In 1941, Hitler ratcheted up his persecution of Europe’s Jewish population by ordering “The final solution of the Jewish question.” That “solution” was the mass murder of millions of Jews.
The war lasted six long years. The toll on human lives was astronomical -
The story of Satan's many struggles, across the history of Human existence, to unshackle the Human mind, and open the gates to forbidden knowledge.
The Autobiography of Satan (Authorized Edition)
by William A. Glasser
From the moment of his first emer-
A Mentor and Her Muse
by Susan Sage
Under the guise of mentor and muse, a frustrated writer and her ambitious teenage protégé take an illicit summer road trip fraught with racial and sexual tension. This is a compelling psychological novel about social norms, artistic ambition, and obsession. Maggie Barnett works in the media center of
Ten Near-term Stories Envisioning the Human Impact of the Climate Crisis
Tales from The Warming
by Lorin R. Robinson
(Fiction / Short Stories)
Tales of The Warming is unique in the annals of climate fiction, a new literary genre spawned in the last decade by the climate crisis. The
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Drugs, death and rock and roll on Chicago's AM radio dial...
Winter in Chicago
by David M. Hamlin
Before dawn in January, 1975, Emily detours from her normal route to work in the newsroom of Chicago’s top pop rock station to investigate a crime scene. The police believe the
The sad life and tragic murder of René Descartes,
the world’s most famous philosopher
by Andrew Pessin
(Historical murder mystery )
Who would want to murder the world’s most famous philosopher?
Turns out: nearly everyone.
Made To Break Your Heart
by Richard Fellinger
Made To Break Your Heart is a family saga, set in a gossipy suburb, that explores the complexities of raising a child, holding a marriage together, and maintaining sanity in the cutthroat world of Little League
It’s 2008, and Nick Marhoffer is a
The feminine spirit of the West comes alive in early twentieth century Montana.
by Milana Marsenich
Set in the Copper Camp of Butte, Montana in 1917, Copper Sky tells the story of two women with opposite lives. Kaly Shane, mired in
- more than 60 million people died.
Too often, when confronted with devastation of this magnitude, we tend to view the dead as a statistic - a solid block of entangled nonentities. This approach allows us to maintain a comfortable feeling of emotional detachment so we feel less horrified, frightened and threatened. But to truly understand WWII, we must step into the painting and view the events through the eyes of those who participated. The individual brush strokes that make up the macabre picture are dipped in the blood of men, women and children no different from us.
In the end, the sound of war isn’t heard in the rattle of machine gun fire or the bellowing of bombs. It is in the voices of those who lived and died and the stories they have to share.
body on the street is a suicide. Emily is stunned to discover that the dead woman is a dear friend since high school. Unable to fathom why Beni Steinart would take her own life, Emily begins an investigation that leads to a trunk-load of cocaine, Federal narcotics charges, abuse of power and a perplexing mystery – suicide or murder?
Emily’s reporting triggers an explosive battle between two men who tower over their city. Cary Chase is Chicago’s most prominent bachelor, a wealthy entrepreneur whose mansion is the epicenter of Chicago’s elite society. United States Attorney Tommy “Tommy Terrific” Jameson is ambitiously determined to rid his city of corruption on his way up to the Governor’s office and perhaps even higher.
Drawing on an eclectic roster of news sources and WEL colleagues and her own considerable talent and determination, Emily uncovers the full story of her friend’s death in a remarkable confrontation which produces front page headlines and restores one life as it ruins another.
gence as a single spark in the dimness of prehistory, to the more enlightening force into which he evolves across the full span of human existence, Satan, as he now clearly illustrates, has been urging human beings to open their eyes to the world around them, and to continue seeking, with unfettered minds, for ultimate answers, yet to be found. To do so he must struggle against the persistent attempts to stifle that urge by the "spoon feeders," as he calls them, individuals who have insisted, within every age, and often with a bloody fist, that they, and they alone, are the possessors of the only beliefs that every human being should accept and live by, without question. As Satan traces the history of their many attempts to stop human beings from thinking for themselves, he also takes his readers on a search for the ultimate source of all evil in this world. Readers will obviously enter the book with the standard concept of Satan as a supernatural figure of evil, however they will leave the book with a better understanding of how such mind-twisting concepts have been used to keep people away from the "forbidden" knowledge that lies beyond the borders of entrenched beliefs.
anthology of 10 short stories takes readers all over the world and over time to experience—in human terms—the growing impact of what the author has dubbed “The Warming,” the man-made catastrophe that is increasing temperature, raising ocean levels and causing increasingly violent weather.
