January News

First, we want to thank everyone who helped us get through this Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Very Bad Year. Those online orders, those GoFundMe contributions, that fierce commitment you made to holiday shopping at the businesses you care about—and your patience with sometimes having to wait in line to get into the store—that made all the difference to us! It’s why we’re still determined to expand in the coming year, and why we’re well positioned to do it. And we hope that all those wonderful books you’ve been buying from us have helped you get through the Bad Times as well.

But there are some very real challenges ahead. We are very concerned about this new strain of super-contagious COVID, and also about a possible surge in cases following the December holidays. For this reason, we’ve decided to TEMPORARILY CLOSE FOR IN-STORE BROWSING FOR TWO WEEKS AS OF THURSDAY, JANUARY 7.

During this period, we will continue to take your online orders, and we’ll be available as usual for curbside pick-ups and phone consultation between noon and 5 pm every day. If you have urgent customer service needs, you can always call us during these hours or email us at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com.

The staff will be using these two weeks to refresh and reorganize our Alley store, to bring you an even deeper selection of books. And we’ll also use that time to finish outfitting our new gift & stationery boutique at 1716 Sherman Avenue. Our intention is to open BOTH spaces for walk-in business on January 22.

Our virtual author event series of Thursday Literary Lunchbreaks will be starting up again on January 14 with a talk co-sponsored by Evanston Public Library with Gabriel Bump, author of the highly acclaimed debut novel Everywhere You Don’t Belong. On January 21, we talk to Ladee Hubbard about her new novel The Rib King, and then on January 28, Patrick Reardon will join us to talk about The Loop: The ‘L’ Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago.

Chicago artist George Booker custom-designed the animation in our newsletter this month, to help express how we feel about turning the page on 2020. Please stay with us as we hope for better plot developments in 2021!

Read on for more details. And, as always, read on!

Upcoming Virtual Events

Thursday, January 14, 12 pm Gabriel Bump: Everywhere You Don't Belong
Thursday, January 21, 12 pm Ladee Hubbard: The Rib King
Thursday, January 28, 6 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: Network Effect

Thursday, February 4, 12 pm Riva Lehrer & Emil Ferris: Golem Girl
Thursday, February 11, 12 pm Michele Morano: Like Love
Upcoming Events
Thursday, January 14, 12 – 1 pm
Please join us for the very first Midwest Address of the new year, featuring author Gabriel Bump on his new novel Everywhere You Don't Belong. Featured in BuzzFeed's "These Are Our Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2020" and USA Today's "100 Black novelists and fiction writers you should read, from Abi Daré to Zora Neale Hurston." 

In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place. 
Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Slam magazine, the Huffington PostSpringhouse Journal, and other publications. He was awarded the 2016 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Everywhere You Don't Belong is his first novel.  
Thu, Jan 14, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Gabriel Bump: Everywhere You Don't Belong
Thursday, January 21, 12 – 1 pm
For this installment of our Literary Lunchbreak series, award-winning author discusses her second novel The Rib King.

For fifteen years Mr. Sitwell has worked for the Barclays, a well-to-do white family who plucked him from an orphan asylum and gave him a job. The groundskeeper is part of the household’s all-black staff, along with “Miss Mamie,” the talented cook, pretty new maid Jennie Williams, and three young kitchen apprentices—the latest orphan boys Mr. Barclay has taken in to "civilize" like Mr. Sitwell.

But the Barclays fortunes have fallen, and their money is almost gone. When a prospective business associate proposes selling Miss Mamie’s delicious rib sauce to local markets under the brand name “The Rib King”—using a caricature of a wildly grinning August on the label—Mr. Barclay, desperate for cash, agrees.

As she delineates a world of institutionalized racism, Ladee Hubbard eschews stereotypes, expertly depicting the less-often explored subtleties of class within the black community as well.
Ladee Hubbard is the author of The Talented Ribkins, which received the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, the Times Literary Supplement, Copper Nickel, and Callaloo. She received a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Art Omi, the Sacatar Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Born in Massachusetts and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, she currently lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children.
Thu, Jan 21, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Ladee Hubbard: The Rib King
The Loop rooted Chicago’s downtown in a way unknown in other cities, and it protected that area—and the city itself—from the full effects of suburbanization during the second half of the twentieth century. Masses of data underlie new insights into what has made Chicago’s downtown, and the city as a whole, tick. Combining urban history, biography, engineering, architecture, transportation, culture, and politics, The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago explores the elevated Loop’s impact on the city’s development and economy and on the way Chicagoans see themselves.

The Loop also features a cast of colorful Chicagoans, such as legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow, poet Edgar Lee Masters, mayor Richard J. Daley, and the notorious Gray Wolves of the Chicago City Council. Charles T. Yerkes, an often-demonized figure, is shown as a visionary urban planner, and engineer John Alexander Low Waddell, a world-renowned bridge creator, is introduced to Chicagoans as the designer of their urban railway.
Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago born and bred, covered urban affairs and a wide array of other subjects in a 32-year career with the Chicago Tribune. In addition to The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago, his nine books include the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence. His poetry and essays have appeared in many publications, and he has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. His memoir in prose poems Puddin: The Autobiography of a Baby is to be published in 2021 by Third World Press.  
Ann Keating has taught history at North Cental College in Naperville for almost thirty years. She is the co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Chicago and the author most recently of The World of Juliette Kinze: Chicago Before the Fire.
Thu, Jan 28, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Patrick T. Reardon & Ann Keating: The Loop
Thursday, January 28, 6 – 7 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read Network Effect by Martha Wells.

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.

When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.
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, Jan 28, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: Network Effect
Bookends & Beginnings Best Sellers of 2020
Here we have it, the best-selling items of the year. Drum roll please...
Books You Could be Reading...
...and Buying from Us!
Pre-order these books and get them when they're released!
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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