I am so happy to announce the return of the full-fledged Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt for the whole month of July! In Normal Times, the beloved, stripey-shirted children’s book character gets hidden somewhere inside our store and in other independent businesses in downtown and north Evanston, where kids have to hunt to find him, but during the past two years, like so many of the rest of us, Waldo took pandemic precautions and modified his behavior. Mostly, he just stuck to stores' front windows, which wasn’t that much of a challenge.

This year, we’ll go back to hiding him, which makes it a little more fun for everyone. Adults need to be chaperoned by a child to participate, of course, and if you’ve never experienced this with kids, let me just say that they LOVE this activity, and many families look forward to doing it every year. To wrap it up, we throw a party in the bookstore where all the kids who’ve found Waldo in 20 or more stores get to pick out a gift donated by the stores—and Waldo himself shows up every year to help give out the prizes! See the event listing below for all the participating businesses.

Also in July, we will be holding a HUGE sidewalk sale of used history books—both academic and general interest—mostly priced at $1, $5, or $10. We think most, if not all, of Human History will be included, but look for an especially rich selection of books about the Middle Ages. We plan to have the books out on sidewalk tables most Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting) from July 9 on.

For more events and happenings in July, read on in the newsletter.

And, as always, read on!

Congratulations to our Golden Ticket Winners!
From left to right: Josh Houghton, Chloe Chow, Alexis Cajiao, Cassie Frank


Thanks to everyone who bought a Naked Truffle chocolate bar as part of our 8th birthday, Charlie-and-the-Chocolate Factory celebration. It was so popular, we had to order an extra round of chocolate bars and issue some extra golden tickets. There should be one more winner out there, so if you bought a chocolate bar and by some feat of super-human willpower have not yet opened and devoured it, we urge you to check and see if you will be our final Golden Ticket winner. Each of the lucky winners receives an $80 B&B gift card and gets to learn all our most carefully guarded secrets as a Bookseller for a Day!

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Join us in the Bookends & Beginnings courtyard for a conversation and poetry reading with Sarah Ruhl and Chris Abani, whose new books from Copper Canyon Press are Love Poems in Quarantine and 

Sarah Ruhl meditates on the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the state of the nation in simultaneous quarantine and protest in her new book of poetry. In his, Chris Abani reveals the story of two brothers and of a man in exile in a spiritual reckoning that draws on ancient African traditions of belief.

We will have copies of both books for sale in the bookstore or you can pre-order your book and we'll have it signed and ready to pick up at the event. If you want a personalized dedication, enter your desired inscription in the "Notes" field when you place the order.
Sarah Ruhl is a playwright, essayist and poet. She is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a Tony Award nominee. Her book of essays, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was published by FSG and named a notable book by The New York Times. Her book Letters from Max, co-authored with Max Ritvo and published by Milkweed Editions, was on the The New Yorker’s Best Poetry of the Year list. Her plays include For Peter Pan on her 70th BirthdayHow to Transcend a Happy MarriageThe Oldest BoyStage KissDear ElizabethIn the Next Room, or The Vibrator PlayThe Clean HousePassion PlayDead Man’s Cell PhoneMelancholy PlayEurydiceOrlando; Late: A Cowboy Song, and a translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Her plays have been produced on and off Broadway, around the country, and internationally, where they’ve been translated into over fifteen languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her MFA from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Whiting Award, the Lilly Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, the National Theater Conference’s Person of the Year Award, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Chris Abani is an acclaimed novelist and poet. His most recent books are The Secret History of Las VegasThe Face: Cartography of the Void, and Sanctificum. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, an Edgar Award, a USA Artists Fellowship, the PEN Beyond Margins Award, a Prince Claus Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. Born in Nigeria, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago.
Thursday, June 30, 6 - 7 pm

Due to Covid-19, this event has been canceled and will be rescheduled.
July 1st-31st
For the whole month of July, Bookends & Beginnings will sponsor our eighth annual Where's Waldo scavenger hunt—a great summer vacation activity for kids and a wonderful way to discover (and support) local businesses. Throughout the month, the famous stripey-shirted character won't just be hiding out in books, the way he usually does. He'll be hiding out in two dozen fabulous independent business downtown and on Central Street. Kids pick up their "Find Waldo in Downtown/North Evanston!" passport at Bookends & Beginnings or any participating business, and then get their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot. Finding Waldo at 20 or more businesses gets kids into the final party on Saturday, August 6 at 3pm—attended by Waldo himself—and enters them into a drawing for prizes donated by all the participating businesses.

