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

Inaugural Nero Book Awards Winners

The Nero book awards were launched in May last year, just under a year. The new prize aims to celebrate the “best reads of the year” by writers based in the UK and Ireland. for 2024, prizes were awarded in categories including Fiction, Nonfiction, Debut Fiction, and Children’s Fiction.

Fiction
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under―but Dickie is spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman. His wife, Imelda, is selling off her jewelry on eBay and half-heartedly dodging the attention of fast-talking cattle farmer Big Mike, while their teenage daughter, Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge drink her way through her final exams. As for twelve-year-old PJ, he’s on the brink of running away.

If you wanted to change this story, how far back would you have to go? To the infamous bee sting that ruined Imelda’s wedding day? To the car crash one year before Cass was born? All the way back to Dickie at ten years old, standing in the summer garden with his father, learning how to be a real man?

Nonfiction
Strong Female Character by Fern Brady

After reading about autism in her teens, Fern Brady knew instinctively that she had it—autism explained her sensory issues, her meltdowns, her inability to pick up on social cues—and she told her doctor as much. But it took until she was thirty-four for her to get diagnosed.

Strong Female Character is about the years in between, and the unique combination of sexism and ableism that so often prevents autistic women from getting diagnosed until adulthood. Coming from a working-class Scottish Catholic family, Fern wasn’t exactly poised to receive an open-minded acceptance of her neurodivergence. With the piercing clarity and wit that has put her at the top of the British comedy scene, she now reflects on the ways her undiagnosed autism influenced her youth, from the tree that functioned as her childhood best friend to the psychiatric facility where she ended up when neither her parents nor school knew what to do with her.

In a memoir as hilarious as it is heartbreaking, Fern leaves no stone unturned while detailing her futile attempts at employment, her increasingly destructive coping mechanisms, and the meltdowns that left her mind (and apartment) in ruins. Her chaotic, nonlinear journey—from stripping to getting arrested to finding a lifeline in comedy to her breakout appearance on the Taskmaster TV show as her full, unmasked self—is both a remarkable coming-of-age tale and a dark but poignant tribute to life at the intersection of womanhood and neurodiversity.

Debut Fiction
Close to Home by Michael Magee

While growing up in West Belfast, Sean does every­thing he’s supposed to do. He works hard, he studies, and he – mostly – stays out of trouble. The thirty-year conflict is over, he’s told, and his future is lit with promise.

But when Sean returns home from university, he finds much of the same-the same friends doing the same gear in the same clubs; the same lost broth­ers and mad fathers; the same closed doors; the same silences. There are no jobs, Sean’s degree isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, and no one will give him the time of day. One night, he assaults a stranger at a party, and everything begins to come undone.

Children’s Fiction
The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln

On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match. Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

Categories: Adults and Kids.

Inaugural Nero Book Awards Winners

The Nero book awards were launched in May last year, just under a year. The new prize aims to celebrate the “best reads of the year” by writers based in the UK and Ireland. for 2024, prizes were awarded in categories including Fiction, Nonfiction, Debut Fiction, and Children’s Fiction.

Fiction
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

The Barnes family is in trouble. Dickie’s once-lucrative car business is going under―but Dickie is spending his days in the woods, building an apocalypse-proof bunker with a renegade handyman. His wife, Imelda, is selling off her jewelry on eBay and half-heartedly dodging the attention of fast-talking cattle farmer Big Mike, while their teenage daughter, Cass, formerly top of her class, seems determined to binge drink her way through her final exams. As for twelve-year-old PJ, he’s on the brink of running away.

If you wanted to change this story, how far back would you have to go? To the infamous bee sting that ruined Imelda’s wedding day? To the car crash one year before Cass was born? All the way back to Dickie at ten years old, standing in the summer garden with his father, learning how to be a real man?

Nonfiction
Strong Female Character by Fern Brady

After reading about autism in her teens, Fern Brady knew instinctively that she had it—autism explained her sensory issues, her meltdowns, her inability to pick up on social cues—and she told her doctor as much. But it took until she was thirty-four for her to get diagnosed.

Strong Female Character is about the years in between, and the unique combination of sexism and ableism that so often prevents autistic women from getting diagnosed until adulthood. Coming from a working-class Scottish Catholic family, Fern wasn’t exactly poised to receive an open-minded acceptance of her neurodivergence. With the piercing clarity and wit that has put her at the top of the British comedy scene, she now reflects on the ways her undiagnosed autism influenced her youth, from the tree that functioned as her childhood best friend to the psychiatric facility where she ended up when neither her parents nor school knew what to do with her.

In a memoir as hilarious as it is heartbreaking, Fern leaves no stone unturned while detailing her futile attempts at employment, her increasingly destructive coping mechanisms, and the meltdowns that left her mind (and apartment) in ruins. Her chaotic, nonlinear journey—from stripping to getting arrested to finding a lifeline in comedy to her breakout appearance on the Taskmaster TV show as her full, unmasked self—is both a remarkable coming-of-age tale and a dark but poignant tribute to life at the intersection of womanhood and neurodiversity.

Debut Fiction
Close to Home by Michael Magee

While growing up in West Belfast, Sean does every­thing he’s supposed to do. He works hard, he studies, and he – mostly – stays out of trouble. The thirty-year conflict is over, he’s told, and his future is lit with promise.

But when Sean returns home from university, he finds much of the same-the same friends doing the same gear in the same clubs; the same lost broth­ers and mad fathers; the same closed doors; the same silences. There are no jobs, Sean’s degree isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, and no one will give him the time of day. One night, he assaults a stranger at a party, and everything begins to come undone.

Children’s Fiction
The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln

On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match. Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

Categories: Adults and Kids.