March News & Events

I want to introduce you to Stormy, a former working carousel pony who is going to be spending her retirement years at Bookends & Beginnings. You may remember that recently a whole trove of animals from the old Navy Pier carousel were rescued from storage, where they had been since a storm battered the carousel so severely that it had to be demolished. Most of the animals were either auctioned or sold on eBay by the Rebuilding Exchange, but Stormy had been put aside because one of her hind legs was broken. We felt we could provide her with a great Forever Home where children would love her and would continue to ride on her--and obviously we were going to have to name her Stormy, both because of the storm that brought her to us, and also because of our love for the Misty of Chincoteague series of horse books in which Misty's foal was named Stormy. 

To me, Stormy is also a cheerful reminder of how the store weathered the storm of our relocation and now has embarked on a new era, in a slightly different form, at our new location. So to me she is both metaphor and mascot. And Glenda the Giraffe, who's been with us since we opened the old Bookends and is also in the photo above, seems to like having a new friend.

And, in other news, we are hiring! We are looking for booksellers, for a receiving specialist, and for a new Event Coordinator. For the Events job, we are especially seeking someone with extensive knowledge of the Chicago literary events scene, or with an events background and a passionate interest in books. For more details, read on in the newsletter.

And, as always, read on!

Upcoming Events

March 31, 2023 | In-Person Meet-And-Greet | 5:00 PM: Kingsley Day: Music's Guiding Hand

April 13, 2023 | In-Person Author Talk | 6:00 PM: Mark Miller: Retirement Reboot
BookTrade & Beginnings!
Book trade-ins, which were temporarily suspended during our move, have resumed!
Trade in your gently used books for store credit!

Trade-ins are available by appointment most days. Because of space limitations, we can't accept everything you might want to bring in, so please consult the guildelines on our website for information about what we are and are not looking for. The BookTrade page on our website also tells you how to make an appointment.

And when you drop by the new store, don't forget to explore our Used Book Room on the lower level, where our selection of gently used books is constantly expanding.
Job Opening: Events Coordinator
We are looking for a new, full time Event Coordinator! The ideal candidate will be familiar with the Chicago literary community and will have event-planning experience. The Event Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing 75-100 events a year, mostly in the bookstore and sometimes offsite. Most events are book launches, but in our new space, which will include a bar, we intend to explore other types of programming (think trivia night; literary karaoke, etc!). The Event Coordinator should also be comfortable working as a general bookseller at the store in order to gain familiarity with store procedures and with our customer base.

If you're interested in seeing the full job description, please email us at with an articulate cover letter explaining why you might be a good fit for the job. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE STORE, just send an email!

We also have openings for Full-Time Booksellers!

Food Drive for Evanston Food Pantries
Bookends & Beginnings is one of several businesses participating in the Downtown Evanston food drive. Come anytime during operating hours to drop off pantry staples, snack items and canned food. The food drive ends after March 27th.

For more information on what to donate and which businesses are participating, click here.
An In-Person Book Launch at the New Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 23, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Please join is in our new location at 1620 Orrington to celebrate the publication of The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God's First Sacred Text by Barbara Mahany.
Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature, an experiential framework of the divine. As we grapple to make sense of today’s tumultuous world, one where nature is at once a damaged and damaging source of disaster, as well as a place of refuge and retreat, we are called again to examine how generously it awaits our attention and devotion, standing ready to be read by all.
Barbara Mahany, once a pediatric oncology nurse, was a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune for nearly thirty years, and now is the author of five books. Her first, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door, was named a Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten religion book for Fall 2014, and called “a field guide to your holiest hours.” Of her newest title, The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text (Broadleaf Books, March 2023), it’s been written, “If Slowing Time is a field guide to your holiest hours, The Book of Nature is a field guide to your holiest places.”
An In-Person Book Launch at the New Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 28, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Please join us in our new location at 1620 Orrington to celebrate the publication of Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family by Rachel Jamison Webster. Professor Webster will be joined in conversation by Dr. Melissa Blount.
In 1791, Thomas Jefferson hired a Black man to help survey Washington, DC. That man was Benjamin Banneker, an African American mathematician, a writer of almanacs, and one of the greatest astronomers of his generation. Banneker then wrote what would become a famous letter to Jefferson, imploring the new president to examine his hypocrisy, as someone who claimed to love liberty yet was an enslaver. More than two centuries later, Rachel Jamison Webster, an ostensibly white woman, learns that this groundbreaking Black forefather is also her distant relative.

