September Events and Updates
September Events
Monday, September 2 CLOSED FOR LABOR DAY!
Thursday, September 12, 6 pm   Melissa Isaacson: State
Wednesday, September 18, 6 pm Mortality Book Club: Wave
Tuesday, September 24, noon The Very Short Book Club: Music
Tuesday, September 24, 6 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: Middlegame
Wednesday, September 25, 6 pm Margaret Renkl: Late Migrations
Thursday, September 26, 6 pm Educator Night
Friday, September 27, 6 pm RHINO Poetry Night

Starting in September, we'll be staying open till 8 pm on Thursday evenings! Our next-door neighbor The Alley Gallery is always open till 8 on Thursdays, so now you can make a whole evening of visiting our little Cultural Courtyard.


Also starting this month, we will be doing used book buybacks ON SATURDAYS ONLY. We will no longer be doing buybacks on Sundays. Saturday buyback hours are from 1 to 5 pm.
Upcoming Events
In 1975, freshman Melissa Isaacson—along with a group of other girls--entered Niles West High School in our nearby suburb with one goal: make a team,  any  team. For “Missy,” that turned out to be the basketball team. Title IX had passed just three years earlier, and while Missy and her teammates didn’t really understand the legislation, they did know they finally had opportunities—to play, to learn, to sweat, to lose, to win—and an identity: they were athletes. And in 1979, they became state champions.

Ultimately, Missy Isaacson became an award-winning sportswriter, author, and public speaker, and she's currently on the faculty at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. She was the  Tribune’s first woman columnist and beat writer on the Bulls and Bears, and has covered every major US sports championship as well as the Olympics.
Join us as she talks about her new book State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation , a compelling first-person account of that year on the Niles West basketball team, exploring what it was like to live through both traditional gender discrimination in sports and the joy of the very first days of equality—or at least the closest that one high school girls’ basketball team ever came to it .

The powerful new novel by award-winning author Lynn Cullen, set in the Midwest during the Great Depression, is the story of two sisters bound together by love, duty, and pain. One is Ruth, who’s been single-handedly raising four young daughters and running her family’s Indiana farm for eight long years. She’s consumed with envy of her pretty older sister June, who is blonde and beautiful, married to a wealthy doctor, and living in a mansion. June also has a coveted job as one of “the Bettys,” the perky recipe developers who populate General Mills’ famous Betty Crocker test kitchens. When the two sisters reluctantly reunite after a long estrangement, June’s bitterness about a past betrayal sets into motion a confrontation that’s been years in the making.
Lynn Cullen grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is also the author of  Twain’s End and  Mrs. Poe , which was named an NPR 2013 Great Read and an Indie Next List selection. Lynn’s novels have been translated into seventeen languages and she has appeared on PBS’s American Masters . She lives in Atlanta.

Join us for an evening of literary conversation—with a delicious nod to Betty Crocker—as Lynn discusses her novel with culinary educator Mary Kay Gill, who is the lead instructor of the Adult Education Cooking program at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
She is also the former director and culinary instructor for the Thyme in the Kitchen program at Sunset Foods, and a member of the Chicago chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier. She lives in Deerfield.
Wednesday, September 18, 6 - 7:30 pm
On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived. In Wave , her brave and frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She has written an engrossing, unsentimental, beautifully poised account of her journey through grief and eventual emergency, as she slowly allows her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, all the while learning the difficult balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her.

