face was disfigured by burns when her stepfather’s meth lab exploded. After that, Arlie discovered the street smarts and survival skills she needed to shelter her addict mother, since the law and Lloyd, her deranged stepfather, are both looking for them. People died in the explosion, and everyone wants answers. But Arlie’s carefully constructed world is ripped apart when her mother overdoses shortly after Arlie’s sixteenth birthday. Now she can no longer remain hidden. Social Services steps in and before Arlie can make sense of anything, she is following the rules, going to school, and living in a 31-foot Airstream trailer with an eccentric uncle she didn’t even know she had. Then she meets a boy who doesn’t care about her scars or her past. Just when she begins to think a normal life might be possible, Lloyd shows up. He’s looking for the drug money he insists Arlie’s mother stole. Will Arlie be able to shield her Uncle and her boyfriend from Lloyd? Did Lloyd somehow play a role in her mother’s death? And can she get rid of him once and for all before her world blows apart again?

The Chase CoverThe Chase: How Ohio State Captured the First College Football Playoff
by Bill Rabinowitz; Foreword by Kirk Herbstreit
$24.95, paperback, 288 pages
Triumph Books
This inside look at an unprecedented season follows Ohio State’s road to the inaugural College Football Playoff and the national championship In The Chase, Bill Rabinowitz takes readers inside Ohio State’s improbable championship season, from the final moments of their 2014 Orange Bowl loss to Clemson to the championship celebration in Arizona a year later. Fans will learn how Ohio State overcame the loss of not one but two quarterbacks—gaining inside perspective behind the dynamic between Miller, J. T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones. Rabinowitz captures the mood of the team in late November following the tragic death of Kosta Karageorge, and profiles other Ohio State stars, including Joey Bosa, Michael Bennett, Ezekiel Elliott, and more.

Christmas in Illinois
by James Ballowe (Ed.)
BalloweF10$16.95, paperback, 224 pages
University of Illinois Press
James Ballowe collects writing about the Christmas is remembered by Illinoisans. Some are widely familiar—John W. Allen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Mike Royko, Carl Sandburg, Joseph Smith—but most are known only in their close-knit communities that together represent the very best of the Prairie State.

Cook County ICU: 30 Years of Unforgettable Patients and Odd Cases
by Cory Franklin
$16.95, paperback, 240 pages
Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press
An inside look at one of the nation’s most famous public hospitals, as seen through the eyes of its longtime director of intensive care. The author still resides in the Chicago area.

The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-CountriesDead Ladies Project
by Jessa Crispin
$16, paperback, 248 pages
The University of Chicago Press
When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Europe with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving. In The Dead Ladies Project, Crispin travels an itinerary of key literary locations, visiting the places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh.

Doug Buffone: Monster of the Midway—My 50 Years With the Chicago Bears
bDoug Buffone COVERy Doug Buffone with Chet Coppock; Foreword by Dan Hampton
$25.95, hardcover, 272 pages
Triumph Books
A beloved Bear’s tales of the epic highs and frustrating lows of the team over the last half century In Doug Buffone: Monster of the Midway, author and former Bear Doug Buffone provides a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities and events that have shaped the franchise’s storied history. Beginning in 1966, when Buffone was selected in the fourth round by the Bears, the book details his early playing days under legendary Coach George Halas all the way through the start of the new era of the franchise with John Fox. He takes readers through the exhilaration of being teammates with the legendary Gale Sayers, as well as the heartrending experience of losing teammate Brian Piccolo to cancer, which would go on to inspire the award-winning movie Brian’s Song. Before retiring as the last Bear to have played under Halas in 1980, Buffone also had the pleasure of sharing the locker room with the next superstar Bears running back, Walter Payton, helping lay the groundwork that would lead to the unforgettable 1985 Super Bowl champion squad.

Escape Points: A Memoir
by Michele Weldon
$26.95, hardcover, 272 pages
Chicago Review Press
This quote from bestselling author Elizabeth Berg perfectly sums up Escape Points: “I don’t know how local author Michele Weldon made wrestling, breast cancer, and single parenting tie together so naturally, so beautifully, but in fact each is a perfect metaphor for this book’s message of soulful triumph.”

