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: Abrams Appleseed - 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
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ISBN: 9780062348166
Published: Harper Perennial - April 7th, 2015

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything Cover Image
By Calef Brown, Calef Brown (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780805099287
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
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ISBN: 9781594206856
Published: Penguin Press - January 19th, 2016

Old Heart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609531171
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
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
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ISBN: 9781940430287
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)
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ISBN: 9780143121527
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)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781595586438
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

Ada Calhoun's Article in the New York Times

Ada Calhoun wrote this wonderful article, "My Old City Was Gone. (Or Was it?)" for the New York Times! She'll be reading and discussing her book, St. Marks is Dead tonight at 6:30! We're so excited!

"Who understands the soul of any place? Who deserves to be here? Who is the interloper and who the interloped-upon? Who can say which drunk N.Y.U. student stumbling down St. Marks Place will wind up writing the next classic novel or making the next great album?"

You can read more of her article here!



St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393240382
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 2nd, 2015

Indies First Day at City Lit Books!

City Lit Books is pleased to announce Indies First Day, on November 28, Small Business Saturday! Independent businesses throughout town are coming together to celebrate their local bonds as part of the third annual Small Business Saturday

Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States. It is a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that help to create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods. Last year, U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending an estimated $14.3 billion with independently-owned businesses on the day, based on the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, making a big impact on local communities. The day has been championed by elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., including President Obama.

Hundreds of other independent bookstores across the country will be celebrating Indies First with in-store activities and events on November 28. Stay tuned for updates on our activities soon! Additionally, Indies First encourages authors—and anybody who wants to sell a book through a website—to support independent bookstores online by making an indie “Buy” button the FIRST among all e-retailer choices on their websites year-round.

Other participating Indies First stores and authors may be found on

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and join the conversation using the hashtag #indiesfirst! We'll be giving updates soon on the City Lit Books website! Stay tuned! 

Bookseller Recommendation: Nina Revoyr's LOST CANYON is a Must Read!

LOST CANYON is thrilling, and, yes, reminiscent of "Deliverance," but with a surprising, and welcome, twist! The book follows the fortune of four hikers that get caught up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse...and bear. But issues with race, class, and perspective really makes this story stand out - and while the descriptions of nature don't interest me personally (like many of the characters in the book, I'm an "urbanite" at heart), the book's intelligent and surprising take on social issues certainly do! This is a must read! 


Lost Canyon Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781617753541
Published: Akashic Books - August 25th, 2015

National Book Award Finalists!

Happy Fall! It's officially the time of year for cozy sweaters, warm drinks, and new books. If you're not sure where to begin with all these new releases, we suggest starting with the long list for the 2015 National Book Award finalists in fiction. These are some seriously awesome authors! 
A Cure for Suicide Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101870129
Published: Pantheon Books - July 21st, 2015

Refund: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781619026230
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476798172
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 1st, 2015

The Turner House Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780544303164
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 14th, 2015

Fates and Furies: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781594634475
Published: Riverhead Books - September 15th, 2015

Fortune Smiles: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780812997477
Published: Random House - August 18th, 2015

Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062302137
Availability: Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 8th, 2015

Honeydew: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316297226
Published: Little, Brown and Company - January 6th, 2015

A Little Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385539258
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Published: Doubleday - March 10th, 2015

Mislaid: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062364777
Published: Ecco - May 19th, 2015


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