September News
THE GOOD NEWS: As we head into the fall publishing season, the good news is that we’re expecting a phenomenal number of exciting new books by all-star authors. And I’m about to give you a little teaser, but not before I give you...

THE BAD NEWS: You’ve doubtless heard that all retailers going into the holidays are facing formidable “supply chain” issues: slower and more expensive shipping, shortages of warehouse workers, and in our industry, reduced printing capacity. Books that are printed outside the country and come in on container ships are particularly likely to run out—and that’s most of the lavishly illustrated titles people tend to want for gift-giving.

THEREFORE: We are putting a lot of thought into how not to run out of the books you are most desperately going to want, both for yourself and for gift-giving, in the next four months. We are ordering very aggressively from publishers, but we are hearing from many publishers that if they sell through their first printings, they may not be able to reprint in time for the holidays. So your best guarantee of getting the books you want is to start ordering or preordering them as early as possible.

Here’s a little sample of what we’re super-excited about and think you’re going to want to reserve as early as possible (like, um, now):
Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen: Renegades: Born in the USA Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material
Paul McCartney: The Lyrics This lavishly illustrated, 960-page, two-volume, slip-cased set pairs the definitive texts of 154 Paul McCartney songs with first-person commentaries on his life and music. With images from McCartney’s personal archives—handwritten texts, paintings, and photographs, hundreds previously unseen—The Lyrics, spanning sixty-four years, becomes the definitive literary and visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
This is the volume the Stones themselves co-authored because “we wanted everyone to experience and feel exactly what it’s like to be in the Rolling Stones.” With new commentary by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and the recently deceased Charlie Watts, this volume also includes stills from films, videos, and documentary footage, and photos of their stage clothing, album cover designs, notebooks with lyrics, and tape boxes from the original recording sessions.
Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy: Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt’s Creek Authored by the father-son team who co-created and starred in Schitt's Creek, this volume captures  the essence and alchemy of all six seasons of what is now considered to be one of the most groundbreaking comedy television series of the last decade.
V. E. Schwab: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Special Edition Even if you already own a copy of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue –no, especially if you already own a copy!—you are going to want to own a copy of this gorgeous new collector’s edition, which includes: six new pieces of art from Addie’s story never-before-seen by North American readers; designed alternate debossed stamp under the cover; ribbon bookmark; and an exclusive note from the author.
We’re developing a catalog of many other new and upcoming releases by your favorite authors, which will be featured in an upcoming newsletter, including Elizabeth Strout, Haruki Murakami, Colson Whitehead, Louise Erdrich, Yotam Ottolenghi, and of course, Anthony Doerr, with whom we are doing an exciting virtual event on Tuesday, October 12 (see below).

Meanwhile, we are hosting or co-sponsoring several great events this month, and this coming Thursday we’ll have a table at Downtown Evanston’s Thursday Night Market from 4 to 8 pm, with a great selection of books that will help you figure out what to do with all those bountiful vegetables you picked up at the Farmer’s Market, as well as books that address our full-scale planetary climate emergency. Hope to see you there, and, as always… read on!


Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 2, 4 pm Downtown Evanston Thursday Night Market
Monday, September 6 CLOSED FOR LABOR DAY
Saturday, Septmeber 11, 11 am Book Signing Event: Lotería by Karla Valenti
Monday, September 13, 7 pm An Evening with Gary Ginsberg, author of First Friends
Thursday, September 30, 6 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: A Psalm for the Wild Built
Upcoming Events
Downtown Evanston Thursday Night Market
Thursday, September 2, 4 – 8:00 pm
Bookends & Beginnings will have a table at the Downtown Evanston Thursday Night Market from 4–8 pm on September 2nd! Stop by, say hi, and browse some books while enjoying what the rest of the Night Market has to offer. More information is here.
Monday, September 6
Saturday, September 11, 11 am – 1 pm

In the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, a fateful wind blows into Oaxaca City. It whistles down cobbled streets and rustles the jacaranda trees before slipping into the window of an eleven-year-old girl named Clara. Unbeknownst to her, Clara has been marked for la Lotería.
Life and Death deal the Lotería cards but once a year, and the stakes could not be higher. Every card reveals a new twist in Clara's fate--a scorpion, an arrow, a blood-red rose. If Life wins, Clara will live to a ripe old age. If Death prevails, she'll flicker out like a candle.

In a starred review, School Library Journal called Lotería, the new novel by Karla Arenas Valenti (ages 8 to 12) "A magical, philosophical tale rooted in Mexican lore."

Karla Valenti 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 September 10th. 
Karla Arenas Valenti writes stories for and about kids, taking readers on journeys steeped in magical realism and philosophical questions. Her storytelling is heavily influenced by her Mexican heritage and layered with ideas and concepts she's picked up in her many travels around the world.
An evening with Gary Ginsberg
Monday, September 13, 7 pm
Author Gary Ginsberg's new book First Friends examines White House history as told through the stories of the best friends and closest confidants of American presidents, including friendships ranging from Lincoln and Joshua Speed to Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan. Join us on Zoom on Monday, September 13 at 7 pm to hear more about this unique perspective on the presidents. Bookends & Beginnings will be selling books for the event which is co-sponsored by the Evanston Public Library and other Chicagoland libraries. Register for the event here.

