NOVEMBER 22nd: Lisa Doyle, author of Milked

This event will take place on Saturday, November 22nd at 5:00 pm.

DECEMBER 3rd: Forgotten Fires of Chicago: John Hogan & Alex Burkholder

This event will take place on Weds., December 3rd at 6:30 pm.

DECEMBER 7th: Song of the Fool: On the Road with Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

This event will take place on Sunday, December 7th at 2:00pm.

Small Business Saturday, Small Business Shopping

After your Thanksgiving food coma comes Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Don't forget the "holiday" inbetween: Small Business Saturday!  We've prepared our 2014 Gift Guide, and we're ready to steer you towards some awesome purchases.  We have books for everyone on your list.  Seriously.  Even that person who swears they don't read.  We also have staff picks all over the store, so you won't want for suggestions.  To give you a head start, here are some of our favorite titles from 2014.

Book List
ISBN-13: 9780385353304
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 9/2014

ISBN-13: 9780812994995
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 10/2014

Ruby (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780804139090
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Hogarth, 4/2014

An Age of License (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781606997680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 9/2014

ISBN-13: 9780374261177
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: FSG Originals, 11/2014

Love us? Vote for us!


We just got nominated for Time Out Chicago's "Love Chicago Awards," and we couldn't be more thrilled!  If you love City Lit, we'd love to have you vote for us!  It's very quick and clickable.  Promise.  If you visit the voting site, make sure to select "Northwest Side" as your neighborhood, and you'll find us listed under "Shops."  We wouldn't have received a nomination without your support, so we already feel like big winners!

Voting is open until November 11th.  Winners will be announced the week of December 4th.  Thanks for your love! 


Grab a hot cider, a blanket, and a scary book.

If you've been in the store lately, you'll have seen our Halloween-themed table.  We have all our favorite creepy reads out on display.  In case you didn't see it, or haven't visited City Lit in awhile, we're posting some scary books on our website.  When you want to get the shivers, grab one of these titles and prepare to be spooked!

Book List

Horns (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780061147968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks, 3/2011
This is the perfect time to introduce yourself to Joe Hill. Not only is "Horns" an awesome book--it's also coming out as a movie (which is supposed to be fantastic). If you didn't know, Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. Scary is in his blood.

Bird Box (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062259653
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco Press, 5/2014
We're sort of biased, because Josh Malerman came to City Lit for a truly amazing event. But "Bird Box" should be on your Halloween reading list regardless. It's creative, well-written, and incredibly spooky.

ISBN-13: 9780393240238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 9/2014
If you're looking for non-fiction, check out this new book from Caitlin Doughty. “Alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, fascinating and freaky, vivid and morbid, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is witty, sharply drawn, and deeply moving. Like a poisonous cocktail, Caitlin Doughty's memoir intoxicates and enchants even as it encourages you to embrace oblivion; she breathes life into death.” (Dodai Stewart, deputy editor of

ISBN-13: 9780143122357
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Classics Hardcover, 9/2013
People who go ghost-hunting deserve what they get, right? They certainly get what's coming to them in Shirley Jackson's novel. "The Haunting of Hill House" is a classic ghost-story that still has the power to scare the daylights out of you.

ISBN-13: 9781492605799
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 8/2014
Okay, this one's not exactly scary. But it's a fun way to celebrate Halloween with your kiddos! Enjoy ghosts and witches flying across the Chicago skyline.

Banned Books!

September 21st-27th is Banned Books Week: an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.  We're honoring intellectual freedom with our Banned Books Event on Friday, September 26th.  We've invited local authors Esme Codell, Beatriz Badikian-Gartler, Kathleen Larkin, and Deirdre Harrison to come by City Lit and read passages from their favorite banned books.  We'll also be showcasing local high school students who will read from banned books, and some live local music.

Banned Books Week is an important event, bringing attention to issues of censorship and freedom.  However, we encourage you to read banned books all year long!  Here are a few of our favorite frequently-challenged titles: 

Book List

Little Brother (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780765323118
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Tor Teen, 4/2010

Booker T Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida recently cancelled their One Summer/One Book reading program because of the chosen book: Little Brother.  The story deals with teeanged hackers who fight back against police state conditions in San Francisco.  Apparently the principal was not keen on the "anti-authority" tone of the book, nor of the occasional bad language and references to sex.  Author Cory Doctorow took this as an invitation, of course, and has responded by sending 200 copies of the book to students. 


ISBN-13: 9780689878459
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 6/2005
And Tango Makes Three consistently tops the list of most-challenged books.  It tells the story of two penguins at a zoo who adopt a little penguin as their own.  Concerns arise because the two adult penguins are both male.  This summer, due to concern about homosexual themes in the book, every library in Singapore was ordered to destroy all copies of Tango.

ISBN-13: 9780375714573
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pantheon, 6/2004

CPS made international headlines in 2013 when they removed Persepolis from their curriculum.  Some stories say the administration ordered all copies to be removed from CPS libraries.  Other stories say the book was only removed from middle school libraries.  Regardless, the book is no longer taught to CPS students.  Any teacher who wishes to use the book in the classroom must go through mandatory training in case students find the book too challenging or "inappropriate."