August News
As we wind up nearly three weeks of having our doors open again for walk-in business, one lovely thing we’re hearing a lot from customers is, “I’m so glad you’re still here!” We feel very lucky that we still are here, and that’s entirely due to your continuing commitment to buying your books from us—as well as all the generous donations to the GoFundMe campaign.

This week, Inc Magazine ran a great story about how businesses in Evanston are facing pandemic challenges, which included Bookends & Beginnings and several of your other favorite businesses such as Campus Gear, Taco Diablo, Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge, and Steven Papageorge Salon. Now more than ever, spending dollars locally will make a significant impact on how we and the other independent businesses and restaurants of Evanston will continue to weather this crisis.

One silver lining is that, with all our events shifting to a virtual format, we’re now finding ourselves able to entertain great writers from afar. Participants in Evanston Public Library’s "Mission Impossible" groups, which read three works by James Baldwin last year, may be particularly interested in a conversation with Eddie Glaude, author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Lessons for Our Own (co-sponsored with the library). And word-nerds are invited to geek out with us for a Literary Lunchbreak in which Random House executive managing editor and copy chief, Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Grammar and Style, Zooms in from New York for a conversation with former Chicago Manual of Style editor Carol Saller, author of The Subversive Copyeditor. (Dreyer, it turns out, began honing his copyediting superpowers as an undergraduate at Northwestern!) During lunch, we’ll also play a few rounds of STET, the Dreyer’s English-related game, and attendees who purchase a copy of Dreyer’s book will be entered into a raffle to win a free copy of the game!

And here's another incentive to enjoy our new virtual events: This month, copies of the authors' books ordered before or on the day of the event will be discounted 15%!

We’ve got more great Literary Lunchbreaks in the schedule below, and our Science Fiction Book Club also resumes this month with a lunchtime virtual meeting on August 26. Independent Bookstore Day, usually celebrated in late April, is rescheduled this year for August 29th—we'll have more details on that in our mid-month newsletter.  

So read on for all the details. And, as always, read on!

News and Events
The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America’s identity for centuries–yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need.  After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the “golden ticket” to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas. The book situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history–the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies–revealing not just how America’s changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.

Join us for the next installment in our Literary Lunchbreak series, a conversation between After the Last Border author Jessica Goudeau and Northwestern professor Wendy Pearlman, author of We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria. We'll also hear from representatives of GirlForward and World Relief Chicago about what you can do to get involved and make a difference.

Copies of After the Last Border ordered from us before or on the day of the Literary Lunchbreak will be 15% off!
Jessica Goudeau has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Teen Vogue, among other places, and is a former columnist for Catapult. She produced projects for Teen Vogue (“Ask a Syrian Girl”) and A Line Birds Cannot See, a documentary about a young girl who crossed the border into the US on her own. Goudeau has spent more than a decade working with refugees in Austin, TX and is the cofounder of Hill Tribers, a nonprofit that provided supplemental income for Burmese refugee artisans for seven years.
Wendy Pearlman is Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, where she also holds the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence. A specialist in the comparative politics of the Middle East, she is the author of four books, We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement, Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada, and Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors. She has conducted research in Spain, Germany, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Jessica Goudeau & Wendy Pearlman: After the Last Border
Over the past nine months, Evanston Public Library has hosted dozens of discussions for community members to talk about James Baldwin's novels and what we can learn from them. To round off those discussions, Evanston Public Library and Bookends & Beginnings are thrilled to host Princeton professor Eddie Glaude, author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, for a virtual conversation on August 12 from 5 – 6 pm CDT with Imani Perry, author of Breathe: A Letter to My Sons.

In Begin Again, Glaude looks at James Baldwin’s world and sees our own moment reflected back, in the murder of Black Americans by white cops, a steady assault on voting rights, and the election of Donald Trump. A searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, the book is a powerful interrogation of who we take ourselves to be and what we must ask and do in order to call forth a new America. Perry has called Glaude’s book “an unparalleled masterpiece of social criticism.”
Join us at 5 pm on August 12 for a thought-provoking conversation between Eddie Glaude and Imani Perry, a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual whose most recent book Breathe exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition.

