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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

I love this book. It's a whodunit following in the steps of Agatha Christie. It is two books in one. It starts in present day as an editor prepares to read a manuscript from their top author. I was so involved in the story that I forgot that it was a manuscript until I got to the end of it, found out who murdered one victim, and it ends abruptly. Then it flashes back to present time where you find out several chapters are missing from the manuscript. The editor goes in search of the missing chapters only to find a present day murder which she tries to solve. Lots of twists and turns in this book while you try to figure out whodunit. Love it! It will keep you guessing until the very end. — Ray, Denver

 
 
 
 

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