August Events and Updates
Dear Readers,
This month we'd like to draw your attention to our newly redesigned website (see a preview in the image above). We've improved the graphics and the user-friendliness, and made it easier for you to order books online, check out our event schedule, even get a quick video introduction to that author whose event you meant to get to. For instance, check out Madeleine Henry's nutshell summary of her new novel Breathe In, Cash Out , taped when she was in for her event in July and now posted on our homepage.

And because so many people now pre-order books, we want to remind you that any book you think about pre-ordering from some ginormous online bookselling juggernaut, you can just as well pre-order from us, and get it on the day it's published. How about starting with Margaret Atwood's The Testaments , the much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid's Tale , due out on September 10?
Finally, you can now also order digital gift certificates from our website! These are emailed directly to the recipient and can only be used for online shopping--though of course any book purchased online can be picked up in the store. If you want us to mail one of our traditional paper gift certificates, which the recipient can bring to the store for in-person shopping, you can order those online as well.

Of course, as a fiercely dedicated brick-and-mortar bookseller, we always love to see you in the store! Right now we have a fantastic used cookbook sale going on in our back room, with most books priced at $3, $5, or $7.

Or come to one of our fabulous August events. For more info on those, read on.

And, as always, read on!
Upcoming Events
Monday, July 29, 6 pm   Lee Zacharais:  Across the Great Lake
Tuesday, July 30, 6 pm Janet Burroway on  Writing Fiction
Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 pm   Harry Potter Birthday Party
Saturday, August 3, 2 pm Amanda Thomsen: Backyard Adventure
Saturday, August 3, 3 pm Where's Waldo Grand Prize Party
Wednesday, August 21, 6 pm Mortality Book Club reads Taking Turns
Thursday, August 22, 6 pm Mark Larson: Ensemble
Friday, August 23, 6:30 pm Bardwell Scholars Fundraiser
Tuesday, August 27, noon The Very Short Book Club: Conscience
Wednesday, August 28, 6 pm Barnaby Dinges: Ragged Run
Friday, August 30, 6 pm RHINO Poetry Night
Event Reminder
A Writing Well Event
Tuesday, July 30, 6 - 7:30 pm
Janet Burroway’s best-selling classic  Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft  is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and for more than three decades it has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn the craft. This book is a master class in creative writing that also calls on us to renew our love of storytelling and celebrate the skill of writing well. And now you can attend a mini-master class from the author herself, when Janet Burroway comes to Bookends & Beginnings to celebrate the publication of the new tenth edition and discuss what’s new and improved—as well as what’s old and reliable—in this edition. Moving from freewriting to final revision, the book addresses “showing not telling,” characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, plot, imagery, and point of view. It includes new topics and writing prompts, and the examples and quotations throughout the book feature a wide and diverse range of today’s best and best-known creators of both novels and short stories.
What’s your biggest stumbling block as a writer? We invite writers at all levels of practice to come ask Janet about whatever it is, or about any other writing question. And bring your writer friends along, too!
Janet Burroway is the author of plays, poetry, children’s books, and eight novels, including  The Buzzards Raw Silk Opening Nights Cutting Stone , and  Bridge of Sand . She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at Florida State University. She lives in Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
RSVP requested for this event so we can plan appropriately.
Please fill out this  short form to RSVP
August Events
With a whole month of summer still ahead, there's plenty of time to spend quality (screen-free!) time with your kids in your own backyard! In her new book Backyard Adventure , author Amanda Thomsen helps kids and families rediscover the yard as a place for inspired play by creating tiny gardens inhabited by action figures, weaving a secret hideaway out of a loom of twine and twigs, setting sidewalk cracks on fire with Coffeemate, or other imaginative activities.
Join us (right before our Where's Waldo Grand Prize Party starts) as Amanda talks about the cool activities in her book and demos how to make seed-bombs, which everyone will get to take home!

Amanda Thomsen is the author of  Backyard Adventure  and  Kiss My Aster  as well as a mom, a Girl Scout troop leader, a garden maker, an adventure planner, and a rule breaker. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and eight-year-old daughter.
Saturday, August 3, 3 pm
You still have a few days left to complete the "Find Waldo in Downtown Evanston" scavenger hunt! Then, on Saturday August 3, all kids who've found Waldo in 20 or more of the local independent businesses where he's been hiding can come to our Where's Waldo Grand Prize Party, where Waldo himself will be handing out prizes donated by all the businesses, including a selection of Where's Waldo books! Kids can--of course--bring their whole families to the party. If you completed the scavenger hunt but are unable to attend the party, please turn in your passport anyway, and we'll be in touch with you about getting one of the remaining prizes.

