Sunday, July 27

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Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Jul 25 2014


All Weekend! Check out the Newberry Library's 30th Annual Book Fair. All 120,000+ titles will be available for $2.00 or less, with a half-off day on Sunday.

Tonight! Author Catherine Fitzpatrick presents her novel Going on Nine at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Tonight! Itching for graphic novel goodness? Get Over It! with artist and author Corinne Mucha's reading at Quimby's, 7 pm.

Saturday! Newberry brings you the Bughouse Square Debates. Held in Washington Square Park, the freedom-of-speech-fest promises debates, speeches, and heartily encourages heckling, 12 - 4 pm.

Saturday! Ever dream of cycling across the country? It may do you good to hear the tale from the horse's mouth: Brian Benson presents his book Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America at City Lit Books, 5 pm.

Saturday and Sunday! Catch bookstore Women & Children First's Used Book Sale at Andersonville Sdiewalk Sale.

Sunday! The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Word Weekend, a celebration of all things wordy including a book fair, live readings, hip-hop performances, a play premiere, and graffiti workshops, 12 - 5 pm.

Sunday! Head to the Podlasie Club, 2918 N. Central Park, for therelease of Images of America Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village, 6 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Books Thu Jul 24 2014

Find Book Bargains at the Andersonville Summer Sidewalk Sale

Aville_WineWalk_Small_Banner_FA.jpgBargain Hunters, point your vessels north: this weekend the stores of Andersonville take to the streets to offer discounts on all their wares!

We at Book Club are suckers for books (duh), which is why one participating business catches our eye. Feminist bookstore Women & Children First will be holding their used book sale this Saturday, July 26 from 10:00am - 6:00pm and Sunday, July 27 from 11:00am - 5:00pm.

The sale -- which will feature fiction, nonfiction, children's books, LGBTQ titles, CDs, DVDs, and collectibles -- benefits the Women's Voices Fund, a nonprofit arm of WFC dedicated to fostering discussion of feminist issues and culture, and to nurturing children's delight in books. Support women's issues, children's literacy, and your hungry bookshelves by coming out this weekend and seeing what Women & Children First has to offer!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Thu Jul 24 2014

August is Nigh; Time to Funk Up Your Tuesday

Thumbnail image for Tuesday Funk.jpg

"Wait, it's already almost August?" you holler at your computer screen, already pre-mourning the impending end of summer. Almost-August means almost-fall means soon the outdoors will again be closed off by a wall of dreaded, frostbiting, withering cold! There was so much you wanted to do! So much you wanted to see! Winter is coming.

Alright, alright, take a breath. The onset of August also means one whole month of summer remains, so it's time to hit the town and soak in all the city has to offer! Our suggestion? Ring in your month with the 72nd installment of eclectic live lit series Tuesday Funk. Swing by Hopleaf at 7:30pm on Aug. 5 to see featured readers Hannah Gamble, David Daskal, Christine Simokaitis, Britt Julious and Leah Thomas, all co-hosted by Eden Robins and Gapers Block editor Andrew Huff. RSVP on Facebook here, and we'll see you in August!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Thu Jul 24 2014

Near Ye, Near Ye! Your Weekend in Words

Did you enjoy Chicago's first Independent Bookstore Day, or take in a reading at the Book Fort at Pitchfork? Well, the literary love fest continues in Chicago this weekend, thanks to the efforts of The Newberry Library. You'll have a chance to shop--and shout--till you drop. Never has "you can't have too much of a good thing" seemed like a real possibility.

The Newberry Library kicks things off with its 30th Annual Book Fair, which runs from July 24 through July 27. Thursday is the Preview Night for members only, but don't worry, there will be plenty of books left for Friday through Sunday. Most books are $2 each, and psst, become half off on Sunday. It's the perfect time to build your personal library with fiction, cookbooks, or art books, as well as to track down rare collectibles: you could snag a first edition of The Lord of the Rings, or get an autographed copy of one of President Obama's works.

