Happy March!
Dear Reader,

 We're excited to announce that we're starting a Used Book Buyback program that will give you the chance to earn store credit for bringing in gently used books. We're going to be picky about what we take. It has to be in great condition, and something we're pretty sure we can re-sell, so we're not going to take that entire wall of bodice-rippers that no longer spark joy for you. But for what we do take, we're going to give you credit you can use on anything in our store--more credit if you originally bought the book from us--and we'll keep track of it so you don't have to. To launch the program with a bang, we're holding a Book Buyback Bash on the weekend of March 9-10. See below for more details, and for more info on guidelines for books we will and won't accept, click here !
In other breaking news, this month we got in two new beautiful Leuchtturm journal colors that will make you want to sip wine on an ocean shore: Port Red and Pacific Green. Come by to pick one up for yourself in any size!
And we're happy to introduce two new staffers you may have already seen around the store. Brooke Williams has joined us full-time, bringing years of expertise in children's literature, especially in middle grade and young adult books. She also brought along Mario Vargas Llama, who joins the beloved sheep and Peter Rabbit in our kids' section. And Brooke will also be starting a science fiction book club--see below for details.

Caleigh Havansek, who joined us just before the holiday season, works part time at the store and helps coordinate our events and social media pages. She loves to read Jane Austen, historical fiction, and plays. When she's not at the store she's out teaching the little humans of the world as a theatre educator and she's almost always drinking a large cup of tea in her otter mug.
If you haven't met them yet, come say hi and ask for a book recommendation!

See more details about our events below and, as always, "Read On!"
March Upcoming Events
Tuesday, March 5, 6:00 - 7:30pm
As part of our “Writing Well” programming, we’re launching an occasional series of Works-In-Progress Nights--an informal chance to hear area writers, poets, and podcasters share samples of what they’re working on. This month's event will be emceed by Pam Ferdinand and features Martin Andrews, Melissa Blount , Suzanne Clores, Joshua Corey , Pamela Ferdinand , Lillian Huang Cummins , Paulette Livers , Emily Skwish, and Colby Vargas
March 9th and 10th, 1 - 5 pm both days
Come celebrate this new chapter of Bookends & Beginnings, and bring us your used books!

Our buyback program gives you the chance to earn store credit for gently used books. We'll asses the books you bring in and give you credit that can be used towards anything in the store. To see more about what kinds of books we will be accepting click here !
We're going to sweeten the deal by having tasty donut holes on hand and giving out and lots of extra Book Credit to the early adopters of our program. This weekend only, if we accept three or more of your books, you'll automatically get an extra bonus $5 of book credit But wait, there's more: Everyone who trades in at least three books will be entered into our Book Buyback Bash Raffle. 1st place gets another $20 in credit, 2nd place gets $15, and 3rd place gets $10 extra credit!
The numbers are staggering: over the past 20 years in Chicago, 14,033 people
have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and community? Drawing on his decades of experience, Alex Kotlowitz set out to chronicle one summer in the city, writing about individuals who have emerged from the violence and whose stories capture the capacity--and the breaking point--of the human heart and soul. The result is a spellbinding collection of deeply intimate profiles that upend what we think we know about gun violence in America. 

Applying the close-up, empathic reporting that made  There Are No Children Here  a modern classic, in  An American Summer , Kotlowitz offers a piercingly honest portrait of a city in turmoil. These sketches of those left standing will get into your bones. This one summer will stay with you. 
Alex Kotlowitz is the author of three previous books, including the national bestseller  There Are No Children Here selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century.  The Other Side of the River  was awarded the  Chicago Tribune's  Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His work has appeared in  The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine  and on  This American Life . His documentary work includes  The Interrupters, for which he received a Film Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. His other honors include a George Polk Award, two Peabodys, the Helen B. Bernstein Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He teaches at Northwestern University.

Light Refreshments will be served prior to and after the conversation.

Pre-order your book from us   and pick it up at the event!
Wednesday, March 13, 6 - 7:30 pm
We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an "empire," exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories--the islands, atolls, and archipelagos--this country has governed and inhabited?
In How to Hide an Empire , Northwestern history professor Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century's most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.
At this event Immerwahr will be in conversation with fellow Northwestern historian, Gerry Cadava .

Daniel Immerwahr is associate professor of history at Northwestern University and author of  Thinking Small: The United State and the Lure of Community Development , which won the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Prize. He has written for  N+1, Slate Dissent,  and other publications.
Clarence Darrow Day
March 13th- Offsite in two locations
As a member of Chicago’s   Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee , store owner Nina Barrett always helps organize the annual Chicago celebration of the famous attorney’s life, held on the anniversary of his death, which is when he promised friends that if communication turned out to be possible from the afterlife, his spirit would return to commune with them. The Committee hosts several events every year, just to make sure that his spirit does return, and this year’s focus is Darrow’s role in the Leopold and Loeb murder case, nearing the 95 th  anniversary of that murder this coming May. You’re invited to participate on March 13 at either or both of the following:

Wednesday at 10 am: Traditional flower-tossing and remarks at the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park.  There will be a special reading of excerpts from Darrow’s pleading in the Leopold and Loeb case by Paul Durica, Director of Programs and Exhibitions at Illinois Humanities.  For the past decade, Durica has produced talks, walking tours, and participatory reenactments dealing with Chicago and Illinois history.  He created his first walking tour, Crime of the Century: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder of Bobby Franks, while a graduate student at the University of Chicago, and continues to give the tour for the Chicago History Museum. 

