Dear Reader,

Some businesses have complicated mission statements, but ours can be pretty much summed up by the tagline on our logo: Books – Gifts – Local Color. You already know us well enough to know that we’re all about books, all day every day, but this month we have one event that shines an especially powerful spotlight on book culture. You may have seen some of the publicity surrounding David Dowling’s provocative new book A Delicate Aggression: Savagery and Survival in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (and if not, check out this Q&A from the New York Times ). We’re thrilled that David Dowling will be with us on Friday, April 19 to talk about how that famous writing program shaped authors including Flannery O’Connor, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Sandra Cisneros, T. C. Boyle, and Marilynne Robinson—and shaped much of modern American literary history as well.
In the gifts-and-local-color department, we’re proud to be starting a new relationship with Chicago jewelry artist Deana Rose . For over 25 years, she has created original works from her studio—one of the few surviving storefronts from an era when butchers and bakers filled the corners of her residential Chicago neighborhood. We’re kicking things off with a trunk show from 1 – 4 pm on April 6 that will highlight the fascinating narratives behind several of her signature collections, such as her lockets, which use vintage molds to create new castings; her Buddha amulets from Thailand; or the Zen collection, featuring stones from the beaches of Lake Michigan coupled with gemstones and pearls.
And don’t forget, Independent Bookstore Day is coming up on Saturday, April 27—and we’ll have a full day of celebrating going on. Read on for more detail about these and our many other exciting April events—and if you’re getting the newsletter in Gmail, please be aware that your browser may only be showing you the beginning and not the full list of events, unless you click to view the whole thing.

And, as always, read on!
Starting April 1, we'll be putting a table full of Nearly New, Lightly Used, and Vintage cookbooks on sale at irresistible prices. You'll want to check it out early to get the best selection and the best deals!

And don't forget that our permanent used book-buying hours are Saturday 1-5 pm and Sunday 3-5 pm. You get store credit for whatever we buy, which you can use on anything in the store. Check here for our buying guidelines . And while you're in, check out the incredible selection of lightly used books we've acquired since we started this very successful program!
April Events
"Terese Svoboda," said The Bloomsbury Review , “is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.” We feel incredibly honored to welcome this acclaimed poet, novelist, memoirist, short story writer, librettist, translator, biographer, critic, videomaker, and oh did we mention, Guggenheim fellow, on the occasion of the publication of her eighteenth book and second collection of short stories, Great American Desert , in which the themes of the use and abuse of water and the consequences of the land's mistreatment recur. We’re also pleased to welcome Jessi Phillips, a writer and musician whose work has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train , Mississippi Review , VICE , and Pacific Standard , who’ll be in conversation with Terese about the stories, as well as her other recent book Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet.
Saturday, April 6, 1 - 4 pm
Featuring unique beads and stones from around the world, Deana Rose’s designs have been carried in boutiques and museums across the United States, and chosen by costume designers to appear in everything from local news features to network television dramas such as The Good Wife and CSI:New York.

She creates a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, but at Bookends & Beginnings, we’ll be focusing on items that carry stories within them, such as the lockets that are created using vintage molds.  Lockets evoke memories, whether it's of one your grandmother always wore with a photo of her husband and son in it, or one you had as a child. Deana’s Zen collection features centuries-old basalt or granite stones that have been tumbled by the waves of Lake Michigan to create a smooth surface that feels soft in your hand—producing touch-stones or worry-stones that feel very calming. Her Thai Buddhist Amulets are talismans that are often given as gifts to donors at temples. Depicting a holy man or Buddha, they are worn by individuals to help with different aspects of life, whether it be health, relationships, or wealth. The Buddhist Dharma Wheel is represented in some of these iconic images, which can be used as a tool in meditation.

