June News
Yesterday, Bookends & Beginnings quietly turned 6. To be honest, in the turbulence of the news and of the times, we forgot our own birthday was coming. Keeping an independent bookstore afloat is challenging in the best of times, but now, as we enter our seventh year, we are grappling with the newly urgent question of how a bookstore can best serve a society suddenly confronting its deep-rooted and pervasive racism, while also contending with the issues of keeping our staff and customers protected during a pandemic.

As booksellers, of course our instinct is always to prescribe books. Even if they aren’t THE answer, we believe in their power to educate, as well as their power to help us walk in other's shoes and create empathy. In the non-fiction we are currently recommending, American history is finally being re-written and expanded to admit the stories of black, indigenous, and people of color who've previously been rendered invisible; and in the selections at the end of this newsletter, you’ll find a wide array of fiction that speaks to the ongoing legacy of racism in our country. For all of us who want to be better allies in the fight against racism , self-education and enlightened empathy is a good place to start.

In terms of our evolving response to the COVID pandemic, we are continuing to take a cautious approach to reopening the store for walk-in business. Among our many other concerns, the fact is that we’re a very small staff and one case among us, even if mild, would disable the store for weeks. So please bear with us as we continue to offer you the best speedy curbside pickup we can. You can order online 24/7, and if you need a little help, you can also now call and speak to one of us on the phone during our Curbside Hours of noon – 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Please join us for one of our upcoming Literary Lunches , which are Zoomed lived on Thursdays from noon to 1 pm and then posted on our Facebook page for viewing any time. This Thursday we welcome Catherine Adel West , whose debut novel Saving Ruby King is a beautifully written and nuanced look at two Chicago South Side families dealing with legacies of violence. And next Thursday we’ll all have a chance to chat with Miss Manners—aka Judith Martin —about how to hold onto basic principles of respect and kindness during our high-conflict times.

Also read on for the details of our offer for FREE DELIVERY if you order five or more books from District 65’s Summer Reading list and information on our Father’s Day, Graduation, and all-occasion Goodie Bags.

And, as always, read on!



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News & Events
All our Literary Lunchbreaks are in webinar format, which means that the featured author(s) and interviewer(s) will be visible and audible on-screen, while audience members will not. As an attendee, you are welcome to submit your questions and comments for the Q&A period via the chat box on screen, and they will be included in the discussion as time allows. To increase the chances that your question or comment can be discussed, email it to us in advance at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com.
When Ruby King’s mother is killed in her home on the Chicago's South Side, it’s dismissed as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But the neighborhood suspects Ruby's father, and now she is left alone with him. Her best friend Layla is the person she can trust, but Layla’s father--the pastor of their church and Ruby’s father’s old friend--demands that Layla stay away. A powerful and boldly observant debut novel, S aving Ruby King  explores the ways in which history doesn't determine the present, and how the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future.
Catherine Adel West is a writer/editor living on the South Side of Chicago. Her experience as a black woman shapes every aspect of her writing and she is sure to be a voice for many women. Her work has been published in  Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket , and most recently  Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal Saving Ruby King  is her debut novel.
M Shelly Conner is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas. Shelly is also creator of the new comedy web series  Quare Life . She writes and vlogs about dapperqueer aesthetics, self-sustainable living, culture and the spaces in which they intersect. Follow her blog about travel, culture and food through a queer womanist of color lens at  DapperVista.com . Her debut novel Everyman will be released in Spring 2021 (Blackstone Publishing).
Thu, Jun 18, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Literary Lunchbreak: Catherine West & M. Shelly Conner: Saving Ruby King

Is etiquette really trivial, a matter of superficial behavior, or is it something that demands we all act like grown-ups and try very hard not to hurt one another's feelings? Over the course of the past few years, we've seen the norms for Good Behavior turned inside out and upside down.So it's a good thing that someone with the timeless wisdom and ready wit of Miss Manners (aka Judith Martin) has decided to give us a no-nonsense update on, well, how not to be a jerk.

Minding Miss Manners: In an Era of Fake Etiquette   is a modern guide to modern manners. Facing down the miscreants purveying false etiquette rules (no, you may not wait a year to send a thank-you note for a gift and yes, in an age of social-media-encouraged over-familiarity you can politely refuse to answer nosy questions), Miss Manners is here to help us through turbulent times.

