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An Update!

2010, Nov 11      Julie      News and Events


ey, peeps.  Did you see this?

I guess you can’t create a stir without, you know, creating a stir.

But I did want to clarify my earlier post just so we’re all on the same page:  Publish Chicago will continue to exist, but it will exist without, or with very limited commentary from me.  Other people, as you’ve probably noticed, have written for this site in the past, and they will continue to do so.  It’s not this site that’s going away, it’s simply my presence on it.

Stay tuned for updates, and in the mean time, keep it real, Chicago.

City of Chicago to Launch ChicagoPublishes

2010, Nov 3      Julie      News and Events


hat’s right, folks.  I’m sure you’ve read about it elsewhere, but I wanted to let you know that it’s official.  The City of Chicago’s Publishing Industry programs, for whom I am a consultant, is launching, a city run site that will share all kinds of fabulous news, events, and features about the publishing industry in Chicago.

Since I am now writing for this new city site, as you can imagine, Publish Chicago will be no longer.  I am planning to continue my literary criticism, sharp wit, and general awesomeness on, however I am also planning on launching a new site focusing on a broader spectrum of literature.  This site does not exist yet, but will soon.  Until that time, check me out at ChicagoPublishes, and feel free to browse through Publish Chicago.  It will continue to exist as its own online back issue.

And for those of you who are excited about ChicagoPublishes–WHICH SHOULD BE ALL OF YOU–come check out the launch event next Tuesday:
Chicago Publishes Launch Evite!

Interview with Allegra Goodman, Author of The Cookbook Collector

2010, Sep 30      Julie      Interviews

PC: What inspired you to write The Cookbook Collector?
AG: Initial inspiration: a personal observation that although I read and collect cookbooks, I don’t actually cook.

PC:  Do you identify more with Emily or Jess?
AG:  Both!

PC: You’ve been lauded as today’s Jane Austen. How do you feel about this praise? Do you feel that your work is similar to hers?
AG: I love Austen, and so I’m flattered–but I am my own woman. When people refer to Austen I think it’s short hand for witty, character based writing. I do love her books, but my work is quite different from hers in its multiple points of view, contemporary situations, and layered descriptions.

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The Subersive Copy Editor Carol Fisher Saller

2010, Sep 28      Julie      Book Reviews

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the author of this slim volume, and she really fit the bill. That is to say, Carol Fisher Saller looks and carries herself like a grammarian, like a copy editor who takes her job seriously, like a professional woman with a wry wit who enjoys tactful, subtle humor.

The Subersive Copy Editor is a handbook for copy editors. In it, Saller dispenses advice for handling clients, dealing with co-workers, making difficult grammatical decisions, and generally anything that might be related to working as a copy-editor.

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Photos from The ALA’s Banned Books Read Out

2010, Sep 25      Julie      Uncategorized


his Saturday marked the beginning of Banned Books week, and to celebrate, the American Library Association staged an event in Washington Square Park that featured readings from the top ten most contested books of 2009.

The Washington Square Park Banned Books Read Out.

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It’s Banned Books Week!

2010, Sep 25      Julie      News and Events


ey, everyone, it’s time to celebrate your right to read.  Give one of the ten most challenged books of 2009 a try (list generated by the Amerian Library Association).  Also, have a look at prominent Chicago reporter Rick Kogan’s thoughts on banned books as well as his reading of an excerpt of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, which was number six this year.  The video was taken from the ALA’s Banned Books Read Out 2010.

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

2010, Sep 23      Julie      Book Reviews


lright, Publish Chicago readers, I’ve been caught. I freaking LOVE self-help books, and diet books are no exception to the rule. Skinny Bitch has long been on my list of diet books to devour, and honestly, it didn’t really live up to the hype.

What I did love? The two authors’ bitchy, catty, in-your-face attitude. This book is a great source of motivation. They really make you feel like you should despise eating shitty food, that you can lose weight, that the skinny bitch life is attainable and awesome. I ate that shit up. As a self-help lover, I love being both told what to do and encouraged to think for myself and become who I can be.

Erm. Anyway.

But no, what I didn’t like so much about this book is that it’s basically thinly veiled propaganda for veganism. I say propaganda because they’re preaching dogma, not facts. Take this from someone who spent seven years of their life willingly abstaining from meat and reading all about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle (this is me I’m talking about, right here): their facts are not sound.

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Qlix Event Photos

2010, Sep 23      Julie      News and Events, Photos


ast night I attended to the launch event for Qlix, Issue 2 at JBar in downtown Chicago. It was a pretty snazzy affair, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as you can see from my live-tweets. Check out the photos below, and apologies in advance for their low quality–I was using my new Evo and clearly I either need to figure out a better way to take pictures with it, or it doesn’t have a very good camera.

This model stood right next to the check in table with bright mannequin
lighting, and I was totally fooled. After I realized she was a model I snapped a
rather eerie looking photo.