Kirkus Reviews called the new novel by Chicago author Jane Ward "an insightful and psychologically astute story of ordinary people moving forward after personal tragedy." When David Herron--overwhelmed and despairing, his family's business and finances in ruin due to the bursting lending bubble of 2008--takes his own life one chilly spring morning, he has no idea of the consequences that act will have for his wife, his daughter, the police detective who mishandles the investigation into his case, and the banker who helped create the circumstances that led to David's tragic act.

Please join us as we celebrate the launch of Jane Ward's novel, In the Aftermath, with a virtual cocktail party and an in-depth conversation between Ward and author Rita Dragonette. After registering for the event online, if you visit Bookends & Beginnings in the week before the event to buy your signed copy of In the Aftermath, you can also pick up a complimentary party package including your celebratory beverage (wine or sparkling water) and snacks for the virtual party. We have a limited supply of signed books and party bags which we will allocate in order of book purchases.
Jane Ward is the author of Hunger and The Mosaic Artist. She has worked as a baker, an events planner, and as a contributing writer and occasional host of cooking videos for online food blogs and newspapers. She lives in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.
Rita Dragonette is a writer who, after a career as an award-winning public relations executive, has returned to her original creative path as a novelist. The Fourteenth of September, her debut novel, is based upon her personal experiences on campus during the Vietnam War. She lives and writes in Chicago, where she also hosts literary salons to showcase authors and their new books to avid readers. 
Thu, Sep 30, 2021 6:30 PM CST
Jane Ward in Conversation with Rita Dragonette: In The Aftermath
Thursday, September 30, 6 – 7:00 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers.

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

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
Thu, Sep 30, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: A Psalm for the Wild Built
Dave Eggers to Release His New Novel Exclusively at Indie Bookstores!
Award-winning, bestselling author Dave Eggers is following up 2013's The Circle with The Every, a hilarious, suspenseful and deeply original novel which is being offered as an independent bookstore exclusive starting on October 5th. The hardcover will only be available via independent bookstores and direct from the book’s nonprofit, independent publisher, McSweeney’s (i.e. NOT at A****n!)

The Every's protagonist works at the world's dominant e-commerce site, aiming to take them down from the inside and free humanity from their surveillance. CNN’s Van Jones calls the book "unforgettable." "With brilliant humor and enormous suspense," he says, "The Every examines how technology is indelibly redefining what it means to be human, and how it already has."

Bookends & Beginnings is carrying the book in an array of different covers, making each copy a collector's item that represents an investment in independent bookselling.
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. So sign up early!

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
Saturday, October 9, 11 am – 1 pm

You might know Betsy Bird as the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library, or 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. 
Pre-order a Signed Copy of Elizabeth Strout's New Book!
The first twenty customers who pre-order Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout's new book Oh William! from Bookends & Beginnings will receive a signed copy. The book, which comes out on October 19, explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they've come from and what they've left behind. Order now to ensure that you claim one of the limited number of signed copies we have available.
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.
Before you pass judgement on a 20-something white man recommending Infinite Jest, hear me out: Wallace's big book, for all its flaws and excesses, is the most cogent meditation on loneliness and alienation in contemporary America that I have ever read. Wallace had uncanny foresight for the 21st century—he writes of how the pursuit of personal happiness over collective wellbeing leads to atomization and despair, he explores the extent to which American culture becomes ever more absurd and hollow—Infinite Jest encompasses all this and more. The book is a singular work written by a singular figure, a deeply troubled man in a deeply troubled time. But maybe there's something there that will help us make sense of the chaos.
Stephanie Kate Strohm writes the most adorable, feel-good middle grades and YAs! This fun and frothy middle grade follows mermaid Lana, Princess of Clarion who is banished from her underwater kingdom to live on land with her mother. When an earthquake strikes Clarion, Lana wants nothing more than to return home and help with the aftermath. Her father refuses and it comes to light that the earthquake wasn't a natural phenomenon. Lana must use her new role as Land Ambassador to find out the truth. 
This one has been on my to-read list for a while since I saw somewhere that it was recommended for people who liked Geek Love,(Geek Love is an absolutely wild and also very disturbing reading experience by the way) ostensibly because they both are about circus-y attractions that sound like they could be in Atlas Obscura (a vibe I adore). But Swamplandia! picks up when the titular theme park itself is falling apart, following the death of its star alligator wrestler. Now her daughter, a twelve-year-old girl named Ava Bigtree, is intent on saving the park as her family starts to fall apart due to amorous ghosts and a rival amusement park themed after hell. It's funny and weird and so far is way more heartfelt and endearing than I expected.
Rooted in Argentine mythology, this book is perfect for a fan of Harry Potter who may be looking for a similarly adventurous YA series with a more innovative, progressive take on gender and cultural identity. While fleeing from United States immigration authorities, protagonist Manuela discovers her connection to a hidden society of brujas and lobizones that exists parallel to the human world (including a magical high school buried deep in the Everglades). However, the social and political structures of this new world are strict and highly gendered, and Manuela realizes that in order to survive in either world, she will have to combat oppressive, archaic traditions. This universe is a unique contribution to the YA conversation!
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 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 

RSVP for events at