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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

There There is thrilling to read. Its brilliance just blew me away. I read half in one sitting with goosebumps up and down my arms wondering how Orange could sustain the energy, the incantatory power, the chorus of distinct and diverse voices, the dizzying breadth of references, the metaphorical and allegorical power of every choice of plot, character, style. It's a universe of a book, which Sherman Alexie calls "the first book to capture what it means to be an Urban Indian," celebrating and mourning the legacy and future of all that entails. But it's also about every one of us: individuals, yet members of myriad groups whether we identify as such or not. It’s about how we transform each other and ourselves, how we are all ultimately related. Like one of Orange’s characters says of Motown, There There carries plenty of sadness and heartbreak, but it sure does dance while doing so. My only complaint is that it was over too soon. I wanted more. — Sara, Atlanta

 
 
 
 

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Page To Screen

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