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Sunday, December 21

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Book Club

Events Fri Dec 19 2014

Last Chance to Catch the Marrow in 2014

This Sunday, December 21st, don't let the holidays weigh you down. Celebrate with some live lit at Curbside Splendor Publishing's nonfiction lit series the Marrow. Join hosts Naomi Huffman and Leah Pickett at 7:30pm in historic Pilsen's Thalia Hall at the Punch House, 1227 W. 18th st.

This month's lineup welcomes Curbside Splendor Events & Programming Manager Catherine Eves, writer and photographer Susan Hope Lanier, stand-up comedian and writer Tyler Snodgrass, and Gaper's own Block Book Club contributor Danette Chavez.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Books Fri Dec 12 2014

Hop into the Cab for a Ride-Along in Dmitry Samarov's Where To?

To my recollection, I never rode in Dmitry Samarov's cab. But thanks to his first book, Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, and his latest, Where To? A Hack Memoir, I feel like a regular who's ridden around the city with him for years.

Samarov took a job as a taxi driver after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, first in Boston and then back here in Chicago. Over the years, he sketched, painted and wrote about the places he went, the things he saw and the many, many people he met, of every stripe and level of sobriety imaginable.

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Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 10 2014

Jessie Ann Foley Brings a 'Carnival' to City Lit Books

On Saturday, Dec. 13, Chicago author Jessie Ann Foley stops by City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie, at 5pm for a reading from her YA book, The Carnival at Bray.

Foley, an Irish-American with North-side Chicago roots, mixes her cultural and Midwest upbringing with her fondness for the early '90s as influences for her first novel. The Carnival at Bray (Elephant Rock Books), set in Chicago and Ireland, is a coming of age story of a female lead, using music and setting to develop the plot. Setting part of the story in the Windy City, Foley doesn't disappoint, citing visual landmarks as well as audio standouts (referencing bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair). Music is key to the book, which Foley showcases in a playlist she created for the novel available on her website.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available, which is perfect timing to pick one up for holiday gifts.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Mon Dec 08 2014

The Golden Age Of The (Front) Page

Print journalism has been hit pretty hard by the digital upstart that is online media, but the street boxes that can be found on just about any major Chicago street prove that we're holding on to the printed page. The newspaper has a storied history in the Second City, which is why the Chicago Public Library will host Mike Conklin for "Chicago's Golden Era of Print Journalism" on Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

Conklin was a writer and editor for the Chicago Tribune for over 12 years, has authored three books, and even spent some time as a Fox 32 News commentator and correspondent. He will chronicle the history of Chicago newspapers, from their mid-18th century beginnings to their 20th century zenith. He'll also talk about print journalism's major players, from publishers like Joseph Medill and Marshall Field III to such venerable contributors as Mike Royko and Gwendolyn Brooks.

The event is free and open to the public. The talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 pm. and will be held in the Video Theater in the Lower Level of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. For more information, please call 312-747-4300.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Dec 05 2014


Kick off December with a weekend of litererriment!

Tonight! The Interview Show returns to the Hideout with a lineup that includes local author Jonathan Eig in a discussion of his new book, The Birth of the Pill, 6:30 p.m.

Tonight! Seminary Co-op Bookstore takes a recess from adult lit to present a panel of children's book illustrators, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday! The Chicago Book Expo pops up for its third year of book sales, featured speakers, and lit slams at Columbia College Chicago 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday! Author Hunter Sharpless performs and reads from his debut memoir at City Lit Books, 2 p.m.

Sunday! Secret Sunday Salon returns to 209 W. Lake St. for music, lit, dance and any other merriment readily at hand, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 03 2014

Classic Queer Lit Onscreen & Onstage: Daviel Shy Previews The Ladies Almanack

Equal parts faux-heroic narrative and lesbian gossip column, Djuna Barnes's 1928 novel Ladies Almanack is very strange, very funny, and -- to be fair -- a little hard to read. Whatever one was expecting, it is not that; it's a magpie's nest of archaic language, double entendres, and in-jokes centering on Barnes' social circle, which was dominated by outspoken lesbian salon doyenne Natalie Clifford Barney.

No straightforward film adaptation could do the book justice, so instead Chicago writer and filmmaker Daviel Shy has conceived "a kaleidoscopic tribute to women's writing ... focused on lives and voices of 1920's Paris, refracted by the words of French 1970s theorists, and disseminated through the bodies of international contemporary artists," as the film's website puts it. Ladies AlmanackThose bodies: a pantheon of literary luminaries and other artists, including poet/genius Eileen Myles as the narrator and photographer Deborah Bright as Radclyffe Hall -- convening a contemporary circle of remarkable women to tell the stories of their forebears.

