Welcome, 2023!

New Year’s always feels like a time to start fresh, and this year we’ll be making the freshest start possible when we begin our new chapter in our new location at 1620 Orrington Avenue. January is going to be a transitional month for us and for our customers, one we’re hoping will bring as little disruption as possible. For now, here are the important points to know and things you can do to help us:

1.     Keep shopping with us! Right now we anticipate staying open till January 25, and then we will probably need to close for a week to 10 days to get ourselves moved and set up again. Obviously, losing that revenue is going to hurt, but it will hurt less if sales are very robust before and after!
2.     If you have special orders or books on hold, please come pick them up! And please don’t be annoyed if we send extra notifications in the next couple of weeks to remind you. Once the store is packed up, we won’t be able to retrieve these items for you till we re-open.
3.     Please keep publicizing our GoFundMe campaign. We are really thrilled and grateful for how successful we’ve been so far, raising nearly $88,000 from 880 donors. We thank each and every person who has helped so far—but this also means that of the 20,000 people who subscribe to our monthly newsletter, approximately 19,120 of them have NOT donated, and if each of them considered giving just $10, we could easily make our original goal of $250,000. 

Here I just want to say a little bit about how you are helping when you donate. First, as we work on our new space, we are gradually transforming it from a big blank box into something incredibly special. We are taking care to build into it the nooks, the crannies, the eccentric touches you always loved about our alley store, though we are not in any way trying to replicate the old store (HINT: we have a very special new mascot who is going to be joining Glenda, our beloved giraffe, in the children’s section).

Second, we are actually adding new features we didn’t have before: 
1.     A bar where wine, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks and light snacks will be available for evening browsing and for those attending our events.
2.     An improved event space with better seating and an author stage.
3.     Bathrooms 
4.     Technology upgrades to help us process and track your orders and our inventory
5.     Better display fixtures

So many people have asked if there are other ways they can help us, including with our moving and packing. But those are unfortunately very physically rigorous activities that we think need to be done professionally, so as much as we would love to see a human chain of people passing the cookbook section book by book down Sherman Avenue, we don’t see a way to make that work.

Please just keep shopping, and keep donating, and know that we are building the very best, coolest new bookstore we can imagine—one you are going to love being in and shopping in, as much as you have loved our old one.

Remember too that although we have paused in-person events till we are safely in our new home, we are hosting several exciting Bookends University classes and workshops in January, which you can read about in this newsletter. We also traditionally take a moment each January to look back on the year behind us, to recognize and thank everyone who has worked with us to bring literary gathering and conversation into our wider community. 

And if you’re curious about who made our bestseller lists in 2022, well pretty much anyone who’s anyone was on them, from Hildegard of Bingen to Michelle Obama, and where else would you find those two very excellent ladies keeping close company, but on the shelves of your local independent bookstore?

Read on in the newsletter to find out more!

And, as always, read on!

Upcoming Events

January 9, 2023 | Virtual Class | 7:00 PM: The Artist's Way: A 12-Week Creativity Workshop

January 24, 2023 | Virtual Event | 7:00 PM: Retirement Reboot with Mark Miller
Thanks to Our 2022 Collaborators
who helped make this year special.
A special note of gratitude to the City of Evanston for granting us $83K to assist with the costs of moving.
One more round of applause for the authors whose books we discussed and celebrated in 2022:

Special thanks to the participants at our Poetry Reading in Solidarity with Ukrainian Resistance, who helped shine a light on the continuing devastation to the people and the culture of Ukraine.

Lennart Lundh
Liya Chernyakova
Gari Light
Olga Shenfield
Gennady Henry Sergienko
Please consider making a donation to HUBB, or Helping Ukrainian Books and Booksellers.
The war in Ukraine displaced millions of people, and it devastated the bookselling and publishing industries.

Helping Ukrainian Books and Booksellers (HUBB) seeks to raise funds for direct support to everyone involved in the publishing industry and book culture in Ukraine.

