City Lit is 4!

Thanks to all of you for supporting us!  

4 years ago we opened our doors with some trepidation and so much excitement!  We were thrilled and amazed to be met with that same excitement from all of you!  

With your support we have have grown and evolved to try to meet Logan Square's literary desires.  We look forward to continuing to grow and open our doors everyday to share our books with you!

Opening Day 2012
Independent Bookstore Day 2016


Staff Summer Reading Lists: Halle











Ada, or Ardor, Vladimir Nabokov

Fictional memoir with fictional editor’s marginalia and end notes. Pale Fire was totally nuts and I loved it, and Ada has been on my list for a while. 

I’m Losing You, Bruce Wagner

Wagner is some kind of weird secret. When I finished his maximalist LA satire, Dead Stars, I thought “this is a perfect book.” I’m Losing You, I’ll Let You Go, and Still Holding all sound like heavy and saccharine titles, but they’re the titles of Wagner’s Cellphone Trilogy. I feel like these is a good example of what I like about Wagner--super heavy, sad and serious, but also deeply sarcastic.

Patience, Dan Clowes

Ghost World was a defining text of my teens, and I will read anything by Clowes.

The Sea, The Sea, Iris Murdoch

Just finished The Severed Head, and was really digging the nonchalant descriptions of drunkenness and rage and the oppressively polite manners of the characters. The Sea, The Sea (another fake memoir) is a great title.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson

Exorcisms! Coming of age! Sounds great.

Staff Summer Reading Lists: Amanda










Over the next few weeks, we'll check out what the staff here at City Lit is planning to read this summer, and a little bit of why. Here's Amanda's list to start us off:

The Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto

Because she has a really great name. But really, I want to read more contemporary Japanese fiction.

The Miner, Natsume Sōseki

More Japanese stuff, but this guy is apparently one of the pioneers of contemporary Japanese lit. And I’ve heard this is his most off the wall book. And Murakami likes him!

A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Conner

Because I saw that Sufjan Stevens has a song about one of the short stories in this collection.

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

Because my girlfriend told me I have to read it if I truly love her.

Join us for Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 30th!

Join us at City Lit Books in celebrating Independent Bookstore Day!  We have events and giveaways all day, culminating in the book release for our very own T. Sean Steele at 5pm!  Our celebration includes:

Special Story Time at 10:30am with Professor Dave Becker

Homemade baked goods made by our booksellers with recipes from some of our favorite cookbooks

Book giveaways all day!

--And for the big finale at 5 PM: Book release event for City Lit bookseller and author: T. Sean Steele! Celebrate the release of his novella, Tacky Goblin, with readings from Halle Butler, author of Jillian, James Tadd Adcox, author of Does Not Love, Sarah Carson, author of the poetry collection, Buick City, and more!


Celebrate National Poetry Month at City Lit Books!

We're super excited for National Poetry Month here at City Lit Books! To celebrate we have a series of exciting events! You won't want to miss: 

* Wed., April 6th, 6:30PM
A double translated poetry book release and reading from Action Books and co*im*press, with Kim Yideum and Alireza Taheri Araghi.
(More info at this link)! 

* Fri., April 15th, 6:00PM
Poetry and Music Open Mic Night!
Featured Poets: James Gordon and Kyle Ballou

* Thurs., April 28th, 6:30PM
The Logan Salon Series: City Lit's monthly reading series of poetry and prose. This month, we're excited to welcome Mark Magoon, Rachel Slotnick, Gint Aras, and Ralph Hamilton! 

And, of course, we have a new display table in honor of the month! Come check it out--we even have some wonderful poetry collections for kids! 

April is National Poetry Month!

Let's welcome April with a glorious poem.
Poetry month sure is swell for a tome
by Neruda, Bukowski, or the great Dr. Seuss.
Poems not your thing? Don't be a goose!

Guess Who, Haiku (Guess Who Haiku) Cover Image
By Deanna Caswell, Bob Shea (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419718892
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 8th, 2016

The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop Cover Image
By Kevin Coval (Editor), Quraysh Ali Lansana (Editor), Nate Marshall (Editor)
ISBN: 9781608463954
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haymarket Books - April 7th, 2015

Dark Sparkler Cover Image
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9780062348166
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Harper Perennial - April 7th, 2015

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything Cover Image
By Calef Brown, Calef Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780805099287
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 17th, 2015

Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen, in Conversation with author Peter Ferry, March 4th at 6:30!

