January News
First, a great big virtual hug to everyone who did holiday shopping with B&B this year! You made this our best holiday season ever—by a long shot—and it was genuinely heartwarming to hear directly from so many people that they were making a point of shopping locally. If you check out our bestseller lists further down in this email, you’ll see that our Number One Bestselling Nonfiction Book of the Year was Danny Caine’s How to Resist Amazon and Why—beating out even Braiding Sweetgrass and Renegades, by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen! I am so proud of you for that, People of the People's Republic of Evanston (and Beyond)!
We apologize for the emergency COVID closure on Christmas Eve, but this new wave of Omicron is big and brutal, so we’re planning to take early January a little slower, to try to minimize exposure for everyone. We will be closed as previously scheduled on December 31 and January 1. When we re-open on January 2, we’ll be limiting our daily browsing hours to noon – 5 pm daily, at least through Friday, January 7th. FYI everyone on staff is double-vaxxed and boosted and we are all wearing KN95 masks, and we are being extra-vigilant to make sure everyone browsing inside the store is wearing their mask properly, covering both mouth AND nose.

Because in-person events continue to be a bad idea, and we are all a little Zoom-fatigued in the evenings, we’re bringing back the Literary Lunchbreak format (Thursdays, from noon to 1 pm) for author events. Please join us to hear local author Susan Garthwaite discuss the spiritual practices of St. Hildegard of Bingen on January 13, and locally affiliated authors Gioia Diliberto and Christine Sneed discuss Gioia’s new novel about Coco Chanel on January 27.

Finally, our staffer Kelly is launching a Queer Book Club, and we’re hoping to start some other book clubs as well, if we can find leaders for them. Subjects we’d love to see include Literary Fiction, Environment/Climate Change, Writing, and Memoir. If you are passionate on one of these subjects (or something else we didn't mention) and think you could commit to leading a monthly discussion, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com .

Read on for more details, and, as always, read on!

Friday, December 31 & Saturday, January 1 CLOSED FOR NEW YEAR'S
Sunday, January 2 through Friday, January 7 SPECIAL HOURS ARE NOON TO 5 PM
Thursday, January 27, 7 pm - 8 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: A Marvellous Light
Upcoming Events
Literary Lunchbreaks are back with this discussion between Susan Garthwaite and Judy Borcher's about Garthwaite's book, Saint Hildegard: Ancient Insights for Modern Seekers.

Hildegard of Bingen was a twelfth-century German Benedictine abbess who was famous in her own time as a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, visionary, and as a medical writer and practitioner. Kings, queens, and powerful clergymen sought her spiritual advice. In her book Saint Hildegard Susan Garthwaite takes us deeper into our own experiences with St. Hildegard, showing how her thinking remains strikingly relevant to our contemporary struggles and enriches our journeys.

As a spiritual director and retreat guide, Garthwaite knows this journey well--she's traveled it for years. She presents concrete examples of spiritual experiences and practices in which St. Hildegard's insights can draw out our own wisdom, including from our worst experiences, and offers St. Hildegard's light for our liberation and fullness of life.
Susan Garthwaite is a spiritual director, spiritual writer, prayer group leader, and retreat facilitator in the Chicago area. For many years, she was a medical physiologist and project team leader working on new medicines for cardiovascular disease. Besides her numerous scientific papers, she has published on spiritual direction in Presence and on spirituality, especially the wisdom of women mystics, in Spiritual Life. She lives in Evanston. 
Judy Borchers was for 45 years a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago. She served as chemistry teacher and then principal of St Scholastica High School in Chicago. She trained to become a spiritual director at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago and went on to serve in that capacity while she was employed as the Executive Director of the Patrick and Anna Cudahy Fund, a Wisconsin family foundation. Since retirement she has been active in St. Nicholas parish in Evanston where she is a Stephen Minister and volunteers in a variety of capacities. She currently lives in Wilmette.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022 12:00 PM CST
Susan Garthwaite & Judy Borchers: Saint Hildegard
In another installment of our Literary Lunchbreak series, join us for a discussion between Gioia Diliberto and Christine Sneed about Gioia's newest novel, Coco at the Ritz.

Though her name is synonymous with elegance and chic, Coco Chanel had a complicated dark side, and in late August 1944, as World War II drew to a close, she was arrested and interrogated on charges of treason to France.  

Many of the facts are lost to history, partly through Chanel's own obfuscation, but this much is known: the charges grew out of her war-time romance with a German spy, and one morning two soldiers from the French Forces of the Interior—the loose band of Resistance fighters, soldiers and private citizens who took up arms in the wake of the Liberation of Paris—led Chanel from her suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris to an undisclosed location for questioning.

What transpired during her interrogation, who was present, and why she was set free when so many other women who’d been involved with German men (willingly or otherwise) had their heads shaved or were imprisoned, remains a mystery. 

Chanel emerges from these pages as a woman who owns her decisions, no matter the consequences. Rich with history and filled with emotional truths, Coco at the Ritz is a story about the choices one woman made when the stakes were the highest.
Gioia Diliberto has written biographies of Jane Addams, Hadley Hemingway, Diane von Furstenberg, and Brenda Frazier, as well as the critically acclaimed novels I Am Madame X and The Collection. Her books, which center on the lives of women, have been translated into several languages. As a journalist, Gioia has contributed to many publications, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Los Angeles TimesThe Chicago TribuneSmithsonian, and Vanity Fair. She also teaches writing and has taught at Northwestern and DePaul Universities and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Gioia lives with her husband in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Christine Sneed is the author of the novels Paris, He Said and Little Known Facts, and the story collections Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry and The Virginity of Famous Men. She has received an Illinois Arts Council fellowship, the Associated Writers & Writing Program’s Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Ploughshares' Zacharis Prize, the Society of Midland Authors Award in Adult Fiction, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and Book of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers' Association. Little Known Facts was a NYT Editor’s Choice, and Paris, He Said was a 2016 Illinois Reads selection. The Virginity of Famous Men was a finalist for the Chicago Review of Books best book of the year, fiction category, and was named one of the best books of 2016 by Booklist.
Thu, Jan 27, 2022 12:00 PM CST
Gioia Diliberto in Conversation With Christine Sneed: Coco at the Ritz
Thursday, January 27, 7 – 8 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske.

Red, White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.
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 27, 2022 7:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: A Marvellous Light
Introducing Queer Book Club, plus an opportunity to lead a book club of your own!
We are starting off the new year by adding to our book club roster with Queer Book Club! Queer Book Club will be a space to read fiction that engages with LGBTQ experiences. We will read from a wide range of genres and eras, whether classics of queer literature like James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room or Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues or the popular queer romance novels of Casey McQuiston or Torrey Peters’s Detransition, Baby. Through discussion we will explore the possibilities that unfold when authors tell stories about queerness. Please send Kelly an email at kelly@bookendsandbeginnings.com if you are interested!
Do you have your own idea for a book club? Would you like to lead a monthly discussion about books with a theme you are passionate about? Please reach out to us at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com and let's talk!
Bookends Wrapped: Our Best Sellers This Year!
A Big Thank You to Our 2021 Collaborators
We are grateful to all the organizations and initiatives we partnered with in 2021 to bring you amazing events and help give back to our community:

Also, thanks to those who supported our autographed Renegades Fundraiser, we were able to make significant donations to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) and to Refugee One.
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 eighth 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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