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Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Books Thu Jul 24 2014

Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village Celebrated in Book Release this Weekend

Join others to say, "Na zdrowie!" this Sunday July 27th, 6pm, in celebration for the book release of Images of America Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village (on Arcadia Publishing) at the Podlasie Club, 2918 N. Central Park. The book catalogs the neighborhood's rich cultural history, supported by over a hundred photographs (see below) and a foreword from notable Chicago biographer Dominic Pacyga. The book was co-authored by Jacob Kaplan, Dan Pogorzelski, Rob Reid and Elisa Addlesperger.


I connected with one of the authors, Dan "Pogo" Pogorzelski, to discuss this book and how the writers encapsulated the cultural relevance of this neighborhood. Pogo holds authority when telling the story of the Polish Village, the neighborhood where he was born. His professional career has allowed him to stay active in the community. He can be seen at neighborhood farmer's markers as a community outreach assistant for a state Senator, online as a writer for Forgotten Chicago, and as a preservationist with his appointment as Vice President of the Northwest Chicago Historical Society. He is no stranger to authoring books about beloved Chicago neighborhoods as he was involved two books in Arcadia's Images of America series documenting Bridgeport and Portage Park (which was co-authored by John Maloof, director of Finding Vivian Maier).

To begin, what was the initial motivation to write this book, one centered on Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village?

"The neighborhood that built Chicago" has a charm that intrigued all four of us co-authors. In my case, I was born in this neighborhood, and I still remember my father helping collect donations for POMOST, a local anti-communist organization, outside of St. Hyacinth Basilica every week after mass. This aspect of the history of Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village is just one facet of what makes this area interesting. While the heart of Polish Chicago certainly has beat strong in this neighborhood during Poland's struggles for independence, other ethnic voices have always been a vital part of its evolution and development, just like in every other hallowed ethnic enclave in our city. Industry, Labor, the Progressive Movement, the Interstate Highway System have all left a visible mark here. The person whom we chose to dedicate our book to, a longtime community activist by the name of Joe Jurek, had political guru David Axelrod run his campaign for public office well before Axelrod sprang to fame (thanks to electing Barack Obama as President). Our aim was to weave all of these intriguing strands into one narrative, one that intersects with notable figures such as Street Photographer Vivian Maier, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Pope John Paul II, the elites of Polish Rock music, as well as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar from the film Wayne's World.

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John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Mon Jul 21 2014

Holy 75th Birthday, Batman!

batman day.jpgThis Wednesday, July 23 will be Batman Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the caped crusader. The bat symbol has become an internationally recognized icon and to celebrate, Batman publisher DC Comics will be releasing a special anniversary issue of Detective Comics #27, Batman's first appearance way back in 1939 (thanks Bob Kane for creating this legendary symbol). The book will be available for free while supplies last.

The dark knight has seen his share of successes over the years, from the campy Adam West television show to print fame with Frank Miller's the Dark Knight, to the big screen with Michael Keaton and Christian Bale (not really gonna mention others cast in the role, ahem). DC is also releasing a timeline poster highlighting these and other various major events in Bat-history.

Locally, Challengers Comics and Conversations, at 1845 N. Western Ave., will be celebrating Batman Day all day long from 11am to 7pm. They'll have comics giveaways, discounts on all Batman merch (hint, if you sport the batman logo anywhere on your person, you'll get an even bigger discount), and other tricks up their sleeves.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Fri Jul 18 2014


Tonight! Author Lauren Streicher teaches guests to Love Sex Again at Women & Children First, 7:30 pm.

Saturday! Didn't Palooza enough Learning in Wicker Park? The Lakeview Installment of Learnapalooza will be running all day, so check out the calendar for more riveting workshops to feed your brain!

Saturday! The Book Cellar hosts Lori Rader-Day for a discussion of her latest mystery novel, The Black Hour, 7 pm.

Saturday! Join the Dollhouse Reading Series at Constellation for Subterfuge, a live poetry and music series. This weekend's show features performances from Abe Smith, Hannah Gamble, and Everything's Alright, 9:30 pm.