These stories are thought exercises that blend fact and fiction to examine the human impact of the crisis. Each concerns a different challenge thrust upon us by the warming and readers witness people’s struggles to deal with these new realities. Some of the stories put people in harm’s way; others focus more on human creativity in mitigating the effects of the warming.
Most of the warnings about the climate crisis have come in the form of non-fiction. But these efforts have not rallied the public around the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare to mitigate the coming effects of what will be a civilization-changing phenomenon. Recent polls indicate that, while 70 percent of Americans now believe global warming is real, 57 percent do not expect it to threaten their way of life.
Science sometimes can be its own worst enemy. Couching its warnings in scientific jargon, statistics, charts and graphs can render readers comatose. Because writing about implications, “what ifs”, is outside the realm of objective science, people are left struggling to understand why they should care. They can’t relate what they’re reading and hearing to their own realities.
Fiction that’s based on worst-case warming scenarios proposed by climate scientists, however, can bridge the gap. Perhaps novelist, poet and playwright Doris Lessing said it best: “There’s no doubt that fiction makes a better job of the truth.”
In 1649, Descartes was invited by the Queen of Sweden to become her Court Philosopher. Though he was the world’s leading philosopher, his life had by this point fallen apart. He was 53, penniless, living in exile in Amsterdam, alone. With much trepidation but not much choice, he arrived in Stockholm in mid-October.
stressed-out dad who finds himself flirting with thoughts of infidelity. While his job is being threatened by a crumbling economy, he’s fraught with anxiety over his only son’s well-being. So when his son starts playing baseball, Nick becomes a rabid Little League dad who loses sight of what’s good in his life. After developing a crush on a gorgeous team mom, he can’t decide between her and his wife, then finds himself at risk of losing everything that’s important to him.
A smart, sexy, and funny novel about bad breaks, bad decisions, and the long road of life.
a school in Flint, Michigan where she meets Taezha Riverton, an aspiring teenage writer. After discovering that Maggie is also a writer, Taezha turns to her as both mentor and friend.
Alone and childless, it's not enough for Maggie to take Tae to upscale restaurants and poetry readings; she has a more far-reaching vision. Although Tae’s mother has nothing against Maggie, she is less than thrilled when Maggie proposes to take her daughter on a summer road trip. Permission is never explicitly granted, but shortly after school is out for the summer, Maggie and Tae head for the Southeast.
Tae’s mother insists that Maggie return Tae to Flint, but Maggie instead takes Tae to a remote cabin outside Asheville, North Carolina. Growing evermore emotionally unsound, Maggie clings to the belief that living close to nature is the perfect therapy for her doubts and insecurities. Yet her role as mentor has now been supplanted to that of a drill sergeant, causing Tae to have serious misgivings...
prostitution, struggles to find a safe home for her unborn child. Marika Lailich, a Slavic immigrant, dodges a pre-ar-ranged marriage to become a doctor. As their paths cross, and they become unlikely friends, neither woman knows the family secret that ties them together.
"Copper Sky is a riveting story of darkness and redemption, rising from the ashes of two fiery tragedies in Butte, Montana. Marsenich creates two heroines whose great losses lead them ever closer to truth. And as their stories unfold, the Butte of one hundred years ago startles to full and undeniable life." -- Phil Condon, author of Clay Center, Montana Surround, and Nine Ten Again
In the Weeds is a tale of gas, grass, ass, and Vietnam.
Air Force pilot Slats Kisov flies daring missions from a plane so small that the armament doubles if a passenger climbs in wearing a shoulder holster. His courage is audacious, his strategy is devil-may-care, and his luck is impeccable
until his plane is shot down over the jungle and he sustains the “million-dollar injury”―one that leaves him no less audacious if just slightly less fertile.
But war has made Slats something of an adrenaline junkie, and he returns to the States a changed man, one determined to live a life of harmless banditry from the cockpit of an airplane. Using his exceptional low-and-slow flying skills, he begins to smuggle marijuana into Florida from the Bahamas. He is aided in this venture by his friends the Morales brothers, members of an improbable family of immigrants seeking their own unique form of artistic freedom. They’re moral people…who just also happen to be money launderers, gun molls, and poetry-spouting bulimic Cuban marijuana farmers.
Generally, Slats enjoys good fortune as he wobbles through life, but his luck takes occasional appalling turns. Much of his trouble comes from Bobby Ray Pistle, police chief of Farth, Florida. Bobby Ray is the sort of man who considers the Klan an upstanding civic organization and views Slats as nothing more than a Hebraic hippie who prefers the company of minorities to that of paler folk. The chief soon comes to suspect that Slats is smuggling the same weed he’s been smoking, though Pistle’s bulb burns too dimly to find proof. But when the chief discovers his lusty ex has fallen for Slats, it’s time to fish or cut bait.
