CCLAP August

Just wanted to let you know about another EXCITING CCLAP Showcase open mic and reading! This month, playwright Amber Hargroder will be reading from her unpublished novel. Hargroder is well-known for her work on the one-woman show, Marilyn Monroe, Whoever you are, which she wrote, directed and starred in, as well as her active participation in the Chicago theatre scene. 

In case you missed it, the CCLAP Showcase features a reading from a local author and six open mic slots to be filled by writers, poets, or storytellers. If you’re interested in participating, send an email over to If you’re interested in listening (that's fine, too!), make sure to come by the bookstore on Tuesday, August 26th at 6:30 pm. There will be wine, beer, and great literary company!
Learn more about CCLAP at

City Lit Books is 2 on August 17th!

Before I opened City Lit and I would read about retailers’ anniversaries, I would think “good for them” and”I should really stop by and get some free cookies. “   I could not have imagined the gratitude, joy, excitement, and pride that such an announcement brings.  Gratitude for the unwavering support of so many families and regular customers.  Joy of watching a community grow.  Excitement for the new customers, books, events, and relationships we have yet to build.  Pride in a conscientious and hard-working staff that set a high bar for customer service every day. 


Today I am thankful for the support of the tremendous community of book-lovers, the efforts of a great team of City Lit booksellers, and the generosity of support from all of you who have helped create this thriving and exciting place.


Stop by and have some cookies!


City Lit Celebrates 'The Provocateurs'


As true Chicagoans know, Chicago in the summer turns into one long, mad, outdoor festival. It seems like every weekend is another excuse for cold beers in plastic cups, picnic dinners, and sunscreen (not to mention that crumpled paperback you always carry with you, right?). 

Right before you break down and buy those last minute Lollapalooza tickets for this upcoming weekend, consider checking out Lolla's first ever art exhibit, "Art Alliance: Provocateurs." It's set to run in tandem with the music festival from July 31st to August 4th. 

"Art Alliance: The Provocateurs" will feature some of the most prominent street artists working in today's cultural climate, including the incredible Shephard Fairey. The show will stage five outdoor mural projects on Chicago walls, with Fairey's taking up 9th and Wabash. The exhibit will also have an indoor component, in case we lose our moderate summer weather or you're in need of a mid-dance break cool down at the Loop's Block Thirty Seven. 

What does this have to do with us, you ask? Well BESIDES the fact that we love our fair city and are always up for spreading the word about some new event, City Lit got the tip off about 'The Provocateurs' and, being the cultural liaisons which we ARE, we're now proud to carry a collection of art folios by artists involved as well as a few limited edition pieces published for the art show. 

This includes Stanley Donwood of Radiohead fame, Shephard Fairey, Banksy, Revok, Keith Haring and many more.

So after you've done the downtown thing, head up to Logan Square to check out these beautiful new editions. Trust us... They're gorgeous. 

For more information on 'The Provocateurs,' check out their website

Viva La Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape Cover Image
Not available for on-line purchase
ISBN: 9781584234241
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Gingko Press - December 11th, 2010

The CCLAP Showcase

THE CCLAP SHOWCASE: A New Reading Series and Open Mic

We at City Lit are proud to host the second CCLAP Showcase this month on Tuesday, July 22nd at 6:30. The reading ad open mic will take place in the store. 

The CCLAP (Chicago Center for Literacy and Photography) will present the renowned Eric Charles May, author of Bedrock Faith and Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low Flying Duck, for a reading. Afterwards, CCLAP will organize an open mic for a selection of authors and poets. 

If you're interested in signing up for an open mic slot in advance, write And if you're not interested in signing up, make sure that you drop in to hear some great new authors read their current works.

Hope to see you there!  




A Great Success!



We'd like to extend the most heartfelt of THANK YOUS for coming out to celebrate the first Annual Chicago Independent Bookstore Day yesterday. It was a resounding success! We love that you think of us on Saturday morning when you come to join us while Miss Irica reads and sings. We love that you were able to share Martha Bayne's delicious gazpacho creations. We love that you helped us welcome Curbside Splendor authors and followers. In short, we love that you helped us have a fabulous Chicago Independent Bookstore Day!


We are thrilled that you have become a part of our community, and honored that we have become a part of yours. 




It's Official...

As I'm sure you're all actively following, this Saturday is Chicago's first annual Independent Bookstore Day! With nine bookstores around Chicago participating in giveaways, book signings, and other special events unique to each store, it's bound to be a blast. 