And who better to converse with Miss Manners than restaurateur Ina Pinkney, who as the owner of Ina's restaurant became our Breakfast Queen and set the tone for civilized hospitality in Chicago's West Loop? She'll be facilitating the conversation, and we're inviting your participation in this event by soliciting your etiquette questions in advance. Are you wondering if it's ok to tell your date, or your children, not to conspicuously check their text messages when you're in the middle of a sentence? Are you wondering what to say at the Thanksgiving table that will stop Uncle Bob from expressing political opinions he knows will be offensive to everyone?

And what about manners in The Time of Plague and Social Distancing? How do you tell the people who just plopped down a little too close to your picnic in the park that you'd like them to back off?

If you've got a question you're burning up about, please click the button below or email us in advance at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com and we'll try to make sure Miss Manners addresses it during the Lunchbreak. And in the meantime, you might want to check out her timely new e-book  Miss Manners’ Guide to Contagious Etiquette, a concise collection of up-to-the-moment social guidance in the time of social distance, from how to connect when we’re physically distant to the most effective way to advocate for better public health practices in your community (hint: it is not by yelling at jogging neighbors),
Judith Martin is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior . Her thrice-weekly syndicated column appears in more than two hundred North American newspapers. She lives in Washington D.C.
Ina Pinkney opened a special order bakery called The Dessert Kitchen in 1980 and Ina’s Kitchen in 1991, which quickly became Chicago’s Premier Breakfast Restaurant. She was the Chef/Owner of INA’S, an American Food restaurant serving Breakfast and Lunch in the West Loop Market District, which opened in 2001.
She is a frequent guest on radio, local news and cable TV and has appeared in a national Quaker Oats commercial as herself – the Breakfast Queen. In 2013 she published a memoir cookbook called Ina's Kitchen: Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen .
Thu, Jun 25, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Judith Martin: Minding Miss Manners in an Era of Fake Etiquette

Curbside Pickup Policy
Bookends & Beginnings is offering curbside pickup from 12–5 pm Monday–Saturday. 
  • The most efficient way to order from us is through our website. If you have any questions or issues with ordering online, we'd prefer that you send us an email at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com and we'll get to it as soon as we can. If you have an urgent question or need additional help with your order, you can call us during the pick-up hours from 12–5 pm Monday–Saturday at 224-999-7722. (Please DO NOT LEAVE VOICEMAIL. If no one picks up your call, either try again later or send an email.)
  • If you would like to pick up your books, select the “Curbside Pickup” option for shipping during checkout. 
  • When we process your order, we'll let you know whether the books are at the store or if we need to get them from our distributor, in which case it will take a couple of days for them to arrive. You can also check for yourself if we have something in stock by looking it up on the website. If it says "On our shelves now" there's a good chance you can get it quickly, though sometimes the copy we have in stock may already be on hold for someone else.
  • We will email you to let you know once your order is ready. Once you have received the email, you are free to come by during our curbside pickup hours to pick up your order 

When you come to pick up your books...
  • We ask that everyone who comes to pick up an order wears a mask.
  •  When you arrive, please ring our doorbell (using your elbow, or a glove, or a tissue) and wait for one of the bookstore staff to arrive at the door. We will sanitize the doorbell regularly throughout the day.
  • Tell the staff member your name and order number and step away from the door. The staff member will place your order on a table outside of the door and close it behind them. After that you are free to take your order and enjoy your new books!
Need a gift for Father’s Day or a new graduate? We're trying to make it easy for you with our new Dad Bags and Grad Bags. You can choose from a limited selection of books designed for the occasion, which come package with some other little goodies like a Mini book light, True Genius Wood Brainteaser Puzzle, pocket size Leuchtturm1917 notebook, or a Kalamazoo candle, plus a $10 Bookends & Beginnings Gift Certificate to be used when the store re-opens. If you’re looking for gifts for other occasions, we’ve also got Cooking Bags, Writer’s Bags, Hygge Bags, and more! 

In other news: Evanston’s District 65 has announced its Summer 2020 reading list, and we’re all over it! If you order five or more of these titles from us (all at once), we will deliver them to your doorstep FOR FREE!

We’ve got all of the District 65 Summer Reading List books conveniently listed on pages you can browse on our website and then pop right into the shopping cart.
Antiracist Nonfiction
As the nation continues to grapple with the death of George Floyd and so many other similar events, we know our customers are finding it increasingly urgent to educate themselves about racism and engage in meaningful dialogue with their families, friends, and community. We've been heartened to see a surge in demand for books on this topic in our customer orders, and for those who are looking for more resources, we're offering the following list. What we don't have in stock right now, we'll be happy to order for you.
Antiracist Fiction
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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