Will Slats’ battles with the Viet Cong, hijackers, PTSD, and Mother Nature herself serve to prepare him for his most perilous battle of all―the one he must wage against Chief Bobby Ray Pistle? Strap yourself in and get ready for a bumpy ride. And one spectacular landing!
Anne Marie Ruff has spent her whole life telling stories: as a novelist, journalist, radio broadcaster, editor, teacher and actor. She has spent much of her adult life traveling the world, living abroad, and asking questions in search of stories worth telling.
Born in Minnesota, she attended Blake Upper School before moving to Los Angeles to study geography and environmental studies at UCLA. She worked as a journalist, based for several years in Bangkok, Thailand, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Her work has been published/broadcast by NPR, BBC, PRI, PBS, Christian Science Monitor, Time Asia, Far Eastern Economic Review and International Herald Tribune TV.
Anne Marie’s first novel, Through These Veins, about the development of a cure for AIDS, drew on her reporting about the environment, biodiversity, biotech, and AIDS research, in Thailand, Ethiopia, and Turkmenistan. Her second novel, Beneath the Same Heaven, examines the conflict between Islamic and western culture through the microcosm of a marriage torn apart by terrorism. The story reveals insights drawn from her own experi-
by Sid Gustafson
It had been a long snowy winter and spring. The rivers were late rising, and the mountains held onto a pure white snow-cover. Rain fell upon the deep winter snow the day before the Flood of '64. Waters rose, the rivers raged. The dam failed to hold the Birch Creek flow, and broke, giving way to a wall of water and drowning the Indians.
Veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone dreams out this novel of dreamers dreaming. He goes back 50 years to the day after the Flood, when he assisted the surviving Indians. Riding from one devastated ranch to another, he tends to the surviving yet devastated animals and tries to mend the grief wrought by the Flood.
Underpinned by the lingering and harsh reminders of the Blackfeet Nation’s heroic, tragic, and vibrant past, Gustafson’s third novel chronicles the heartrending drama of the Blackfeet people.
Swift Dam celebrates the native land and the Natives who survive as they have survived throughout time, perilously. It is the story of a veterinarian who attempts to sustain and nurture life on the land, his empathy with the living, and his sympathy for the dead and dying.
V.C. Almond’s life is in the gutter. Divorced and broke, he’s living in a rat trap apartment above the loudest punk music venue in the Delmar Loop. He over imbibes Grand Marnier and has conversations with inanimate objects by day, while 95 decibels of indie-punk clatter blast him out of bed at night. Worst, his dear friend, merry prank-
ster Jake Kennedy, son of crime boss “Big Jamie” Kennedy, has just committed suicide.
The night of Jake’s funeral, V.C. returns home after a booze binge to find a surprise on his floor: Jake’s freshly murdered, bullet-riddled body. The police inexplicably pretend it never happened. Big Jamie’s only response is to cry mock tears and proclaim V.C. a genius for his “brilliant idea.” Realizing that Jake’s double death appears destined to go unsolved, V.C. reluctantly agrees to help his old friend, the boisterous, logic-impaired private detective Aldous Lewie, crack the case.
But stumbling upon the body of a man who’s supposed to already be dead is just the first leg of V.C.’s journey down the rabbit hole. Mystery thugs are soon attacking his friends. V.C.’s car is set on fire. A shiny black Continental is hell-bent on running him down. A soft-core porn star-turned semi-pro wrestler-turned mobster’s underling wants to take him under his wing. A TV psychic wants to prove his apartment is haunted. To top it off, the psychotic ex-boyfriend of his new love interest, Miss Kalista Chestnut, has disappeared, popping up only long enough to leave V.C. death threats written in blood.
As the mysteries mount and the misunderstandings multiply, V.C. finds himself an unwitting piece in an elaborate game of sex trafficking, narcotics, and murder. Two things soon become clear: Even in the Communication Age, miscommunication reigns supreme. And if V.C. and his band of misfits don’t figure out who aced their amigo soon, they will soon be sipping GrandMa in the Great Beyond.
The Ballet Lover exposes the beauty and cruelty of ballet, the performances, the back stage moments, and the per- sonal dramas of the famous ballet dancers Rudolf Nurey- ev and Natalia Makarova as seen through the eyes of an American female journalist.
Paris, 1970s: the orchestra plays the first ominous note of Swan Lake. In the audience sits Geneva, an American journalist and ballet lover, waiting for the heart-stopping beauty and seduction of the romantic duet to start, but instead she witnesses Rudolf Nureyev failing to catch his Russian partner Natalia Makarova, allowing her to fall with a crash upon the stage.
