February Events and Updates
February Events
February 1 - 14 Blind Date With a Book
Sunday, February 16, 2 pm Perfect Pie Pageant
Tuesday, February 25, 6 pm Sci-Fi Book Club: Riot Baby
Wednesday, February 26, noon VSI Book Club: Fungi
Thursday, February 27, 6 pm Cynthia Beebe: Boots in the Ashes
But Wait!
This Event Happens in April but Tickets Will Go Fast So Act Now to Get a Seat!
Thursday, April 2, 6 - 9 pm
Off-site at Terra & Vine Restaurant
Bookends & Beginnings presents scientist and Field Museum Provost Neil Shubin at a dinner and discussion of his new book  Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA .  You'll hear a fascinating story about the scientific quest to decode our multi-billion-year evolutionary history using fossils, bacteria, DNA, and other evidence. And you'll enjoy a delicious three-course "Fossil Feast" dinner at Evanston's Terra & Vine restaurant that's not Paleo it's downright Jurassic:
First Course:
House Made Focaccia, olive oil
A Field [Museum] Salad
mixed greens, dinosaur kale, quinoa, carrots, paleo vinaigrette

Second Course;
Tomahawk Porkchop
8 oz pork chop with bone, beluga lentils, basil mashed potatoes, pink peppercorn sauce

Molten Lava Cake
chocolate ganache, candy sprinkles

An herbivore menu is available upon request. Two glasses of house wine or beer are included. 

There are three ticket levels:

$110 for an individual ticket, including dinner, 1 signed copy of the book, and a $10 Bookends & Beginnings Gift Certificate

$185 for a couples ticket, including two dinners, 1 signed copy of the book, and a $10 Bookends & Beginnings Gift Certificate

$160 for an individual VIP ticket, including dinner, seating at Neil Shubin's table, 1 signed copy of the book, and a $25 Bookends & Beginnings Gift Certificate (no couples package for the VIP table; only 8 VIP seats available, first-come, first served)

Upcoming Events
Blind Date With a Book
February 1 - 14

Who were you planning to cuddle up with this Valentine’s Day? Because we, the literary matchmakers at Bookends & Beginnings, would love to fix you up on a Blind Date With a Book! From February 1st to February 14th, we'll have a selection of staff favorites wrapped up with only a short description and a price for you to test your luck with. Will you choose something that seems safe and familiar, or take a risk with something outside of your comfort zone? Remember: you can’t fall in love unless you take a chance!
Sunday, February 16, 2 - 4 pm
Whether you're a beginning baker or have years of pie-making experience, we invite you to take part in the Bookends & Beginnings Perfect Pie Pageant, which is part of Downtown Evanston's month-long Hygge Fest . Pies can be entered into any of our five categories: Prettiest, Best Personality, Best Pocket Pie (including dumplings, empanadas, knishes, and other hand-pies), Best Sweetie Pie, and Best Savory Pie.
To enter, you must purchase a pie-making book at Bookends & Beginnings and select a recipe from said book. Everyone will be able to taste several pies, and winners will take home a prize. Judges to be announced soon! Choose from the following books or search our website and order any other pie book from us.

You can register in-store or by emailing info@bookendsandbeginnings.com
Wednesday, February 19, 6 - 7:30 pm
This month, the Mortality Book Club is reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schawlbe.

During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love— The End of Your Life Book Club i s also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others.

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, a practicing death doula.
Tuesday, February 25, 6 - 7:30 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will be reading Riot Baby , by Tochi Onyebuchi.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

"Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor's son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands." Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

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 weren't able to make it last time, here's your chance! 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 .
 Wednesday, February 26, noon - 1 pm
The variety of the mycological world is far greater than most people imagine. Tens of thousands of fungal species have been described and many more are known only from the abundance of their genes in soil and water. Fungi are hugely important as agents of wood decay in forests, and, as parasites, they have caused the deaths of millions of people by ravaging crops and reshaping our natural ecosystems.

