July events & updates

Our Fifth Birthday was a blast, and we want to thank everyone who came out to help celebrate—especially the 90 people who filled out a “Five Books I Can’t Live Without” raffle card. We had lots of fun tallying the results. The oldest books on the list were the Iliad and the Odyssey (someone specified the Emily Wilson translation!), while the newest were The Overstory by Richard Powers and Educated by Tara Westover. The most voted-for books overall were Harry Potter , either individually or as a series, while the author most popular among adults was Neil Gaiman , and among the 16 kids who participated, the most popular author was Raina Telgemeier . And by the way, it was a young person who won our Bookseller for a Day: Eleanor W.M. The winner of the $25 gift certificate was Kati B. 

Now, moving ahead briskly into our Sixth Year, we have a fun-filled summer packed with events and activities for readers young and grown-up. The details, as always, are below. Writers in particular should rejoice that we’re getting a visit by the legendary Janet Burroway, whose book Writing Fiction is one of the most widely used texts of its kind and has helped hundreds of thousands of developing writers during its 30 years in print. We’ll be ending July on a high note, when Janet presents a mini-workshop and invites you to come ask about your biggest stumbling blocks as a writer.

Read on for the details, and as always…read on!
Summer Activities for Kids at Bookends & Beginnings
*READ EVERYWHERE Challenge - June through August
*Where's Waldo in Downtown Evanston - all through July
*Harry Potter Birthday Party- July 31st
June 1- August 10
You can still sign up for our Summer Reading Program!
So school's out! Want to make sure your kids keep advancing their reading skills and have a healthy alternative to too much screen time this summer? Bookends & Beginnings has created a new Summer "READ EVERYWHERE" Challenge for kids ages 5 to 12. The Challenge runs June 1 through August 10, and you can sign up at any time at our front register, where we will gather some contact information and give you your list of challenges. Instead of just focusing on reading a certain number of books, we're encouraging kids to be more thoughtful about where, and what, they're reading, with challenges like "read a book outside" and "read a book that has some words in a different language." As a helpful bonus, all of these challenges can be completed with books from the District 65 summer reading list. We've put together 20 challenges. One book can count for no more than two challenges. To qualify for prizes of cool stickers and temporary tattoos, you will need to complete at least 5. If you complete all 20, you earn a free book of your choice! Happy reading!
July 1 - 31
Final Party August 3, 3 - 4 pm
For the whole month of July, Bookends & Beginnings will sponsor our fifth annual Where's Waldo scavenger hunt--a great summer vacation activity for kids and a wonderful way to discover (and support) local businesses. Throughout the month, the famous stripey-shirted character won't just be hiding out in books, the way he usually does. He'll be hiding out in nearly two dozen fabulous independent businesses downtown. Kids pick up their " Find Waldo in Downtown Evanston!" passport at Bookends & Beginnings or any participating retailer. Kids get their passports stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot. Finding Waldo at all the businesses gets kids into the final party attended by Waldo himself and enters them into a drawing for prizes donated by all the participating businesses. The final party will be on August 3rd at 3 pm, see below for details.

Here is this year's list of participating businesses:

July 31st, 5:30 - 7 pm
Witches, Wizards, and Muggles of all ages can join us to celebrate the birthday of Harry Potter! Dress up in your favorite wizard garb and come on down the alley to eat some themed snacks, enjoy a read-aloud of some of the books, do some activities and crafts, and engage in general merriment with other wizarding folk! Just follow the signs down the alley and tap the bricks with your wand to be granted access to our inclusive celebration of all things Harry Potter! 
July Events
Closed for Independence Day
Thursday, July 4

