June News

We are happy to start June on a positive note: as of Monday, June 1, we’ll be offering curbside pickup at the store . This will make it much faster for you to get books we currently have in stock—though it will still take a few days for us to get you titles that have to be obtained from our warehouse. While state regulations do permit shoppers inside non-essential stores now, we are not quite ready for that step. But we will regularly have staff available at the store during our regular pickup hours of Monday through Saturday noon to 5, which will also be the hours when we’re available for phone consultations and orders.
Speaking of staff, I want to give a huge shout-out to the passionate and devoted booksellers who are the daily heartbeat of Bookends & Beginnings, whose portraits light up the marquee of this month’s newsletter, and whose personalities light up our store [above, from left to right] : Andrea Roncek, Chris Kennelly, (Me), Lotte Dunnell, George Seibold, and Brooke Williams. Artist George Booker (pictured at right) rendered all of us in a way that exactly captures how I often tell them I see us—as the cast of a space opera in which a motley crew of recruits keep a rust-bucket spaceship flying through an uncertain universe by accessing the hidden superpowers they each possess, which unfold in the crises brought by each new episode. The inner lives of most indie bookstores are like that, but it’s never been more true than in the past few months, when we’ve been continuously reinventing our beloved ship at the same time we’ve kept it hurtling through space into the uncertain future. You’ve kept us in flight as well, with all your online ordering, your generous GoFundMe contributions, and your Bookends & Beginnings t-shirt and sweatshirt purchases. I am so grateful to all of you, and I hope you stay on this adventure with us, for the next chapter and the one after that.

But back to earth: Our Literary Lunchbreak series is now flourishing, and coming up in June we’ve got a mini-workshop in book publishing with Courtney Maum and Christine Sneed; an exclusive interview with best-selling author Scott Turow ; an appearance—co-sponsored with Evanston Public Library—of debut author Catherine Adel West; and what promises to be a fascinating conversation between Judith Martin aka Miss Manners, and Ina Pinkney aka The Breakfast Queen, about the challenges to good behavior posed by lockdowns, an epidemic, and an increasingly uncivil discourse.

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 ; information on our Father’s Day, Graduation, and all-occasion Goodie Bags; and our suggestions for books that adults and kids can read right now to inform and deepen their conversations about race and racism.

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.
Thursday, June 4, noon - 1 p,m
Join us for the next installation of our Literary Lunchbreak series, when acclaimed author Courtney Maum discusses her new book about getting published with fellow author Christine Sneed.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about publishing but were too afraid to ask is right here in Courtney's funny, candid guide, Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book  has advice from more than 150 contributors from all walks of the industry, including international bestselling authors Anthony Doerr, Roxane Gay, Garth Greenwell, Lisa Ko, R. O. Kwon, Rebecca Makkai, and Ottessa Moshfegh, alongside cult favorites Sarah Gerard, Melissa Febos, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Mira Jacob. Agents, film scouts, film producers, translators, disability and minority activists, and power agents and editors also weigh in, sharing intimate anecdotes about even the most taboo topics in the industry. Are MFA programs worth the time and money? How do people actually sit down and finish a novel? Did you get a good advance? What do you do when you feel envious of other writers? And why the heck aren’t your friends saying anything about your book? Covering questions ranging from the logistical to the existential (and everything in between),  Before and After the Book Deal  is the definitive guide for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s really like to be an author.

And if you have you have a question or issue you'd like to see discussed during this conversation, feel free to email it to us in advance at info@bookendsandbeginnings.com .

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels  Costalegre Touch , and  I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You  and the chapbook  Notes from Mexico . Her writing and essays have been widely published in such outlets as  BuzzFeed, The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Interview , and  Modern Loss . She is the founder of the learning collaborative The Cabins, and she also works as a product namer and publishing consultant from her home in Connecticut. Find out more at  courtneymaum.com .
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, Jun 4, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Courtney Maum & Christine Sneed: Before and After the Book Deal
Thursday, June 11, noon – 1 pm
We're so excited that internationally best-selling author and Evanston resident Scott Turow has agreed to join us for a lunchtime conversation with author Elaine Szewczyk about his newest legal thriller The Last Trial and also to personally sign copies of the book that we'll have available for sale at the store.

His new book catches up with recurring character Alejandro “Sandy” Stern, a brilliant defense lawyer on the brink of retirement whose health is failing but whose spirit is intact. When his old friend Dr. Kiril Pafko, a former Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, is faced with charges of insider trading, fraud, and murder, his entire life’s work is put in jeopardy, and Stern decides to take on one last trial. In a case that will be the defining coda to both men’s accomplished lives, Stern’s duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test. Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow’s  The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in page-turning suspense — and questions how we measure a life.
Scott Turow is the author of eleven bestselling works of fiction, including  Limitations , Identical Innocent The Burden of Proof, and Testimony , and two nonfiction books, including  One L , about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic .
Elaine Szewczyk was born in Kraków, Poland. She writes about books for Publishers Weekly . Prior to that she served as the fiction editor of Kirkus Reviews. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including McSweeney’s and the Chicago Tribune . Elaine is the author of the novel I’m with Stupid , which was optioned by ABC Studios/Disney. Her latest work of fiction, a short story entitled “The Death of Heartsick Rick,” will be published this summer in Emrys Journal . She’s a member of the Writers Guild of America, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Authors Guild.
Thu, Jun 11, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Literary Lunchbreak: Scott Turow & Elaine Szewczy: The Last Trial
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 Ruby knows that her father is responsible, 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. Told in moving alternating perspectives between Layla and Ruby,  Saving 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 email it to 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

Books on Race
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.
Curbside Pickup Policy
Bookends & Beginnings is offering curbside pickup starting June 1st 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. (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 will inform you whether or not the books you are ordering are at the store or if we need to get them from our distributor. If we are getting your books from our distributor, it will take a couple days for them to arrive. You can 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.
When: June 1st - August 8th

Who: Ages 5-12

What: Challenge yourself to think about where and what you read this summer! At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a document with a list of challenges. Try to complete them all!

Rules and Prizes: Books can be fiction or nonfiction. One book can count for no more than two challenges. Print the sheet out at home, and then write the name of the book next to the challenge you completed. An adult must sign off that challenges have been completed. Then scan the finished sheet and email it to us at  info@bookendsandbeginnings.com  Participants who complete 5 or more challenges will earn some cool stickers and temporary tattoos. Complete all 20 and win a free book of your choice!

Staff Recommendations
by Chad Sell
Chad Sell, author of The Cardboard Kingdom , returns with another delightful middle grade graphic novel. Drew, an artist, lives in Chicago with her parents and the mischievous doodles in her sketchbook. Drew's doodles don't like to stay put, though. They prefer to explore (and cause trouble) at places like the Art Institute! When Drew creates a new doodle, her biggest one yet, she must call on her friends in the art club to help her get things under control. That turns out to be harder than expected when they realize the monster's behavior is linked to Drew's feelings. This is a great book for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Svetlana Chmakova.

by Ottessa Moshfegh

Death in Her Hands is like a jigsaw puzzle but each piece fits together to make a knife that stabs you before you have a chance to realize what’s going on. The novel has a long, slow buildup that takes about half the length of the book to finally culminate into something—it seems like a rather big investment for a novel that doesn’t feel like it will go anywhere but the payoff is well worth it, even just to marvel at the intricate yarn Moshfegh has spun. There was a definite point where the plot has slowed to a crawl and the narrator protagonist is getting a little tiresome but then out of nowhere the entire narrative shifts and you enter a near fugue state, hypnotically compelled to keep reading, pausing only momentarily to flip the page and unclench your jaw.
Samantha Schweblin

Small-cutesy stuffed animals, kentukis, are all the rage. They are a more intimate way of connecting with people since the device are controlled by another person remotely. All aspects of the owner’s lives become accessible to the controller. They can’t speak but can make little sounds and follow the owner around.  Little Eyes  is a compilation of different people around the world and shows how the use these kentukis become more varied and addresses privacy and surveillance. This is such a creepy concept and takes the idea of the nanny cams to an extreme level. Perfect for fans of Ray Loriga’s  Surrender , Black Mirror, and Westworld. 

by Curtis Sittenfeld

Ah, the Audacity of Nope! I don't want to give away too much about the plot of Curtis Sittenfeld's alternative scenario for how the life of Hillary Clinton could have unfolded if she had Just Said No to some things she probably should have, because so much of the pleasure of the book is your surprise at how things unfold. But it raises so many interesting questions about gender, politics, and the choices all women find themselves making in romance and in work, and the trademark flashes of Sittenfeld's humor are hilarious. You wonder whether some day, if she curled up with a glass of velvety red wine to read this, Hillary herself would either laugh or cry.

And here's what you could be reading
(and ordering online 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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