This month, as the Very Short Book Club reads Fungi: A Very Short Introduction , by Nicholas P. Money, we'll be learning about the variety and extraordinary natures of fungi, revealing the remarkable facts of fungal biology and the global significance of these enchanting organisms.
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
Thursday, February 27, 6 - 7:30 pm
Boots in the Ashes  is a memoir about Cynthia Beebe’s groundbreaking career as one of the first women special agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A smart and independent girl growing up in suburban Chicago, she unexpectedly became one of the first women to hunt down violent criminals for the federal government.

As a special agent for 27 years, Beebe acquired first-hand knowledge of the human capacity for evil. She tells the story of how, as a young woman, she overcame many obstacles on her journey through the treacherous world of illegal guns, gangs, and bombs. She battled conflicts both on the streets and within ATF. But Beebe learned how to thrive in the ultra-masculine world of violent crime and those whose job it is to stop it. Beebe tells her story through the lens of six major cases that read like crime fiction: four bombings, one arson fire and a massive roundup of the Hell’s Angels on the West Coast.
Cynthia Beebe  is a retired Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Her cases were chronicled in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Ladies Home Journal , and were covered on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and 48 Hours. She was the first woman to earn the coveted “Top Gun” award at the ATF Academy, where she later worked as an instructor.
Since her retirement she has appeared as an expert commentator on law enforcement issues for WGN radio and television.
For the time being, the regular monthly series of RHINO Reads at Bookends & Beginnings will be on hiatus, as the poetry journal goes through a leadership transition and reconsiders its goals for the coming years. We want to thank outgoing editor Ralph Hamilton (who will remain on the board) for making us a home for poets for so many years. And we also want to congratulate the trio of incoming editors: Jacob Saenz, Virginia Bell, and Jan Bottiglieri. In some form or other, we’ll continue to collaborate with RHINO to keep bringing poetry voices to Bookends & Beginnings!
February Staff Recommendations
In this book, music is LITERALLY magic! Novice musicians use their instruments for small things like hover spells and healing scrapes and bruises, while Maestros perform big magic (like dangerous teleportation spells). Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, and all the other great composers were Composers of spells, imbuing their music with intent to create spells. Amelia Jones, an 11 year old flutist, has spent her life dreaming of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft where the greatest musicians are taught. When she botches her audition, she thinks her dream is over. However, the school offers her a trial period and she is determined to prove herself. Why does it seem like a ghostly someone is trying to sabotage her?

Silicon Valley has been thoroughly scrutinized ever since people caught on to the privacy violations, sexism, conspiracies, etc. (the list goes on) that run rampant in the tech industry. However, Anna Wiener manages to offer a wholly unique look at the startup culture of the Valley in her first-person account of working at tech startups in the mid-‘10s. Wiener begins the memoir working at a publishing house in New York, only to find a job at a startup and eventually making her way to San Francisco. She articulately examines her status as being both a bookish outsider in a world of tech bros while simultaneously devoting herself to the life and culture of the Valley. From the first paragraph, Wiener consistently delivers sober, cogent observations on the tech startup craze and her life in its midst. She, like many others, let herself get carried away by the dreams of the young men in tech, only to discover how alienating the Valley truly was. 

Longtime  Washington Post  investigative reporter Debbie Cenziper tells a story about how a small group of American Nazi hunters tracked down men who had participated in some of the most unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust. These were graduates of an SS school for mass murder established in the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, who helped annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland and then vanished after the war—some making their way to the U.S., where they established innocuous identities and lived for decades without being held to account for their crimes. Harrowing, gripping—and all true.

This book is FANTASTIC. Reid covers race, class, and privilege through her story about a white mother, Alix, and her black nanny, Emira. One night Emira is stopped at the supermarket and accused of abducting the white child who is with her. Both Alix and Emira must navigate how to deal with the repercussions of what happened that night. Such a Fun Age has the feel of Upstairs Downstairs and uses dark humor to highlight everyday biases. Almost anyone in their 20s and 30s will somehow relate to Emira. It's incredibly relevant today and everyone should give this a read.  

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! 
Bookends & Beginnings

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