Sunday! SRickipedia host Rick Perlstein interviews Jonathan Rieder, author of Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation, 3 pm.

Sunday! The July installment of Sunday Salon Chicago comes to Black Rock Pub, featuring Peggy Shinner, Great Lakes Review authors John Power, Sahar Mustafah, Ellen S. Jaffe, and Allium Press author D.M. Pirrone, 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Author Thu Jul 17 2014

Launch Party and Reading: Lori Rader-Day at the Book Cellar

RaderDay_Lori-s-300x300.jpgLocal author Lori Rader-Day, crime writer extraordinaire and vice president of the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, will be celebrating the launch of her new novel, The Black Hour at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square -- 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave. This event is as homegrown as it gets -- the novel is a dark mystery that takes place on a Chicagoland college campus, is written by a Chicago native and celebrated at a Chicago independent bookstore.

The event will be held on Saturday, July 19, starts at 7:00pm, and is free! Support your local bookstores and your local authors!

Photo courtesy of the author's website.

Eden Robins / Comments (0)

Events Tue Jul 15 2014

Writing Around the Edges of Chicago's Art Scene

Local arts organization Sixty Inches from Center has been busy lately. The band of archivists, writers, and allied creative folks--always attuned to, as they put it, "art as it exists outside of mainstream institutions in Chicago"--has steadily been building steam since their founding a few years ago, and just last month they launched the first issue of an eponymous new magazine (online only, at least for now).

The theme of that collection was "Margins," a topic they're by no means done exploring. On Thursday, July 17, at 6pm in the Zhou B Art Center's Centerline Cafe (1029 W. 35th St.), they'll convene a panel discussion titled "Margins--Who Do You Write For?" As you might expect, the featured speakers tend to define themselves equally as writers and as artists or activists. Among them: Jenny Lam, whose playfully conceptual pieces have tended to invite viewers to help in their creation; poet and Chicago Latino Writers Initiative founder Diana Pando; and visual journalist Sophia Nahli Allison, just to name a few. Preregistration and a $5 donation are both appreciated but not required.

Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jul 11 2014


Tonight! Naked girls read in Naked Girls Reading, a live lit show at Everleigh Social Club, 7 pm.

Tonight! Get titillated with Lust & Letters at Women & Children First. Tera Patrick will read from her book Sinner Takes All and Shawna Kenney will be reading from Book Lovers: Sexy Stories From Under the Covers, 7:30 pm.

Tonight! The Kates return to the Book Cellar for another monthly installment of lady live lit and comedy, 8 pm.

Saturday! Teenage-oriented comic book convention Pocket Con III comes to the Gary Comer Youth Center, featuring makers LeSean Thomas, Mshindo Kuumba, and Malcolm Ray, 12 - 6 pm.

Saturday! City Lit Books hosts some of Curbside Splendor's best in a reading featuring authors Susan Lanier, Dmitry Samarov, Halle Butler, Scott McClanahan, and Juliet Escoria, 5 pm.

Sunday! Serving the Sentence challenges its performers with this month's mandatory opening, "Para-sailing is the quietest thing I've ever done," at Towbar, 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Jul 09 2014

Show Your Indie Spirit on Chicago's First Independent Bookstore Day

Image courtesy of Chicago Independent Bookstore Day

Chicago works, Chicago writes, and Chicago reads, which is why we don't need any calls (or hashtags) to "Cut down the Amazon" and support our local bookstores, even if they do come from one of our favorite adopted sons. Nine local bookstores have banded together to bring you the first Chicago Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, July 12, so get ready for the best kind of treasure hunt.

The nine participating bookstores have put together a day of events that will appeal to book lovers from all over the city, and will move book lovers all over the city. Head from Andersonville to Hyde Park, from Lakeview to Logan Square, and make a pit stop in the South Loop to scoop up free (sometimes book-filled) tote bags and take advantage of special discounts and promotions. You can also meet some of your favorite local authors and take in a reading or two, as well as graze on tasty pastries and veggie treats.

