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Staff Picks


Three things I like: breakfast food, mountains, and the sound of automatic doors opening

Currently Reading: The Master and Margarita By Mikhail Bulgakov

ISBN: 9780316199988
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 8th, 2014

This is a tale about an imaginary friend waiting to be imagined by a child. It's an adorable story about finding your place in the world & making friendships that fit you you are.--Bec 

ISBN: 9780618492398
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Published: Mariner Books - August 13th, 2004

This story is about the "green and crazy summer" during which 12 year old Frankie "belonged to no club" and "hung around in doorways." I usually love stories with child protagonists and McCullers depicts the end of childhood so well.Also, the descriptions of summer are so vivid that I always feel like it's summer, no matter what the weather's like.--Bec 

By Greg Rucka, J. H. Williams, III (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781401231460
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Published: DC Comics - June 14th, 2011

I love staring at the art in this series. I think I actually got tangled up once in Batwoman's hair just by reading this. The storyline and characters are well developed, and this is a great book to introduce the series. --Bec 

ISBN: 9780544002234
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Published: Mariner Books - April 2nd, 2013

This memoir is in the form of a graphic novel and is beautifully illustrated in shades of red and grey. Bechdel uses classic literature, psychological studies, and her own keen insight to explore and better understand her relationship with her mother, and, in the process, better understand herself.--BecP.S. Bechdel's Fun Home is also amazing!


Three things I like: Derrick Rose's crossover, heist-related film and literature, and the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack.

Currently Reading: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto Burning Down the House by Charles BaxterThe King in Yellow by Robert Chambers, Correction by Thomas Bernhard

ISBN: 9780307279415
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Published: Vintage Books - April 9th, 2013

The single most useful book on writing I've ever read and I've read an embarrassing number of them.--Sky 

ISBN: 9780547572529
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Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2012

Mariner Books has done its civic duty by reissuing PKD's entire archive in beautiful editions and giving second life to a few of his more obscure titles. Imagined as an unofficial sequel to Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Bloodmoney's post-bomb America is a toxic country populated by a human race deeply effected both emotionally and genetically by fallout. Centered around the man responsible for the planet-wide catastrophe, Dr. Bloodmoney himself, the novel terrified me in a way all great sci-fi should: because the world feels all too real. Also, Roberto Bolaño called it a "masterpiece," so that's something.--Sky 

ISBN: 9780316074315
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Published: Little Brown and Company - October 15th, 2013

Just fun, excellent storytelling. The scope and structure of the plot is amazingly executed. At 28 years old, Catton understands things about fiction that most contemporary writers can only gesture towards. Back when I read her debut novel, I knew she was good, but I didn't know she was this good. She makes all other working writers look lazy as hell.

ISBN: 9780307947512
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Published: Vintage Books - June 4th, 2013

I have complicated feelings about Dave Eggers. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was important to me in my early 20s, and was a gateway to larger literary drugs, but he's become a symbol of an overexposed literary movement. BUT, with A Hologram for the King, he has matured into a damn fine storyteller. The language reflects his influences (think a flowery Hemingway and a hopeful Beckett), the structure is gently complex, and even though nothing really happens (which is kinda the point) the plot clicks along at a strangely quick pace. Dave Eggers is a relevant fiction writer again and accomplishes what Franzen only promises. --Sky 

By John Gardner, Raymond Carver (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780393320039
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 17th, 1999

So, you wanna be a novelist, huh? Well, this is pretty much required reading for you then. If you're looking for all the magic answers they will not be found in this book. Gardner offers wisdom, honesty, and spiritual instruction to the young writer full of self-doubt. Garnder doesn't sugar coat the writing life and tells you all the things you needed to hear but were too afraid to admit to yourself. The truth you learn from Gardner will discourage you at first but like all great truths, it will lift you up.-Sky- 


Three things I like: soccer, swords, and sandwiches. 
Currently reading: Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
ISBN: 9781442426412
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Published: Atheneum Books - December 7th, 2010

This AMAZING series is what made me fall in love with books! It's the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to follow her dreams and become a knight. These books are packed with action, adventure, the drive to overcome adversity, and just the right amount of MAGIC!!--Danielle 

ISBN: 9780385743563
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Published: Delacorte Press - September 24th, 2013

A world full of superpowers, but no heroes... Set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, the city is ruled by the most notorious and powerful Epic (as the superpowered are known), Steelheart. One ordinary boy, David, has a plan to take down Steelheart and stop the Epics' reign over humanity. This is an action-packed ride that grabs you from the start, keeps you guessing, and leaves you wanting more.--Danielle 

ISBN: 9780062192134
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 11th, 2013

The Game:  Book One is a well written sci-fi-esque young adult novel.  It's a fast paced action packed story with description that will pull you in and leave you wanting more.  I would love to give a detailed synopsis of the story line but it would ruin half of the fun of reading the book.  While it's not necessarily post apocalyptic, fans of the genre will love it!  This book will keep you guessing until the very end and you won't be disappointed. -Danielle- 



Three things I like: red meat, Nintendo, my bed .