Copies of Begin Again and Breathe that are ordered before and on the day of the event from Bookends & Beginnings are 15% off and will include bookplates signed by their authors, and can be shipped to your home or picked up at the store in downtown Evanston.

You can hear a recent NPR interview with Dr. Glaude here.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the former president of the American Academy of Religion, the largest professional organization of scholars of religion in the world. Glaude is the author of a number of books, including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. He hails from Moss Point, Mississippi, a small town on gulf coast, and is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. Perry has written and taught on a number of topics regarding race and African American culture. Besides her newest title Breathe, her books include Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop; May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem; and Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant Life of Lorraine Hansberry.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020 5:00 PM CST
Eddie Glaude in Conversation With Imani Perry: Begin Again & Breathe
We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.

As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike—not to mention his followers on social media—for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.

Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, Dreyer's Englishnow out in a new paperback edition!—is required reading for everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and—perhaps best of all—an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

And who better to lead a conversation with Benjamin Dreyer than Chicago's own "Subversive Copyeditor," Carol Saller, who served as chief copyeditor for the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and as a consultant for the 17th?

And in case you'd like to match wits with these two style-and-grammar gurus, we're going to play a few rounds of the brand-new Dreyer's English-based game STET--and you can join in!

Anyone who attends the virtual event AND buys a copy of Dreyer's English will be entered into a raffle to win a free STET game! And copies of Dreyer's English or STET that are ordered before or on the day of the Literary Lunchbreak will be 15% off!
Benjamin Dreyer is vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief, of Random House. He began his publishing career as a freelance proofreader and copy editor, joining Random House as a production editor in 1993. He has copyedited books by authors including E. L. Doctorow, David Ebershoff, Frank Rich, and Elizabeth Strout. A graduate of Northwestern University, Benjamin Dreyer lives in New York City.
Carol Saller is a contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style and writes for Fiction+ at the CMOS blog. For many years she edited both the Chicago Manual of Style’s online Q&A and the CMOS Shop Talk blog. Her books include The Subversive Copy Editor as well as several books for children, including the young adult novel Eddie's War.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Benjamin Dreyer & Carol Saller: Dreyer's English

In Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, Kathleen Rooney resurrects two long-forgotten yet extraordinary figures, recounting their tale in a pair of voices that will change the way that readers look at animals, freedom, and even history itself. Rooney transports readers to the battlefields of World War I, where two unlikely and reluctant heroes find their fates intertwined. Answering the call to serve in the war to end all wars, neither Cher Ami, a messenger bird, nor Charles Whittlesey, the Army officer in command of the unit she serves, can anticipate how their lives will briefly intersect in a chaotic battle in the forests of France, where their wills will be tested and their fates will be shaped.

Copies of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey ordered from us before or on the day of the Literary Lunchbreak will be 15% off!
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her most recent books include the novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and The Listening Room: A Novel of Georgette and Loulou Magritte. Her criticism appears in The New York Times Magazine, The Poetry Foundation website, The Chicago TribuneThe Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul. 
Sarah Domet is the author of the novel The Guineveres and the instructional book 90 Days to Your Novel. She teaches in the creative writing program at Ball State University.
Thu, Aug 20, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Kathleen Rooney & Sarah Domet: Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey
Wednesday, August 26, noon - 1 pm
The Sci-Fi Book Club is BACK, now in the highly futuristic form of a virtual Zoom meeting. To inaugurate this new era, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read N.K. Jemisin's newest novel The City We Became.
In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power.

In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it's as if the paint is literally calling to her.

In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels.

And they're not the only ones.

Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six.
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
Wed, Aug 26, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: The City We Became
Since COVID-19 shut down our gyms and pools, and lockdowns cooped us up inside for months, many of us have turned for exercise and mental health to the simple act of walking. So we thought this might be a good time to have a conversation with Shane O’Mara, professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin, and author of the new book, In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration. Shane O’Mara’s core lesson is this: walking enhances every aspect of our social, psychological, and neural functioning. Although walking arises from the depths of evolutionary time, from bottom-dwellers on the ocean floor and undulating tetrapods seeking food on sandy beaches, it is our future as well. In Praise of Walking captures the science and philosophy behind the commonplace wonder of pounding the pavement, of feeling the wind and sun and rain on our skin, of sensing the ground beneath our feet, and of measuring the rhythm of our step.

