| Sep 21, 2012
| 11:56 AM
In January 1989, entertainer Ben Hollis and WTTW-Ch. 11 producer Jon Davies created a television show that they called "Wild Chicago." The reason they did this, said Hollis at the time, "was because there was nothing like it on TV."
Indeed. I was the...
| Aug 2, 2012
"From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsburg
Every child fantasizes about running away from home to teach his or her parents a lesson. One summer, 12-year-old Claudia showed me exactly how it could be done, in comfort and...
| Aug 14, 2012
August 15, 2012 marks the 200thanniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearborn, a deadly hand-to-hand combat between two of the groups trying to lay claim to Chicago during the war of 1812. But as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, some distinguished...
| Aug 17, 2012
| 2:12 PM
Whatever its literary merits, “Fifty Shades of Grey” can take credit for a few things. The phenomenal best-seller has brought kinky erotica out from under the covers and into the mainstream. It has provided comedians and parodists with ripe...
| Aug 17, 2012
| 4:15 PM
"Oodles of Noodles" by Diana Hendry, illustrated by Sarah Massini
"Oodles of Noodles" is about spaghetti going all over the house. I think it's funny because it's not about real life. I want a pasta machine to make noodles. You'll like this book if you...
| Mar 4, 2013
Last week, I enjoyed joining a lunch discussion with a few dozen community leaders who were interested in education, volunteerism, and the community. The goal of the lunch was to brainstorm ways together to inspire students, parents and policy-makers to...
| Jan 23, 2013
| 2:22 PM
For some reason, I have been reading a number of books set in foreign countries. Three that I will recommend are "Say You're One of Them" by Uwem Akpan (Africa), "Finding Nouf" by Zoe Ferraris (Saudi Arabia) and "Death in a Strange Country" by Donna...
| Jan 4, 2013
| 4:34 PM
How forgotten is MacKinlay Kantor's "Diversey"? Well, when I looked it up on the Chicago Public Library website, I found only one copy available systemwide, in the closed stacks of the downtown branch — meaning that any reader interested in taking a...
| Dec 13, 2012
| 12:36 PM
About halfway through writing the script for "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" (which opens at the Wilmette Theatre next week), Edward Burns says he found himself at a crossroad. "Do I want to make the big, crazy, funny, holly-jolly Christmas Irish family...
| Dec 1, 2012
They're meaningful, beautiful, portable, and, by the standards of modern gift giving, appealingly inexpensive. They also ship and wrap easily, and allow me to put my money where my heart is: art, ideas and the written word. So why did I hesitate for so...
| May 25, 2013
| 11:38 AM
Art Spiegelman, author of “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir that essentially legitimized cartooning as a literary form, will kick off this year's Printers Row Lit Fest on Saturday, June 8, as winner of the Chicago Public Library's Harold...
| May 17, 2013
| 3:25 PM
When I started reading Anchee Min's latest memoir, "The Cooked Seed," I presumed there would be many commonalities between her life journey in America and mine.
We both emigrated from Shanghai — Min came over to the United States as a student in...