October News
We’re pretty thrilled with our October event line-up. In breaking news, we’ve just booked a real, in-person event with Evanston-native, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and former MacArthur “genius” fellow Sarah Ruhl. Perhaps best known as a playwright, Sarah also writes poetry and non-fiction, and her newest book Smile: The Story of a Face is a memoir, which begins the day after she gives birth to twins and suddenly finds herself with Bell’s palsy, a condition that paralyzes half her face. It's a story with many facets, about being a creative person, about motherhood, about how we cope when life doesn't go the way we expect it to, and about why we think that women, especially, should always be smiling. I loved this book and my copy is underlined and dog-eared as a result of the dialogue I was having with it all the way through. If you’re a local customer and can possibly find your way to Noyes Cultural Arts Center on the afternoon of Saturday, October 9, I strongly encourage you to book a ticket for Sarah’s conversation with actor and director Polly Noonan. We’re partnering with Piven Theatre for the event and both Sarah and Polly trained there, so this will be a celebration of local culture as well as a literary conversation you won’t want to miss.

You’re also nearing your last chance to reserve a spot at our virtual conversation with All the Light We Cannot See author Anthony Doerr on Tuesday, October 12. I raved about Doerr’s new novel Cloud Cuckoo Land in our original event announcement, but in case you thought maybe that was just me, check out last Sunday's cover review in the New York Times Book Review.

On Sunday, October 17, St. Luke's Episcopal Church invites you to a very special in-person event with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey. Trethewey will read from her critically acclaimed books Memorial Drive and Monument, and Bookends & Beginnings will be on hand with plenty of books!

Finally, there are still a few tickets left for David Sedaris on October 24—and while it’s always fun to read David Sedaris, hearing him deliver his own material in his own signature snarky style is definitely a pleasure all its own.

Read on for details of these and other October happenings.

And, as always, read on!

October Events
Saturday, October 9, 11 am Book Signing Event: Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird (at Bookends' new store, 1716 Sherman Avenue)
Tuesday, October 12, 6 pm Anthony Doerr in Conversation with Jess Walter: Cloud Cuckoo Land (Virtual event)
Sunday, October 17, 4-5 pm An Afternoon with Natasha Trethewey (at St. Luke's Episcopal Church)
Sunday, October 24, An Evening with David Sedaris (at Nichols Concert Hall)
Thursday, October 28, 6 7 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: Under the Whispering Door (Virtual Event)
Thursday, October 28, 7 pm The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: A Presentation by Dean Jobb (An Evanston History Center Virtual Event)
Upcoming Events

At Bookends & Beginnings Book & Stationery Boutique, 1716 Sherman Ave, Evanston
Saturday, October 9, 11 am – 1 pm

You might know Betsy Bird as the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library, as the former Youth Materials Specialist of New York Public Library, or for her widely read children's literature blog, A Fuse #8 Production, which is hosted by School Library Journal. Or for her previous books including Funny Girl, an anthology of humorous stories, and the picture books Giant Dance Party and The Great Santa Stakeout.

Now she's also the author of Long Road to the Circus, a girl-empowering, funny, and fast-paced historical adventure, with illustrations by Caldecott medal-winning illustrator David Small.
Twelve-year-old Suzy Bowles is tired of summers filled with chores on her family farm in Burr Oak, Michigan, and desperate to see the world. When her wayward uncle moves back home to the farm, only to skip his chores every morning for mysterious reasons, Suzy decides to find out what he's up to once and for all. And that's when she meets legendary former circus queen Madame Marantette and her ostriches. Before long, Suzy finds herself caught-up in the fast-paced, hilarious world of ostrich riding, a rollicking adventure that just might be her ticket out of Burr Oak. (Ages 10 and up)