We invite you to come meet Deana at the trunk show today and explore these and other exquisite items, which make great gifts for Mother’s Day, graduation, birthdays—or as a well-deserved treat for yourself. And we’ll be keeping a display in the store after the trunk show so you can shop the collections any time!
Offsite at The Evanston Public Library in partnership with MENA
Rana F. Sweis: Voices of Jordan
Monday, April 8, 6 - 7:30 pm
Please join the MENA Program , the Medill School of Journalism , and the Evanston Public Library for this discussion with Jordanian journalist Rana Sweis about her important new book, Voices of Jordan .

Jordan’s diverse socioeconomic make-up encapsulates, like no other Middle Eastern state, both the array of pressing short-term problems facing the region, and the underlying challenges that Arab states will need to face once the current spate of civil conflicts is over: meaningful youth employment, female participation in politics, and integration of refugees into society.
This book tells the story of Jordan through the lives of ordinary people, including a political cartoonist, a Syrian refugee, a Jihadist and a female parliamentarian. The raw voices and everyday struggles of these people shine a fresh light on the politics, religion, and society of a culture coming to terms with the harsh reality of modernisation and urbanisation at a time of regional upheaval.

Rana F. Sweis is a Jordanian journalist covering political, social, and refugee issues in the Middle East, most often for the New York Times .
Offsite at the Evanston History Center , 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston
Wednesday, April 10, 6 - 8:30 pm
World War I drew to a close with the armistice of November 11, 1918, but the war’s official end would not come until June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in Paris. The treaty and the complex negotiations that led to it would prove to pose new problems and issues faced by the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson has long been judged critically for his role in the negotiations, and at this event marking the centennial of the end of World War I, biographer Patricia O’Toole will examine the complex challenges Wilson faced in Paris, his leadership of the Americans during the war, and his legacy.
In addition to her newest book The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made , Patricia O’Toole is also the author of When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House and The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends , which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A former professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University and a fellow of the Society of American Historians, she lives in Camden, Maine.

This event will kick off with a wine and appetizer reception from 6 to 7 pm, followed by the presentation from 7 to 8 pm. A book signing will follow the presentation. Copies of The Moralist will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Bookends & Beginnings. Seating only guaranteed for those who make a reservation .
Offsite at Northwestern’s Hardin Hall, Rebecca Crown Center
633 Clark Street, Evanston
Theodora Ross: A Cancer in The Family
Friday, April 12, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
There are 13 million people with cancer in the United States. It’s estimated that about 1.3 million of these cases are hereditary. Despite advanced training in cancer genetics and years of practicing medicine, Dr. Theo Ross was never certain whether the history of cancers in her family was simple bad luck or a sign that they were carriers of a cancer-causing genetic mutation. Then she was diagnosed with melanoma, and for someone with a dark complexion, melanoma made no sense. It turned out there was a genetic factor at work.
At this talk based on her fascinating new book A Cancer in the Family , oncologist and cancer-gene hunter Theodora Ross uses her own family’s story, the latest science of cancer genetics, and her experience as a practicing physician, to discuss how to spot the patterns of inherited cancer, how to get tested for cancer-causing genes, and what to do if you have one.
Endorsed by Siddartha Mukherjee, prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies,  Dr. Ross’s book is the first authoritative go-to for anyone facing inherited cancer.

Registration is required as seating is limited
As part of our ongoing partnership with  Northwestern's Global Humanities Initiative , we host occasional conversations about literature in translation that include readings and discussions of the translation process. Tonight's Translation Salon will feature Professor Carl Ernst , Kenan Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill , reading from and discussing his award-winning book, Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr.

Hallaj   is the first authoritative translation of the Arabic poetry of Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, an early Sufi mystic. Despite his execution in Baghdad in 922 and the subsequent suppression of his work, Hallaj left an enduring literary and spiritual legacy that continues to inspire readers around the world.
In this volume, Carl W. Ernst offers a definitive collection of 117 of Hallaj’s poems expertly translated for contemporary readers interested in Middle Eastern and Sufi poetry and spirituality.