Wednesday 6 – 7:15 pm: Symposium at the Newberry Library, 60 West Walton St., Chicago
Topic:  The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes
The 1924 murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, and their defense by Clarence Darrow, raised profound and disturbing questions about social class, criminal psychology, morality, justice, and mercy. Join Nina Barrett, author of  The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes, for a talk about why, ninety-five years later, these issues continue to haunt us—and remain relevant—today.
Note:  Registration is requested  for the program at The Newberry Library.
More info on both programs is at the Committee’s  Facebook page  or  on its website .
Wednesday, March 20, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
This month's selection for the Mortality Book Club-- How We Die , by Sherwin B. Nuland--is a definitive text on perhaps the single most universal human concern: death. This new edition includes an afterword that examines the current state of health care and our relationship with life as it approaches its terminus. It also discusses how we can take control of our own final days and those of our loved ones.

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.
OFFSITE at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Avenue, Evanston
Co-Sponsored with  Refuse Fascism  and  United for Democracy Now
Jason Stanley:  How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them
Saturday, March 23, 2 pm
Is this fascism? Many people are asking and debating that question these days. Heated discussions ensue in the media and at dinner tables across the country and around the world. In an upcoming free event, Refuse Fascism and United for Democracy Now will tackle this question, starting with a presentation by Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley, author of the book   How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them .  As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism. Stanley’s book identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, charts their horrifying rise and deep history, and argues that only by recognizing fascist politics may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

Stanley’s talk will include an audience Q&A, followed by a panel discussion of strategies to stop this trajectory. Admission is free, but please  register for the event  at Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, email  March23HFW@gmail.com
Tuesday, March 26, noon - 1:00 pm
Contemporary Art : most people either love it or hate it. It can often polarize people with its bold colors, unconventional subjects, and broad purposes. This month the Very Short Book Club will debate the nuances of contemporary art and answer the questions of where it's headed and what effect America has had on the art world.
Julian Stallabrass's Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction , takes us inside the international art world to answer these and other controversial questions, and to argue that behind contemporary art's variety and apparent unpredictability lies a grim uniformity. Its mysteries are all too easily explained, its depths much shallower than they seem. Contemporary art seeks to bamboozle its viewers while being the willing slave of business and government.

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. 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.
Tuesday, March 26, 6 - 7:30 pm
We're starting a new book club featuring Science Fiction and Fantasy books! Brooke, our newest bookseller, will be moderating the club and 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 exciting and quality 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.

The first book the club will be reading is The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. 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 .
Rhino Poetry Night
Friday, March 29, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their March 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 .
March is Women's History Month ! To celebrate, we'll have a table at the front of the store featuring some of our favorite women authors and books about women and history, including She the People , an awesome new graphic history book on Women's Equality which goes on sale March 5th! You can pre-order this book by clicking on the picture or stop by the store to check out some of the other rad titles we'll have available.
And Save The Date
Coming in April: Terese Svoboda in Conversation with Jessi Phillips
Thursday, April 4, 6 - 7:30 pm
"Terese Svoboda, said The Bloomsbury Review , “is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.” We feel incredibly honored to welcome this acclaimed poet, novelist, memoirist, short story writer, librettist, translator, biographer, critic, videomaker, and oh did we mention, Guggenheim fellow, on the occasion of the publication of her 18 th book and second collection of short stories, Great American Desert , in which the themes of the use and abuse of water and the consequences of the land's mistreatment. We’re also pleased to welcome Jessi Phillips, a writer and musician whose work has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train, Mississippi Review, VICE, and Pacific Standard, who’ll be in conversation with Terese about the stories as well as her other recent book Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet.
March Staff Picks
A beautiful book that gives voice to a beloved piano and its journey throughout time and place. The two women who are connected through the instrument are on very separate paths, but their voices are joined together through music and the result is a stunning representation of what it means to be human, to love and to lose. Chris Cander has crafted a stunning narrative that will have you flipping the pages faster than fingers gliding across a piano. As a wonderful added bonus Cander commissioned Skokie native Konner Scott to write a piece of music to highlight the story's haunting beauty which really sets this book apart. You can listen to it  here ! -Caleigh
The latest novel from the Man Booker prize-winning author Marlin James, Black Leopard Red Wolf , is an epic fantasy set in Africa, introducing us to a world James will be exploring over the course of a planned trilogy. A dizzying array of rich landscapes, memorable and unique characters, and plenty of twists and turns in a kaleidoscope tale are presented by a novelist skilled at bringing worlds --real ones and imaginary-- to life. This is the book for anyone looking for a Game of Thrones type world that divests itself of the well worn tropes of Eurocentric mythology. -Josiah
Miles is my favorite Spider-man and Reynolds is one of the best current YA/middle grade authors. This book deftly tackles family, community, responsibility, and institutionalized racism at an age-appropriate level. -Brooke
This fictional oral history of a rock band called The Six and its charismatic lead performers is absolutely enthralling. Taylor Jenkins Reid gets every detail right; within a chapter or so, you’ll swear you actually remember this band for real. But she also plays with the familiar clichés of a rock band’s meteoric rise to fame and seemingly inevitable self-destruction, offering a more nuanced view of the rewards and temptations of the rock’n’roll life, especially from a woman’s point of view. If you loved  Almost Famous , you’re guaranteed to love this. - 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