The Ballet Lover is a refined, mesmerizing, fictional account of two of the most celebrated dancers in the dance world, how one compromised the other, and how the drama on the stage often mirrors those played out in real life.
J.A. Marzán, a graduate of Fordham U., (B.A.), Columbia U. (M.F.A), and New York U. (Ph.D.), was Poet Laureate of Queens, N.Y. from 2004-2007. His novel, The Bonjour Gene, was a University of Wisconsin Press submission to the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.
“Marzán displays the wit and intellectual verve rarely seen in contemporary literature."
–Pulitzer Prize winner Oscar Hijuelos.
Nonfiction credits include: The Spanish American Roots of William Carlos Williams, (U. Texas Press). Poetry credits include: Translations without Originals (English) and Puerta de Tierra (Spanish). Poems in English appear in several editions of various college texts, among them The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Latino Boom, and Literature: Reading to Write and in distinguished journals, among them Ploughshares, Tin House,
The Sun King
by Allison Lee Palmer
A mother, her son, and mania...
In this fictionalized memoir, a mother recounts the emotional journey she and her son take when he becomes mentally ill.
Jack is known as the Sun King because as a child he resembled
the illustrated boy in his mother's deck of tarot cards. Already on the verge of madness, Jack leaves for college in Ohio but secretly decides not to take his medicine. When Jack becomes manic, his mother must retrieve him from a psychiatric hospital and bring him home to Oklahoma. She and Jack spend the next year dealing with court hearings, doctor appointments, and counseling sessions precipitated by his bipolar disorder and resultant psychosis.
Guiding Jack back to sanity leads his mother to a fateful decision—one that brings about her own emotional unraveling. In the end, it is the Sun King who must save his mother.
A biopic video about the life and literary career of Donald O'Donovan
Open Books Author
will talk with readers
and sign copies of
Sunday, November 19th
Winter Gets Hot
by David M. Hamlin
Spies, Lies and Murder: Film at Eleven!
Chicago journalist Emily Winter is back, this time in Spring, 1977 when she is the first reporter on the scene of a gruesome murder in the Chicago offices of CARD, a successful civic organization that investigates corruption in City Hall.
Although she has proven herself a skilled reporter with at least one headline making story to her credit, Emily’s new TV boss orders her to stay on her more ladylike beat – lifestyle, entertainment and feature stories.
Determined to overcome the sexism that infuses her career, Emily smartly uses her skills with such compelling results that she negotiates her way into hard news coverage, including the murder at CARD. Her dogged investigation eventually uncovers the presence of a Chicago Police Department spy inside CARD, an IRS audit which threatens CARD’s very existence and a full roster of colorful suspects.
Emily faces major obstacles on all fronts as she pursues the killer. One of her male colleagues, threatened by her rise within the newsroom, makes every effort to prevent or impede her work. Police spying creates a corrosive atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion. The murder itself grows colder and colder – even one of Chicago’s best homicide detectives is stumped. Emily persists, drawing on her journalistic instincts while relying on a large, entertaining roster of sources and allies including her eccentric husband Ben, his beloved Uncle Max and the ladies from The Rules Committee, all intimately familiar with glass ceilings.
While Emily’s reporting twists and turns, she navigates the city she loves, relishing Chicago’s architecture, neighborhood restaurants, culture and her beloved, if hapless, Cubs. Over time, Emily comes to understand how police spying works, the tools the spies use and the damage it does the city’s fabric. Her diligence uncovers the murderer, the spy and restores justice to those who entrust their stories to her.
A born and bred Midwesterner, Jon Bennett graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati and went on to Miami University (the original Miami University which was a college before Florida was a state). He spent a year pretending to be a business major until his love of English kicked down his door and demanded attention.
After receiving his Masters Degree in Teaching Language Arts, he student-taught at a secondary school in Belmopan, Belize. From there, he spent 6 years teaching in Chicago’s public schools, where he met some of the most inspiring, frustrating, wonderful students and faculty in the world. It was in Chicago, in lane #2 of the local Bally’s Fitness swimming pool, that he met his brilliant, talented and much-hotter-than-him, future-wife Nicole. During the final summer of their stay in Chicago, Nicole gave birth to their daughter Charlotte, who is already cooler and more adventurous than her father.
Awards and accolades: Jonathan is the most handsome male living at his current address, barely beating out his dog Milo. He was voted most likely to publish a book in his immediate family. And, among his students and colleagues, he is considered most likely to play Adam Sandler in a biopic.