Carl W. Ernst is William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and codirector of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. He is the author of  How to Read the Qur’an: A New Guide, with Select Translations  and many other scholarly works.
Offsite at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center , 1655 Foster St, Evanston
Dear Evanston Racial Justice Book Group: Despite the Best Intentions
Tuesday, April 16, 6 - 7:30 pm
Dear Evanston is a group that seeks to engage everyone in the Evanston community—people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and genders; teachers, elected officials, law enforcement, religious and social service leaders—in creative and powerful conversations about the causes of violence, ways in which violence affects us all, and what part each of us can play to help end it

As a sponsor of Dear Evanston's Racial Justice Book Group, Bookends & Beginnings offers the group's selections at a 15% discount to anyone who is reading the book in order to take part in the discussion. We also donate five copies of each selection to Dear Evanston to offer free of charge to those who can't purchase them.

Stop by to pick up your copy of the April 16 selection, Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools,  an in-depth study with far-reaching consequences that revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society. And join the conversation!

RSVP: Sign up now! Deadline to register is April 9, 5pm. For more information, email or call 224-234-8229 
Wednesday, April 17, 6 - 7:30 pm
In this month's selection of the Mortality Book Club-- Advice For Future Corpses -- Tisdale explores all the heartbreaking, beautiful, terrifying, confusing, absurd, and even joyful experiences that accompany the work of dying, including:

A Good Death:  What does it mean to die “a good death”? Can there be more than one kind of good death? What can I do to make my death, or the deaths of my loved ones, good?

Communication : What to say and not to say, what to ask, and when, from the dying, loved ones, doctors, and more.

Last Months, Weeks, Days, and Hours : What you might expect, physically and emotionally, including the limitations, freedoms, pain, and joy of this unique time.

Bodies : What happens to a body after death? What options are available to me after my death, and how do I choose—and make sure my wishes are followed?

Grief:  “Grief is the story that must be told over and over...Grief is the breath after the last one.”

Beautifully written and compulsively readable,  Advice for Future Corpses offers the resources and reassurance that we all need for planning the ends of our lives, and is essential reading for future corpses everywhere.

Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important--but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.
Join us for the book launch of Tom Burke's highly anticipated novel, Eastbound into the Cosmos, a
dark comedy about new kinds of faith and spirituality—what people want, and what they’re willing to do to get it.

American culture is strange, and it appears even stranger after a hiatus. Cue Everett is back in Chicagoland after living in China. His head is spinning. His father has just died, and basic reentry to the life he once knew is increasingly taxing and complicated. On top of that, it seems that while he was abroad, everyone Everett cared about dove off the deep end into some particular madness. Exhibit A: Everett’s mom, recently widowed and with a newfound faith in healing crystals and a pony-tailed guru. Exhibit B: former roommate Dino and his new ascetic lifestyle—no more tasty food, ditto with sexy thoughts and the rest of life’s pleasures. Increasingly driftless and desperate, Everett signs onto an unconventional business venture that lands him at the center of the high-stakes world of mushroom smuggling.
Eastbound into the Cosmos  is the story of Everett’s attempt to process it all—the longing, the grief, the weirdness. Along the way he discovers the weird in himself, too, which may just be the thing that ultimately frees him.
Thomas Burke received a BA from Union College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Eastbound into the Cosmos is his first novel. He has contributed work to  Tin House ,   The Rumpus Playboy Hobart Pulp,  and  St. Petersburg Review. . He has taught at UMass Amherst , the Newberry Library , and Northwestern University , where he is currently assistant director of the Kaplan Humanities Institute . Formerly Burke helped direct the Summer Literary Seminars in Russia and co-founded its sister program in Kenya. He is the recipient of the Eugene Yudis Prize for fiction, a fellowship from the UMass Amherst MFA Program, and a residency at Art Omi’s Ledig House, among other honors. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two children.