O’Mara celebrates the full sweep of human walking, from its origins in deep time, through how the brain and body perform their mechanical magic, to understanding how walking can both set our thoughts free and draw us together, building intimacy and fellowship. Ultimately, he demonstrates how walking is good for the body, for the brain, and for society at large.

So consider attending this Literary Lunchbreak as part of your COVID self-care regimen. Copies of In Praise of Walking ordered from us before or on the day of the Literary Lunchbreak will be 15% off!
Shane O’Mara is professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin. He is also the author of Why Torture Doesn’t Work and A Brain for Business—A Brain for Life. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Thu, Aug 27, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Shane O'Mara: In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration
July 15 - August 15
You still have time to participate in the annual Find Waldo scavenger hunt, which continues through August 15! This year, Waldo is hiding in a social-distanced manner (with his face mask on) in the windows of businesses downtown. To participate, you can pick up a Find Waldo passport here at Bookends & Beginnings.

  1. When you spot Waldo at any one of the businesses listed on the reverse side, write in the number found on his mask in the space provided for that business.
  2. When you’ve found at least 10 different Waldos, snap a picture of your passport and email it to or bring the paper passport to Bookends & Beginnings, where you can either bring it inside or leave it in the plastic envelope outside. Deadline to submit is August 15 at noon! 
  3. If you turn in the passport, you’ll be entered a raffle to win a variety of prizes from local businesses. The raffle drawing will take place on Saturday, August 15 at 4 pm and you will be contacted via email.
Tamsyn Muir has done it again! I truly can't get enough of this series. It is so original, funny, and fascinating. Harrow the Ninth picks up where Gideon the Ninth ends. I'll admit to being a little confused at first, but it was the kind of confusion that keeps me reading as opposed to the kind that makes me stop. Harrow is an unreliable narrator - for a very good reason. Everything comes together in such a clever way that I immediately started reading it again from the beginning. The wait for Alecto the Ninth is going to kill me!

Tokyo Ueno Station, the most recent book of acclaimed Korean-Japanese author Yu Miri to be released in English, follows the ghost of Kazu, a homeless man who took shelter in a Tokyo park outside of Ueno station. After dying, Kazu found that he remains at the park as a ghost, a lingering spirit that can only witness his surroundings—forced merely to exist and reflect on the circumstances of his life. Miri pulls no punches in her detailing of the harsh realities of poverty, yet her writing is delicate and thoughtful in a way that does justice to the grief of her narrator. The novel is a scathing indictment of class disparity but it doesn't have an overt argument or moral; instead, it merely offers the haunting thoughts of a man on the other side of a sorrowful life.
Bridget Jones meets Monsoon Wedding in this hilarious novel about an Indian-American New Yorker who attends a family wedding at an ultra-luxury resort in Delhi with her divorced parents—all of them questioning their romantic competence and choices. Her previous novel The Windfall, about what status anxiety does to a newly rich family, established Diksha Basu as a brilliant and big-hearted social satirist, and Destination Wedding is a worthy follow-up!

Cinderella Is Dead is best described as black queer girls taking down the patriarchy. Set 200 years after Cinderella finds her happily ever after, the kingdom now holds a mandatory ball where men of the kingdom choose their wives. Those who aren’t chosen disappear and are never heard from again. Sophia wants to marry her childhood friend, Erin. So she runs away from the ball and meets Constance—a descendant of Cinderella. Together they fight against what the kingdom stands for and learn that Cinderella’s fairy tale isn’t exactly the happy tale that is taught. Bayron creates a world that is both compelling and chilling. I flew through this. Always wanting to know what was going to happen next and what secrets were going to be revealed. Great for fans of Tomi Adyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone.
Books You Could be Reading
(and ordering from us!)
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Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our sixth 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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