Fake Fruit FactoryFake+Fruit+Cover
by Patrick Wensink
$16.95, paperback, 350 pages
Curbside Splendor
Fake Fruit Factory is a stick-slapping, gut-punching comedic novel about the eccentric small town of Dyson, Ohio. When NASA determines an errant satellite will crash there, the town’s young mayor uses the ensuing media circus to attract tourism and save his bankrupt rust belt community—unless, of course, the satellite completely wipes it from the map.

Final Stanzas: StoriesFinal Stanzas - front cover - 1000
by Grant Tracey
$15, paperback, 236 pages
Twelve Winters Press
In these eleven short stories by a true master of the form, Grant Tracey guides us across a wide expanse of time and place but always deep into the interior lives of the characters we encounter. The collection includes the Pushcart Prize-nominated story “Written on the Wind.”

Forty Years in The Big House: Michigan Tales From My Four Decades As a Wolverine
Forty Years in the Big House Coverby Jon Falk and Dan Ewald; Foreword by Jim Harbaugh
$24.95, hardcover, 224 pages
Triumph Books
An inside look at the University of Michigan’s football program from the man who was the team’s equipment manager for more than four decades Forty years ago, Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk began his legacy, becoming a living encyclopedia of Michigan football tradition and history. Hired by Bo Schembechler in 1974, the now retired Falk shares his firsthand, inside stories from in the locker room, on the sideline, and on the road with one of college football’s most storied institutions. He may not be as well known as the Big House or the Little Brown Jug, but among coaches, players, and a good portion of the Michigan football faithful, Jon Falk has fashioned a lively legend of his own. Falk’s recollections connect the past and present to highlight the importance of the relationships created during the best four years of any college player’s life and it’s those relationships that drive the Wolverines to success.

9781492617891-300House of Thieves
by Charles Belfoure
$25.99, hardcover, 432 pages
Sourcebooks Landmark
Belfoure’s debut novel, The Paris Architect (2013), was a New York Times bestseller. House of Thieves is the story of John Cross, a society architect in 1886 New York, who is forced to join a criminal gang and plan robberies of the building he’s designed, in order to pay of his son’s debts.

I. W. Colburn: Emotion in Modern Architecture
by Jay Pridmore
i.-w.-colburn$40, hardcover, 128 pages
Lake Forest College Press
I. W. Colburn: Emotion in Modern Architecture chronicles the career of one of Chicago’s most influential mid-century modernists. Colburn’s houses, institutional buildings, and religious structures feature a highly refined blend of structural expression and deeply embedded elements of traditional architecture. Colburn was an independent architect whose sculptural buildings were controversial in his time, but whose mastery of proportion, materials, and space have gained wide recognition fifty years later.

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart
by Jane St. Anthony
$14.95, hardcover, 152 pages
University of Minnesota Press
It’s the Midwest in the early 1960s, and Isabelle is reeling from a loss that’s too hard to think—let alone talk—about. With characteristic sensitivity and wit, Jane St. Anthony reveals how a girl’s life clouded with grief can also hold a world of promise.

Leaders of the Pack CoverLeaders of the Pack: Starr, Favre, Rodgers and Why Green Bay’s Quarterback Trio Is the Best in NFL History
by Rob Reischel; Foreword by Brett Favre; Preface by Ron Wolf
$16.95, paperback, 256 Pages
Triumph Books
The story behind one team’s unprecedented dominance at the quarterback position By developing a trio of Hall of Fame-bound passers, the Green Bay Packers have enjoyed success at the quarterback position that surpasses that of any other team in the National Football League. In Leaders of the Pack, veteran Packers writer Rob Reischel explores the organization’s history of successful signal-callers, highlighting Bart Starr’s Super Bowl victories, Brett Favre’s collection of NFL records, and Aaron Rodgers’s ascent into becoming one of the best players in today’s NFL. Reischel traces the history of all three players, highlighting what it means to be a Packers quarterback both on and off the field, and then expands his insight to the rest of the league. He examines other team’s dynamic trios—such as the Dallas Cowboys’ Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Tony Romo or the San Francisco 49ers’ Y. A. Tittle, Joe Montana, and Steve Young—but demonstrates why the Packers have the most successful players at the position in NFL history. Featuring Favre’s thoughts about his place in the Packers’ quarterback legacy in his own words, Leaders of the Pack is required reading for Packers fans young and old.