Betsy Bird will stop by our gift store at 1716 Sherman for an in-person signing event! If you can't make it to the signing but would still like a signed or personalized copy, please place an order by October 8th. 
Betsy Bird is the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library, and the former Youth Materials Specialist of New York Public Library. She blogs frequently at the School Library Journal site A Fuse #8 Production, and reviews for Kirkus and the New York Times on occasion. 
Outside, at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston
Saturday, October 9, 2 3 pm
On Saturday, October 9th at 2 pm, you’re invited to hear Sarah Ruhl talk about her stunning new memoir to director and actor Polly Noonan, at a very special live, in-person event co-hosted by Piven Theatre (where Sarah had some of her earliest theater training) and Bookends & Beginnings.
With a play opening on Broadway, and every reason to smile, Sarah Ruhl had just survived a high-risk pregnancy when she discovered that the left side of her face was completely paralyzed. She was assured that 90 percent of Bell's palsy patients see spontaneous improvement and experience a full recovery but Sarah turned out to be in the other, unlucky ten percent. In her new memoir Smile, this two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and former MacArthur “genius” fellow chronicles her decade-long search for a cure while simultaneously grappling with the reality of her new face--one that, while recognizably her own--is incapable of accurately communicating feelings or intentions.
Your $37 ticket price includes a signed copy of Smile, and also supports two beloved local institutions: Piven Theatre and Bookends & Beginnings. 

For COVID safety, this event will be held outdoors in the park outside Piven, located at 927 Noyes Street, Evanston. Seating is available first-come, first served. So far the extended forecast for the day looks great, but the event will still be held in the event of light rain so bring an umbrella if necessary. If weather conditions appear more extreme, the event may be converted to a virtual event in which case you’ll receive a Zoom link and your book will be available to pick up later at the store or can be shipped out to you. Books may also be picked up in-store before the event any time after the publication date of October 5.
A very limited number of complimentary student tickets are available while supplies last. To apply, email info@bookendsandbeginnings.com and include a scan of your current student ID card.
Sarah Ruhl is an award-winning American playwright, author, essayist, and professor. Her plays include The Oldest BoyDear ElizabethStage Kiss, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2010); and The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004). Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country as well as internationally, and translated into fourteen languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a PEN Center Award for mid-career playwrights, a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and a Lilly award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She teaches at Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Polly Noonan is an actor and director known best for her work in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Arizona Dream, and High Fidelity. She acted in Sarah Ruhl's play, "In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play," at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, Illinois with Kate Fry in the cast.
Sat, Oct 9, 2021 2:00 PM CST
Sarah Ruhl in Conversation with Polly Noonan: Smile: The Story of a Face
927 Noyes St, Evanston
A Virtual Event
Tuesday, October 12, 6 – 7 pm
Bookends & Beginnings will be joining Gramercy Books in Bexley, OH and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC to bring you this live, exclusive conversation between Doerr and Jess Walter, author of The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins. Admission to the event is $33 and includes a hardcover copy of Cloud Cuckoo Land. We'll have a limited number of signed copies, which we will allocate to attendees in the order of sign-up for the event, until we run out; then we'll have signed bookplates, which we will also allocate in order of sign-up, until they're gone.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, and of the human heart.

The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are trying to figure out the world around them: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour in an attack on a public library in present day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for an exoplanet, decades from now. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of peril.

An ancient text—the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky—provides solace and mystery to these unforgettable characters. Doerr has created a tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us and those who will be here after we’re gone.
Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.
A National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of seven novels, including The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 32 languages and his fiction has been selected three times for Best American Stories as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His stories, essays and journalism have appeared in Harper’s, Esquire, Playboy, McSweeney’s, Tin House, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many others. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington with his wife and three children
Tue, Oct 12, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Anthony Doerr in Conversation with Jess Walter: Cloud Cuckoo Land

At St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman, Evanston
Sunday, October 17, 4 5 pm
St. Luke's Episcopal Church invites you to a very special afternoon with Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. Trethewey will read from her critically acclaimed books Memorial Drive and Monument, both of which will be sold at the event by Bookends & Beginnings, as well as other selections of her work. Join us for an intimate reading, Q&A, and book signing with this brilliant poet.

