All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto

This memoir manifesto is a must read.  George M. Johnson takes us through growing up as a Black Queer boy and how different moments and people in his young life shaped who he is today.  George shares very intimate moments of this life; from traumas he experienced, his first time having sex and to his deep relationship with his grandmother.  He discusses his Black and Queer identities and how in some situations he minimized aspects of them.  George’s candidness, passion and honesty create a very thought provoking and engaging read. 

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

A heartfelt new memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, of Lunch Lady fame, this book is about growing up without parents because of their drug abuse and being raised instead by grandparents. Jarrett Krosoczka traces his life from his birth to his high school graduation, not sparing the reader the hard realities of living first with a drug addict and then with grandparents. However, his grandfather sends him one summer to art school and of course it makes all the difference. Hey, Kiddo, is certainly the best graphic novel I read this year — Printz award material! Don’t miss this one.

Virginia Quiñonez’s Best Reads of 2016

December 29, 2016

virginia quinonezMy name is Virginia Quiñonez, and my partner and I just moved to Evanston this fall. Besides reading, I love hiking, music, and film festivals. I work at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

1) The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas (2012)

This is one of my favorite books in recent years. A classic romance and mystery novel with a different kind of heroine.

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An Interview with Poet Amy Newman

December 2, 2016

amy-newman1If Amy Newman’s On This Day in Poetry History is topping your must-read list, you’re certainly not alone. Poetry lovers here at EPL have been clamoring for a copy since the summer, and demand for her follow-up to Dear Editor only continues to grow. Described as a “dazzling new collection” by the NY Times, On This Day in Poetry History finds Newman exploring the lives of poetry heavyweights such as Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Berryman in search of that elusive “moment when a person becomes a poet.” A wholly innovative mix of biography and stunning verse, Newman’s latest showcases what Image praised as her “true mastery [of the] ability to play with language.” We recently spoke with the Northern Illinois University professor via email about rediscovering poetry in Manhattan, the history and allure of the “Confessional” poets, the challenges of biographical poetry, and how her favorite poem from the book came into being.

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An Interview with 'The Ghost in My Brain' author Clark Elliott

November 1, 2016

clark-elliottOn the rainy evening of September 27, 1999, Dr. Clark Elliott was en route to DePaul University to deliver a lecture when his car was rear ended at a Morton Grove stoplight.  Shaken but seemingly uninjured, Elliott continued on to DePaul’s campus unaware he’d suffered a concussion that would dramatically alter his life.  In his remarkable new memoir The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It BackElliott details the harrowing effects of his concussion along with his remarkable recovery almost 10 years later with the help of two cutting-edge Chicago doctors.  This Monday, November 7th you can hear Dr. Elliott discuss The Ghost in My Brain when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m.  In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about the debilitating concussion symptoms he fought to overcome, brain plasticity, the groundbreaking work of Drs. Donalee Markus and Deboray Zelinsky, and the reasons he wrote his book.

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Football Season Starts So Pick Up Some Pigskin Related Reading

September 10, 2015

That smell in the air?  It’s the scent of footballs whizzing through the air at a rapid rate.  It may still be warm outside but football season is fast upon us.  And what better way to celebrate than reading the latest gridiron-related publications out this year?  Here are the latest books on our shelves, ready for you to punt over the circulation desk and into your home:

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Book Trailer of the Week

November 29, 2012

Our latest Book Trailer of the Week is this must-see clip for Penny Marshall’s new memoir My Mother Was Nuts.  A virtual lock for a 2012 Moby Award, the clever spot features SNL and Portlandia star Fred Armisen impersonating the long-time actress and director to hilarious effect.  Don’t miss the “lotion” bit, and after you’ve shared the fun with friends, don’t forget to check out Marshall’s book as well.  Honest, poignant, and funny, her down-to-earth reflections on Hollywood life and close friendships with John Belushi, Carrie Fisher, and Art Garfunkel make for a fascinating read indeed.  Enjoy!


Writer Patrick Leigh Fermor Dead at 96

June 18, 2011

The great writer/traveler and WW II hero Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10 in England. Fermor’s best known books,  A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, recounted his travels by foot from England to the Balkans just before World War II. During World War II, he and a friend hatched a plot to kidnap a German commander on Crete, a feat that was made into the movie Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde. For more on Fermor, see The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian  newspapers.

Mary B., Reader’s Services

Stieg Larsson’s Companion Releases Audiobook

June 10, 2011

Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg’s longtime companion, is attempting to fill the knowledge gap about Larsson’s life. On June 21, her memoir, There Are Things I Want You to Know About Stieg Larsson and Me, will be available as an audiobook. The work will touch on his personal relationships and his efforts to expose Swedish neo-Nazis, among other topics. Click on the above link to access an audio excerpt. (It will also be out in hardcover and Kindle.)

Shira S.

An Interview with Kenneth Green

May 1, 2011

Kenneth Green rose from Chicago’s tough Humboldt Park neighborhood to find success as an L.A. lawyer and UCLA paralegal instructor.  In his memoir I’m From Division Street, Green looks back at his turbulent boyhood in search of how his Humboldt Park community gave him the “grit and motivation to succeed in life” just as it did for author Saul Bellow, director Ben Hecht, reporter Art Petaque, and bandleader Benny Goodman.  On Tuesday, May 3rd, you can hear Mr. Green read from I’m From Division Street when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m.  In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via telephone about his inspiration for writing his memoir, the differences between Chicago and L.A., the similarities between boxers and lawyers, and how often he makes it back to Division Street.

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