Chicago history, Chicago history, Lit, Nonfiction

Review: Washington, Daley, and Three Other Mayors, Chicago’s Modern Mayors, edited by Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy

Chicago’s Modern Mayors, edited by Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy, covers a 40-year period during which Chicago, its people, and its region went through great changes under a succession of […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Lit, Nonfiction

Review: A Second Breezier History of Chicago’s Great Fire, The Burning of the World: The Great Chicago Fire and the War for a City’s Soul, by Scott W. Berg

As someone who writes books, I felt a pang of empathy for Scott W. Berg when I heard that he’d published in September a new book about the Great Chicago […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Fiction, Lit

Review: A Sparkling, Gritty, and Compassionate Collection, Dona Cleanwell Leaves Home: Stories, by Ana Castillo

The seven stories in Ana Castillo’s sparkling and new, yet gritty and compassionate collection Dona Cleanwell Leaves Home, share several common themes. Ghosts, for one, including a beautiful naked woman […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Architecture, Beyond, Chicago history, Chicago history, Children's books, Comics and Graphic Novels, Fiction, Lit, Nonfiction, Poetry

Essay: In Defense of “Unregulated” Little Free Libraries

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) thinks the little free libraries along many Chicago sidewalks are bad—very bad. They are “unregulated”! And they’re “popular”! And many of them are planted in city soil! (Collective […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Beyond, Chicago history, Event

Architecture, History, and Neighborhood Pride Abound in Logan Square

The Logan Square Preservation House and Garden Walk last Saturday was on a beautiful and sunny—perfect for a house and garden tour, particularly in Logan Square. Some of the homes […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Children's books, Essays, Event, Lit, Live lit events, Nonfiction, Poetry

Printers Row on Saturday: A Celebration of Community

Near the end of Saturday at this year’s Printers Row Lit Fest, an 80-year-old Italian painter from the North Shore told me she’s going to have a huge party if […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Beyond, Chicago history, Event

Preview: Take a Walk on the Historic Side to See Logan Square’s History

Okay, it’s not quite Lou Reed but Logan Square is near where Nelson Algren wrote A Walk on the Wild Side. The 34th Logan Square Preservation House Walk is on […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Architecture, Chicago history, Chicago history, Lit, Nonfiction

Review: Tall Towers as Tools of Profit and Racism, Chicago Skyscrapers, 1934–1986, by Thomas Leslie

Thomas Leslie’s Chicago Skyscrapers, 1934-1986 is an impressive and important book that ranks with other works providing the deepest insights into what makes Chicago, Chicago: Nature’s Metropolis by William Cronon, […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Lit, Live lit events, Nonfiction

Review: A Harrowing Novel of Resilience in the Face of Racism, Last Summer on State Street, by Toya Wolfe

Toya Wolfe’s debut novel Last Summer on State Street is a harrowing, poignant, and visceral evocation of life and death in the Robert Taylor public housing development in its final […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Lit, Nonfiction

Review: Against All Odds, The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History, by Edward Achorn

In a year or so, the 2024 Democratic National Convention is coming to Chicago, marking the 27th time the city has played host to one or both of the major […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Chicago history, Chicago history, Games & Tech, Lit, Nonfiction

Review: When Illinois Base Ball (sic) Was for Fun, Ballists, Dead Beats, and Muffins: Inside Early Baseball in Illinois, by Robert D. Sampson

In the handful of years after the Civil War, Illinoisans went crazy for baseball, a game that was then spelled as two words “base ball.” By 1868, however, an editor of […]

Patrick T. Reardon /
Cafes and restaurants, Chicago history, Chicago history, Food, Lit, Nonfiction, Suburbs and exurbs

Review: Ignoring and Then Extracting Ghetto Gold, White Burgers, Black Cash, by Naa Oyo A. Kwate

Naa Oyo A. Kwate, the author of White Burgers, Black Cash: Fast Food from Black Exclusion to Exploitation, will be in conversation with Stacey Sutton on Thursday, April 27, at […]

Patrick T. Reardon /