Thanks to everyone and to all the businesses---listed below--who participated this year. We were thrilled by hearing both kids and adults tell us how much they enjoyed it, and we look forward to doing this again next year!

Summer Reading Program Final Party!
Saturday, August 10, 11 am - 12:30 pm
There's a few more days to finish up the summer reading program in time for our final party! We've had so many kids join in on our inaugural summer reading program and we are going to celebrate all the great reading they've done! Join us for a little snack, prizes if you haven't picked them up yet, activities, and great conversation about books!
Author Visit: MK Czerwiec
Wednesday, August 21, 6 - 7:30 pm
In 1994, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, MK Czerwiec took her first nursing job, at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, as part of the caregiving staff of HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Tonight, she'll be joining The Mortality Book Club to discuss her graphic memoir Taking Turns , which pulls back the curtain on life in the ward.

Czerwiec joined Unit 371 at a pivotal time in the history of AIDS: deaths from the syndrome in the Midwest peaked in 1995 and then dropped drastically in the following years, with the release of antiretroviral protease inhibitors. The book combines Czerwiec's memories with the oral histories of patients, family members, and staff. It depicts life and death in the ward, the ways the unit affected and informed those who passed through it, and how many look back on their time there today.
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, who is a practicing death doula.
Thursday, August 22, 6 - 7:30 pm
Chicago is a bona fide theater town, bursting with an explosive, innovative vitality that’s fed every sector of the entertainment industry—from Hollywood to Broadway to Studio 8H—for as long as it’s delighted adoring local fans. In his new book Ensemble , author Mark Larson draws from more than 300 interviews to weave a narrative that expresses the spirit of Chicago’s ensemble ethos: the voices of celebrities such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Asner, George Wendt, Michael Shannon, and Tracy Letts comingle with stories from designers, composers, and others who have played a crucial role in making Chicago theater so powerful, influential, and unique.
Ensemble explores the early days of the fabled Compass Players and the legendary Second City in the ’50s and ’60s; the rise of internationally acclaimed ensembles like Steppenwolf in the ’70s; the explosion of storefront and neighborhood companies that began in earnest in the ’80s; and the enduring global influence of the city as the center of improv training and performance. 

Mark Larson is a teacher and academic turned oral historian. He curates the website American Stories Continuum.
Friday, August 23, 6:30 - 9 pm
The Bardwell Scholarship Program helps motivated, dedicated students attain their dream of a college education through careful, close mentoring and tuition assistance. Tonight, for the fourth year, the Roger Bardwell Scholarship organization will hold its RBS Nights Out celebration at Bookends & Beginnings. Please join us in supporting this non-profit organization based in Evanston, operating in Chicago, which promotes higher education for the non-traditional student. Many of these students are undocumented and unable to receive other assistance. There will be live music, refreshments, and other amusements. 

Suggested donation is $30 (Students $20).  Click here for more information about the Bardwell Scholarship Progra m
Tuesday, August 27, noon - 1 pm
What, exactly, is "conscience"? From where does it originate? If it speaks to us, in whose voice does it speak? Is it a personal trait or a gift of a god? How reliable is it? In this month's selection of the Very Short Book Club-- Conscience: A Very Short Introduction --author Paul Strohm explores the deep historical roots of conscience and considers what it has meant to successive generations. Using examples from literature, history, politics, religion, and popular culture, he challenges us to examine the authority and meaning of conscience in our own lives.
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. The monthly discussions are mediated by Josiah and welcome all types of thinkers. 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. If you'd like to learn more about the group stop in and talk to Josiah or email him at
Tuesday, August 27, 6 - 7:30 pm
Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads:  Burn before reading.  Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?

Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers,  This Is How You Lose the Time War  is an epic love story spanning time and space.
Anyone is welcome to join our Science Fiction Book Club, led by Brooke, 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 haven't been able to make it, here's your chance!
Barnaby Dinges has been writing professionally for nearly 40 years, including work as an investigative journalist for The Chicago Reporter and, as a freelance writer, publishing stories with the Chicago Tribune , the Columbia Journalism Review, the Chicago Sun-Times , and the Chicago Reader .

