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Thursday, October 8

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Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Oct 02 2015


SATURDAY! Seminary Coop/57th Street Books hosts two afternoon author discussions beginning at 1pm with Carolyn Marie Wilkins author of Melody for Murder and continuing at 3pm with John Corbett author of Microgroove.

SATURDAY! The Paper Machete holds their weekly afternoon reading at the Green Mill.

SATURDAY! Literary publication .LDOC holds a release party for their first issue at Chicago Publishers Resource Center.

SATURDAY! City Lit Theater's celebration of Banned Books Week entitled Books on the Chopping Block ends its engagement this weekend.

SATURDAY! Uncharted Books hosts the poetry event The Occupation that Keeps Us from Thinking Small.

SUNDAY! Here, Chicago, half pot luck, half reading series, is at the Wit Theater.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Chicago Public Library Fri Oct 02 2015

One Book, One Chicago Events

One-Book-One-Chicago.jpgJoin the Chicago Public Library at the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State) this month as it presents a variety of programs in conjunction with the current One Book, One Chicago selection, The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja.

On Monday, October 5 at 6:00 pm the Lower Level of the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium will offer a sneak peak premier of the film In The Game. The movie, directed Maria Finitzo, takes a look at four years in the life of the girls' soccer team at Chicago's inner city Kelly High School in the primarily Hispanic Brighton Park neighborhood. This event will be followed by a panel discussion.

Do you wish you could design a home like the architects in The Third Coast? You'll get the chance on Monday, October 12 at 1:00 in the library's Maker Lab. Participants will learn architectural and design skills on a small scale when they make a doll house with a laser cutter in this Really Tiny House Maker Lab Series. This series will continue through April 2016 resulting in a complete "Really Tiny House."

Teddy Cruz, a Rome Prize-winning architect, will be on hand Tuesday, October 27 at 6:00 pm in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. Architectural historian Dianne Harris will interview Mr. Cruz about the societal implication of his architectural work. Cruz is known for using the Tijuana-San Diego border as a laboratory to re-think global dynamics, including the issues of hospitality inherent in immigration issues and the expanded gap between wealth and poverty.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

Reviews Wed Sep 30 2015

Review: The Dead Ladies Project by Jessa Crispin

the dead ladies projectJessa Crispin, the founder of the literary blog and the online magazine Spolia, and a former Chicagoan, recently wrote a memoir. The Dead Ladies Project will be released Oct. 6 by University of Chicago Press.

The book is one part travel diary and one part biography of famous intellectuals. Crispin spent a year and a half traipsing through Europe. She dedicates each section of her book to a different city and a different genius who at one time lived there.

The Dead Ladies Project is worth reading for the brief biographies alone. Crispin tells us about people who've never gotten as much attention as their life and work demands. Who was James Joyce's wife? Why does no one tell the story of half-sisters/lovers Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore playing tricks on the Nazis? What was father of Psychology William James's relationship with his own father like? Crispin details the lives of nine figures complete with their love affairs, run ins with the law, and a synopses of their life's work.

Continue reading this entry »

Emma Terhaar / Comments (0)

Reviews Wed Sep 30 2015

Review: Nightfall by Jake Halpern & Peter Jukawinski

nightfall.jpgNightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Sept. 22, 2015)

On the island of Bliss, 14 years of day are followed by 14 years of night. As the sun sets on the horizon, everyone prepares to migrate off of the island to wait out the long night. Locks are taken off doors, furniture is rearranged and tables are set. No one knows how or why these rituals began -- at least, no one is willing to talk about it. Nightfall focuses on three teens who are accidentally left behind as everyone flees night and the terrifying creatures that inhabit it.

The book was co-authored by investigative journalist Jake Halpern and former U.S. diplomat Peter Kujawinski as their jobs took them across the globe. Knowing that the manuscript was passed back and forth from India to Haiti and the Arctic Circle, it's easy to see that the authors' work lives inspired the book's themes.

Nightfall is very difficult to put down, it's low on magic and full of suspense and adventure. It reads like an edge-of-your-seat action movie. The book ends in a perfectly satisfying way, and leaves plenty of room for a sequel. If you are a fan of The Maze Runner or The Hunger Games, this book is for you.

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

Reviews Mon Sep 28 2015

Ascenders, Neither Heaven nor Hell

Ascenders Cover Image 2.png

"No, this isn't heaven. It isn't hell. It's high school."
- C.L. Gaber, Ascenders

Walker Callaghan is your average 17-year-old suburban Chicago girl; she just happens to be dead. After a car crash, she finds herself in a middle realm that looks a lot like Michigan, where she attends The Academy, a school intended to teach the "Unformed" enough so they can ascend. In a world where there are no rules because you can't die twice, Walker falls for her classmate, bad boy Daniel Reid, and grapples with how to cope with loss--of life, and of those she cares about most.

