| May 13, 2011
| 3:12 PM
May 28-29: Mackinaw Music and International Wine & Beer Fest, Mackinaw. Wine and beer tasting, along with a variety of musical entertainment at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard. Fee applies; 309-359-9463; tinyurl.com/3gofqou. Miles from Chicago: 160...
| Aug 18, 2011
On a chilly fall morning, mail carrier Khalalisa Norris wheeled her cart along West Congress Parkway in the city's Austin neighborhood. She had just dropped a bundle of envelopes into the mail slot of a two-flat graystone, when she heard a man call from a...
| Jul 30, 2011
Henry James once opined that the two most beautiful words in the English language are "summer afternoon." I would like to edit James — alas, who wouldn't? — and bestow the most felicitous phrase award upon the words "summer reading."
| Nov 5, 2010
| 4:00 PM
The Chicago Publishers Gallery is a book haven, mealtime gathering spot, after-school hangout and local literati hub all at the same time. Located behind the cafe on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, the Publishers Gallery is made up of...
| Sep 24, 2010
| 10:56 AM
The plains and prairies of Willa Cather's “My Antonia” and cities of Theodore Dreiser's “Sister Carrie” have come to define the Midwestern literary tradition, while “Little Egypt,” the triangular tip of southern...
| Oct 15, 2010
| 9:11 AM
By Gina Frangello
Emergency Press, 184 pages, $15
"And need would always win out," the narrator of the title story in Gina Frangello's collection, 'Slut Lullabies,' avows, and that essential truth is made explicit over and over in her...
| Oct 18, 2010
| 1:06 PM
"Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy"
By Melissa Milgrom
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 304 pages
Thank goodness Melissa Milgrom's family lived near Schwendeman's Taxidermy Studio in Milltown, New Jersey. "Everyone knew the queer little shop,”...
| Oct 15, 2010
| 3:53 PM
"True Stories of False Confessions"
Edited by Rob Warden and Steven A. Drizin
Northwestern University Press, 514 pages, $27.95
Recent decades have seen more than 100 death row exonerations in the United States, sparking tough questions about how such...
| Jul 2, 2011
Even if you're not the outdoorsy type, the natural beauty of the Torstenson lodge and surrounding wildlife can easily lure you in — or draw you out, as the case may be.
Rockford tool magnate and avid conservationist Robert Torstenson died in 2002,...
| Aug 3, 2011
I recently rented a car through Enterprise at Chicago's Midway Airport. I was taken to a vehicle that had a damaged fender. I called this situation to the attention of the rental attendant, and he said, "No worries, I'll just note it on the contract."...
| Feb 27, 2011
States and many U.S. territories have tourism offices to help visitors. When requesting travel literature, be as specific as possible.
Alabama: Alabama Tourism Department, 401 Adams Ave., Suite 126, P.O. Box 4927, Montgomery, AL 36103; (800) 252-2262...
| Jul 15, 2011
With the Palomar, the latest addition to its Chicago line, Kimpton eschews the chic boutique concept for more luxury than one would expect. Rooms are larger (they start at 325 square feet) and come outfitted in a palette of gold and cranberry with blue...