Five Chicago-Related Spring Reads

At the risk of jinxing it, we’re going to go ahead and announce that spring is finally here! With it comes the opportunity to head outside in the company of a good book. Here are CWC’s top recommendations for the season. The list includes a mix of old and new, fiction and non-fiction. They are all, however, related to this great city.

Once I Was Cool by Megan Stielstra


Megan is a fixture of Chicago’s Live Lit scene and her writing has appeared in a slew of publications including Make Magazine and The Nervous Breakdown. Her second book, available on May 13th, is a collection of personal essays that deals with topics like postpartum depression, living abroad, and an obsession with Jane’s Addiction.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson


This non-fiction book on the Great Migration has won a bunch of accolades including the National Book Critics Circle Award. It is also the 2013-2014 One Book, One Chicago selection. The annual citywide book club is hosted by the Chicago Public Library, which offers a variety of programming centered on the book.

Flower & Mishima’s Illustrated Biography by Mario Bellatin


Latin American writer Mario Bellatin has been a cult figure in the Spanish-speaking world for the past few decades. Thanks to Chicago publisher 7Vientos, English readers will be able to experience Bellatin’s work with release of this bilingual flip edition of his work. The book contains two novellas in both the original Spanish and the English translation.

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow


An oldie but goodie, Scott Turow’s blockbuster thriller might be due for a revisit. World Book Night has chosen Presume Innocent as one of the books to be given out on April 23 as a way to promote literacy and spread the love of reading. Turow writes about fictional Kindle County, but we know that the colorful-yet-corrupt characters that populate his story are inspired by his hometown, Chicago.

Life in Men by Gina Frangello


Chicago writer Gina Frangello’s much buzzed-about third book is a story about friendship, illness, and young woman’s spirit of adventure. It’s received glowing reviews by The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Nylon and other publications. Kirkus Reviews called it “A stunning novel–Frangello’s broken characters live in a world of terror and redemption, of magnificent sadness and beauty.”

We have an upcoming reading with The Dissolve on May 7th at Open Books. Find out more info on this, and other events, by signing up for our newsletter

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