Dear Reader,

A big THANK YOU for making April 27 one of our best Independent Bookstore Days ever! Despite the freak winter sleet and freezing rain, you came out in droves! It means so much to us to have your support and especially to see it in action. A special thank you to Soo Park, Downtown Evanston , and our neighboring restaurants ( Edzo's Buger Shop , Patisserie Coralie , NaKorn , Hewn Bread , and Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. ) for making the Chicago Food Crawl s event so much fun (and delicious!)

We hope that's the last of the April snow showers and that we can all move on to some May flowers.
We are excited to be once again co-sponsoring the Evanston Literary Festival along with Chicago Book Expo, Evanston Public Library, Northwestern University, and Comix Revolution. The fifth annual festival will include events all over Evanston. You can find the full list of events here! Read on to find more details about the events we're hosting at the store.

And, as always, read on !
Newsletter Table of Contents
May 4, 10:30 am Special May the 4th Star Wars Storytime
May 11, 6 pm Evanston Literary Festival Kick-Off: Voices of Evanston
May 13, 6 pm Lorene Cary: Ladysitting
May 14, 6 pm Shalini Shakar: Beeline
May 15, 6 pm Morality Book Club Reads Kaddish
May 16, 6 pm Elizabeth Cobbs: The Tubman Command
May 17, 6 pm Holly Clayson: Book Launch: Illuminated Paris
May 18, 4 pm Rebecca Sive: Vote Her In
May 21, 6 pm Chris Farreell: Purpose and a Paycheck
May 28, noon VSI club: Anxiety
May 28, 6 pm Sci-fi Book Club: Amberlough
May 31, 6 pm Rhino Poetry Night
Save the Date in June for our Gala Fifth Birthday Celebration!
May Events
Special Star Wars Storytime: May the 4th Be With You!
Saturday, May 4th, 10:30 am
In honor of May the 4th Be With You, we will be hosting a special Star Wars-themed storytime! Longtime Star Wars fan Brooke will be leading the storytime and sharing some of her favorite children's books based on the movie series. So don your storm trooper sweaters and R2D2 shirts and whatever other themed gear you have and join us for this fun celebration!
Saturday, May 11, 6 - 7:30 pm
To kick off the week-long 2019 Evanston Literary Festiva l, we're welcoming a group of local poets and writers reading new works on themes of renewal, celebration, and gratitude. Hosts Dina Elenbogen and Ignatius Valentine Aloysius will be joined by authors Reginald Gibbons , Chris Green , Mary Hawley, Parneshia Jones , Mike Puican, Cornelia Maude Spelman , Sachin Waikar , Zoe Zolbrod , and Nancy Burke
Monday, May 13, 6 - 7:30 pm
When Lorene Cary's beloved grandmother came to live with Cary near the end of her life, they were both forced to reconcile the ideas they had of each other. Facing the inevitable end raised tensions, with Cary drawing on her spirituality and Nana consoling herself with late-night sweets and the loyalty of caregivers. In her beautifully written new memoir Ladysitting , Cary gives us a profound meditation on end-of-life, multi-generational relationships, and on what gives us comfort in difficult times. Her story is part of the larger history of African Americans migrating from the South to the North, bringing living memories that span from surviving Jim Crow to the presidency of Barack Obama, and also a story about making sure that a black woman's death adds meaning to her life.
Lorene Cary was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1956. In 11th grade, she enrolled in the formerly all-white, all-male St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, a story she told in her first memoir  Black Ice , which reviewers have called “brutally honest” and “stunning.” Her first novel,  The Price of a Child , fictionalized the story of a female fugitive from slavery and was selected in 2003 as the inaugural One Book, One Philadelphia choice. The founder of Art Sanctuary and has twice received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Creative Writing.
At first glance, Generation Z (youth born after 1997) seems to be made up of anxious overachievers, hounded by Tiger Moms and constantly tracked on social media. One would think that competitors in the National Spelling Bee — the most popular brain sport in America — would be prime examples. But in her new book Beeline , using spelling bees as a lens to examine the unique and diverse traits of Generation Z, Northwestern anthropologist Shalini Shankar argues that, far from being simply overstressed and overscheduled, Gen Z spelling bee competitors are learning crucial twenty-first-century skills from their high-powered lives, displaying a sophisticated understanding of self-promotion, self-direction, and social mobility. Shalini Shankar will be in conversation this evening with fellow Northwestern professor, Michelle N. Huang.
Shalini Shankar is Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success , as well as Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers, and Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class and Success in Silicon Valley . She is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist whose ethnographic research focuses on youth, media, language use, race and ethnicity, and Asian diasporas. A Guggenheim fellow and National Science Foundation grant recipient , she is the mother of two Gen Z children.
Michelle N. Huang is an Assistant Professor of English and Asian American Studies at Northwestern, and has research and teaching interests in contemporary Asian American literature, posthumanism, and feminist science studies. Her areas of specialization include Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, Asian American Literature, American: 20th Century, Gender Studies, and Science and Literature.
Wednesday, May 15, 6 - 7:30 pm
This month, our Mortality Club discusses Leon Wieseltier’s National Jewish Book Award–winning autobiography,  Kaddish , which documents the spiritual journal of a diligent but doubting son who, commanded by Jewish law to recite a prayer three times daily for a year in honor of his deceased father, decides he needs to know more about the prayer issuing from his lips. Here is one man’s urgent exploration of Jewish liturgy and law, from the 10th-century legend of a wayward ghost to the speculations of medieval scholars on the grief of God to the perplexities of a modern rabbi in the Kovno ghetto. Here too is a mourner’s unmannered response to the questions of fate, freedom, and faith stirred in death’s wake.

Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important--but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.
Thursday, May 16, 6 - 7:30 pm
Join us as bestselling author Elizabeth Cobbs discusses her new novel The Tubman Command , based on a thrilling chapter of Civil War history and African American history: the story of how Harriet Tubman led a Union raid to free 750 slaves. In May 1863, out-generaled and out-gunned, a demoralized Union Army had pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Meanwhile--hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves--Harriet Tubman was plotting an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. The Tubman Command brings Harriet Tubman to life at the moment of her greatest gamble.
An award-winning novelist, historian, and documentary filmmaker,  Elizabeth Cobbs  is the author of eight books, including the  New York Times  bestselling novel,  The Hamilton Affair ,   and  The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers ,   which has been made into a musical. She earned her Ph.D. in American history at Stanford University and now holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair at T exas A&M University and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution . She has served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department and on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
Friday, May 17, 6 - 7:30 pm
"The City of Light." For many, these four words instantly conjure late 19th-century Paris and the garish colors of Toulouse-Lautrec’s iconic posters, or the Eiffel Tower’s nightly show of sparkling electric lights that has now come to exemplify our fantasies of Parisian nightlife. Though we reflect longingly on such scenes, in  Illuminated Paris , Hollis Clayson shows that there’s more to these clichés than meets the eye. In this richly illustrated book, she traces the dramatic evolution of lighting in Paris and how artists responded to the shifting visual and cultural scenes that resulted from these technologies, revealing turn-of-the-century concerns about modernization, as electric lighting came to represent the harsh glare of rapidly accelerating social change. At the same time, in part thanks to American artists visiting the city, these works of art also produced our enduring romantic view of Parisian glamour and its Belle Époque.
Hollis (Holly) Clayson , Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern, is a historian of modern art who specializes in 19th-century Europe, especially France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the U.S. Her books include, Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era , and Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege (1870-71), as well as a co-edited book (with André Dombrowski), Is Paris Still the Capital of the Nineteenth Century? Essays on Art and Modernity , 1850-1900.
Saturday, May 18, 4 - 5:30 pm
Rebecca Sive's Vote Her In: Your Guide to Electing Our First Woman President addresses the unrealized dream of millions of American women: electing our first woman president. It makes the case for the urgency of women attaining equal executive political power at all levels, including the presidency, and offers a comprehensive strategy for every woman to be a part of this campaign. This book is “inspiring, savvy and persuasive on why America needs more female leadership now," says former CNN White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin. "Rebecca offers not just the analysis, but the practical steps every woman and man can take to help get women into the C-suite and the Oval Office. And argues that the time to do it is now.”
Rebecca Sive’s career has spanned executive positions in business, government, philanthropy, academia, and the not-for-profit sector. At the University of Chicago , Harris School of Public Policy , Sive was the founding Program and Academic Director of its Women in Public Leadership executive education initiative, and was a lecturer. Sive was among the national leaders who developed women's issues agendas for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She was a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Human Rights Commission; a mayoral appointee as a commissioner of the Chicago Park District; a founding board member of the Chicago Foundation for Women; is in Feminists Who Changed America.
People 65 and older will account for 20% of the population in 2030, up from 13% in 2000. Many prognosticators blame the aging population for the stagnating economy, arguing that as more and more people retire, relatively fewer working people will have to support growing numbers of dependent elderly. But in Purpose and a Paycheck, Marketplace reporter Chris Farrell debunks this line of thought by showing how a growing movement of elderly entrepreneurs and part-time workers are creating conditions for a stronger and more vibrant economy. Reframing aging will result in faster rates of economic growth and higher living standards for all of us, in addition to a more fulfilling and financially secure second half of life for our aging population.

Chris Farrell is currently the senior economics contributor at  Marketplace , American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and economic program. He is also the economics commentator for Minnesota Public Radio and host of its series "Conversations on the Creative Economy" as well as a columnist for PBS Next Avenue and the  Star Tribune . He has published five books on personal finance and the economy, including Unretirement and The New Frugality .
Tuesday, May 28, noon - 1 pm
This month the VSI club will dive into the world of Anxiety , looking to answer the questions: Are we born with our fears or do we learn them?; Why do our fears persist? What purpose does anxiety serve? How common are anxiety disorders, and which treatments are most effective? What's happening in our brain when we feel fear?