Currently Reading:  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


ISBN: 9780679728757
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Published: Vintage Books USA - May 5th, 1992

Terrifying.  McCarthy didn't just change the novel of the American West, he changed the novel period.  The only way this book could be more frightening is if it were written in blood.-Heather- 



Three things I like: scuba diving, Indian food, and Moroccan Riads.

Currently reading: The Circle, by Dave Eggers 

ISBN: 9780062015839
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Published: William Morrow & Company - August 23rd, 2011

I chose this book because I was in the mood for a love story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find much more. This novel is an intelligently written and engrossing take on time travel and the dilemna of choice-making. Mandery explores the possibility of controlling the outcome of your life while still maintaining purpose. Worth a read!--Karrie 

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ISBN: 9780770436407
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hogarth - May 7th, 2013

I usually struggle with plots that move back and forth through space and time, but this book flowed unlike any I've ever read.  It is beautifully written and very moving.  You'll also learn a lot about Chechnya.-Karrie- 


Three things I like:  all things spicy, all things tiny, crossword puzzles over coffee.
ISBN: 9780802133885
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Published: Grove Press - March 6th, 1994

The south has rarely been portrayed with such tenderness, violence and humor as in the works of Barry Hannah.  "Airships", Hannah's first collection of stories, stands out as some of his funniest.  From the Civil War to the Vietnam War; from teenagers fighting in a cemetery to old men making up stories by the lake--Hannah captures a brief history of the South in all its grit and glory.-Jon- 


Three things I like:  eggs, hiphop, and frisbee.
By Hassan Blasim, Jonathan Wright (Translator)
ISBN: 9780143123262
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Published: Penguin Books - February 5th, 2014

Bolaño, Poe, and Kafka chained naked to a wall in a hole. There is no light. They are being tortured. Instead of confessions, their tormentors demand stories. The tales they scream from the darkness resemble those in The Corpse Exhibition.Hassan Blasim's stories sound the depths of human misery and evil (much deeper than you thought), probe the transient line between Magic and Madness, and ask "can Literature really save anything?" I read these stories with dread and wonder. I want to say they're ultimately hopeful. There is no hope, but I think, maybe, there is Art.--Riley 

By Oakley Hall, Robert Stone (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781590171615
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Published: New York Review of Books - November 21st, 2005

Well now, this Oakley Hall feller's gone n writ himself a dang good book! I tell ya, Warlock sucked me in like a deep patch of mud sucks up yer boot. It's got heroes n guns n workin men n frontiers men all workin out-- well, tryin ta work out-- them big questions long troublin this here country of ours. 

ISBN: 9781555976514
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - September 24th, 2013

Sooo you've read Tenth of December, and now you need something to fill that void. Ok. I present to you Kevin Barry, in my opinion, one of the most exciting new writers working in the English langauge. In Dark Lies the Island, Barry, like Saunders, probes the mundanity of everyday life-- peeling away the facades we so carefully build to feign normalcy and revealing uncomfortable, often painful, realities of "normal life," or, sometimes, glimmers of hope where there seemed only darkness. He is a writer to watch. 

ISBN: 9780062041289
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - February 14th, 2012

Eli and Charlie Sisters kill people. They are very good. But Eli is having something of a mid-life crisis; just because you're good at something, does that mean you're meant to do it? Patrick deWitt's novel has everything you could ask of a Western-- wit, violence, treasure. The only trouble is, it moves so fast, it's easy to overlook the fact deWitt is doing some pretty big things, too. 

By Orhan Pamuk, Maureen Freely (Translator)
ISBN: 9781400078653
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Published: Vintage Books USA - July 11th, 2006

 Anyone who cares about, or thinks about, Art or Literature will find in Black Book a profound and lyrical love letter. But it's also about love and coping and lines--the lines between individuals (is there such a thing?), between Truth and story, between writer, reader, narrator, character--or the dissolving of lines. When you finish, you will feel as though you've undergone some strange mitosis and meiosis, dividing and reassembling with some unexpected pieces. 

Suzy T

Three things I like:  animals, traveling, golf 
ISBN: 9780307955913
Availability: Special Order
Published: Hogarth - March 12th, 2013

The watch was one of my favorite fiction reads last year.  The story describes a sentinel event for the characters during the Afghan war.  Each chapter tells the same event from a different characters point of view.  My heart raced and pounded as if I were present.-Suzy- 



Three things I like: succulent gardens, exploitative reality TV shows, and making lists of threes.

Currently reading: Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish.