If you need something to read check out Jill Lepore's These Truths for a fresh take on American history! We're so sure you're going to love it that we offer a money-back guarantee!
Wednesday, July 17, 6 - 7:30 pm
In July our Mortality Book Club is reading Lincoln in the Bardo . Nina says of the book: "This is one of the most astonishing works of fiction I've ever read--an original, unique, possibly perfect novel. It's in the form of an extended conversation mostly among dead (or mostly-dead) people that is simultaneously sad, very funny, profoundly moving, and overflowing with insight into what it means to lose life and lose 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, who is a practicing death doula.
Thursday, July 18, 6 - 7:30 pm
Madeleine Henry will be at Bookends & Beginnings to discuss her debut novel, Breathe In, Cash Out , about young banking analyst Allegra Cobb, who plans to quit her Wall Street job the minute she gets her year-end bonus so she can finally pursue her yoga career full-time. But when she forms an intense relationship with the #InstaFamous guru who may hold the ticket to the life she’s always wanted she's not sure if she'll be able to keep her sanity intact (and her chakras aligned) until bonus day. Says Jay McInerney, author of  Bright Lights, Big City , "Madeleine Henry's  Breathe In, Cash Out  is a satirical romance, or, perhaps, a romantic satire, that improbably and hilariously juxtaposes the worlds of investment banking and yoga, sparing neither. Her portrait of the ambitious, sleep-deprived, paranoid peons of Wall Street, and their tyrannical masters, is brilliantly observed. This is a very stylish and entertaining debut."
Madeleine Henry worked at Goldman Sachs and in investment management in New York City. She graduated from Yale in 2014 where she wrote comedy for  The Yale Record , America's oldest college humor magazine. Now working on her second novel, she shares more information about her life, writing, and yoga practice on @MadeleineHenryYoga .
This month The Very Short Book Club reads about Film Noir, one of the most intriguing yet difficult-to-define terms in cinema history. It's usually associated with a series of darkly seductive Hollywood thrillers from the 1940s and 50s--shadowy, black-and-white pictures about private eyes, femme fatales, outlaw lovers, criminal heists, corrupt police, and doomed or endangered outsiders. But film noir actually predates the 1940s and has never been confined to Hollywood. International in scope, its various manifestations have spread across generic categories, attracted the interest of the world's great directors, and continue to appear even today. In this Very Short Introduction, James Naremore shows how the term "film noir" originated in French literary and film criticism, and how later uses of the term travelled abroad, changing its implications. In the process, he comments on classic examples of the films and explores important aspects of their history: their critical reception, their major literary sources, their methods of dealing with censorship and budgets, their social and cultural politics, their variety of styles, and their future in a world of digital media and video streaming.
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 Josiah@bookendsandbeginnings.com 
Tuesday, July 23, 6 - 7:30 pm
In The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections , Caroline Fredrickson—who’s had a front-row seat on the political drama in DC for decades while working to shape progressive policies—argues that it’s time for progressives to focus on winning. Conservatives, she argues, have gained power in Washington and states across the country because, while progressives fought to death over the nuances of policy, conservatives focused on simply gaining power. They understood that policy follows power, not the other way around. In this book, Caroline Fredrickson argues that progressives must be ruthless in thinking through how to change the rules of the game to regain power, expand the franchise, end voter suppression, win judicial elections, and fight for transparency and fairness in our political system—and offers strategies and tactics for long-term success.
Caroline Fredrickson is the president of the American Constitution Society (ACS), a senior fellow at Demos, and the author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over. She has served as the director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition, Caroline was chief of staff to Senator Maria Cantwell and deputy chief of staff to the then Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Just for this month, Sci-fi Book Club is moved to the last Thursday!
Thursday, July 25, 6 - 7:30 pm
In July, the Sci-fi Book Club will read:  Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey :

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it.
Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life or at least, she’s perfectly fine.
She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

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 haven't been able to make it, here's your chance!
RHINO Poetry Night
Friday, July 26, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their July 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 .
Friday-Saturday-Sunday, July 26-28
Get ready for the best sidewalk sale of the year! From July 26-28, shops in downtown Evanston will set up racks and tables filled with too-good-to-resist deals on clothes, shoes, accessories, outdoor gear, decorative arts, jewelry, and more! 

For the second year in a row, Downtown Evanston is hosting a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest to add color and design to the sidewalks and create a friendly, artsy competition between businesses, artists and families in Evanston! The sidewalk in front of businesses will be decorated on Friday evening by 5pm so come out to see the artists in action.
in Conversation with Writer John Poplett
Tuesday, July 29, 6 - 7:30 pm
In her eighty-fifth year, Fern Halvorsen tells the story of a childhood journey across Lake Michigan—and the secret she has kept since that ill-fated voyage.
As his wife lies dying in the brutally cold winter of 1936, Henrik Halvorsen takes his daughter away with him. He captains a great coal-fired vessel, the  Manitou , transporting railroad cars across the icy lake. The five-year-old Fern revels in the freedom of the ferry, making friends with a stowaway cat and a gentle young deckhand. The sighting of a phantom ship, though, presages danger for all aboard. Fern’s memories of a storm-tossed childhood are a bittersweet love song to the ghosts we carry with us into old age.
"Lee Zacharias is one of those profoundly rare writers, a natural. Her voice is one you can trust, and her characters are real, moving, and come from the experience of someone who knows what trouble human beings get themselves into."
—Craig Nova, author of  The Good Son

Lee Zacharias is the author of a collection of short stories,  Helping Muriel Make It Through the Night ; three novels,  Across the Great Lake Lessons , and  At Random ; and a collection of personal essays,  The Only Sounds We Make . Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and been recognized by  The Best American Short Stories  and  The Best American Essays , which reprinted her essay "Buzzards" in its 2008 edition.
Lee has taught at the University Arkansas, Princeton University, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she is Emerita Professor of English, as well as many conferences, most recently the Wildacres Writers Workshop. Find her online at  http://leezacharias.com/