The Ladies Almanack, the movie, is still a work in progress, but throughout the coming year, The Nightingale's Follow Focus program will present excerpts in four installments while giving viewers a peek behind the scenes. The first screening takes place this Sunday, Dec. 7 at 7pm, at 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave., and will include a presentation from Shy and dramatic readings from the novel. For the $15 ticket price, you'll even get a souvenir: part of a Ladies Almanack tarot deck designed by Jess LeMaster, also to be released gradually over the course of the series.

Production photo of Eileen Myles courtesy of The Ladies Almanack.

Daphne Sidor / Comments (0)

Events Wed Dec 03 2014

Chicago Book Expo to Feature Speakers, Literary Events, Book Sales

The Chicago Book Expo will be 11am-5pm Saturday at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash. The free event will have 75+ exhibitors selling books, including local presses, authors and literary organizations.

Seventeen sessions featuring more than 40 Chicago authors and other literary events are on the schedule. Here are some highlights:

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Nancy Bishop / Comments (0)

Events Tue Dec 02 2014

Avoid The Holidaze With Story Club

Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat; people are also getting into fist fights on Black Friday (or better yet, protesting corporate greed) or feigning illness to avoid their "loved" ones. Let's face it, the holiday season doesn't elicit the same kind of merriment in people across the board. So because your heart might not grow three sizes this time of year (at least, it really shouldn't), Story Club is hosting a grumpus gathering worthy of the Krampus.

This Thursday, join host Dana Norris at Holiday Club for stories of holidays gone wrong. The evening's featured performers are Jen Bosworth, James Gordon aka G.P.A, and Jared Crum. As usual, there will be three open mic spots (eight minutes a piece or 1300 words) for a brave few, so happy holidays.

Doors and open mic sign-up will open at 7:30pm, and there's a $10 suggested donation.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Events Tue Dec 02 2014

Tonight is Talk Tuesday

Tuesday Dec. 2, 2014The first Tuesday of the month is for some reason extra crowded with readings, and tonight is no exception.

At 6:30pm, the Reader's Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky host First Tuesdays with Mick & Ben at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. This month their guest is Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Admission is $5 online or at the door. 21-and-over.

Tuesday Funk, the eclectic monthly reading series presented by Gapers Block, returns to the Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., tonight at 7:30pm, with guests award-winning author Jac Jemc, author and playwright Clayton Smith, essayist Karen Genelly, poet and storyteller James Gordon (aka GPA) and New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Eig. Gapers Block's Andrew Huff and Eden Robins co-host. Doors open at 7pm sharp -- no earlier, unfortunately, but get there as close to 7 as possible to grab a table, as the room fills up quickly. Free, 21-and-over.

The Chicago chapter of national storytelling series the Moth holds its GrandSLAM Championship tonight at 8pm at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave. Hear amazing true stories from the best readers over the past few months and vote for your favorite with your applause. Tickets are $20, and the show is 18-and-over.

At 9pm, Two Cookie Minimum holds its final show at the soon-to-close Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave. Readers include zinester Dave Roche, comics artist Neil Brideau, writer Tim Jones-Yelvington and writer Oliver Hunt -- plus resident illustrator Alex Nall will share some of his favorite sketches from his Cookie Crumbs series, and host Johnny Misfit (Gapers Block's own John Wawrzaszek) will share some of the series' highlights. A $5 donation is requested to help the series as it prepares to move to a new location. As always, free cookies will be available. 21-and-over.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Nov 28 2014


Wake up from Tryptophan/tofurkey naps with this weekend's literary fare!

Saturday! Swing by the Rogers Park branch of CPL for a discussion of book, Quantum Physics for Poets by Leon M. Lederman, 2pm.

Saturday! Paper Machete sets up shop at The Green Mill for its weekly foray into terrific and topical essays and musical delights, 3pm.

Saturday! The High Hat Club hosts comedians' best barely-there memories at The Blackout Diaries' true drinking tales, 8pm.

Don't forget to support local bookstores for Small Business Saturday! Here are some suggestions:

Open Books
The Book Cellar
City Lit Books
Women & Children First
Uncharted Books
Unabridged Books
Myopic Books
Bucket o'Blood Books & Records
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Powell's Bookstore
Sandmeyer's Bookstore

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Awards Wed Nov 26 2014

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame to Induct Six Authors

GB-LitHOFposter.jpg Six Chicago literary figures will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Saturday, Dec. 6, at Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame honors and preserves Chicago's great literary heritage through educational programming, awards, exhibits and other special events. One of its current projects is creating a repository of detailed information about Chicago's past, present and future literary life, through such projects as the Chicago Literary Map, the Chicago Book of the Day, and the Chicago Literary Calendar.

