April News

BIG NEWS: We are proud to announce that Bookends & Beginnings LLC is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed on March 25 against Amazon and the Big Five Publishers. Here’s an FAQ about that:

Q. Why are you doing this?
A. Because: Unfair business practices. We don’t think we need to go into detail about that here, but if you’re interested, feel free to read the complaint.

Q. Why a class action suit?
A. Because our daily struggle to run a sustainable brick-and-mortar bookstore in the heart of your community is shared by every other independent bookstore in the country, and anywhere else in the world where Amazon does business. We know that individually, there’s really nothing we can do about it. It needs to be a collective action, led by exceptional legal firepower. So we encourage other bookstores to sign up to join the class.

Q. Are you trying to make people feel guilty about shopping at Amazon?
A. Haha, are you talking about a recent Onion article? To be clear, all we ask is that you be willing to pay the full price printed on a book jacket (which is determined by the publisher, not by us) in order to sustain all the extra value we add to your community by staying in business.

Q: What value do you add to our community?
A: Most independent bookstores are deeply embedded in the communities they serve. They match readers up with books that enrich their lives, they help teach kids to love reading, they build communities around talking about books and ideas, they give gift cards to local fundraisers and reach out to populations where just owning a book might be a luxury. And they do it because they care, not because they’re trying to sell you a commodity or mine your personal data.
            Plus, we are an actual place. You can come visit our very cozy alley store on a rainy Sunday, or a stressful Wednesday, or your Thursday lunch hour, or in between errands with your kids on a busy Saturday morning, and lose yourself in the pleasure of browsing the shelves for books you probably wouldn’t have discovered online. And you can talk to our very friendly, very passionate and committed staffers about the books they love. 
Plus, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a local store stays in your community, and every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services

Q. Okay, we’re rooting for you! What can we do to support you?
A. You can show your love for us and for any other independent bookstore in any or all of these ways:
o   Pledge to buy ALL your books there. 
o   Do everything you can to spread the word, by talking to people or using your favorite social media.
o   Do a couple of these things simultaneously by buying a copy of bookstore owner Danny Caine’s illuminating $12.95 book How to Resist Amazon and Why: The Fight for Local Economics, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future! 
o   Or buy 10 copies and give them to all your friends!
o   Make sure your local bookstore is signed up as part of the class action. If not, send them here.
LOTS OF GREAT EVENTS: Meanwhile, it's business as usual at both our stores, open for browsing 11 am to 5 pm daily. And boy, do we have a packed virtual event schedule for April, with more great Literary Lunchbreaks as well as events being hosted by our community partners Evanston Public Library, the Evanston History Center, and Edgewater Public Library. At the Edgewater event, I am incredibly honored and excited to be the interviewer who talks to Jill Wine-Banks about her memoir The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President, which incidentally was just optioned by Katie Holmes for a film. It's been so fascinating to revisit the final act of the Nixon presidency from her point of view, and the story has certainly acquired a new resonance since the last act of the last presidency, as well

For more information on these and other store events, read on in the newsletter.
And, as always, read on!


Upcoming Events
Author of The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks celebrates National Library Week with Edgewater Public Library, in conversation with store owner Nina Barrett, author of The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America's Most Infamous Crimes

Be a fly on the wall to hear these two authors discuss books, writing, politics, history, their love of libraries, and more! Register now.

In her memoir The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks takes us inside her trial by fire as the only woman on the Watergate prosecution team. Called "the mini-skirted lawyer" by the press, she fought to receive the respect accorded her male counterparts--and prevailed. The Watergate Girl opens a window on this troubled time in American history and tells the story of a young woman who sought to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions, and harboring secrets of her own. At once a cautionary tale and an inspiration for those who believe in the power of justice and the rule of law, The Watergate Girl is a revelation about our country, our politics, and who we are as a society.
Jill Wine-Banks began her career as the first woman to serve as an organized crime prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. After just over four years, her trial capabilities and win record led to her selection as one of the three Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutors, where she was again the only woman, in the obstruction of justice trial against President Nixon's top aides, including his Attorney General, Chief of Staff, and Chief Domestic Adviser. Her team delivered a briefcase of evidence to the House Judiciary Committee as a road map to impeachment. She was also a major player in the Watergate tapes hearing, cross-examining Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon’s secretary, about the 18 ½ minute gap in a key White House recording.

Jill is currently an MSNBC Legal Analyst, appearing regularly on primetime and daytime shows. A sought-after speaker, Jill appears before professional, political, women’s, and business groups, universities, and law schools.
Nina Barrett is the owner of Bookends & Beginnings. In July of 2018, Nina published The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America's Most Infamous Crimes (Agate Publishing), a book that was praised by Rick Kogan in the Chicago Tribune for its "astonishing and compelling detail." Nina often gives talks about the case and its ongoing relevance and fascination to a 21st-century audience. She has been a guest speaker for Friends of the Edgewater Library on several occasions.