We're super excited for this Friday's upcoming discussion between authors Elizabeth McKenzie and Peter Ferry! Peter Ferry's Old Heart was the Chicago Writers Association Novel of the Year for 2015. And Elizabeth McKenzie's The Portable Veblen has been getting stellar reviews, including from one of our booksellers, Timothy Moore, who calls it "One of the best novels I've read in years. Genuinely funny, but also important!" 

Don't just take his word for it! 

Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan gave a rave review of the book, which you can listen to here

Jennifer Senior, of the New York Times, says that "One of the great pleasures of reading Elizabeth McKenzie is that she hears the musical potential in language that others do not — in the manufactured jargon of economics, in the Latin taxonomy of the animal kingdom, even in the names of our own humble body parts (who knew about the eye’s “zonule of Zinn”?)." You can read more of her review here

Rick Kogan spoke with both Elizabeth McKenzie and Peter Ferry this weekend in a fascinating literary discussion, which you can listen to here

That will prepare you for this Friday's event! We'll se you then! 


The Portable Veblen: A Novel Cover Image
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9781594206856
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - January 19th, 2016

Old Heart Cover Image
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9781609531171
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Unbridled Books - June 9th, 2015

Sometimes, Love Hurts...

At City Lit Books, we're so excited for Valentine's Day that we've put together a new book table to commemorate the season of love! Except, sometimes, well, love hurts!

Tumultuous love does make for some great literature though! You've certainly know of the classics, Gutave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice (and Emma, etc), Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. You can even get theatrical with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

But we'd recommend you take a look at some other gems at our table. For every renown classic like Love in the Time of Cholera there's a gem that's just waiting to break your heart. 

Take Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Huband, and He Hanged Himself. Translated by Anna Summers, Ludmilla's work has been compared with the likes of Angela Carter, Beckett, Tolstoy, and has been cited as "Russia's preeminent comtemporary fiction writer." Check out our Bad Romance table for her collection of stories!

Or how about Michael Czyzniejewski's collection of "breakup stories," entitled I Will Love You For The Rest Of My Life. The title alone leaves room for heartbreak! Amelia Gray calls this collection "Sharp and funny, with reach and heart, these stories serve an exhibit of the many ways love can get the hell out." 

Not looking for short stories? We invite you to consider Paula Fox's Desperate Characters, which follows a Otto and Sophie Bentwood living in Brooklyn, whose lives, and marriage, quickly begin to fracture after Sophie is bitten by a possibly rabies-infected cat. 

These are just a few of the exciting titles we have at our Bad Romance table! Check it out the next time you visit! 

I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories Cover Image
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9781940430287
Availability: Currently Unavailable
Published: Curbside Splendor Publishing - March 31st, 2015

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories Cover Image
By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Anna Summers (Translated by), Anna Summers (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780143121527
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 29th, 2013

Desperate Characters Cover Image
By Paula Fox, Jonathan Franzen (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780393351101
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 30th, 2015

New Year, New Book Clubs!

At City Lit Books, we’re excited to announce three new book clubs starting in January and February!

Bookseller Tim hosts the OBSCURE LIT Book Club, which explores underrated but influential classics from unknown and popular authors alike. OBSCURE LIT will meet the third Thursday of every month at 6:30pm. The first meeting will take place January 21 to discuss Cane by Jane Toomer.

Bookseller Joe will host the SOC 201 Book Club, which will move beyond the headlines to explore a sociopolitical topic in-depth. The Club will meet the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. The club will meet for the first time February 2 to explore The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Bookseller Devon will host the FOUND IN TRANSLATION Book Club, which will dive into fresh English translations of stand-out fiction from around the world. They’ll meet the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. The selection for the first meeting on February 4 is The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli.

And the WEIRD AND WONDERFUL and IN BRIEF Book Clubs are still going strong! WEIRD AND WONDERFUL will next meet January 6 to discuss The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness. IN BRIEF is reading The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie for its January 26 meeting.

All book clubs meet at City Lit and there’s no need to sign up—just show up ready to discuss! All Book Club books are 10% off!

Cane Cover Image
By Jean Toomer, Rudolph P. Byrd (Afterword by), Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780871402103
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - June 13th, 2011

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
By Michelle Alexander, Cornel West (Introduction by)
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9781595586438
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: New Press - January 16th, 2012

The Story of My Teeth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566894098
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - September 15th, 2015


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