This year's Literary Hall of Fame inductees are three poets, a legendary editor, a novelist and an author of iconic childen's books.

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Nancy Bishop / Comments (0)

Author Tue Nov 25 2014

The Other Chair Up There: An Hour with Donna Seaman

Donna Seaman was happy to speak with me. It was a surprise; her reputation preceded her. I knew Seaman was the woman who'd interviewed Martin Amis at this year's Chicago Humanities Festival. She is also a senior editor of Booklist.

These facts alone I describe as a "reputation": leafing through its pages on the bus downtown, I recognized Booklist as the answer to my past weekend's wondering, of literature's fading importance; and Amis was the coy and mellifluous knight at the masthead of that importance. We had all cheered, in the audience, when he came on stage. Because in his dry wit and Swansean tone we all thought we were hearing something of the truth.

She had a hand in both worlds and that fact alone led me to anticipate she'd be a little bit scary. She wasn't.

Continue reading this entry »

Alex Thompson / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Nov 21 2014


Tonight! Richard Flanagan discusses Man-Booker-Prize The Narrow Road to the Deep North at Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday! Bookamania! Harold Washington Library will be home to a children's book festival that includes storytelling, music and appearances by children's book authors and illustrators, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturday! Logan Square's City Lit Books hosts author Lisa Doyle as she reads from her debut novel, Milked, 5 p.m.

Saturday! Make your way to the Book Cellar for a night of poetry, featuring readings by Kate Gale, Ron Koertge and William Trowbridge, 7 p.m.

Saturday! Catch another week of live lit show You're Being Ridiculous at Mary's Attic, featuring performers Jim Bennett, Margaret Dunn, Dennis Frymire, Jonathan Mayo, Jeremy Owens, JH Palmer and Stephanie Sack 7:30 p.m.

Sunday! Take it easy. Happy Thanks-Week!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Readings Wed Nov 19 2014

Give Thanks Through Stories

Just because it's a holiday week next week doesn't mean the live lit scene is taking a break.

On Monday, Nov. 24, 2nd Story heads to City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., for a Thanksgiving show. "A Land of Plenty: Stories of Scarcity & Abundance" will feature stories by Stephanie Chavara, Minita Gandhi and Lott Hill. Doors open at 6pm, and the show starts at 8. Tickets are $18, though some pay-what-you-can tickets will be available at the door.

On Black Wednesday, Nov. 26, two shows vie for your attention, and eithr should give you plenty to talk about over the dinner table Thursday.

Miss Spoken, the female-centered reading series, returns to Gallery Cabaret, 2020 N. Oakley Ave., at 7pm. The theme this month is "Body Hair," and the featured readers are Alyssa Sorresso, Lillia Rissman, Maya Marshall, Samantha Irby, Lisa White and Jessica DiMaio. Carly Oishi and Rosamund Lannin cohost. There's no cover, but it's 21 and over.

Meanwhile, You're Being Ridiculous, the sassy, funny and fun storytelling show created by Jeremy Owens, is back at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Andersonville. Hear stories on the theme "Confession" from Jim Bennett, Margaret Dunn, Dennis Frymire, Jonathan Mayo, Jeremy Owens, JH Palmer and Stephanie Sack. Stories start at 7:30pm, and tickets are $15 online or at the door. There is no better way to avoid your family.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Nov 14 2014


Tonight! Ridiculous and lovely live lit show You're Being Ridiculous returns to Mary's Attic, 7:30 pm.

Tonight! The Kates, a live lit show featuring women in comedy, will return to the Book Cellar, 8 pm.

Saturday! Anjelica Houston follows up her appearance at the Chicago Humanities Festival with a reading of her memoir, Watch Me, at Union League Club, 12 pm.

Saturday! Egg Money Poetry Collective reads from their recent work at Harold Washington Library, 3 pm.

Sunday! Seminary Co-op Bookstore hosts Maya Schenwar in a discussion of her book, Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better, 2 pm.

Sunday! Gabrielle Hamilton stops by the Publican to serve up a feast of dishes included in her new cookbook, Prune, 6 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

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



Mon Dec 22 2014
Sarah Ruhl @ Women & Children First

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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