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The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

2010, Sep 22      Julie      Book Reviews


ain peals out of the sky over central California, gently shrouding Palo Alto in a wet blanket, and two sisters make their way to dinner.  Thus opens Allegra Goodman’s latest novel The Cookbook Collector. Emily and Jess are five years of age apart and complete opposites.  Emily, the elder, is straight-laced and pin-striped.  An MBA graduate, she has spent all of her time getting her business start-up off the ground, and she has succeeded.  Her power-suited, cropped haired, thin-bespectacled form stands in complete opposition to her younger sister Jess’.  Jess is a free spirit; a book lover; a corduroy, cafe-going bohemian who can’t even remember the last time she cut her hair.  She’s works in a rare and used bookshop as a side job while she pursues her PhD in philosophy.

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Portland Area Bus Driver Caught Reading Kindle While Driving

2010, Sep 20      Julie      News and Events


inally some proof that e-books are not the death of reading.  Also?  Holy crap.

Free E-Book from UCP: The OG Chicago Manual of Style

2010, Sep 18      Julie      News and Events


onestly, this is pretty sweet.  The University of Chicago Press gives out a free e-book each month, and this month it’s the e-book of the first-edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which is fucking old–1906 old.  You can get your free copy here.

The Chicago Manual of Style began life modestly as a single page of typographic fundamentals drawn up by a University of Chicago Press proofreader in the 1890s. The guidelines grew in length and popularity and were first published in book form in 1906. Revised fifteen times since, The Chicago Manual of Style has evolved to become the definitive reference work for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers.”


2010, Sep 18      Julie      News and Events


On September 29th Silver Tongue, Columbia College Chicago’s student-run reading series, is excited to bring The Encyclopedia Show to a college campus for the first time ever. The Encyclopedia Show, created by Robbie Q. Telfer (author of Spiking the Sucker Punch) and Shanny Jean Maney (author of Our Brave Faces Were Just Smiles), is a live variety extravaganza that asks participants to perform pieces about an encyclopedia topic. On September 29th at 7:00pm, Columbia faculty and students will define BEARS in hilarious and raucous fashion, using poetry, film, music, and more. The event is located at The Conaway Center (1104 S Wabash Ave) and is free and open to the public.

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Oprah Selects Franzen’s Freedom After Literary Snafu. Blah.

2010, Sep 18      Julie      News and Events


n case you’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t heard, Oprah–giant media mogul–selected Jonathan Franzen–popular and self-proclaimed “high literary” author–’s book Freedom as her latest book club pick.  And I guess it’s sorta a big deal since Franzen had a bit of a hissy fit the last time she selected one of his books.  Whatever.  Anyone who would complain about a book club selection that will sell millions of copies of their work is being a baby.  You heard it here first.

Anyway, apparently the new cover has been released, so it’s officially official.

Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley

2010, Sep 18      c-check      Book Reviews


tarvation lake,  is the not-very-becoming name of a little out-of-the-way tourist town in Northwestern Michigan. A town with a preoccupation with hockey. And murder. Dun dun DUN!

Okay, it’s definitely a mystery, but it’s not quite like that. Written by Chicago north-sider Bryan Gruley and a finalist for the 2009 Great Lakes Book Award, this book makes for decent read.  It’s fun to get to know Gus Carpenter, your narrator. He’s a newspaper man with a history in Detroit that follows him home to the small town where he goes right back to playing goalie with his childhood friends, and a few not-so-friends as well. While he’s at it, however, he digs up a bit of a murder mystery–or should I say the mystery washes up for him.

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Lay the Favorite by Beth Raymer

2010, Sep 16      c-check      Book Reviews


he thread of Beth Raymer’s latest book has as short an attention span as its narrator. In this quick-paced memoir, Raymer bounces from job to job and guy to guy, taking us along for the ride. And it’s a fun ride, bouncing to and fro among different sports betting outfits–this book certainly doesn’t qualify as an exposé on the scene, but you’ll definitely see it through her eyes. It may be a bit vapid, but it’s an entertaining read, especially if you’re mildly interested in betting… or blowing any which way with the wind.

Chicago’s Featherproof Press Teaches at DePaul

2010, Sep 14      Julie      Uncategorized


eatherproof keeps keeping it real by teaching college students how to keep it real.  You know…in….terms of publishing…that is.

Via the Chicagoist:
“This fall, DePaul is offering a new course as part of their continuing and professional education program. The Certificate in Publishing course covers the ins and outs of small-press publishing. Jonathan Messinger and Zach Dodson, who designed and will be teaching the course, know their small-press stuff. They founded local indie press featherproof Books five years ago.”

The Jane Austen Fight Club

2010, Jul 29      Julie      News and Events


shit you not.  Watch the video.

Even the Old Spice Dude Likes Libraries

2010, Jul 14      Julie      News and Events


or those of you not in the know, Old Spice, the deodorant company, has recently sponsored a series of ads featuring the guy you see in the video below saying hilarious, manly stuff. Yesterday they ran a marathon, viral campaign on youtube featuring videos of him responding to comments on twitter, facebook, and reddit. He said all kinds of amazing stuff, including responding to Apolo Ohno, GQ, and even giving a marriage proposal. Here’s what he has to say about libraries: