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Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

2021 American Book Award Winners

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works.



Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a nation in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the unhealed wounds of 9/11 continue to wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Davos to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan. All the while sparing no one-least of all himself-in order to make better sense of it all.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
Stanford Solomon’s shocking, thirty-year-old secret is about to change the lives of everyone around him. Stanford has done something no one could ever imagine. He is a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend. Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley.

And now, nearing the end of his life, Stanford is about to meet his firstborn daughter, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has unwittingly shown up for her first day of work to tend to the father she thought was dead.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook



Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody
The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo marked an end to the Mexican–American War, but it sparked a series of lynchings of Mexicans and subsequent erasures, and long-lasting traumas. This pattern of state-sanctioned violence committed towards communities of color continues to the present day. Borderland Apocrypha centers around the collective histories of these terrors, excavating the traumas born of turbulence at borderlands. In this debut collection, Anthony Cody responds to the destabilized, hostile landscapes and silenced histories of borderlands. His experimental poetic reinvents itself and shapeshifts in both form and space across the margin, the page, and the book in forms of resistance, signaling a reclamation and a re-occupation of what has been omitted. The poems ask the reader to engage in searching through the nested and cascading series of poems centered around familial and communal histories, structural racism, and natural ecosystems of borderlands. Relentless in its explorations, this collection shows how the past continues to inform actions, policies, and perceptions in North and Central America.
Book

Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time by Ben Ehrenreich
Layering climate science, mythologies, nature writing, and personal experiences, National Magazine Award winner Ben Ehrenreich presents a stunning reckoning with our current moment and with the literal and figurative end of time.

As inhabitants of the Anthropocene, what might some of our own histories tell us about how to confront apocalypse? And how might the geologies and ecologies of desert spaces inform how we see and act toward time—the pasts we have erased and paved over, this anxious present, the future we have no choice but to build? Desert Notebooks examines how the unprecedented pace of destruction to our environment and an increasingly unstable geopolitical landscape have led us to the brink of a calamity greater than any humankind has confronted before. Ehrenreich draws on the stark grandeur of the desert to ask how we might reckon with the uncertainty that surrounds us and fight off the crises that have already begun.
Book | Hoopla Audiobook



The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernández
Against the backdrop of America’s escalating urban rebellions in the 1960s, an unexpected cohort of New York radicals unleashed a series of urban guerrilla actions against the city’s racist policies and contempt for the poor. Their dramatic flair, uncompromising vision, and skillful ability to link local problems to international crises riveted the media, alarmed New York’s political class, and challenged nationwide perceptions of civil rights and black power protest. The group called itself the Young Lords.

Utilizing oral histories, archival records, and an enormous cache of police records released only after a decade-long Freedom of Information Law request and subsequent court battle, Johanna Fernandez has written the definitive account of the Young Lords, from their roots as a street gang to their rise and fall as a political organization. Led predominantly by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth, and consciously fashioned after the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords confronted race and class inequality and questioned American foreign policy. Their imaginative, irreverent protests and media conscious tactics won significant reforms and exposed U.S. mainland audiences to the country’s quiet imperial project in Puerto Rico. In riveting style, Fernandez demonstrates how the Young Lords redefined the character of protest, the color of politics, and the cadence of popular urban culture in the age of great dreams.
Hoopla Ebook | Hoopla Audiobook

In the Lateness of the World: Poems by Carolyn Forché
Over four decades, Carolyn Forché’s visionary work has reinvigorated poetry’s power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to one another.

Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and “there is nothing that cannot be seen.”
Book

Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Art, Death, and Enlightenment by John Giorno
When he graduated from Columbia in 1958, John Giorno was handsome, charismatic, ambitious, and eager to soak up as much of Manhattan’s art and culture as possible. Poetry didn’t pay the bills, so he worked on Wall Street, spending his nights at the happenings, underground movie premiers, art shows, and poetry readings that brought the city to life. An intense romantic relationship with Andy Warhol—not yet the global superstar he would soon become—exposed Giorno to even more of the downtown scene, but after starring in Warhol’s first movie, Sleep, they drifted apart. Giorno soon found himself involved with Robert Rauschenberg and later Jasper Johns, both relationships fueling his creativity. He quickly became a renowned poet in his own right, working at the intersection of literature and technology, freely crossing genres and mediums alongside the likes of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

Twenty-three years in the making, and completed shortly before Giorno’s death in 2019, Great Demon Kings is the memoir of a singular cultural pioneer: an openly gay man at a time when many artists remained closeted and shunned gay subject matter, and a devout Buddhist whose faith acted as a rudder during a life of tremendous animation, one full of fantastic highs and frightening lows. Studded with appearances by nearly every it-boy and girl of the downtown scene (including a moving portrait of a decades-long friendship with Burroughs), this book offers a joyous, life-affirming, and sensational look at New York City during its creative peak, narrated in the unforgettable voice of one of its most singular characters.
Book



Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.

Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her.
Book | Overdrive Audiobook

{#289-128}: Poems Randall Horton
These poems address the prison industrial complex, the carceral state, the criminal justice system, racism, violence, love, resilience, hope, and despair while exploring the idea of freedom in a cell. In the tradition of Dennis Brutus’s Letters to Martha, Wole Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt, and Etheridge Knight’s The Essential Etheridge Knight, {#289-128} challenges the language of incarceration — especially the ways in which it reinforces stigmas and stereotypes.

Though {#289-128} refuses to be defined as a felon, this collection viscerally details the dehumanizing effects of prison, which linger long after release. It also illuminates the ways in which we al

The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century by Gerald Horne
August 2019 saw numerous commemorations of the year 1619, when what was said to be the first arrival of enslaved Africans occurred in North America. Yet in the 1520s, the Spanish, from their imperial perch in Santo Domingo, had already brought enslaved Africans to what was to become South Carolina. The enslaved people here quickly defected to local Indigenous populations, and compelled their captors to flee. Deploying such illuminating research, The Dawning of the Apocalypse is a riveting revision of the “creation myth” of settler colonialism and how the United States was formed. Here, Gerald Horne argues forcefully that, in order to understand the arrival of colonists from the British Isles in the early seventeenth century, one must first understand the “long sixteenth century”-from 1492 until the arrival of settlers in Virginia in 1607.

In retelling the bloodthirsty story of the invasion of the Americas, Horne recounts how the fierce resistance by Africans and their Indigenous allies weakened Spain and enabled London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607. These settlers laid the groundwork for the British Empire and its revolting spawn that became the United States of America.
Hoopla Audiobook



White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones
As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But white Christians—from evangelicals in the South to mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast—have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story.
Book

Manhattan My Ass, You’re in Oakland by Judy Juanita
Judy Juanita, born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, explores the emotional geography of a rough terrain. These poems of the urban diaspora of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area encompass blues poems, verse and free verse, the sonnet, letter poems, protest poetry and many prose poems. This work follows the urban pastorals of Sonia Sanchez, Gwendolyn Brooks and Amiri Baraka, undercut with the deadpan humor and wordplay of an E.E. Cummings. Its staccato lines, wide-ranging topics and diction from news reports, conversation, the academy and slang, reach back to Allen Ginsberg, Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Charles Bukowski and Diane Wakoski. Even when it veers towards the tender, as in “Momma Love You Yepper Do,” its raw edges preclude the sentimental. Of “Bruno Was From Brazil, ” critic Jendi Reiter wrote: “it initially leans toward the prosy side of the equation, beginning in the voice of a hard-boiled detective story: ‘I’m from Oakland and I’m not a statistic. Yet.’ Halfway through, somewhere around the line ‘Certain words are like gods,’ the piece takes off as a manic riff on racially charged language…The repetition of the word ‘god’ parallels the subsequent variations on ‘nigger’, reinforcing the connection between these concepts. Gods are lethally unpredictable, a power that we try and fail to contain with words and rituals, and yet a power we can’t resist invoking to make sense of our lives.

Dunfords Travels Everywheres by William Melvin Kelley and Aiki Kelley
Ride on out with Rab and Turt, two o’New Afriqueque’s toughfast, ruefast Texnosass Arangers, as they battle Chief Pugmichillo and ricecure Mr. Charcarl Walker-Rider. Cut in on Carlyle Bedlowe, wrecker of marriage, saver of souls.

Or just along with Chig Dunford, product of Harlem and private schools, on the circular voyage of self-discovery that takes him from Europe’s Cafe of One Hand to Harlem’s Jack O’Gee’s Golden Grouse Bar & Restaurant.
Beginning on an August Sunday in one of Europe’s strangest cities, Dunfords Travels Everywheres but always returns back to the same point–the “Begending”–where Mr. Charcarl’s dream becomes Chig Dunford’s reality.



Categories: Adults and Blog.

2021 American Book Award Winners

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works.



Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a nation in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the unhealed wounds of 9/11 continue to wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Davos to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan. All the while sparing no one-least of all himself-in order to make better sense of it all.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
Stanford Solomon’s shocking, thirty-year-old secret is about to change the lives of everyone around him. Stanford has done something no one could ever imagine. He is a man who faked his own death and stole the identity of his best friend. Stanford Solomon is actually Abel Paisley.

And now, nearing the end of his life, Stanford is about to meet his firstborn daughter, Irene Paisley, a home health aide who has unwittingly shown up for her first day of work to tend to the father she thought was dead.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook



Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody
The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo marked an end to the Mexican–American War, but it sparked a series of lynchings of Mexicans and subsequent erasures, and long-lasting traumas. This pattern of state-sanctioned violence committed towards communities of color continues to the present day. Borderland Apocrypha centers around the collective histories of these terrors, excavating the traumas born of turbulence at borderlands. In this debut collection, Anthony Cody responds to the destabilized, hostile landscapes and silenced histories of borderlands. His experimental poetic reinvents itself and shapeshifts in both form and space across the margin, the page, and the book in forms of resistance, signaling a reclamation and a re-occupation of what has been omitted. The poems ask the reader to engage in searching through the nested and cascading series of poems centered around familial and communal histories, structural racism, and natural ecosystems of borderlands. Relentless in its explorations, this collection shows how the past continues to inform actions, policies, and perceptions in North and Central America.
Book

Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time by Ben Ehrenreich
Layering climate science, mythologies, nature writing, and personal experiences, National Magazine Award winner Ben Ehrenreich presents a stunning reckoning with our current moment and with the literal and figurative end of time.

As inhabitants of the Anthropocene, what might some of our own histories tell us about how to confront apocalypse? And how might the geologies and ecologies of desert spaces inform how we see and act toward time—the pasts we have erased and paved over, this anxious present, the future we have no choice but to build? Desert Notebooks examines how the unprecedented pace of destruction to our environment and an increasingly unstable geopolitical landscape have led us to the brink of a calamity greater than any humankind has confronted before. Ehrenreich draws on the stark grandeur of the desert to ask how we might reckon with the uncertainty that surrounds us and fight off the crises that have already begun.
Book | Hoopla Audiobook



The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernández
Against the backdrop of America’s escalating urban rebellions in the 1960s, an unexpected cohort of New York radicals unleashed a series of urban guerrilla actions against the city’s racist policies and contempt for the poor. Their dramatic flair, uncompromising vision, and skillful ability to link local problems to international crises riveted the media, alarmed New York’s political class, and challenged nationwide perceptions of civil rights and black power protest. The group called itself the Young Lords.

Utilizing oral histories, archival records, and an enormous cache of police records released only after a decade-long Freedom of Information Law request and subsequent court battle, Johanna Fernandez has written the definitive account of the Young Lords, from their roots as a street gang to their rise and fall as a political organization. Led predominantly by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth, and consciously fashioned after the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords confronted race and class inequality and questioned American foreign policy. Their imaginative, irreverent protests and media conscious tactics won significant reforms and exposed U.S. mainland audiences to the country’s quiet imperial project in Puerto Rico. In riveting style, Fernandez demonstrates how the Young Lords redefined the character of protest, the color of politics, and the cadence of popular urban culture in the age of great dreams.
Hoopla Ebook | Hoopla Audiobook

In the Lateness of the World: Poems by Carolyn Forché
Over four decades, Carolyn Forché’s visionary work has reinvigorated poetry’s power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to one another.

Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and “there is nothing that cannot be seen.”
Book

Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Art, Death, and Enlightenment by John Giorno
When he graduated from Columbia in 1958, John Giorno was handsome, charismatic, ambitious, and eager to soak up as much of Manhattan’s art and culture as possible. Poetry didn’t pay the bills, so he worked on Wall Street, spending his nights at the happenings, underground movie premiers, art shows, and poetry readings that brought the city to life. An intense romantic relationship with Andy Warhol—not yet the global superstar he would soon become—exposed Giorno to even more of the downtown scene, but after starring in Warhol’s first movie, Sleep, they drifted apart. Giorno soon found himself involved with Robert Rauschenberg and later Jasper Johns, both relationships fueling his creativity. He quickly became a renowned poet in his own right, working at the intersection of literature and technology, freely crossing genres and mediums alongside the likes of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

Twenty-three years in the making, and completed shortly before Giorno’s death in 2019, Great Demon Kings is the memoir of a singular cultural pioneer: an openly gay man at a time when many artists remained closeted and shunned gay subject matter, and a devout Buddhist whose faith acted as a rudder during a life of tremendous animation, one full of fantastic highs and frightening lows. Studded with appearances by nearly every it-boy and girl of the downtown scene (including a moving portrait of a decades-long friendship with Burroughs), this book offers a joyous, life-affirming, and sensational look at New York City during its creative peak, narrated in the unforgettable voice of one of its most singular characters.
Book



Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world.

Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her.
Book | Overdrive Audiobook

{#289-128}: Poems Randall Horton
These poems address the prison industrial complex, the carceral state, the criminal justice system, racism, violence, love, resilience, hope, and despair while exploring the idea of freedom in a cell. In the tradition of Dennis Brutus’s Letters to Martha, Wole Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt, and Etheridge Knight’s The Essential Etheridge Knight, {#289-128} challenges the language of incarceration — especially the ways in which it reinforces stigmas and stereotypes.

Though {#289-128} refuses to be defined as a felon, this collection viscerally details the dehumanizing effects of prison, which linger long after release. It also illuminates the ways in which we al

The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century by Gerald Horne
August 2019 saw numerous commemorations of the year 1619, when what was said to be the first arrival of enslaved Africans occurred in North America. Yet in the 1520s, the Spanish, from their imperial perch in Santo Domingo, had already brought enslaved Africans to what was to become South Carolina. The enslaved people here quickly defected to local Indigenous populations, and compelled their captors to flee. Deploying such illuminating research, The Dawning of the Apocalypse is a riveting revision of the “creation myth” of settler colonialism and how the United States was formed. Here, Gerald Horne argues forcefully that, in order to understand the arrival of colonists from the British Isles in the early seventeenth century, one must first understand the “long sixteenth century”-from 1492 until the arrival of settlers in Virginia in 1607.

In retelling the bloodthirsty story of the invasion of the Americas, Horne recounts how the fierce resistance by Africans and their Indigenous allies weakened Spain and enabled London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607. These settlers laid the groundwork for the British Empire and its revolting spawn that became the United States of America.
Hoopla Audiobook



White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones
As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But white Christians—from evangelicals in the South to mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast—have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story.
Book

Manhattan My Ass, You’re in Oakland by Judy Juanita
Judy Juanita, born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, explores the emotional geography of a rough terrain. These poems of the urban diaspora of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area encompass blues poems, verse and free verse, the sonnet, letter poems, protest poetry and many prose poems. This work follows the urban pastorals of Sonia Sanchez, Gwendolyn Brooks and Amiri Baraka, undercut with the deadpan humor and wordplay of an E.E. Cummings. Its staccato lines, wide-ranging topics and diction from news reports, conversation, the academy and slang, reach back to Allen Ginsberg, Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Charles Bukowski and Diane Wakoski. Even when it veers towards the tender, as in “Momma Love You Yepper Do,” its raw edges preclude the sentimental. Of “Bruno Was From Brazil, ” critic Jendi Reiter wrote: “it initially leans toward the prosy side of the equation, beginning in the voice of a hard-boiled detective story: ‘I’m from Oakland and I’m not a statistic. Yet.’ Halfway through, somewhere around the line ‘Certain words are like gods,’ the piece takes off as a manic riff on racially charged language…The repetition of the word ‘god’ parallels the subsequent variations on ‘nigger’, reinforcing the connection between these concepts. Gods are lethally unpredictable, a power that we try and fail to contain with words and rituals, and yet a power we can’t resist invoking to make sense of our lives.

Dunfords Travels Everywheres by William Melvin Kelley and Aiki Kelley
Ride on out with Rab and Turt, two o’New Afriqueque’s toughfast, ruefast Texnosass Arangers, as they battle Chief Pugmichillo and ricecure Mr. Charcarl Walker-Rider. Cut in on Carlyle Bedlowe, wrecker of marriage, saver of souls.

Or just along with Chig Dunford, product of Harlem and private schools, on the circular voyage of self-discovery that takes him from Europe’s Cafe of One Hand to Harlem’s Jack O’Gee’s Golden Grouse Bar & Restaurant.
Beginning on an August Sunday in one of Europe’s strangest cities, Dunfords Travels Everywheres but always returns back to the same point–the “Begending”–where Mr. Charcarl’s dream becomes Chig Dunford’s reality.



Categories: Adults and Blog.