Continue reading this entry »

Brianna Kratz / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 25 2015


FRIDAY! Chicago Center for Literature and Photography hosts a release for their newest anthology, The View From Here: Stories about Chicago Neighborhoods at City Lit Books.

FRIDAY! Settle in for An Evening of Poetry with Sara Henning, Staci R. Schoenfield, and Kristy Bowen at Woman and Children First.

SATURDAY! Arts and literary organizations in Wicker Park and West Town celebrate Lit Day (read the Gaper's Block post about it here).

SATURDAY! Its Batman Day so visit you local comics shop as well as Barnes and Noble in Skokie for an appearance by DC Comics artist Tim Seeley.

SUNDAY! City Lit Theater commemorates Banned Books Week with events beginning today as part of their program Books on the Chopping Block.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Contest Fri Sep 25 2015

Annual Prose Awards Open Call

guild.jpgThe Guild Literary Complex has announced the open submission period for its Annual Prose Awards for Short Fiction and Non-Fiction. Every fall, The Guild acknowledges emerging and established writers via a judged competition and recognition event at the historic Chopin Theatre in Chicago.

The Guild invites Illinois residents ages 18 and older to submit one work of either fiction or non-fiction, up to 1,000 words. Writers of all backgrounds and experience levels are invited to submit, and all themes and subjects are welcome. Three semi-finalists from each category will read their work at the Prose Awards event, with a cash prize of $500 going to one author in each category.

The deadline to submit is Thursday, October 22 (5:00 pm). A full list of submission guidelines can be found on The Guild's website. The recognition event will be held on Thursday, November 12, 7:30 pm at the Chopin Theater (1543 West Division Street).

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

Author Fri Sep 25 2015

Lifeline Theatre Hosts James Sie October 4

james sieAward-winning playwright and former Lifeline ensemble member James Sie returns to Lifeline Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood) on October 4 from 6:30 to 8pm to celebrate the release of his debut novel (with illustrator Sungyoon Choi),
Still Life Las Vegas: A Novel

Sie was a member of the Lifeline Theatre artistic ensemble from 1985 -1997, where he served as a playwright (Island of the Blue Dolphins - Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation, The Road to Graceland - After Dark Award: New Work, Dracula - Non-Equity Jeff nomination: New Adaptation, A Wrinkle in Time - Non-Equity Jeff nomination: New Adaptation), director and actor. In addition to writing, Sie is also a voiceover artist, known for Jackie Chan Adventures, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Ice Age: The Meltdown.

The evening will include a wine and cheese reception, a concert reading selection from the novel featuring current Lifeline Theatre ensemble members, and a Q&A session moderated by Lifeline Artistic Director Dorothy Milne, followed by a book signing with Sie. Copies of Still Life Las Vegas will be available for sale in the Lifeline lobby. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Please contact Lifeline at or call 773-761-4477 to reserve your seat.

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 18 2015


FRIDAY! Crossroads, a north meets south poetry showcase, offers a packed lineup of readers at The People's Church Of Chicago.

FRIDAY! New music (maga)zine No Friends holds a release party with bands, DJs and copies of their first issue for sale, at Logan Hardware.

FRIDAY! It's the third Friday of the month, meaning Bad Grammar Theater holds their monthly reading at Powell's Bookstore in Greektown.

SATURDAY! This month's Story Sessions reading will take place around a campfire including smores at the Little House of Glencoe.

SUNDAY! Drop by Comfort Station for a Pop Up Zine Shop as they showcase zines and comics made from Logan Square residents.

SUNDAY! The Uptown Poetry Slam is at the Green Mill (Gapers Block review).

SUNDAY! Close out the weekend with some great fiction shared at The Marrow reading series at the Whistler.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Wed Sep 16 2015

Wicker Park and West Town Celebrate Neighborhood Lit Day

Wicker Park & West Town Lit Day is Saturday, Sept. 26 at various locations in these neighborhoods. A group of local organizations and businesses is getting together to promote all things literary in their bordering neighborhoods.

Wicker Park West Town Lit Day
The Lit Day event day poster was designed by Susie Kirkwood.

The idea of read local and shop small is the main focus in this neighborhood lit walk of sorts. Partnering organizations include 826CHI, Chicago Publishers Resource Center, Chicago Public Library, Quimby's Bookstore, Revolution Bookstore and Volumes Bookcafe. All will be open their regular hours. Here is a list of events and specials throughout the day.

Continue reading this entry »

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 11 2015


FRIDAY! Author Heather McCutcheon discusses her new work Connecting the Dots at City Lit Books.

FRIDAY! Loose Chicks, the reading series that celebrates female performers, is back at Uncharted Books.

SATURDAY! Join Andrés Neuman, author of The Things We Don't Do, in conversation with his book publisher Chad W. Post from Open Letter Books at Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Hyde Park.

SUNDAY! The Self Publishers of Chicago host their monthly reading series at Uncharted Books with this month's reading themed Bars and Drinking.

