January Updates

We are incredibly thrilled to announce that on this coming Saturday, January 23, we are finally going to open the front door of our brand-new boutique space at 1716 Sherman Avenue. That's a Sneak Peek in the header image above. NO, BOOKENDS & BEGINNINGS HAS NOT MOVED! Your beloved, charming, quirky alley store is still your destination for an eclectic—and now even broader and deeper selection—of new and used books! And we’ve spent the past two weeks cleaning, refreshing, and rearranging it to make your browsing experience even more interesting and rewarding. And honestly, it’s no fun in there without you! So we can’t wait to welcome you back in for browsing—also, on Saturday, January 23, with a continuing COVID-cautious cap of 12 at a time.
The new space at 1716 Sherman will now be B&B’s gift and stationery boutique. That’s where you’ll find items like our popular Leuchtturm and Decomposition journals, as well as greeting cards, boxed notecards, pens and pencils, pins, socks, and tote bags. We've always promised you "Books * Gifts * Local Color" and the new store houses many “local color” items, such as Evanstonopoly, books about Evanston and Chicago, and locally crafted jewelry. We also now carry our own highly fashionable “Evanston’s Speakeasy for Books” B&B t-shirts, so pick one up and wear your B&B membership with pride! The new store, which is smaller than the alley store, has a COVID-cautious cap of 5 at a time.

We wish we could call this a Grand Opening, and throw a big party for you all, but for obvious reasons, we can’t. But while a lot of the news is still bad, we see many hopeful signs as well. Our hearts go out to restaurants and fellow small businesses struggling to ride out the Bad Times. Your support continues to be the main thing that sustains us, emotionally as well as financially.

And please, if you can, join us for a Literary Lunchbreak. You have to eat anyway, right? Why not do it in the company our wonderful line-up of authors? Read on to see what we’re serving up every Thursday from noon to 1 pm.

And, as always, read on!

Upcoming Events
For this installment of our Literary Lunchbreak series, award-winning author Ladee Hubbard discusses her second novel The Rib King.

For fifteen years Mr. Sitwell has worked for the Barclays, a well-to-do white family who plucked him from an orphan asylum and gave him a job. The groundskeeper is part of the household’s all-black staff, along with Miss Mamie, the talented cook, pretty new maid Jennie Williams, and three young kitchen apprentices—the latest orphan boys Mr. Barclay has taken in to "civilize" like Mr. Sitwell.

But the Barclays fortunes have fallen, and their money is almost gone. When a prospective business associate proposes selling Miss Mamie’s delicious rib sauce to local markets under the brand name “The Rib King”—using a caricature of a wildly grinning August on the label—Mr. Barclay, desperate for cash, agrees.

As she delineates a world of institutionalized racism, Ladee Hubbard eschews stereotypes, expertly depicting the less-often explored subtleties of class within the black community as well.
Ladee Hubbard is the author of The Talented Ribkins, which received the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, the Times Literary Supplement, Copper Nickel, and Callaloo. She received a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Art Omi, the Sacatar Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Born in Massachusetts and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, she currently lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children.
As the author of the debut novel Saving Ruby King, Catherine Adel West joined us for a Literary Lunchbreak last June. Her work has been published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket, and most recently Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal. She lives on the South Side of Chicago.
Thu, Jan 21, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Ladee Hubbard & Catherine Adel West: The Rib King
Click here to register. Registration is required. Admission $10. EHC members free! Admission can be paid online. Consider joining EHC and attending this and other events for free.
Bookends & Beginnings is the official bookseller partner for this "Under the Buffalo" event at the Evanston History Center with award-winning author Dean Jobb, whose book Empire of Deception is a rip-roaring tale of greed, financial corruption, dirty politics, over-the-top and under-the-radar deceit, illicit sex, and a brilliant and wildly charming con man on the town, then on the lam.

Leo Koretz, was an Evanston resident who enticed hundreds of people to invest as much as $30 million—upward of $400 million today—in phantom timberland and nonexistent oil wells in Panama. As the Roaring Twenties roared through Chicago--as Model T's rumbled down Michigan Avenue, gang-war shootings announced Al Capone’s rise to underworld domination, and corrupt politicians held court in thriving speakeasies, Leo Koretz was the Bernie Madoff of his day. Dean Jobb shows us that the American dream of easy wealth is a timeless commodity, and gives us not only a rich and detailed account of a man and an era, but also a fascinating look at the methods of swindlers throughout history.
Dean Jobb is a journalist and a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Journalism programs. During his 35-year career as a newspaper staff writer and freelance journalist, he has written features and commentaries on an array of subjects – history, current events, law, business, politics, media ethics, science, travel, and the craft of nonfiction.
The Loop rooted Chicago’s downtown in a way unknown in other cities, and it protected that area—and the city itself—from the full effects of suburbanization during the second half of the twentieth century. Masses of data underlie new insights into what has made Chicago’s downtown, and the city as a whole, tick. Combining urban history, biography, engineering, architecture, transportation, culture, and politics, The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago explores the elevated Loop’s impact on the city’s development and economy and on the way Chicagoans see themselves.