This event is sponsored by Friends of the Edgewater Library in partnership with the Edgewater Branch Library Bookends & Beginnings.
Register now. You will receive a link 3-5 days before this event. We will be recording this event.
Join us for a special event featuring legal scholars Josephine Ross and Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., who will discuss their writings and research on the injustices of our criminal justice system and shed light on the ways policing and our legal systems can be improved.
About Josephine Ross and A Feminist Critique of Policing:

Josephine Ross is a professor at the Howard University School of Law and a recognized expert on policing and the Constitution. Early in her career, she served as a public defender, representing clients who faced a range of charges, from misdemeanors to serious felonies. She teaches courses in criminal procedure, evidence, seminars on policing, including a seminar on the television show The Wire, and recently started a reentry clinic. Professor Ross published several law review articles in favor of marriage equality before any state recognized same-sex marriage. She then turned her attention to criminal (in)justice and has written extensively in that area for the last ten years. For more, see https://josephineross.info.
Using a wide range of sources — including her law students' experiences with police, news stories about Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, social science and the work of James Baldwin — Ross sheds new light on policing in A Feminist Critique of Police Stops. Examining the parallels between stop-and-frisk policing and sexual harassment, Ross argues that our constitutional rights are a mirage, and demonstrates why the Supreme Court got it wrong when it allowed police to stop, search and sometimes strip-search people and call it consent.
About Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. and Policing the Black Man:

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. is the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor, and Founding Director of the Criminal Law and Policy Initiative at The George Washington University Law School. Professor Fairfax teaches courses in criminal law, constitutional and adjudicatory criminal procedure, criminal litigation, prosecutorial and criminal defense ethics, and seminars on the grand jury, white-collar investigations, and race and criminal justice policy. Professor Fairfax has testified before Congress, spoken at the White House, and advised local, state, and national government officials and candidates on criminal justice policy. He worked on criminal justice reform as a Senior Legislative Fellow with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism and as a Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute.
Policing the Black Man is a thought-provoking and compelling anthology, edited and with an introduction by Angela J. Davis, which features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. The book explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Contributors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court’s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. In Policing the Black Man, Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. explores these injustices in his essay "The Grand Jury and Police Violence Against Black Men."
Thu, Apr 8, 2021 6:30 PM CST
Race, Gender & Policing: Legal Scholars Discuss Their Works
Admission: $10. EHC Members are free! Click here to register for this event. Registration is required.

Bookends & Beginnings is the official bookselling partner for this Evanston History Center presentation by Charlie Cosgrove on his book, Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago: A Dual Biography of Mayor Augustus Garrett and Seminary Founder Eliza Clark Garrett.

This dual biography tells two equally compelling stories: an ambitious man’s struggle to succeed and the remarkable spiritual journey of a woman attempting to overcome tragedy. By contextualizing the couple’s lives within the rich social, political, business, and religious milieu of Chicago’s early urbanization, author Charles H. Cosgrove fills a gap in the history of the city in the mid-nineteenth century.

In addition to illuminating our understanding of Chicago from the 1830s to the 1850s, Fortune and Faith in Old Chicago explores American religious history, particularly Presbyterianism and Methodism, and its attention to gender shows how men and women experienced the same era in vastly different ways. The result is a rare, fascinating glimpse into old Chicago through the eyes of two of its important early residents.
Charles H. Cosgrove is Professor of Early Christian Literature and Director of Ph.D. Program at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.
Join us for the next Midwest Address event, this time featuring author Nancy Johnson in conversation with writer Sara Paretsky about Nancy's new novel The Kindest Lie.

It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to—and was forced to leave behind—when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.

The Kindest Lie captures the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and offers insights both on motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream.
A native of Chicago’s South Side, Nancy Johnson worked for more than a decade as an Emmy-nominated, award-winning television journalist at CBS and ABC affiliates nationwide. A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she lives in downtown Chicago and manages brand communications for a large nonprofit. The Kindest Lie is her first book.
Sara Paretsky is a New York Times bestselling mystery writer known for her popular series of novels featuring V.I. Warshawski, a female private investigator. Her books are largely set in and around Chicago. 
Thu, Apr 15, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Nancy Johnson & Sara Paretsky: The Kindest Lie
C.T. Vivian's son and the writer who worked with C.T. Vivian on his memoir discuss Civil Rights leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient C.T. Vivian and his memoir It's In the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior.

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient C.T. Vivian worked hand in hand on voting rights and other efforts to end discrimination with the civil rights movement’s most significant figures, including John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. (who called him “the greatest preacher ever”). It’s in the Action, Vivian’s long-awaited memoir, chronicles his life of principle and nonviolent resistance in Peoria, Nashville, the Freedom Rides, Birmingham,Selma, and Chicago. Vivian passed away at age 95 in 2020.