Call or email the store to preorder your copy for the event!
As the world’s preeminent creative writing program, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop has produced an astonishing number of distinguished writers and poets since its establishment in 1936. Its alumni and faculty include twenty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, six U.S. poet laureates, and numerous National Book Award winners. Join us this evening as David Dowling discusses his compelling new book, which follows the program from its rise to prominence in the early 1940s under director Paul Engle, who promoted the “workshop” method of classroom peer criticism

Meant to simulate the rigors of editorial and critical scrutiny in the publishing industry, this educational style created an environment of both competition and community, cooperation and rivalry. Focusing on some of the exceptional authors who have participated in the program--such as Flannery O'Connor , Dylan Thomas , Kurt Vonnegut , Jane Smiley , Sandra Cisneros , T. C. Boyle , and Marilynne Robinson --David Dowling examines how the Iowa Writers' Workshop has shaped professional authorship, the publishing industry, and the course of American literature.
David O. Dowling is associate professor at the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His previous books include Literary Partnerships and the Marketplace and Emerson’s Protégés . He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 20, 11 am
Join us after Storytime to see what kinds of treats and treasures the Easter Bunny has stashed in our Garden of Books. Intended for kids ages 4 - 8 and their families. RSVP's are appreciated but not necessary. Feel free to call the store or email us at  
Tuesday, April 23, noon - 1 pm
This month the VSI club will explore Consciousness , "the last great mystery for science." The study of how we interact with the world remains a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion?

Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments and the major theories, while also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings.
Anyone is welcome to join this Very Short Book Club, which is gradually--and in very short doses--working toward a complete understanding of everything by tackling a new title from the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series every month. Or just come browse our collection of 300+ VSIs, offering concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic.
Tuesday, April 23, 6 - 7:30 pm
With the success of last month's meeting, we're continuing our new book club featuring Science Fiction and Fantasy books, led by Brooke, our newest bookseller, who is excited to share her passion for diverse science fiction books. If you haven't looked at the science fiction or fantasy shelves in a while, you may be surprised at the influx of talented women, POC, and LGBTQ+ writers that are writing some of the most interesting and compelling works in the genres. Brooke's goal is to highlight these traditionally underrepresented groups. Each month, we'll explore a new read from a diverse SF/F author. So if you came last month, bring a friend, and if you weren't able to make it last time, here's your chance!

This month the club will read Black Leopard Red Wolf . Read Josiah's Review Below:
" The latest novel from the Man Booker prize-winning author Marlin James, Black Leopard Red Wolf , is an epic fantasy set in Africa, introducing us to a world James will be exploring over the course of a planned trilogy. A dizzying array of rich landscapes, memorable and unique characters, and plenty of twists and turns in a kaleidoscope tale are presented by a novelist skilled at bringing worlds --real ones and imaginary-- to life. This is the book for anyone looking for a Game of Thrones type world that divests itself of the well worn tropes of Eurocentric mythology." -Josiah

Stop by the store to chat with Brooke if you want more info about the club, or send her an email at .
Offsite at Rebecca Crown Center, Hardin Hall, 633 Clark Street
Thursday, April 25th, 12 - 1:30 pm
The minuscule motion of a butterfly's wings can trigger a tornado half a world away, according to chaos theory. Under the right conditions, small simple actions can produce large complex effects. In this timely and provocative book, Catharine A. MacKinnon argues that the right seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations.

The pieces collected here in Butterfly Politics --many published for the first time--provide a new perspective on MacKinnon's career as a pioneer of legal theory and practice and an activist for women's rights. Professor MacKinnon will address the politics and law of sexual harassment, focusing on its violation of equality rights, considering the #MeToo movement, and exploring those developments in light of the theory elaborated in her book.
Catharine MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School . As an expert on international law, constitutional law, political and legal theory, and jurisprudence, MacKinnon focuses on women’s rights and sexual abuse and exploitation, including sexual harassment, rape, prostitution, sex trafficking and pornography.