His first book, Ragged Run , is a memoir-- one that will speak to anyone who has experienced their own ragged run through the often trying streets of life. Dinges looks back to his Chicago childhood in the early 1960s in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Lincoln Park. 
In what seemed like the span of a minute, the rug was pulled out from under Barnaby and his older brother Casey. That trouble would rob Barnaby and Casey of both parents within two years, but it wouldn’t stop there. Their grave losses would bring the siblings trials and despair spanning the next decade, in the form of a loveless foster family who challenged both Barnaby and Casey to a breaking point...and eventually, to fight back with everything they had. Ragged Run is a memoir about survival, hope, and the determination to make it through tomorrow.

Barnaby Dinges joins us tonight in conversation with former Evanston RoundTable reporter Shawn Jones .
RHINO Poetry Night
Friday, August 30, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their August 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 .
August Staff Recommendations
Told all in text messages, this book is charming, funny, relatable, and keeps you guessing till the end. The fast pace makes it hard to put down and the characters really come to life through their dialogue! A wonderful YA book that address the struggles of growing up but shows that having someone to support and listen to you makes a big difference. I loved this book!
We all know the story of 9/11--at least in its broadest outlines--but this intensely readable, moment-by-moment account introduces us to the people who were boarding the planes that day, the people who were monitoring the skies and our national defense, and the people who were in the impacted buildings, in a way that's intensely personal and completely gripping. 
This is narrative nonfiction at its most compelling.
Max Porter's Lanny surely has the power to reignite your inner-child. Told in darkly poetic, sing-songy sections that have come to define Porter's style, this novel lives somewhere between a fairytale and horror story. Lanny’s parents have just moved him to a small village from a bustling city (probably London) and the influx of his creative spirit may be responsible for awakening the figure of an old folktale from a centuries-long slumber. Porter deftly creates a chaotic landscape through nonsequiturs that paint the page in waves and ribbons while Lanny’s adventures test his parents’ belief in their ability to keep their inner-child alive. I read it twice.

If you haven't been reading Stephen McCranie's Space Boy , you are missing out on a wonderful graphic story that has delightful characters, engaging story lines, and a lot to love. Part 4 of the saga just came out in print in July and part 5 comes out in November, so you have plenty of time to catch up. From the first chapter McCranie draws you into the world of Amy, a young girl whose world as she knows it is about to change completely. Amy has such a unique way of looking at the world and her excitement about the little things fills you with curiosity as you read. That's not to say her world is all easy either. As she confronts new experiences, global organizations, and deadly robots, she also learns a lot about friendship, family, and the things that matter most. McCranie does a great job of exploring larger conflicts and intense relationships while keeping things appropriate and reachable. This would be a great book to read as a family or individually for adults and middle grade kids!

Let’s be honest about something. The Mueller report is neither an easy nor a fun read. Although it presents a narrative full of Russian spies, hackers, secret recordings, episode after episode of justice being obstructed, and the very real possibility of a Manchurian candidate in the Oval Office, the Mueller report is not a crime thriller. What you will read in its pages is scandalous, but you won’t find any tabloid-worthy taglines. The report lacks—refuses really—to engage in anything but the kind of fact-fueled, painstakingly detailed approach of a wide-reaching criminal investigation at the highest level. Many of the people whom this effects the most are counting on the American public not reading this book, and have gleefully offered in this vacuum of awareness their own “summaries” that serve only to twist the facts that have been uncovered into facsimiles. The Mueller report has been simultaneously cursed as a “witch hunt” and claimed to be grounds for impeaching the president. Read it and decide for yourself. Read it so that it can’t be misread to you. Read it because it is worth reading. 

17 year old Marisol "agrees" to particpate in an experimental procedure that will remove the grief from someone's body and place it into hers. Villasante's "The Grief Keeper" is an extremely timely young adult novel about how far one young immigrant will go to secure safety for her sister in the United States, and how willing the rich are to exploit young immigrants if it benefits their families. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking story that explores the consequences of what happens when certain kinds of love and people are considered illegal.

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! Also, look out for our Special Storytimes, listed in our events! These extra-special mornings often include a craft and activity to accompany our stories!
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

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