The Loop also features a cast of colorful Chicagoans, such as legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow, poet Edgar Lee Masters, mayor Richard J. Daley, and the notorious Gray Wolves of the Chicago City Council. Charles T. Yerkes, an often-demonized figure, is shown as a visionary urban planner, and engineer John Alexander Low Waddell, a world-renowned bridge creator, is introduced to Chicagoans as the designer of their urban railway.
Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago born and bred, covered urban affairs and a wide array of other subjects in a 32-year career with the Chicago Tribune. In addition to The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago, his nine books include the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence. His poetry and essays have appeared in many publications, and he has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. His memoir in prose poems Puddin: The Autobiography of a Baby is to be published in 2021 by Third World Press.  
Ann Keating has taught history at North Cental College in Naperville for almost thirty years. She is the co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Chicago and the author most recently of The World of Juliette Kinze: Chicago Before the Fire.
Thu, Jan 28, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Patrick T. Reardon & Ann Keating: The Loop
Thursday, January 28, 6 – 7 pm
This month, the Sci-Fi Book Club will read Network Effect by Martha Wells.

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.

When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.
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 brooke@bookendsandbeginnings.com.
Thu, Jan 28, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Sci-Fi Book Club: Network Effect
Thursday, February 4, noon – 1 pm
Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree, calls Chicago author Riva Lehrer's new memoir Golem Girl "Vivid and unforgettable." He writes: "It is the story of how someone who is fundamentally different made not a life that transcends that difference, but a life that lionizes it. This book expands our notion of what constitutes the human experience, and it does so with generosity and openheartedness." Please join us for this Literary Lunchbreak/Midwest Address, as Riva Lehrer discusses Golem Girl with writer and cartoonist Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing is Monsters.

In 1958, amongst the children born with spina bifida is Riva Lehrer. At the time, most such children are not expected to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to "fix" her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured.

Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark—it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits—inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she’s been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal.
Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer, and curator whose work focuses on issues of physical identity and the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people with impairments, and those whose sexuality or gender identity have long been stigmatized. A longtime faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Riva Lehrer is currently an instructor in medical humanities at Northwestern University. 
Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing is Monsters grew up Chicago during the turbulent 1960s, where she still lives, and is consequently a devotee of all things monstrous and horrific. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute.
Thu, Feb 4, 2021 12:00 PM CST
Riva Lehrer & Emil Ferris: Golem Girl
Here comes Valentine's Day! And we're getting in the mood by talking to two novelists and two essayists whose recent books take up the complexities of love—romantic, familial, platonic, and unnamable categories in between—all while seducing readers and exploring taboos.
Like Love, Michele Morano: A memoir-in-essays about unconsummated romance, Like Love tells the stories we tend to avoid, about improper crushes and infatuations that go nowhere because the goal is less physical union than psychological provocation. Michele Morano interweaves adult episodes with adolescent stories of her family’s breakup, tracing the way we learn and revise our understandings of romantic love. 
Michele Morano is the author of the travel memoir Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Essays, Fourth Genre, Ninth Letter, and Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women. She lives in Chicago, where she chairs the English Department at DePaul University.
The Wanting Life, Mark Rader: Set in Rome, Cape Cod, and Wisconsin over the course of the summer of 2009, and Rome during the spring of 1970, The Wanting Life tells the intertwined story of three members of the Novak family: Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer and has secrets he desperately wants to share; Britta, his self-destructive sister and caretaker, who’s struggling to find meaning in a world without her beloved husband; and Maura, Britta’s daughter―a thirty-nine-year-old artist who’s facing a choice between her husband and two children, or the man she believes is her one, true love.
Mark Rader was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, educated at Tulane University and Cornell University, and now lives with his family just outside Chicago. His short fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Epoch, The Southern Review and shortlisted for an O. Henry Award, the Best American Non-Required Reading anthology, and a Pushcart Prize. He has taught creative writing at Cornell, Northeastern University, Grub Street, and the University of Chicago's Graham School. The Wanting Life is his first novel.
This Is One Way to Dance, Sejal Shah: In the linked essays that make up her debut collection, Sejal Shah explores identity, culture, family, and place. Throughout the book, Shah reflects on what it means to make oneself visible and legible through writing in a country that struggles with race and maps herself as an American, writer of color, and feminist. Her essays emerge as she wrestles with her experiences growing up and living in western New York, an area of stark racial and socioeconomic segregation, as the daughter of Gujarati immigrants from India and Kenya. 
Sejal Shah's stories and essays have appeared in Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Rochester, New York.
Degrees of Difficulty, Julie Justicz: After Ben Novotny is born with a rare chromosomal disorder that produces profound mental disability and brain-racking seizures, his parents, Caroline and Perry, and their two other children are asked to give more than they have. The demands and pressure only mount when he and his older brother and sister become teenagers. Ben needs more from his family, just as Hugo, the athlete and the “good soul,” and Ivy, the ambitious rebel, must carve out their own identities.
Born and raised in England, Julie Justicz moved to the Bahamas when she was ten, and then to the United States as a teenager. She earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. As an attorney and advocate, Julie currently works on civil rights issues in Chicago. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her spouse, Mary, and their two children.
Thu, Feb 11, 2021 12:00 PM CST
The Truth About Love in Fiction and Nonfiction Panel Discussion
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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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