We were excited enough knowing that our faithful Logan Squarers and Chicagoans would take note and take part. But just the other day, we received some pretty exciting news...

Chicago's own Rahm Emanuel declared that July 12, 2014 is OFFICIALLY Chicago Independent Bookstore Day in Chicago! Not only that, he namedropped us in his Proclamation! Whether or not this will translate to a citywide holiday with businesses and schools closing, we'll keep you posted...



WHEREAS, books were spawned by the evolution of the act of transcription and written language in pursuit of greater communication, which can be traced to ancient civilization; and 

WHEREAS, the birth of books forever changed the course of history, fortifying culture by exchanging ideas and increasing scholarship, and bolstering communication amongst people the world over; and

WHEREAS, the independent bookstore has long played an indelible role alongside libraries in offering unique collections and volumes, and rare editions and assorted subjects to every reader’s predilection; and

WHEREAS, the availability of multifarious varieties of books has long been one of the hallmarks of an advancing, evolving society; and

WHEREAS, often times, it is the independent bookstore’s intimate setting and warm, knowledgeable staff that sets it apart from other institutions; and

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago is home to a number of these cultural and community gems, many of which, boast families or groups, or circles of lifelong resident-customers in and around the historic Hyde Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Downtown, Printer’s Row, Lakeview, and Andersonville neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, 57th Street Books, the Book Cellar, City Lit Books, Open Books, Powell’s Bookstore, Sandemeyer’s, Seminary Co-Op, Unabridged Books, and Women and Children First continue to advance Chicago’s literary palate all while satisfying its diverse intellectual cravings; and

WHEREAS, each of these independent book stores will mark Saturday, July 12, 2014 with very special activities to celebrate their enduring presence and invaluable cultural standing in and around Chicagoland:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RAHM EMANUEL, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim July 12, 2014 to be CHICAGO INDEPENDENT BOOK STORE DAY IN CHICAGO and urge all Chicagoans to take part in this auspicious day in recognition of a stories tradition of literature, language, and learning in our city. 

Dated this 8th day of July, 2014. 


Rahm Emanuel



Chicago Independent Bookstore Day


City Lit Books is participating in the First Annual Chicago Independent Bookstore Day on July 12, 2014. Nine Chicago independent bookstores are teaming up to create this event. To encourage Chicago readers to visit their own neighborhood store as well as the other unique stores in different neighborhoods—from Hyde Park to Logan Square to Andersonville—indie stores are offering special deals, free books, and refreshments. Customers will also receive a handful of puzzle pieces from each participating store that will fit together to create an exclusively designed frameable print by Lilli Carré.

City Lit will feature a number of our own events on Saturday July, 12, 2014. 

10:30 Storytime with Miss Irica

12:00 Signing and samples with Martha Bayne, author of the Soup & Bread Cookbook

5:00 Curbside Spendlor Publishing Author Readings and Giveaways


All day long, City Lit will be having a sidewalk sale. So drop in, pick up a book from the sidewalk, catch a song with Miss Irica, and eat something delicious with Martha Bayne! And check out our fellow Chicago booksellers all weekend long! 



We're Famous!

You know that we're excited for the start of summer... great weather, great Logan Square activities, and, of course...GREAT BOOKS.
We at City Lit love summer reads so much that Chicago took notice!
Check us out on this week where our City Lit staffers chat about their favorite beach reads. A mixture of sci-fi, mystery, and YA...I promise you WON'T be able to put these books down!
Let us choose your next great read. Sand and Sun optional (but encouraged!).

Book of the Month - May 2013

Much of American culture was made in Chicago, and to understand the country you have to understand its "third coast." So argues Chicago-born-and-raised writer Tom Dyja. His illuminating The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, argues that after the Second World War the Windy City functioned as the center of the nation - not just geographically, but also in terms of culture, politics, and business. Innovations such as Mies van der Rohe's glass and steel architecture, Hugh Hefner's Playboy, Chuck Berry's rock and roll, and McDonald's innovative fast food defined modern consumer America. He also describes the end of Chicago's golden era as the election of Richard J. Daley launched a frenzy of new building that came at the expense of the city's creativity and diversity. 

"America," says Dyja, "is a better place when Chicago holds it together." With The Third Coast, Dyja restores Chicago to the central place it once held in the national ethos in a captivating and dazzling alternate history of the American Century.

Thomas Dyja is the author of three novels and two works of non-fiction. A native of Chicago's Northwest Side, he was called a "real Chicago boy" by Studs Terkel.

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