SUNDAY! The Uptown Poetry Slam settles in for its weekly Sunday slot at the Green Mill (Gapers Block review).

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Chicago Public Library Fri Sep 11 2015

One Book, One Chicago: The Third Coast

ONE BOOK.jpgFor more than a decade, the Chicago Public Library and its One Book, One Chicago program has helped bring communities together around one central book and theme through diverse programming. From October through April 2016, One Book, One Chicago will explore a central theme--Chicago: The City That Gives. This year's selection is The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja.

The Third Coast presents a critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century featuring many of the personalities that shaped American culture. Covering the time period following World War II through 1960, this nonfiction piece highlights Chicago as the crux of commerce, and innovation. Readers explore the people and events that shaped postwar Chicago, which still have a profound influence on how people view the city today.

Author Thomas Dyja will visit the Harold Washington Library Center on Nov. 4 to discuss the book and the theme of "Chicago: The City that Gives." He is a third generation Chicagoan, and The Third Coast focuses on Chicago and its influence on America. "I couldn't begin to count the hours I spent at the Chicago Public Library when I was a kid," said the author. "It was where I learned to love books and so, in a way, I owe everything to the Chicago Public Library."

This will be the first time ever that One Book, One Chicago programming will take place in all 80 branches of Chicago Public Library. Joining with over 25 community partners, the Library will offer Chicagoans a variety of events and programs, including architectural walking tours, public art discussions and music performances, to bring people, businesses, and civic agencies of Chicago together to engage with the book and theme. Free citywide programs will launch in early October.

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

Book Club Thu Sep 10 2015

Review: Marvel and a Wonder by Joe Meno

menomarvel.jpgMarvel and a Wonder
by Joe Meno
(Akashic Books, Sept. 1, 2015)

Jim Falls never expected a miracle. At age 71, his family is broken and his farm isn't far behind. "Already he had a presentiment--an unconscious belief--that the country, the world, was coming to an end." But one morning in mid-July, a stranger arrives on the farm with a bright silver trailer. Inside, a gift. A white mare, beautiful and healthy as a racehorse.

"But...but what for?" Jim asks the stranger. "I just get paid to deliver it," the man answers.

In his gritty new novel, Marvel and a Wonder, Chicago writer Joe Meno has reinvented himself again, exploring the haunting human and natural landscapes of the rural Midwest in the vein of the Coen brothers' Fargo and No Country for Old Men.

Continue reading this entry »

Adam Morgan / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Sep 04 2015


FRIDAY! The Book Cellar holds its annual adult spelling bee with judges, poet Robbie Q. Telfer and YA author James Kennedy.

FRIDAY! Chicago Zine Fest holds a benefit show with bands, zines and brews at Auxiliary Art Center.

SATURDAY! Open mic Poetry in Motion welcomes a youth edition this weekend at Ellie's Café in Morgan Park.

SUNDAY! Empty Bottle Book Club meets to discuss Harper Lee's newest work Go Set a Watchman at the Empty Bottle.

SUNDAY! The presentation and discussion, Tactic and Strategies in the Public Space by Mexico City's Nerivela Project is hosted by the films program at Comfort Station in Logan Square.

Good luck CPS students, faculty and staff on starting off your school year next week!

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Readings Thu Sep 03 2015

Gloria Steinem in Conversation with Roxane Gay


Women & Children First bookstore will host an intimate conversation between feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Roxane Gay on October 29 at The People's Church in Uptown. This one night only event celebrates the release of Steinem's forthcoming memoir, My Life on the Road.

Gloria Steinem, best known for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of women, was a founding editor of, and political commentator for, New York Magazine, and founding editor of Ms. Magazine. She is the recipient of many accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

Roxane Gay, critic, and commentator is the author of the 2014 bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist. She is a professor of English at Purdue University and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, The Butter, and many others.

My Life on the Road details Steinem's life of travel, activism and leadership and how those experiences helped her to inspire change and revolution. This event will be a rare and great opportunity to hear from two different generations of important feminist leaders

The conversation will be held at The People's Church (941 W. Lawrence). Doors open at 6:15pm and the program begins at 7pm with a book signing following from 8 to 10pm. One ticket is included with the pre-order purchase of Gloria Steinem's My Life on the Road from Women & Children First. Tickets are also available in-store, or by calling 773.769.9299.

Jeremy Owens / Comments (0)

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



Thu Oct 8 2015
Lies! Fiction Reading @ Cafe Mustache

Thu Oct 8 2015
Maryrose Carroll @ Chicago Cultural Center

Fri Oct 9 2015
Jarrett Neal @ Women & Children First

Sat Oct 10 2015
The Paper Machete @ Green Mill

Tue Oct 13 2015
This Much Is True @ Mrs. Murphy's & Sons

Tue Oct 13 2015
Curbside Splendor Publishing @ Poetry Foundation

Wed Oct 14 2015
The First Time: First Sign @ Martyrs

About GB Book Club

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

Editor: Andrew Huff,
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