You have the opportunity to donate and support the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainian booksellers, editors, printers, warehouse workers, libraries and librarians, and other people involved in this work.Your support is real.
We are grateful to all who participated in our Bookends University courses, and for the people who made them possible:
Freda Love Smith
Matt Bird
Allison Epstein
Eugenia Viti
Daniel Joshua Rubin
Christine Sneed
Erica Hornthal
Jay Bonansinga
Robert Gottlieb
Maren Ellingboe King
Erin McDowell
Kelly Woyan
Bookends & Beginnings 2022 Bestsellers
Adult Fiction
  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
  3. My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh
  4. Book Lovers - Emily Henry
  5. Normal People - Sally Rooney
  6. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong
  7. Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro
  8. Sea of Tranquility - Emily St. John Mandel
  9. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
  10. Circe - Madeline Miller
Young Adult
  1. Heartstopper: Graphic Novel (#s 1-4) - Alice Oseman
  2. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
  3. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder - Holly Jackson
  4. I Kissed Shara Wheeler: A Novel - Casey McQuiston
  5. Gallant - V. E. Schwab
  6. The Inheritance Games - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  7. The Girl from the Sea: A Graphic Novel - Molly Knox Ostertag
  8. Last Night at the Telegraph Club - Malinda Lo
  9. The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han
  10. Loveless - Alice Oseman
Middle Grade
  1. Diper Överlöde (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 17) - Jeff Kinney
  2. Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose: A Graphic Novel (Cat Kid Comic Club #3) - Dav Pilkey
  3. The Flames of Hope (Wings of Fire #15) - Tui T. Sutherland
  4. Spy School the Graphic Novel - Stuart Gibbs, Anjan Sarkar (illustrator)
  5. Cat Kid Comic Club: Collaborations: A Graphic Novel (Cat Kid Comic Club #4) - Dav Pilkey
  6. The Beatryce Prophecy - Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (illustrator)
  7. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Elli (illustrator)
  8. Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch - Julia Abe
  9. Keeper of the Lost Cities - Shannon Messenger
  10. Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities #9) - Shannon Messenger
Picture & Board Books
  1. Knight Owl - Christopher Denise
  2. Barnyard Dance! (Boynton on Board) - Sandra Boynton
  3. Escargot - Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (illustrator)
  4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin, Jr., John Archambault, Lois Ehlert
  5. Goodnight Moon Board Book - Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (illustrator)
  6. Escargot (Board book) - Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (illustrator)
  7. Aaron Slater, Illustrator (The Questioneers) - Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (illustrator)
  8. The Pigeon Will Ride the Rollercoaster - Mo Willems
  9. I'll Be Your Polar Bear - Justin Roberts, Chuck Groenink (illustrator)
  10. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water - Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (illustrator)
Make 2023 a Year of Creativity with a Bookends University Course
A Weekly Virtual Class from Bookends University
Beginning January 9th, 2023, 7 - 9 PM
In 2023, Freda Love Smith (writer, educator, bookseller, and retired rock drummer) will host two courses on the creative life.
Beginning Monday, January 9th, Freda will facilitate a 12-week creativity course based on The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, Using Cameron's canonical book as a guide, we will employ daily writing practice, weekly artist dates, and exploratory exercises to help you connect with your inner artist. Appropriate for all: writers in all genres, actors, dancers, visual artists, musicians, and ANYONE who wants to live more creatively.
A Weekly Virtual Class from Bookends University
Sundays, beginning January 15th, 2023, 3 - 4:30 PM
Writing Buddies is for anyone looking to dedicate time to write every week. For 90 minutes over Zoom, Freda will moderate a check-in, an hour of writing, and a time to share and reflect on the writing experience.
A Virtual Event from Bookends University
January 24th, 2023 @ 7 PM
Americans approaching retirement age today have experienced some particularly frightening economic waves. During the Great Recession in 2009 and the COVID-19 pandemic of the early 2020s, older Americans experienced higher rates of job loss than younger ones, and the uncertainty caused by rising inflation rates has led to exceedingly difficult economic circumstances for millions.

On January 24th, Mark Miller will host an online workshop based on his new book, Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. This workshop is focused on practical strategies to help you plan for retirement.
Books You Could Be Reading Now--
and Buying from Us!
Books You Can Preorder
and be the First on Your Block to Read!
Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our ninth 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 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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