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Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Events Sun Jul 06 2014

"Lecture, Argue, Proclaim, and Complain" at Napkin Poetry

napkin poetryIt's a truism that much of the audience at any given literary reading will consist of other writers. The organizers of the Napkin Poetry reading series don't just acknowledge this--they force the issue, encouraging the audience to take part in the performance whether they're on the lineup or not. Their manifesto reads, in part:

We highlight working writers embedded in community performances. We engage many dialogues -- to this end all can lecture, argue, proclaim, and complain . . . . Because poetry is only alive in conversation, our community talks back . . . . For us to live with poets we have to be them too.

To that end, many of their events include an open mic (although not this one) and Q&A segment.

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Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jul 04 2014


On this most patriotic of weekends, celebrate freedom of speech with these live lit and author talk Bookmarks.

All Weekend! Celebrate Independence Weekend with a celebration of independent publishing, as local self-publishing center CHI PRC celebrates its one-year anniversary. Stop by to enjoy readings from local zine artists as well as hands-on workshops!

Saturday! Author Kit Lyman will be discussing her book Satan's Garden at City Lit Books, 4:30 pm.

Saturday! Paper Machete's not-to-be-missed weekly variety show begins at the Green Mill, 3 pm.

Sunday! Stage 773 Live Lit show and potluck Here, Chicago promises loads of talent and at least one clown at this weekend's show. $8 or free with a potluck dish, 8 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Books Fri Jul 04 2014

What the Hoopla's All About

chicago public library - hoopla digitalBefore the industrial revolution, only an affluent elite could afford to have libraries in their homes. Today we enjoy public libraries precisely because technological advancements made the mass production of books feasible, affordable. Now, technology has once again fostered a possible next step in library advancement: Hoopla Digital.

Recently adopted by Chicago Public Library, Hoopla Digital is a supplemental digital library brimming with audiobooks, videos, music and, later this year, e-books. Currently operating through 23 libraries in the greater Chicago area, and offering nearly 200,000 titles to download or stream 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And, like the library, it's all free.

"I've been serving public libraries for 25 years, and so public libraries have really been near and dear to my heart," says Jeff Jankowski, the founder and president of Hoopla Digital. "I think they really empower people to discover and find their own voice, so I want to give -- and my company wants to give -- Hoopla as a tool, as a digital brand for public libraries throughout North America... to really allow them to stay relevant in the digital age."

A digital offshoot of Midwest Tape, a media distributor that has sold physical items to public libraries for over two decades, Hoopla operates much in the same way that physical distribution does. Libraries pay for titles, and make them available to users free of charge. The only difference here is that the library only pays for titles per use by library cardholders, and they pay less per rental than they do in physical book acquisition.

With Hoopla the cost to the library of purchasing a book decreases significantly -- from approximately five dollars per title to, on average, $1.95, Jankowski estimates. Thus the information bound up in books (as well as films and albums) becomes accessible to even larger audiences. "I think that digital books, digital media, has a really important place," says Jankowski, "because you don't have to be in a physical location. It allows greater access, accessibility to all people."

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Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Thu Jul 03 2014

Stuart Dybek, Chicago's Very Own, At City Lit Books

Next Tuesday July 8, Chicago author Stuart Dybek reads at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie. at 6:30pm. Dybek released two story collections this year, Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern, the latter focusing on love stories. Chicago is fortunate to have one America's top writers right in our backyard. Don't miss this opportunity.

The event is free. Books will be on sale at City Lit. Hang around after and look to get your book signed or meet the author.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.



Sun Jul 27 2014
Word Weekend @ MCA

Sun Jul 27 2014
30th Annual Book Fair @ Newberry Library

Mon Jul 28 2014
Louder than a Mom @ Martyrs'

Tue Jul 29 2014
The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs'

Wed Jul 30 2014
Miss Spoken @ Gallery Cabaret

Sat Aug 2 2014
You're Being Ridiculous @ Mary's Attic

About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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