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.
Tuesday, September 24, noon - 1 pm
This month, our Very Short Book Club asks the question: What is music? How is it constructed? How is it consumed? Why do you enjoy it at all? In Music: A Very Short Introduction, Nicholas Cook invites us to really think about music and the role it plays in our lives and our ears. Drawing on a number of accessible examples, the author prompts us to call on our own musical experiences in order to think more critically about the roles of the performer and the listener, about music as a commodity and an experience, what it means to understand music, and the values we ascribe to it. Covering not only Western and classical music, Cook touches on all types from rock to Indonesian music and beyond.
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 discussions are mediated by Josiah and welcome all types of thinkers.If you'd like to learn more about the group stop in and talk to Josiah or email him at
Tuesday, September 24, 6 - 7:30 pm
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.
Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.
Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realize it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.
Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.
Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.
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!
Wednesday, September 25, 6 - 7:30 pm
Growing up in Alabama, Margaret Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. In Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.
And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share.
Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion writer for  The New York Times, where her essays appear each Monday. Her work has also appeared in Guernica, Literary Hub, Proximity, and River Teeth, among others. The founding editor of Chapter 16, a daily literary publication of Humanities Tennessee, and a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Carolina, she lives in Nashville.
Thursday, September 26, 6 - 8 pm
Join Bookends & Beginnings for our first ever Educator Night on Thursday, September 26th from 6-8 pm!
We would like to invite all educators (teachers, librarians, administrators) for Pre K-12 students to join us for a night celebrating children's literature- and you! We will provide light refreshments and information about what Bookends & Beginnings can offer you and your school, including discounts, in-store bookfairs, and author visits. We will present some of our favorite recent books for each grade level, and you'll walk away with ARCs and other swag! This event is free, but registration is encouraged. 
Bring your educator friends! We look forward to seeing you all!
For questions and to register, please contact Brooke at .
Friday, September 27, 6 - 7:30 pm
The RHINO poets convene again at 
Bookends & Beginnings for their September 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 .
September Staff Recommendations
Written by the co-hosts of The Know Fear Cast, podcast, this book is great for longtime horror fans and newbies alike. It gives great detail about the female authors who created the genre and those who have continued to pioneer it. It's an easy, engaging read that shows the influence that these early (and current) female authors had on not only the horror genre, but extending to all of literature. I enjoyed getting more background on familiar names, and learning about many new ones! My favorite part is the recommended reading lists at the end of each chapter! Look for it September 17th.
 In this small, incredibly powerful book, 95-year-old Auschwitz survivor Hedi Fried answers a series of questions children frequently ask her when she gives talks about the Holocaust, questions like:  Why did Hitler hate the Jews? Were there kind SS soldiers?  And  Do you hate the Germans?  Her answers are direct and put the Holocaust in focus in a remarkably simple, understandable way. “One of the lessons from the Holocaust is this,” she writes, in a passage that resonates clearly today. “Never get used to injustice. An injustice is like a grain of sand in your hand; on its own, its weight may seem insignificant, but injustices have a tendency to multiply, they soon become so heavy that you can no longer bear them.”
Lisa Taddeo’s  Three Women   may be the most intimate act of literary portraiture I’ve ever read. Despite Taddeo’s claim of writing “a book about female desire,”  Three Women’s  only shortcoming may be a limited scope of the many variants “female desire” can encompass. But, the space created by that scope allows Taddeo to derive truly molecular detail from sentence to sentence. As much as  Three Women  is a profile-on-steroids of three very specific individuals, it’s also a breathtaking assertion of women defining their own stories: their mistakes, their regrets, their triumphs.
Ayşe Papatya Bucak's The Trojan War Museum is not so much a collection of short stories as it is a multifaceted exploration of perseverance, identity, and historical memory. The stories topics cover a lot of ground, ranging between the reputation of a Turkish wrestler, an Ottoman ambassador's lurid art collection, Apollo coming to terms with the end of the Trojan War, and more. The narratives are dreamlike, balancing surreal and uncanny moments with a deeply grounded sense of candor and poignancy. Bucak's prose is thoroughly engrossing; the effortless lyricism present in each of the stories is something many strive for but few achieve. While each individual narrative can stand strongly on its own, the collection as a whole becomes an interconnected web of ideas and emotions that play on one another from one story to the next.
The Catholic School , written by Strega award-winning novelist Edoardo Albinati,   is a beast of a book that is unafraid to anatomize the monstrosities that occurred at his all-male preparatory school in the 1970s. Known in Italy as the Cicero Massacre, three of Albinati’s classmates at a Catholic all-boys school kidnapped, raped, and murdered two teenage girls in 1975. Although the crime itself is detailed, often painstakingly so, it is the culture that precipitated the crime that is on trial. For fans of the winding staircase style of Karl Knausgård and other auteurs who deconstruct their own lives and use the pieces as building blocks for their literary worlds. Not for the faint of heart,  The Catholic School  is a 1200-page anatomy of a murderous event and the common cultures in which such horrors grow. 
Fall is just around the corner, and this graphic novel is a perfect little slice of it. Deja and Josiah have worked in the same pumpkin patch together every fall for the past four years, reuniting every September and saying goodbye every Halloween. As seniors, this is their last year. Instead of moping, Deja is determined to go out with a bang, experiencing all of their favorite parts of the patch, and forcing Josiah to finally make a move on the girl he's had a crush on for years. The art and story work together to wrap you up in the feeling of sweetness and autumn and new beginnings.
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 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! 
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