ISBN: 9781400077809
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - November 9th, 2004

Lightman explores differenent ideas of "time" in the most lovely book. Reading this book feels like a dream upon waking-- hard to remember and packed with strange and beautiful things.--Claire 

ISBN: 9780743236720
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 1st, 2013

Andrew Solomon investigates horizontal identities. This book is for anone not a carbon-copy of their parents (so, everyone). Nonfiction that reads like literature-- often heartbreaking, always illuminating!--Claire 

ISBN: 9780143038580
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2007

I read this book maybe annually and then am unable to eat anything (animal or vegetable) guilt-free for the next 6 months--until I forget it all, and eat everything in happy forgetful ignorance.  But really, read this book.  It makes me wish i had a garden.-Claire- 

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We’re super proud of and happy for our Spokesperson and Communications Director Jackson Bird. In this very important video, he bravely comes out as trans. Once you’re done watching it, check out the awesome resources Jack has put together - they’re all linked in the description!

Join us in congratulating our friend and adviser, Jack!


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Mark Z Danielewski, "The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May"

The Book Cellar is proud to host author Mark Z Danielewski! 


Mark burst onto the literary scene in 2000 with his ferociously ambitious debut novel, House of Leaves, which went on to win the first NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award and has sold more than half a million copies. We continue to sell an amazing 50,000 a year of House of Leaves. His reputation has grown in the last 14 years: Only Revolutions was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and The Fifty Year Sword was turned into an annual Halloween show at the Walt Disney REDCAT Theatre featuring five voices and large-scale shadow puppets.  Now, Mark is embarking on his most ambitious, experimental project yet: a 27-volume novel about a girl and her cat.


Mark says of his novels: “If House of Leaves tackles the movie, Only Revolutions music, and The Fifty Year Sword the campfire story, then The Familiar will show how the novel can stalk, take down and devour the television series.”

The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May (onsale 5/12/15) is the pilot to a 27-volume story taking us from Los Angeles to Mexico, from Singapore to Texas. It features a wide range of characters including a therapist-in-training whose daughters prove far more complex than her patients, a gang member hired to kill, two scientists on the run in Marfa, a recovering addict in Singapore, a programmer near Silicon Beach. At the very heart of the story is a 12-year-old girl who one rainy day sets out from Echo Park to get a dog only to find a different kind of creature, one which will not only alter her life but threaten the world we all think we know and the future we take for granted.


Mark grew up in various places, including NYC, went to Collegiate High School and Yale University, and now lives in Los Angeles. His sister is the singer Poe and in 2000, the two toured across the US together opening up for Depeche Mode and promoting Poe’s album Haunted which incorporates elements of House of Leaves. His father, TadDanielewski, was an avant-garde film director and teacher. 

Event date: 
Friday, May 22, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
ISBN: 9780375714948
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - May 12th, 2015

By Mark Z. Danielewski, Johnny Truant (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780375703768
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - March 7th, 2000

ISBN: 9780307907721
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - October 16th, 2012

ISBN: 9780375713903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - July 10th, 2007

Events Terms: 

Memorial Day-Close at 5pm!

Happy Memorial Day! We'll be open from 10am to 5pm today. See you tomorrow!


Event date: 
Monday, May 25, 2015 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Event address: 

**OFFSITE** VENUE CHANGE! Mamrie Hart, "You Deserve a Drink"

Due to the high volume of interest The Book Cellar is excited to be partnering with Old Town School of Music to host this event!! Make sure you get your tickets quick, cause this one is gonna be awesome.

Go Here to purchase your tickets!!

The Book Cellar hosts Youtube star Mamrie Hart, presenting her new book, You Deserve a Drink, in Chicago on her #NoFilter tour.



Mamrie Hart is the host of the bawdy cult-hit, You Deserve a Drink, where she has been entertaining viewers with her signature concoction of tasty libations and raunchy puns since 2011. Part of the "YouTube's Holy Trinity", which includes Grace Helbig (The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up) and Hannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen), Mamrie has complied her best drinking stories--and worst hangovers--into one hilarious volume. From the spring break where she and her girlfriends avoided tan lines by staying at an all-male gay nudist resort, to the bachelorette party where she accidentally hired a sixty year old meth head to teach the group pole dancing, to the time she lit herself on fire during a Flaming Lips concert, Hart accompanies each story with an original cocktail recipe, ensuring thatYou Deserve a Drink is as useful as it is entertaining. 



Event date: 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
By Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780142181676
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Plume Books - May 26th, 2015

Events Terms: 

Salon Classics Book Club

The Salon Classics book group meets to discuss A Death in the Family by James Agee. 

Event date: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
By James Agee, Steve Earle (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780143105718
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 2009


Join us for a night of comedy with our favorite comedians, The Kates! Arrive early for seats and drinks.


Event date: 
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
Events Terms: 

Citizen Musician Fellows of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago

The Citizen Musician Fellows of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, dedicated to creating community through music, are pleased to present a free concert by Quintet Veinte Cuerdas at 1:30pm on Monday, May 25th at the Book Cellar. 

Event date: 
Monday, May 25, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Event address: 
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
All titles are subject to availability. Prices Subject to Change. Please call (773) 293-2665 to confirm.
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