SaintPeterSaint Peter: Flawed, Forgiven, and Faithful
by Stephen J. Binz
$14.95, paperback, 198 pages
Loyola Press
Biblical scholar Stephen Binz takes readers on a pilgrimage following the imperfect and flawed Peter from Galilee to Rome—from the spot where Peter first dropped his nets to follow Jesus to the place where he gave his life out of love for his Lord.

StrippedStripped: At the Intersection of Cancer, Culture, and Christ
by Heather King
$14.95, paperback, 224 pages
Loyola Press
Stripped is an authentic expression of profound Catholic faith in the face of a cancer diagnosis. It chronicles Heather King’s informed decision not to blindly declare “war on her cancer,” but to carefully examine all the medical evidence available, and choose to bring God into her decision making, and, ultimately, to accept her vulnerability. King learned that healing means so much more than simply “getting well.”

The War Came Home With Him: A Daughter’s Memoir
by Catherine Madison
$24.95, hardcover, 256 pages
University of Minnesota Press
Catherine Madison tells the stories of two survivors of one man’s war: a father who withstood a prison camp’s unspeakable inhumanity and a daughter who withstood the residual cruelty that came home with him. Madison pieces together her father’s past and returns to a childhood troubled by his secret torment to consider, in a new light, their complex relationship.

WilliamsF15Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom
by Sonja D. Williams
$26, paperback, 264 pages
University of Illinois Press
Posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007, Richard Durham paved the way for black journalists and worked as a community organizer in Chicago, mentoring generations of activists. Durham’s trademark narrative style engaged listeners with fascinating characters, compelling details, and sharp images of pivotal moments in American and African-American history and culture. In Word Warrior, award-winning radio producer Sonja D. Williams draws on archives and hard-to-access family records, as well as interviews with family and colleagues like Studs Terkel and Toni Morrison, to illuminate Durham’s astounding career.



american slave 9781613748206The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry
by Ned and Constance Sublette
$35, hardcover, 752 pages
Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press
A wide-ranging, alternative political, cultural, and economic history of the United States and how the slave-breeding industry shaped it. The American Slave Coast offers a provocative vision of U.S. history from earliest colonial times through emancipation that presents even the most familiar events and figures in a revealing new light. Authors Ned and Constance Sublette tell the brutal story of how the slavery industry made the reproductive labor of the people it referred to as “breeding women” essential to the young country’s expansion.

Chasing Perfection: The Principles Behind Winning Football the De La Salle Way
by Bob Ladouceur and Neil HayesChasing Perfection Cover
$24.95, hardcover, 240 pages
Triumph Books
A coaching legend shares techniques, philosophies, and team-building exercises applicable beyond the playing field In 1979, when Bob Ladouceur took over the head football coaching job at De La Salle high school, the program had never once had a winning season. By the time he stepped down in 2013 and after posting an unprecedented 399–25–3 record, De La Salle was regarded as one of the great dynasties in the history of high school football. Ladouceur shares, for the first time, the coaching philosophies he employed at De La Salle. Far more than a book on the Xs and Os of football, this resource focuses on how Ladouceur created a culture based on accountability, work ethic, humility, and commitment that made his teams greater than the sum of their parts. This book not only include details on the nuances of the game and the techniques that made the Spartans the most celebrated high school football team in history, it also has chapters on creating what Ladouceur calls an “authentic team experience,” which include lessons as valuable in a board room as in a locker room.

gay lesbian historyGay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights
by Jerome Pohlen
$17.95, paperback, 272 pages
Chicago Review Press
October is LGBT History Month. In this first-of-its-kind history book, local author Jerome Pohlen helps put recent events into context for kids ages nine and up. After a brief history up to 1900, each chapter discusses an era in the struggle for LGBT civil rights from the 1920s to today. The history is told through personal stories and firsthand accounts of the movement’s key events, like the 1950s “Lavender Scare,” the Stonewall Inn uprising, and the AIDS crisis. Kids will learn about civil rights mavericks, like Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, founder of the first gay rights organization; Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who turned the Daughters of Bilitis from a lesbian social club into a powerhouse for LGBT freedom; Christine Jorgensen, the nation’s first famous transgender; and Harvey Milk, the first out candidate to win a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