Rhino Poetry Night
Friday, April 26, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their April gathering, with special guest poets and the traditional open mic. More details are available on the
  RHINO Website  or keep an eye on our   Facebook page .
Saturday, April 27 All Day
Independent Bookstore Day celebrates all that we love about being a part of the community! It's a big national event, a chance for every indie's much-valued customers to celebrate how their local store makes book-shopping a deeply enjoyable and personal experience, not one based on algorithms and data-collection. 

Highlights of this year's Indie Bookstore Day at Bookends & Beginnings:

ALL DAY: The third annual Indie Bookstore Crawl: Visit 10 Chicagoland stores and get 10% off for a year; visit 15 stores and get 15% off for a year!
ALL DAY: Free B&B bumper sticker with any purchase; free B&B tote bag with any purchase over $100
ALL DAY: Unique, limited-edition IBD merchandise such as a signed Ada Twist book and a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists Pouch
ALL DAY:   Indie Bookstore Love Video Booth- a chance for you to tell us in a short video why you love having an independent bookstore like Bookends & Beginnings as a part of the community
10:30 am Pete the Cat Activity Storytime with Crafts & Dancing
5 - 6:30 pm Chicago Food Crawls event with author Soo Park, including tasting of foods from Evanston restaurants featured in the book.

And Save The Date For
Co-Sponsored with Chicago Book Expo
Saturday May 11 through Sunday May 19
Authors appearing at Bookends & Beginnings during the Festival include:

Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Tubman Command

April Staff Poetry Picks
April is National Poetry Month, so check out these recommendations and keep an eye out for our favorite poetry books at the front of the store this month!
I picked up this book to idly read the first poem, and ended up sitting down and devouring the whole collection. Asghar, a Pakistani-American Muslim orphan, writes about being without a home (both family and country), about coming of age and grappling with race and sexuality, about violence and identity and gender. Her words are fierce and powerful, tender and joyful, and so worth reading again and again. --Brooke
Visionary, bold, and insightful, Eve Ewing's Electric Arches is a work without parallel. A story that pierces the heart and lodges there promising never to leave. Combining poetry, visual art, and narrative prose, Electric Arches is a tour de force exploring the kaleidoscope experience of black girls and women. If you only read one book of poetry this year, which you should not do, read this one. You won't regret it!
It's never easy to find the right words to express grief or comfort grieving friends, but poetry, by suggestion, can often go places that direct expression doesn't. This slim, small volume, containing poems about loss and bereavement from some of the world’s greatest poets—including Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams, Gwendolyn Brooks, Neruda, Catullus, Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Bei Dao, and Czeslaw Milos—is a perfect gift to slip into a sympathy card or keep by your bedside when you need a compassionate literary companion for difficult times. --Nina
Ada Limon has a way of making both the intangible and the everyday come alive. Her poems speak to the heart and entice compassion from the reader. However, she does not shy away from the hardship either. I find myself picking up this collection again and again to go over her poems, not because they are confusing, but rather because they are so comforting. If you haven't read any of her poems, I suggest starting with this collection and then viewing her newest one ! --Caleigh
Storytime Every Saturday Morning at 10:30 am
For children ages 2 through 6, Storytime at Bookends & Beginnings is always fun! Our alternating storytellers are Nina Barrett (our store owner), Brooke Williams, and elementary school teacher Chris Kennelly (shown in action in this photo).
Bookends & Beginnings  is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our fifth calendar year. We are a member of the Chicago Independent Bookstore Alliance ( ChIBA ), the Great Lakes Independent Bookstore Association ( GLIBA ), and the American Booksellers Association ( ABA ). Show your support by shopping in our store (and  other Chicago-area independent bookstores ), by donating books of quality and in good condition, by bringing your local and out-of-town friends and family to shop with us, by attending our events, and by "liking" us on  Facebook and posting reviews on other social media. Remember that you can always see event photos and news updates on  our Facebook page , which is updated almost daily. There you can also subscribe to our events feed with a single click.
Above all, keep reading good books! 
Bookends & Beginnings