Written with Evanston-based best selling author Steve Fiffer, (and with an introduction by Andrew Young), the memoir was released in March to strong reviews. “C. T. Vivian was a role model for so many of us in the 1960s era of civil rights activism, a legendary champion of nonviolence and a mighty and indispensable long-haul moral warrior for justice. This memoir gives a new generation the chance to learn about his legacy of wisdom and service in his own words,” wrote Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita, Children's Defense Fund.
Al Vivian is President & CEO of the Atlanta-based BASIC Diversity, Inc., the nation’s longest serving diversity & inclusion firm, founded by Dr. C.T. Vivian (Al's father). Over the past 25+ years, Al has worked actively as a trainer and consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, professional firms, non-profits and academic institutions. A former Army Captain, Al specializes in Inclusive Leadership—teaching leaders the skills and competencies to effectively lead across cultures. He lives in the Atlanta area with his wife DeAna “Jo.”
Steve Fiffer is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books, including award winning collaborations with Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees, human rights activist Dr. Quentin Young, and former Secretary of State James Baker. The New York Times called his own memoir, Three Quarters, Two Dimes, and a Nickel, “a resounding testament to the frailty of the human body and the tenacity of human will.” A Guggenheim Fellowship winner, Fiffer is a graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Evanston with his wife, novelist Sharon Fiffer.
Thu, Apr 15, 2021 7:00 PM CST
Al Vivian & Steve Fiffer discuss  It's In the Action by C.T. Vivian
Join us for the next instalment in our Literary Lunchbreak series, this time with author Kate Masur in conversation with Rev. Michael Nabors about her new book Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction.

The half-century before the Civil War was beset with conflict over equality as well as freedom. Beginning in 1803, many free states enacted laws that discouraged free African Americans from settling within their boundaries and restricted their rights to testify in court, move freely from place to place, work, vote, and attend public school.

But over time, African American activists and their white allies, often facing mob violence, courageously built a movement to fight these racist laws. They countered the states’ insistence that they were merely trying to maintain the domestic peace with the equal-rights promises they found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Masur’s history delivers this pathbreaking movement in vivid detail. Activists such as John Jones, a free Black tailor from North Carolina whose opposition to the Illinois “black laws” helped make the case for racial equality, demonstrate the indispensable role of African Americans in shaping the American ideal of equality before the law. Without enforcement, promises of legal equality were not enough. But the antebellum movement laid the foundation for a racial justice tradition that remains vital to this day.
Kate Masur is professor of history at Northwestern University. A finalist for the Lincoln Prize, she is the author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C.
Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors is senior pastor of the historic Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois, one of the oldest African American congregations on the North Shore. Dr. Nabors also teaches Homiletics and Qualitative Research and Theological Writing at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. 
Thu, Apr 22, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Kate Masur & Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors: Until Justice Be Done
Join us for a very special joint Literary Lunchbreak venture with authors Renée Rosen and Karen White in conversation about their new novels The Social Graces by Rosen and The Last Night in London by White. 

The Social Graces, by Renée Rosen: 1876. In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, women are valued by their pedigree, dowry, and, most importantly, connections. They have few rights and even less independence—what they do have is society. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor—the Mrs. Astor.
But times are changing.
Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is dizzying wealth when society refuses to acknowledge you? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything.
Spanning three decades and based on true events, this is the mesmerizing story of two fascinating, complicated women going head to head, behaving badly, and discovering what’s truly at stake.
Renée Rosen is the bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer, Windy City BluesWhite Collar GirlWhat the Lady Wants and Dollface. She is also the author of Every Crooked Pot, a YA novel published in 2007. Renée lives in Chicago.
The Last Night in London, by Karen White: London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck—she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect her friendship with Precious and everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever…

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner, whose life has been marked by the tragic loss of her mother, travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie has been careful to close herself off to others, but in Precious she recognizes someone whose grief rivals her own—but unlike Maddie, Precious hasn’t allowed it to crush her. Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past—a story of friendship, betrayal, and the unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels, including the Tradd Street series, Dreams of FallingThe Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of All the Ways We Said GoodbyeThe Glass Ocean, and The Forgotten Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two dogs near Atlanta, Georgia.
Thu, Apr 29, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Renée Rosen & Karen White: The Social Graces and The Last Night in London
Thursday, April 29, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey.

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.

And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.

Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.

Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.

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. Stop by the store to chat with Brooke if you want more info about the club, or send her an email at brooke@bookendsandbeginnings.com.
Thu, Apr 29, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: The Echo Wife
Books You Could be Reading...
...and Buying from Us!
Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our sixth 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 trading in or 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
1712 Sherman Ave Alley #1
Evanston, IL 60202 

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