In Memorial Drive, Trethewey explores the aftermath of how at age 19 her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence, but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.
Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. From 2015-2016, she served as poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities, and in 2020, she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2019. At Northwestern University she is Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

At Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Sunday, October 24, 3 pm
Bookends & Beginnings is proud to be the bookstore sponsor of David Sedaris's next visit to Evanston. WBEZ presents best-selling author and NPR contributor, David Sedaris for an event featuring all-new stories, an audience Q&A, and a book signing. This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist live in Evanston, following the release of his newest books The Best of Me and A Carnival of SnackeryBooks will be available for purchase at the event from Bookends & Beginnings.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Mr. Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

NOTE: Your ticket purchase does NOT include a copy of either of the above-mentioned books! But if you pre-order your books in advance from Bookends & Beginnings, you'll receive a 10% discount and you'll be able to skip the book-purchase line at the event. To order, click these book titles: The Best of Me (newly in paperback) and A Carnival of Snackery (forthcoming in hardcover on October 5). Use coupon code SEDARIS10 in the notes when you check out.

You can pick them up in-store any time before the event or have them shipped out to you. If you haven't picked up by the time of the event, we'll have them there at our table for quick pick-up. We will NOT be able to get these copies signed in advance, but Mr. Sedaris always signs books at his events.

Pre-order discount only valid through October 23.
A Virtual Event
Thursday, October 28, 6 – 7:00 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune.

Welcome to Charon's Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

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. Stop by the store to chat with Brooke if you want more info about the club, or send her an email at brooke@bookendsandbeginnings.com.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: Under the Whispering Door
A Virtual Evanston History Center event
Thursday, October 28th, 7pm
Before Jack the Ripper, before The Devil in the White City’s H.H. Holmes, the world’s deadliest serial killer was Dr. Thomas Neill Cream.

Bestselling author Dean Jobb tells the true story of a Victorian Era monster, the ruthless “Lambeth Poisoner.” The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is the first complete account of his crimes, his victims, and how Scotland Yard’s best detectives struggled to end his final and deadliest attacks. Jobb’s book explores why the authorities in the United States, Canada and Britain failed to identify and stop one of the earliest and most prolific serial killers of modern times. It exposes the flawed police investigations and primitive forensic tests that enabled him to evade suspicion and detection, how he was convicted and imprisoned in the midst of his poisoning spree, and why he was freed to kill again. And it shows how the stifling morality and hypocrisy of Victorian society allowed him to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

This event will take place on Zoom. Registration is required (link below) and admission is $10, (Payable online or call EHC at 847 475-3410). EHC members Free!
Dean Jobb is an award‑winning author and journalist and a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the graduate creative nonfiction and journalism programs. He is the author of six books, including Empire of Deception, which the Chicago Writers Association named its Nonfiction Book of the Year. Jobb has written for major American and Canadian newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune and the American Journalism Review. His monthly true‑crime column, “Stranger Than Fiction,” appears in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His work as an investigative reporter has been nominated for Canada’s National Newspaper and National Magazine awards, and he is a three‑time winner of Atlantic Canada’s top journalism award. For more about Dean Jobb, visit: http://www.deanjobb.com/
What Are We Reading This Month?
Whether you're curious about what we read, need a recommendation, or just want to scoff at our taste, here's a list of what your favorite booksellers are reading! If you see something that interests you, let us know! We're more than happy to talk about these titles.
In an exciting sequel to Eggers's The CircleThe Every is an Amazon-like company that has taken over and now runs people's lives. It anticipates needs and wants and keeps track of all personal details. Delaney Wells has one goal: become an employee and take The Every down from the inside out. Eggers shows how big tech companies influence everyday choices and how people interact with others. Perfect for fans of Black Mirror.  
Something about this novel just draws me in! My Brilliant Friend is the first part of a four-book work called The Neapolitan Quartet, which shows the transformations in a friendship between two Italian women from when they are ten years old through adulthood. I'm only about a hundred pages in and already the intense social situations and power dynamics between its characters are totally fascinating. You wouldn't expect a book with a basic plot description of "it's about a friendship" to be a page-turner but this one definitely is.
I'm currently letting The Echo Wife drag me out of my recent reading slump. It's a sci-fi novel that reads like a domestic thriller—except for the clones. The narrator's husband used her innovative cloning technology to create his perfect wife: a version of her that's just as brilliant and beautiful, but wants to have children. I love what Sarah Gailey is doing with science fiction here: telling an addictive story and also asking questions about bodily and reproductive autonomy.
Books You Could be Reading...
...and Buying 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 eighth 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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