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STAFF PICKS

Set largely amidst the onset of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago, The Great Believers covers a tragic subject, but Makkai’s style is so weightless - Fitzgerald himself comes to mind, for which the book is named, and whose quote serves as epigraph – that reading it is genuinely a (bittersweet) pleasure. It so clearly celebrates the rewards of opening ourselves up to love, even as it amplifies the risks. Makkai draws direct parallels between the Chicago scene in the 80s to that of Paris in the first years of the last century, to Fitzgerald’s own peers, of which he said, “A strongly individual generation sprouts most readily from a time of stress and emergency.” Decimated through war and disease, his was a group whose great hope, whose great disillusionment, fueled art that still inspires us a hundred years later. Despite Fitzgerald’s self-aware observation, it is hard to recognize when we might be living in a golden age, and harder still to come to terms with the sacrifice through which it might have been forged. Makkai handles all of these ideas with grace and insight through characters I couldn’t help but love. -Sara, Atlanta
 
 
 
 
Caddyshack not only tells the story of the making of the comedy classic, but also the influence humor pioneers from the National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live had on the making of the film. Lots of great behind the scenes stories here, especially concerning the rivalry between Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. -Len, Chicago ORD

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READ of the MONTH

Autonomous is so much more than your average science fiction novel. Ms. Newitz deftly weaves moral questions that puzzle society today into this imagined world of our near future. What is our social responsibility to patients that require astronomically expensive medicine, and should we protect the corporations that create the medicines so that their research isn't stolen? Is gender just a physical set of attributes, or is it a state of mind as well? And can gender apply to non-human life forms? The novel starts off very quickly, and feels like a standard good vs. evil story, but sucks the reader in with thought-provoking situations and lively prose. I wish that I could read this novel again for the first time. -Christine, Chicago ORD

 
 
 
 

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Page To Screen

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