generational IQ 978-1-4143-6472-8Generational IQ: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future Is Bright
by Haydn Shaw (with Ginger Kolbaba)
$17.99, hardcover, 304 pages
Tyndale House Publishers
Within the past several decades, the world has shifted dramatically. The cracks of this fundamental shift appear everywhere: in our economy, in our cultural debates, in our political landscape, and, most important, in our churches. The problem is we tend to overreact to these changes, fearing that Christianity is dying. We need better Generational IQ, so we can respond to the changes but not be terrified by them. We need a wise generational coach. Haydn Shaw is that generational expert, showing us the roots of this generational shift and how it affects every one of us. Each generation, whether it’s the aging Boomers or the young Millennials, approaches God with a different set of questions and needs based on the times in which they grew up. Haydn walks you through these generational differences and paints a vision of hope for the future.

The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery (Expanded Edition)
by David G. Benner; Foreword by M. Basil Pennington
$15, paperback, 128 pages
IVP Books
In this profound exploration of Christian identity, psychologist and spiritual director David G. Benner illuminates the spirituality of self-discovery. He exposes the false selves that you may hide behind and calls you to discover the true self that emerges from your uniqueness in Christ. Freeing you from illusions about yourself, Benner shows that self-understanding leads to the fulfillment of your God-given destiny and vocation. This expanded edition, one of three titles in “The Spiritual Journey” trilogy, includes a new epilogue and an experiential guide with questions for individual reflection or group discussion.

grant parkGrant Park: A Novel
by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
$24.95, hardcover, 400 pages
Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King’s final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper’s server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column’s publication. Grant Park is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts’s gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.

The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky
by Victor Serge and Natalia Sedova; Foreword by Richard Greeman
$17.95, paperback, 296 pages
Haymarket Books
Leon Trotsky was one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution who was exiled and murdered following Stalin’s rise to power. Written by two of his closest collaborators, this book provides an invaluable picture of a great revolutionary and the world-historic events in which he was a leading actor.

knutsen_promo_jktThe Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath: A Novel
by Kimberly Knutsen
$18.95, paperback, 384 pages
Northern Illinois University Press/Switchgrass Books
Meet Wilson Lavender, a sober alcoholic who spends most of his time avoiding work on his dissertation, and his wife, Katie, a recent PhD with a troubled past and no plans other than to seduce their young neighbor. When Katie’s free-spirit sister moves in, their stagnant world is roiled.

The Love of Debbie La’treck
by Habeeba B. Pasha
$17.99, paperback, 98 pages
220 Publishing (A Division of 220 Communications)
The Love of Debbie La’treck is a beautifully illustrated and compelling story about ten-year-old Debbie, a voracious reader who begins to live vicariously through the characters she so fondly reads about. Vivian is Debbie’s mom, and she has always allowed her to read whatever adventure-filled material she wanted without parental supervision. As a result, Debbie is no longer herself and is beginning to live through the characters that she reads about. Vivian soon has to fight the ultimate fight to get her daughter to face reality without taking away her imaginative spirit.

Ohio State Bucket List CoverThe Ohio State Buckeyes Fans’ Bucket List
by Zack Meisel
$16.95, paperback, 256 Pages
Triumph Books
Every Ohio State Buckeyes 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 Columbus. From visiting Buckeye Grove to forming the O-H-I-O sign, author Zack Meisel provides ideas, recommendations, and insider tips for must-see places and can’t-miss activities near campus. But not every experience requires a trip to Columbus; long-distance Buckeyes 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 Buckeyes from afar, there’s something for every fan to do in The Ohio State Buckeyes Fans’ Bucket List.

people's place 9781613730591The People’s Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences From the Civil Rights Era to Today
by Dave Hoekstra
$29.95, hardcover, 240 pages
Chicago Review Press
Celebrated former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra unearths these stories and hundreds more as he travels, tastes, and talks his way through twenty of America’s best, liveliest, and most historically significant soul food restau­rants. Following the “soul food corridor” from the South through northern industrial cities, The People’s Place gives voice to the remarkable chefs, workers, and small business owners (often women) who provided sustenance and a safe haven for civil rights pioneers, not to mention presidents and politicians; music, film, and sports legends; and countless everyday, working-class people.

pretend-i-m-deadPretend I’m Dead: A Novel
by Jen Beagin
$17.95, paperback, 208 pages
TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press
Jen Beagin’s funny, moving, fearless debut novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona—almost twenty-four, cleaning houses to get by, emotionally adrift. Handing out clean needles to drug addicts, she falls for a recipient who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways. She decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast-offs. But they all have one or two things to teach her—the pajama-wearing, blissed-out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic. Always just under the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she’s trying to disentangle herself. The story of her journey toward a comfortable place in the world and a measure of self-acceptance is psychologically acute, often surprising, and entirely human.

Radical Prayer: The Power of Being Bold and Persistent
by Manny Mill, Harold Smith, and Barbara Mill
$9.99, paperback, 192 pages
Moody Publishers
When one prays consistently, persistently, and boldly for the hallowing of God’s holy name, big things happen. Radical Prayer gives us a glimpse of the transformative and explosive power of praying in God’s will, a power that takes place internally and manifests externally. Whether your prayer life is strong or in shambles, Radical Prayer will compel you to a life of bold, persistent, transformative, and expectant prayer.

Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway9781492614074-300
by Peter Zheutlin
$14.99, paperback, 256 pages
Every other week, Greg Mahle travels thousands of miles from his home in Ohio to the Deep South to pick up abused and abandoned dogs that have come from the streets of Houston and high-kill shelters in Louisiana, and places these pups with forever families in the Northeast. Greg is their connection. Ninety dogs ride in the back of a specially outfitted semi, and spend two to three days riding up the East Coast. Each stop is known as Gotcha Day, and families wait with signs and big hearts as they are finally united with their rescue dog.

Leary_Thicker_Than_Blood_CoverThicker Than Blood
by Jan English Leary
$15, paperback, 299 pages
Fomite Press
Andrea Barton is single but wants a child. When an infant is abandoned at a church on the north side of Chicago, Andrea first becomes a foster mother and then adopts her. Andrea believes that love and her experience as a social worker will see her through the challenges of raising an African-American child in a white world.

The Third Target: A J. B. Collins Novel
by Joel C. Rosenberg
$15.99, paperback, 448 pages
Tyndale House Publishers
When New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins hears rumors that an al-Qaeda splinter cell—ISIS—has captured a cache of chemical weapons inside Syria, he knows this is a story he must pursue at all costs. Does the commander of the jihadist faction really have weapons of mass destruction? If so, who is the intended target? The U.S.? Israel? Or someone else? With tensions already high, the impending visit of the American president to the region could prove to be the spark that sets off an explosion of horrendous proportions. Knowing that terrorist forces are already trying to bring down two Arab governments in the region—Iraq and Syria—can Collins uncover the truth before it’s too late?

20 things20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves
by Kelli Worrall and Peter Worrall
$13.99, paperback, 256 pages
Moody Publishers
Foster good habits. Press into pain. Never, ever get another perm. Despite what many think, our twenties aren’t that dead space between youth and real life. Done right, they can be among our most important years. In 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves, Peter and Kelli Worrall look back on it all the good, the bad, and the miserable to give you the best of what they’ve learned. With humility, warmth, and brilliant storytelling, they invite you not only into their wisdom, but also into their lives, sharing about marriage, faith, drawn-out adoptions, dark nights of the soul, and the God who’s in it all.

Uncommonly Common
by Desmond L. Kemp
$17.99, paperback
220 Publishing (A Division of 220 Communications)
Julian Johnson is an average boy that lives a common life. He sticks close to his mama and looks up to his big brother Johan. Amongst his friends, he is probably the one that’s more reserved. Often convinced by his cousin Cassie and his best friend Robert, Julian finds himself in more sticky situations than he imagined. Uncommonly, Julian tells the story of his first experiences and life lessons of trying to be a cool teenager in the 1990s.

villainous compoundsVillainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War
by Guy R. Hasegawa
$29.50, hardcover, 200 pages
Southern Illinois University Press
In chilling detail, Hasegawa describes the potential weapons, the people be- hind the concepts, and the evolution of some chemical weapon concepts into armaments employed in future wars. As he explains, bureaucrats in the war departments of both armies either delayed or rejected outright most of these unusual weapons, viewing them as unneeded or unworkable. Especially timely with today’s increased chemical threats from terrorists and the alleged use of chemical agents in the Syrian Civil War, Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War expands the history of chemical warfare and exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.



pipes_jkt_promoAlexander Yakovlev: The Man Whose Ideas Delivered Russia From Communism
by Richard Pipes
$29.95, hardcover, 168 pages
Northern Illinois University Press
This illuminating study is the first full-scale biography of Alexander Yakovlev, who was the intellectual force behind the processes that liberated the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from Communist rule between 1989 and 1991.

gregory_promo_jktAntosha and Levitasha: The Shared Lives and Art of Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan
by Serge Gregory
$39, paperback, 264 pages
Northern Illinois University Press
Antosha and Levitasha is the first book in English devoted to the complex relationship between Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan, one of Russia’s greatest landscape painters.

The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America
by Sarah Deer
$22.95, paperback, 232 pages
University of Minnesota Press
The Beginning and End of Rape makes available the powerful writings in which Sarah Deer, who played a crucial role in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, has advocated for cultural and legal reforms to protect Native women from endemic sexual violence and abuse. These essays point to the possibility of actual and positive change in a world where Native women are systematically undervalued, left unprotected, and hurt.

Blues Unlimited: Essential Interviews From the Original Blues Magazine
GreensmithF15by Bill Greensmith, Mike Rowe, and Mark Camarigg (Eds.)
$40, paperback, 456 pages
University of Illinois Press
British blues fans Mike Leadbitter and Simon Napier launched the magazine Blues Unlimited in 1963. The magazine presented first time interviews with blues greats throughout the U.S. Stories abound, such as Freddie King playing a string of one-nighters so grueling it destroys his car; five-year-old Fontella Bass gigging at St. Louis funeral homes; and Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup rising from life in a packing crate to music stardom.

box wine 9781613733486The Box Wine Sailors: Misadventures of a Broke Young Couple at Sea
by Amy McCullough
$16.95, paperback, 304 pages
Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press
With no real sailing experience, Amy McCullough and her partner Jimmie bought a shabby 27-foot sailboat, quit their jobs, and set off from Portland, Oregon, for the Sea of Cortez looking for adventure. Amy is from Illinois and lived in Chicago while attending Loyola University.

Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory
by Tod Bolsinger
$17, paperback, 240 pages
IVP Books
Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world. If you’re going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Reading this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.

City CreaturesCity Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness
by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian (Eds.)
$30, hardcover, 264 pages
The University of Chicago Press
City Creatures introduces readers to the astonishing diversity of Chicago’s urban wildlife with a unique and accessible mix of essays, poetry, paintings, and photographs.

early bluesEarly Blues: The First Stars of Blues Guitar
by Jas Obrecht
$22.95, hardcover, 272 pages
University of Minnesota Press
Since the early 1900s, blues and the guitar have traveled side by side. From the first reported sightings of blues musicians to the onset of the Great Depression, this is the most comprehensive and complete account ever written of the early stars of blues guitar—an essential chapter in the history of American music.

Family Resemblance: An Anthology & Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres
by Marcela Sulak and Jacqueline Kolosov (Eds.)
$17.95, paperback, 464 pages
Rose Metal Press
Family Resemblance provides craft essays and examples of hybrid forms by forty-three distinguished authors. In this study of eight hybrid genres— including lyric essay, epistolary, poetic memoir, prose poetry, performative, short-form nonfiction, flash fiction, and pictures made of words—the family tree of hybridity takes delightful shape, showcasing how cross-genre works blend features from multiple literary parents to create new entities, forms that feel more urgent than ever in today’s increasingly heterogeneous landscape.

gottfried_promo_jktFascism: The Career of a Concept
by Paul E. Gottfried
$45, hardcover, 256 pages
Northern Illinois University Press
This provocative yet even-handed study examines the semantic twists and turns the term “fascism” has endured since the 1930s and traces the word’s polemical function within the context of present ideological struggles.

Kast_Unsullied_Land_CoverA Free, Unsullied Land
by Maggie Kast
$15, paperback, 371 pages
Fomite Press
A Free, Unsullied Land is a wonderfully engaging and convincing portrait of a young woman elbowing her way past the limits of her moment in history. When she finally breathes the fresh air of political and sexual revolt, she still must learn some bracing lessons that transcend both.

mn modernMinnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury
by Larry Millett
$49.95, hardcover, 384 pages
University of Minnesota Press
Larry Millett conducts an eye-opening, spectacularly illustrated Minnesota tour of the rich and varied landscape of midcentury modernism. A history lesson as entertaining as it is enlightening, Minnesota Modern provides a close-up view of a style that penetrated the social, political, and cultural machinery of the times.

olympic-butter-goldOlympic Butter Gold: Poems
by Jonathan Moody
$16.95, paperback, 96 pages
Northwestern University Press
Jonathan Moody grew up during the Golden Ages of hip-hop and listened to rap that was as adventurous and diverse as his military upbringing. When rap’s Golden Ages expired, the mu- sic’s innovativeness and variety diminished. Moody’s second book, Olympic Butter Gold, winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, responds to Chuck D’s claim that “if there was a HIP-HOP or Rap Olympics, I really don’t think the United States would get Gold, Silver or Brass.” From the poem “Opening Ceremony,” in the voice of a heroin addict struggling to use Lady Liberty’s torch to cook “The American Dream,” to “Dear 2Pac,” an autobiographical account of teaching Tupac Shakur’s poetry to engage high school students indifferent to literature, Moody shares a worldview that is simultaneously apocalyptic and promising.

SacredSpace_2016Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2016
by The Irish Jesuits
$15.95, paperback, 384 pages
Loyola Press
Sacred Space provides readers the opportunity to develop a closer relationship with God, wherever they are and is the only book to bring the daily prayer experience of the Sacred Space website into the book format. Sacred Space leads you into an experience of prayer that is accessible, engaging, and meaningful to daily life.

SlaughterhouseSlaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made
by Dominic A. Pacyga
$26, hardcover, 256 pages
The University of Chicago Press
Slaughterhouse tells the story of the Union Stock Yard, chronicling the rise and fall of an industrial district that, for better or worse, served as the public face of Chicago for decades. Marking the hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the stockyards, it is an engrossing story of one of the most important—and deadliest—square miles in American history.

Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life
by A. Alyce Claerbaut and David Schlesinger (Eds.); Foreword by Ramsey Lewis
$35, hardcover, 208 pages
Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life is a stunning collection of essays, photographs, and ephemera celebrating Billy Strayhorn, one of the most significant yet under-appreciated contributors to twentieth-century American music. Released in commemoration of Strayhorn’s centennial, this luxurious coffee-table book offers intimate details of the composer’s life from musicians, scholars, and Strayhorn’s closest relatives.

KingCargile_jkt_promoThe Toy and the Twister
by Gillian King-Cargile; Illustrations by Kevin Krull
$18.99, hardcover, 36 pages
Northern Illinois University Press
In Book One of the “Stuffed Bunny Science Adventure Series,” a toy bunny named Bear gets sucked into a tornado and learns about extreme weather and storm safety. This fun, fast-paced adventure introduces young readers to weather and climate concepts aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Voiceover+Artist+Front+Cover+(1)The Voiceover Artist
by Dave Reidy
$15.95, paperback, 312 pages
Curbside Splendor
The Voiceover Artist follows Simon Davies as he attempts to become a famous voiceover artist despite a crippling, genetic stutter. Told through the perspective of the characters who weave in and out of Simon’s life, each with rich, and varied personalities, this book is a discussion on brotherhood, family, and fulfillment of dreams.

The White Islands/Las Islas Blancas
by Marjorie Agosín; Translated by Jaqueline Nanfito with an Afterword by Michal Held
$20, paperback, 224 pages
Swan Isle Press
Presented in a beautiful bilingual Spanish–English edition, Agosín’s poems speak to a wandering life of exile on distant shores. We hear the rhythm of the waves and the Ladino-inflected voices of Sephardi women past and present: Paloma, Estrella, and Luna in the fullness of their lives, loves, dreams, and faith. An evocative and sensual voyage to communities mostly lost after the Holocaust, The White Islands offers a lighthouse of remembrance, a lyrical world recovered with language and song, lament and joy, longing and hope.



century of progress 9781572844452A Century of Progress: A Photographic Tour of the 1933–34 Chicago World’s Fair
by Chicago Tribune Staff
$24.95, hardcover, 144 pages
Drawn from the Chicago Tribune’s vast archives, A Century of Progress is a collection of rare—and in many cases, previously unseen—photographs that document the Century of Progress International Exposition, the world’s fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934. Conceived during the Roaring Twenties and born during the Great Depression, this sprawling event celebrated the city’s centennial with industrial and scientific displays, lascivious entertainment, and a touch of unadulterated bad taste.

Dividing the Union: Jesse Burgess Thomas and the Making of the Missouri Compromisedividing the union-siu press
by Matthew W. Hall
$29.50, hardcover, 252 pages
Southern Illinois University Press
In Dividing the Union, Matthew W. Hall examines the legal issues underlying the controversy and the legislative history of the Missouri Compromise while focusing on the aspects of Thomas’s life and character that gave him such influence. The first in-depth biography of Thomas, Hall’s work demonstrates how the legislative battle over the Compromise reflected the underlying nuances of the larger struggle over slavery.

9780830840960Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice
by Joerg Rieger; Foreword by Rev. Alexia Salvatierra
$18, paperback, 144 pages
IVP Academic
Millions of people travel every day, for what seem like millions of reasons. Some travel for pleasure, others travel for work and education, and many more travel to find a new job and a better life. In the United States, even those who don’t travel far still frequently find themselves on the move. What can we learn from these different forms of travel? And what can people of faith learn from the Christian and Jewish traditions that took shape on the road? From the exile from Eden to the wanderings of Jesus and his disciples, the story of Scripture is a dynamic narrative of ceaseless movement. Those who let themselves be inspired by this movement, and are willing to learn from others and from mistakes made in the process, are well positioned to make a difference in the world, not only at home but also around the globe.

For You Were StrangersFYWS prepub front cover FINAL
by D. M. Pirrone
$16.99, paperback, 320 pages
Allium Press of Chicago
The second book in the “Hanley & Rivka Mysteries” series. Set in Chicago in 1872, soon after the Great Chicago Fire of 1872.

My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music
by Steve Krakow; edited by J. C. Gabel; foreword by Jim DeRogatis
$24.95, paperback, 200 pages
Curbside Splendor
Culled from more than ten years of weekly Chicago Reader columns, My Kind of Sound will be “The Secret History of Chicago Music” compendium, profiling pivotal Chicago musicians who somehow have not gotten their just dues.

the 116 9781634251952The 116: The True Story of Abraham Lincoln’s Lost Guard
by James P. Muehlberger
$24.95, hardcover, 320 pages
The 116 is the definitive account of the Frontier Guard who defended President Lincoln from a kidnapping and assassination plot in the opening days of the Civil War. Based on more than 500 original sources discovered at the Library of Congress, The 116 delves into the lives of these 116 men and their charismatic leader—Kansas “free state” advocate and lawyer Jim Lane. It paints a provocative portrait of the ‘civil war’ between Free-State and Pro-Slavery forces that tore Missouri and the Kansas Territory apart in the 1850s, and gives a vivid picture of the legal battles pertaining to the protection and abolition of slavery that riled Congress on both a federal and state level, eventually leading to the eruption of war in 1861.

Poor Workers’ Unions: Rebuilding Labor From Below (Tenth Anniversary Edition)poor workers union 9781608465200.01
by Vanessa Tait, Foreword by Bill Fletcher Jr. and Cristina Tzintzún
$19, hardcover, 300 pages
Haymarket Books
A classic account of low-wage workers’ organizing that the U.S. Department of Labor calls one of the “100 books that has shaped work in America.” As low-wage organizing campaigns have been reignited by the Fight for 15 movement and other workplace struggles, Poor Workers’ Unions is as prescient as ever.

Trusting the Tingles
by Andrea Wright
$14.99, paperback, 72 pages
220 Publishing (A Division of 220 Communications)
Writer Andrea Wright explores the ways we experience intuition in Trusting the Tingles, based on her blog of the same name.

—Kelli Christiansen


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