Here's the list of participating stores:
Bookends & Beginnings is CLOSED for July 4th! Happy Independence Day

Thursday, July 7th, 6pm
The crowded room inside an author's head can be a cacophony of voices. Three accomplished and award-winning writers will discuss how they craft narrative voice within a multitude of forms (novella, short story, poem, essay) and what inspires their work. Join us for this conversation in the beautiful Bookends & Beginnings courtyard. This special event will include a book raffle! Alex, Jeremy, and Kate have each selected a favorite title, and three lucky attendees will go home with a new book in hand. We will also have work from all three authors available for sale and signing.
Good things happen in threes!
ALEX POPPE is the author of the novella Duende and three other books: Jinwar and Other Stories, which was an International Book Awards finalist; Moxie, and Girl, World, which was named a 35 over 35 Debut Book Award winner, First Horizon Award finalist, Montaigne Medal finalist, shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Awards Grand Price and received an Honorable Mention in General Fiction. In 2021, she was an artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where she began writing a memoir about her time working in Iraq. Poppe served as an academic writing lecturer at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani, and as a teacher trainer for Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education. She now lives in Chicago and is a staff writer for the Preemptive Love Coalition, a non-governmental organization devoted to stopping the spread of violence. 
JEREMY T. WILSON is the author of the short story collection Adult Teeth. He is a former winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award for short fiction, and his stories have appeared in literary magazines such as The Carolina Quarterly, The Florida Review, Hobart, The Masters Review, Sonora Review, Third Coast and other publications. He holds an MFA from Northwestern University and teaches creative writing at The Chicago High School for the Arts. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and daughter.
KATE WISEL is the author of Driving in Cars with Homeless Men, winner of the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, selected by Min Jin Lee. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Tin House online, Los Angeles Review, New Ohio Review, Adroit Journal, DIAGRAM, The Best Small Fictions 2019, Redivider (as winner of the Beacon Street Prize), W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction America and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the “Poetry on the T” prize and the Marcia Keach Prize. She was a Carol Houck fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and awarded scholarships at The Wesleyan Writer’s Conference, the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop, the Juniper Institute, Writing x Writer’s at Tomales Bay and Methow Valley and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University. 
Thursday, July 14, 6 - 7 pm
We are delighted to host author and former Evanstonian Jeffrey Bishop for the release of his YA novel, described by New York Times bestselling author Chloe Gong as “Wildly entertaining and heart-wrenching all at once. Between an admirably snarky apparition and the chaos of graduating high school, A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy is perfectly tumultuous in the way only the teenage experience can be.” 

Join us in the lovely Bookends & Beginnings courtyard as Jeff talks to Alexander Wind, his friend since their school days at Haven and ETHS, about Bishop’s highly anticipated debut novel, the films of John Hughes, and why Evanston makes the perfect setting for YA fiction.
Jeffrey Bishop is a debut author, an inside boy, and not to be trusted. According to his exes, he is the “Expert in Healthy Relationships.” (Do not vet that). Jeff uses humor to mask his fear of vulnerability. He lives in Los Angeles.

Alexander Wind is a graduate of The University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is also friends with Jeff Bishop. The latter is the most impressive thing about him. 

In this two-hour online workshop, Daniel Joshua Rubin will discuss the principles of successful storytelling to help you craft authentic stories that connect deeply with readers. When you master the fundamentals, you become a more confident storyteller, have more fun writing, and find the process more rewarding. Throughout the workshop, you will practice executing the principles by outlining a story for any medium. The purpose of the exercises is to help you think through your story like a professional writer, but this course is suitable for writers at any level of experience, and the principles can be applied to novels, screenplays, short stories, personal essays, or even songs. Enrollment is limited to fourteen students.

Please watch the film Finding Nemo before the workshop.

Workshop fee: $55

This includes a signed copy of Daniel Joshua Rubin’s book, 27 Essential Principles of Story, which you can pick up in the store at or before the workshop.
Daniel Joshua Rubin is a multimedia writer and story scholar who provides consulting and education to storytellers in all media. His critically acclaimed book, 27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park, has won endorsements from actor, Paul Giamatti, Tony and Pulitzer Award-winner, Tracy Letts and has been hailed as “The new bible of lessons and practices for creators” by Library Journal. He has taught dramatic writing at Loyola University in Chicago, and at the University of California, San Diego, and has written for television (NBC, the WB); news media (The Motley Fool, National Lampoon); and theater (with plays produced at Steppenwolf in Chicago, off-Broadway in NYC, and on the West End of London). Born and raised in Brooklyn, Rubin lives in Evanston after a decade in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where he graduated with honors.
Books You Could be Reading...
...and Buying from Us!
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Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our ninth 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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