Acting as a storyteller, Webster draws on oral history and conversations with her DNA cousins to imagine the lives of their shared ancestors across eleven generations, among them Banneker’s grandparents, an interracial couple who broke the law to marry when America was still a conglomerate of colonies under British rule. These stories shed light on the legal construction of race and display the brilliance and resistance of early African Americans in the face of increasingly unjust laws, some of which are still in effect in the present day.
Rachel Jamison Webster is a professor of creative writing at Northwestern University and the author of four books of poetry and cross-genre writing. She has taught writing workshops through the National Urban League, Chicago Public Schools, Gallery 37, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, working to bring diversity and antiracist awareness into creative writing curricula. Rachel’s essays, poems, and stories have been published in outlets including Poetry, Tin House, and the Yale Review. Benjamin Banneker and Us is her first nonfiction book. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband and daughter.
Dr. Melissa Blount is an artist, writer, and licensed clinical psychologist practicing her craft in Evanston, Illinois. Her textile pieces explore notions of Black womanhood, trauma, and white supremacy in America. As a passionate local community activist and volunteer, she was a founding member of MEET (Making Evanston Equitable Together), OPAL (Organization for Positive Action and Leadership), and Artist Book House, local nonprofits and organizations that worked in advocacy, political action and the arts. She’s also an experienced clinician and lecturer presenting throughout the country on Black health, wellness, trauma, and the opportunities for healing and community building through the visual arts.
An In-Person Meet-and-Greet at the new Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 31, 2023 @ 5:00 PM
Please join us as we welcome Kingsley Day, author of Music's Guiding Hand: A Novel Inspired by the Life of Guido D'Arezzo. Stop by for a chat with Kingsley about his book, which tells the story of the medieval monk who invented music notation and what's now popularly known as solfege (do-re-mi, etc). We will have copies of Music's Guiding Hand available for sale and signing.
Kingsley Day has written extensively for publications by Northwestern University, where he was lead publications editor in the Office of Global Marketing and Communications. His produced stage works include the musical Summer Stock Murder, the comedy Tour de Farce, a new score for Gilbert & Sullivan’s Thespis, incidental music for The Tempest, and the musical Aztec Human Sacrifice, opening this May at Chicago’s City Lit Theater. Day’s reconstruction of Chopin’s last mazurka is published by Hal Leonard’s Schirmer Performance Editions.
An In-Person Book Launch at the new Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
April 4, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Please join us for the launch of The Power of Language: How the Codes we Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds by Northwestern University professor Viorica Marian.
More than seven thousand languages are spoken around the world today and the majority of the planet’s population is multilingual, but until recently, science has known very little about the bilingual brain. Dr. Viorica Marian is one of the world’s leading researchers in psycholinguistics, and in The Power of Language she presents groundbreaking findings from over 25 years of research on multilingualism and the psychology of language—including experiments with thousands of speakers of multiple languages—to dissect how language operates in our minds, the tremendous potential of the bilingual mind, and how to harness its power.
Dr. Viorica Marian is the Ralph and Jean Sundin Endowed Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and professor of psychology at Northwestern University. Since 2000, Marian has directed the university's Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Research Lab, receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She previously served as chair of the National Institutes of Health Language and Communication Study Section and chair of the Northwestern University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
An In-Person Author Talk at the new Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
April 13, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Mark Miller taught a fantastic workshop on saving for retirement for Bookends University in January, and we are delighted to welcome him back for an in-person discussion about his latest book, Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track.
Why are two-thirds of Americans approaching retirement financially unprepared? Mark Miller is a nationally recognized expert on retirement and aging. He will explore the policies and economic causes of our failing retirement systems and discuss what you can do to improve your own retirement prospects.

Copies of Retirement Reboot will be available for purchase and signing.
This is a free event, but please reserve a spot through clicking the button below.
Mark Miller is a journalist, author, and podcaster. He contributes regularly to the New York Times “Retiring” column as well as columns on retirement for Reuters, Morningstar, and Wealth Management magazine. His previous books include Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation and The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security.
Books You Could Read Now--
Browse, Order, or Preorder from Us!
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
1620 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201 

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