This Very Short Introduction draws on the best scientific research to offer a highly accessible explanation of what anxiety is, why it is such a normal and vital part of our emotional life, and the key factors that cause it. Insights are drawn from psychology, neuroscience, genetics, epidemiology and clinical trials. Providing a fascinating illustration of the discussion are two interviews conducted specifically for the book, with the actor, writer and director Michael Palin and former England football manager Graham Taylor.
Anyone is welcome to join this Very Short Book Club, which is gradually--and in very short doses--working toward a complete understanding of everything by tackling a new title from the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series every month. The monthly discussions are mediated by Josiah and welcome all types of thinkers. Or just come browse our collection of 300+ VSIs, offering concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic. If you'd like to learn more about the group stop in and talk to Josiah or email him at 
VSI Book-of-The-Month Club
Can't Get to Our VSI Meetings? You Can Still Become a Genius by Subscribing to Our VSI Book-of-the-Month Club!
Ever wanted to know everything in the world? While we can't guarantee that you'll retain all the information,   Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions   are the perfect way to continue your climb to genius status. And now we're offering an even easier way to receive these books! Just sign up for our Very Short Introduction Book-of-the-Month club! Each month we'll send out a new introduction based on your preference and you can slowly become  the know-it-all you've always wanted to be!  This is also a great gift-that-keeps-on-giving for birthdays, graduations, and other festive gift-giving occasions!
To sign up, fill out this brief questionnaire with your preferences and then we'll speak on the phone or in person to confirm everything!
Email with any questions!
Tuesday, May 28, 6 - 7:30 pm
This Month our Science Fiction Book Club will be reading Amberlough by Lara Elena Donelly.
Says Brooke: " Amberlough is a timely tale of resistance against fascism. Set amidst glitzy nightclubs and Central Intelligence offices, this book reads like Le Carré meets Cabaret . It's about sex and art and rebellion and it's a hell of a lot of fun. I think we could all use a story about fighting back right about now."

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. So if you came last month, bring a friend, and if you weren't able to make it last time, here's your chance!
Stop by the store to chat with Brooke if you want more info about the club, or send her an email at .
Rhino Poetry Night
Friday, May 31, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their May gathering, with special guest poets and the traditional open mic. More details are available on the
  RHINO Website  or keep an eye on our   Facebook page .
And Save The Date For
Our Gala Fifth Birthday Celebration!
June 14 & 15
Our toddler years have just flown by, and suddenly, we'll be turning Five on the weekend of June 14th! It's time to celebrate the joys of Being Small in the Age of Being Ginormous! We'll have special events and revelry to mark the occasion and we hope you'll join us! Keep an eye out for more details!
May Staff Picks
While this book came out in 2017, as millions of young adults will again join the "real world" of post grad life this May, it's the perfect time to revisit it. This book is perfect for recent graduates, but can be relatable to everyone. Telling the story of five recent Princeton graduates, Caroline Kitchener weaves a striking portrait of what it looks like to fight against expectations and survive in a world that can seem like it's pushing you to fail. Each women in this book has her own sets of talents and ambitions, and yet they all face similar struggles to find where they belong in the world. College, while opening new doors, places you in a world of expectations to thrive, expectations that aren't as easily met as some may think.
Having read this book at the end of my undergraduate career, I found solace in the characters discovery of themselves and how they fought to find their space in the world.

Based on the horrific sexual abuses that occurred from 2005-2009 in a Mennonite community in Bolivia, Miriam Toews’ sixth novel Women Talking is a surgically precise tome cutting into the core of rape culture and the religious, moral, and ethical attitudes that both support this systemic forms of violence and might be marshaled in protest against it. The novel opens with three generations of women—grandmothers, mothers, and daughters who have all been drugged and raped by many of the men and boys of Molotschna—talking about what they will do. Will the women stay and fight, do nothing, or leave their fractured community behind in search of something that will, hopefully, be better? The women are unable to read, unaware of the world beyond their cloistered sect, and undecided on what must be done, but they are resolved that things can never be the same. Women Talking captures the zeitgeist of the Me-too movement and dares to question the moral and metaphysical ideas that support the structures of patriarchal abuse. 

Sunny St. James is 12 years old, and thanks to a heart transplant, she has a new lease on life. She has grand plans, but things don’t go as smoothly as she’d like. This story is amazing, with beautifully three dimensional characters full of realistic flaws and motivations. Sunny is figuring out who she is, and it’s a joy to read. I cried happy tears. It’s also lovely to see a sweet middle grade f/f romance. 

Writing in a way that is simultaneously elegant, erudite, and totally down-to-earth, Mary Norris leads us on an entertaining odyssey through the touchstones of Greek language, life, and culture. If you've never yet fallen under the magical spell of Greece and its literature, this book will be a siren song--and a gateway drug!

-- Nina
Storytime Every Saturday Morning at 10:30 am
For children ages 2 through 6, Storytime at Bookends & Beginnings is always fun! Our alternating storytellers are Nina Barrett (our store owner), Brooke Williams, and elementary school teacher Chris Kennelly (shown in action in this photo).
Bookends & Beginnings  is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our fifth 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 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