Lee Zacharias will be in conversation with Chicago Area writer John Poplett.
A Writing Well Event
Tuesday, July 30, 6 - 7:30 pm
Janet Burroway’s best-selling classic Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and for more than three decades it has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn the craft. This book is a master class in creative writing that also calls on us to renew our love of storytelling and celebrate the skill of writing well. And now you can attend a mini-master class from the author herself, when Janet Burroway comes to Bookends & Beginnings to celebrate the publication of the new tenth edition and discuss what’s new and improved—as well as what’s old and reliable—in this edition. Moving from freewriting to final revision, the book addresses “showing not telling,” characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, plot, imagery, and point of view. It includes new topics and writing prompts, and the examples and quotations throughout the book feature a wide and diverse range of today’s best and best-known creators of both novels and short stories.
What’s your biggest stumbling block as a writer? We invite writers at all levels of practice to come ask Janet about whatever it is, or about any other writing question. And bring your writer friends along, too!
Janet Burroway is the author of plays, poetry, children’s books, and eight novels, including The Buzzards, Raw Silk, Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at Florida State University. She lives in Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
RSVP requested for this event so we can plan appropriately.
Please fill out this short form to RSVP
Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 - 7 pm
Witches, Wizards, and Muggles of all ages can join us to celebrate the birthday of Harry Potter! Dress up in your favorite wizard garb and come on down the alley to eat some themed snacks, enjoy a read-aloud of some of the books, do some activities and crafts, and engage in general merriment with other wizarding folk! Just follow the signs down the alley and tap the bricks with your wand to be granted access to our inclusive celebration of all things Harry Potter! 
Saturday, August 3, 3 - 4 pm
The final party for Where's Waldo in Downtown Evanston will be on Saturday, August 3 at 3 pm. At this time, all kids who've found Waldo in 20 or more of the local independent businesses where he's been hiding can come to our Grand Prize Victory Party, where Waldo himself will be handing out prizes donated by all the businesses, including a selection of Where's Waldo books! Kids can of course bring their whole families to the party. If you completed the scavenger hunt but are unable to attend the party, please turn in your passport anyway, and we'll be in touch with you about getting one of the remaining prizes.
July Staff Recommendations
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is the first novel by Ocean Vuong, a Vietnamese-American writer whose 2016 poetry debut, Night Sky with Exit Wounds   was widely celebrated. Like his premier work, this one is semi-autobiographical and deals with his life as an immigrant, gay man, and writer. It is addressed as a letter to his mom who is both a mother and a monster, a survivor of and refugee of the Vietnam war, and a person who hit "little Dog" without hesitation. Poetic and heart-achingly beautiful, this novel is haunting and a must read of 2019.
Chicago small press darlings, Featherproof Books, have gained the rights to the diaries of Luc Dardenne one half of the prolific French-Belgian film duo, The Dardenne Brothers. With his older brother, Jean-Pierre, Luc has written and directed films since the late 80's culminating in two Palme d'Ors from Cannes and many other international awards for film. The Dardennes' films often portray lower and working-class nobodies struggling against the seemingly arbitrary oppressions of their culture's status-quo. Luc's diaries speak directly to this dynamic. From entry to entry, the reader sees how a master-at-work becomes embroiled in the world around him from news of the day to interpretations of biblical tales to quotes pulled directly from books, plays, poems, and films.  On The Back of Our Images  is a relic for anyone interested in the duel an artist has with themselves and a profound look into the mind of a living film legend.
This is a very timely novel, and one I feel will resonate strongly with first- and second-generation Americans. It's a coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and identity. Jay is half-Filipino, but has spent his whole life in the States. When his cousin Jun is killed in the Philippines, Jay learns about Duterte's war on drugs and travels to visit his family to try and learn what really happened. Jay's journey is painful, moving, complex, and ultimately, healing.
In The Way We Eat Now , widely acclaimed food writer Bee Wilson argues that, while for most of human history we had to hunt our food (meaning we rarely were able to eat too much, and always had to exercise), now we are hunted by food. Think gazillions of extra calories in sugary, fatty, chemically concocted foods that people snack on all over the world now, because they’re cheaper and faster and more convenient than buying whole foods and cooking them. She explores both the causes and consequences in a lively, compelling, eye-opening way that will make you look very differently at that next “healthy” frozen dinner!
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! Also, look out for our Special Storytimes, listed in our events! These extra-special mornings often include a craft and activity to accompany our stories!
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!