He currently lives and works in Southern California.
Open Books will publish his debut novel, Reading Blue Devils, in Spring 2018.
Reading Blue Devils
by Jon Bennett
To Hell with high school!
The American education system is turned inside out when a frustrated teacher incites his students to stage
In a poor suburban community in southern Ohio, Dieter Vogel is a
failing English teacher at a high school populated predominately by minority students. He is bullied by the basketball coach, neglected by the principal, ignored by his crush, Esther, and pressured to workout with Jose, the art teacher. At the end of the first day back after summer break, Dieter is visited by Satan, who takes the initial form of a Twinkie. Satan convinces Dieter to overthrow the school mascot, Gretel the Pretzel, so that the Devil can take its place. Dieter is promised Esther’s love and the position of principal in return. All Dieter has to do is follow the Devil’s advice and use classic literature to manipulate the students into a racially charged frenzy against the mostly white staff.
ences of cross-cultural marriage and living in cultures with a revenge-based sense of justice.
Anne Marie works as the editor for a global law firm. She has returned to Minnesota where she lives in the big woods with her Indian born-and-raised husband and their two sons.
Open Books will publish her second novel, Beneath the Same Heaven, in Spring 2018.
and Harper”s Magazine. A profile of him was published in the fall 2009 issue of Columbia Magazine.
J. A. Marzán makes his home in Queens, New York.
Open Books will publish his second novel, Don't Let Me Die In Disneyland: The 3-D Life of Eddie Loperena, in Spring 2018.
Laughter and Early Sorrow
And Other Stories
by Brett Busang
Almost everybody who was born in the post-agrarian period separated by the two great wars grew up in a place whose growing pains were painfully obvious.
It was into such a place that my parents moved with my brother and me in tow. Our house was small, but
serviceable; our neighbors forthcoming, but not so morbidly curious that they pried, and our world expanded in one way as it shrank in another. The sky was as blue as it is said to be in heaven. And we were so adrift in space and time that we became the terrestrial astronauts that so troubled Rod Serling that he had to write something about us each week for television.
Here the Main Streets of our grandparents were left to developers, who preferred parking lots to promenades. Here generously proportioned school buildings beckoned to a fertile population that would supply them so handily that, once a prototype was made, it could be endlessly reproduced. Here pastimes flourished as they never had before.
Here mostly white people settled in as Ricky Nelson serenaded them. Here needs were synonymous with desires. And here a culture that was made possible by the received wisdom of Father Coughlin, Leo Durocher, and Lawrence Welk sat back, adjusted its goggles, and proceeded, with limitations that grew with every sack of fertilizer that guaranteed a more perfect lawn, to have the time of its life.
It was here that I grew up and here (mostly) that I have roamed, from ball field to abbreviated living room to the topsy-turvy relations between hard reality and plausible delusion. I hope, in capturing some of its essence in prose, that the small underbellies which often lurk beneath the bigger ones become crudely, if only temporarily, visible.
Beneath the Same Heaven is a love story of an American woman and a Pakistani-born Muslim man, who seem to have bridged the divide between Western and Islamic world views. But when the husband’s father is killed by a US drone attack near the Afghan border, their cross-cultural family descends into conflicting ideas of loyalty, justice,
identity, revenge, and terrorism. With candor, beauty, and unusual insight, their story reveals both how decent people can justify horrific acts, and the emotional power required to heal.
Occcidental Center for the Arts presents Barbara Baer, author of the new novel, The Ballet Lover. Baer, who lives in Forestville, will host discussion on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. of her semi-fictionalized work, which focuses on the controversial moment that Baer witnessed as a reporter, when Rudolf Nureyev failed to catch his partner Natalia Makarova at a Paris performance and
allowed her to crash on stage.
Dancers with the Sebastopol Ballet company performed several pieces from “The Nutcracker” at a book launch event for Barbara Baer, author of the new novel, The Ballet Lover, at the Sonoma Wine Shop/La Bodega on Sunday, November 5.
An award-winning author from Camp Hill will bring readers into the world of Little League intrigue during a reading of his new book Monday night in Elizabethtown.
Made To Break Your Heart from Open Books is a family saga set in suburban Pennsylvania that's chock full of Keystone State recipes even in the opening pages (Johnstown, Bethlehem Steel and more). This debut novel explores raising a child in a gossipy neighborhood while trying to hold a marriage together and stay sane. There's infidelity, tough choices, economic fragility and risk.
The medium for the book? The world of Little League baseball in 2008. Bookglow ranked the novel one of 5 must-read baseball books, and was featured on ESPN Radio.