Upcoming: An Evening with Jonathan Safran Foer

Here I Am - Foer

We’re super excited to be teaming with the Music Box Theatre for September’s evening with Jonathan Safran Foer, bestselling author of EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, and we hope you are too! You can order a ticket (and with that ticket, a copy of the book), right at this link.

In the meantime, here are some details! The Music Box has kindly provided their wonderful space for this event, which will be on Wednesday, September 21st, at 7:30pm. A ticket will also get you a copy of a book, for $32.00 (plus a $2.75 fee). He will be reading from and discussing his new book, HERE I AM, with the extraordinary Rebecca Makkai (author of MUSIC FOR WARTIME and THE HUNDRED-YEAR HOUSE).


A book signing will follow the program! HERE I AM comes out on September 6th, where you can pick up your copy at the store, or you can pick up your copy at The Music Box the night of the event!


In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks, in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.

There are more details of the event at this link! We hope to see you there!


#WhatToReadNext: After H is for Hawk

10% off in August!

Say you’ve just finished Helen Macdonald’s stunning memoir, H IS FOR HAWK, and now you’re struggling to find something to fill that nature writing/memoir-sized hole in your heart. We’ve all been there, friend. But have no fear!

Consider, perhaps, Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP, which has just come out in paperback and just happens to be one of our books of the month for August (and also happens to be 10% off for the remainder of the month). While Helen’s book masterly details both her overwhelming grief over her father’s death and her training of the enigmatic goshawk, THE FLY TRAP is a thoughtful consideration of solitude, peaceful summer nights, limitations, and, believe it or not, the *almost* universally reviled fly.

Picture of Actual Fly

He also explores the art and obsession of collecting, and examines some of the life of the mostly forgotten naturalist, René Edmond Malaise (similarly to how Macdonald breathes more insight to the tortured life of T.H. White).

Picture of Actual Malaise

Don’t want to take our word for it? Our owner, Ed, also loved and highly recommends the book! He says, “THE FLY TRAP is my pick for the most thoroughly enjoyable book you’ll read all year – so enjoyable, so pleasurable, so charming, so thoughtfully informative, so filled with an infectious liveliness it had me repeatedly returning to Wikipedia to learn more!” He adds (with great enthusiasm), that “reading THE FLY TRAP is a bit like having dinner with a witty European intellectual – it is a celebration of discovery as it entertains and instructs, making us appreciate the small wonders of a boundless nature.”

We’re sure Fredrik Sjöberg’s THE FLY TRAP is just one of many titles that would be a great followup to Helen Macdonald’s H IS FOR HAWK. Do you have your own pick? Let us know!

July’s Book of the Month: OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night is July’s Book of the Month

We’re super excited for July to get started already and we have the books to prove it! This month we’re featuring the late Kent Haruf’s final novel, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT.

Taking place, yet again, in Holt, Colorado (like all of Haruf’s work), the novel follows Addie Moore and Louis Water, neighbors whose spouses have passed away, leaving them alone in their spacious homes. They’ve lived next to each other for decades, but when Addie proposes that they spend their nights together, sleeping and talking side by side to stem their loneliness, they become the talk of their families and the gossip of their small town.

What follows is a touching, often playful story of their newfound relationship.

Lynn Rosen, of The Philadelphia Enquirer calls the book “A fitting close to a storied career, a beautiful rumination on aging, accommodation, and our need to connect.” She adds that, “As a meditation on life and forthcoming death, Haruf couldn’t have done any better. He has given us a powerful, pared-down story of two characters who refuse to go gentle into that good night.”

And our very own Bookseller, Shane, says that, “Emphasizing the basic human need for human companionship and intimacy, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT concerns what is considered ordinary, but it is these seemingly mundane and small things in life that Haruf exposes to be both meaningful and beautiful.”

The Book of the Month will be 10% off for the whole of July. Check it out today!

Happy Pride!

Ed Devereux opened Unabridged Bookstore in 1980 in the heart of the vibrant Boystown community. From the beginning, Ed has been dedicated to promoting LGBTQ authors and providing a safe and open space for ALL readers. Below are some of the staff’s favorite LGBTQ books from 36 years of uncompromising bookselling! For quotes and more information on these titles. check out our Instagram.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then your read.” -James Baldwin

A young Ed Devereux in a young Unabridged Bookstore circa 1985

Unabridged Responds to Borders’ Bankruptcy Filing

As of today America’s third largest mega-book retailer, Borders, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They have marked all but one of Chicago’s stores for closure. While the loss of jobs to Chicago, and to the United States, is saddening, we feel this is a direct result of a book-retailer business model that just does not work.

We want to thank you, our loyal customers, patrons, and conversationalists for realizing there is an immense value in supporting a local independent bookstore.

Unabridged has been serving the community for 30 years and we are still going strong. We take great pride, and quite a lot of time, in running a business that is both successful and an important community resource. We are, in no uncertain terms, committed to the future of Lakeview, Chicago, and the printed word. Through our hand-selected new hardcovers, our amazing collection of children’s books, the value-priced remainders section, our always relevant LGBTQ room, our cutting edge fiction, the ever studious history, philosophy, and psychology sections, and so many more books to fill your shelves with knowledge, humor, drama, intelligence and wit, to stock what interests you.

We are always eager to hear ways that we can nuture the surrounding community. We encourage you to contact us via any matter of modern technology that you deem relevant.

Yours in book selling,

– Unabridged Bookstore