Upcoming Events

March 26 | In-Store Event | 6:00 PM: Lit Wits Trivia!

March 28 | In-Store Event | 6:00 PM: Ozge Samanci: Evil Eyes Sea

April 10 | In-Store Meeting | 6:00 PM: Envision Evanston with Council Member Clare Kelly

April 11 | Off-Site Event | 6:00 PM: Benjamin Herold in conversation with Anya Tanyavutti: Disillusioned

April 15 | In-Store Event | 6:00 PM: Jane Bertch in conversation with Liz Barrett: The French Ingredient: Making a Life in Paris One Lesson at a Time

April 25 | In-Store Event | 6:00 PM: Ryan Chester with Design Evanston: Chicago Reflected

April 27 | In-Store Event | ALL DAY: Independent Bookstore Day

April 29 | Off-Site Book Launch | 6:00 PM: Amor Towles: Table for Two

Early Warning: May 6 | Off-Site Book Launch | 6:00 PM: Ruth Reichl: The Paris Novel

In-Store Event at Bookends & Beginnings

Lit Wits Trivia!

Tuesday, March 26 @ 6:00 PM

Fun fact fanatics and literature lovers won't want to miss the next installment of Lit Wits Trivia, hosted by Bookends & Beginnings's talented trivia taskmaster, Wren!

From special drinks at the Mini Bar to fabulous prizes for the winners, this month's Lit Wits Trivia promises great fun and friendly competition.

Stop by our 1620 Orrington Ave bookstore to test your mind!

Register Here

An In-Store Event at Bookends & Beginnings

Ozge Samanci: Evil Eyes Sea

Thursday, March 28 @ 6:00 PM

We're thrilled to welcome media artist, graphic novelist, and Northwestern professor Ozge Samanci back to the store to launch her new book, Evil Eyes Sea!

A feminist political mystery set in Istanbul during the 1995 elections, Evil Eyes Sea tells the story of two broke students who witnessed an unusual death on a scuba diving expedition. As the case deepens, they become increasingly entangled with political corruption, religious pressure, and possibly murder.

Samanci says, "The autobiographically-inspired story I tell in Evil Eyes Sea emerged from my college years in Istanbul, my quirky friends, and my struggles with being a young woman in Turkey's male-centric culture. In this book, I share a window into a country where narrow political views limit personal power — a place that can be beautiful, but also cruel."

And a starred Booklist review reads “As entertaining as it is exposing, Samanci’s sophomore title is an exquisite, multilayered showpiece confronting gender inequity, religious manipulations, political corruption, and the gray zones of morals and ethics—gray zones necessary for survival.”

The MiniBar will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 6.

Register Here

An In-Store Community Meeting at Bookends & Beginnings

Envision Evanston with Council Member Clare Kelly

Wednesday, April 10 @ 6:00 PM

The City of Evanston has launched a new Envision Evanston 2045 | Evanston Comprehensive Plan initiative that invites anyone who lives, works, or plays in Evanston to be a part of making a comprehensive new Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code.

On April 10 at 6 pm, Bookends & Beginnings will host a community meeting, facilitated by First Ward City Council Member Clare Kelly, to collect feedback and community perspectives on what the new plan should include. This meeting is open to the public, including (but not limited to) Bookends & Beginnings customers, First Ward residents, and people who live or work in the Downtown area. We are looking forward to a lively and constructive conversation about how to create the community we can all feel happy and safe living, working, and playing in! And our MiniBar will be open, serving wine, beer, cocktails, and light snacks for purchase.

Register Here

An Off-Site Event at the Evanston Public Library

Benjamin Herold in conversation with Anya Tanyavutti: Disillusioned

Thursday, April 11 @ 6:00 PM

Evanston Public Library hosts a discussion between former District 65 Board President Anya Tanyavutti and Benjamin Herold, author of the new book Disillusioned: Five Families and the Unraveling of America's Suburbs.

Books will be sold by Bookends & Beginnings.

To learn more about this event, click below!


An In-Store Event at Bookends & Beginnings

Jane Bertch with Liz Barrett: The French Ingredient: Making a Life in Paris One Lesson at a Time

Monday, April 15 @ 6:00 PM

Co-sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Chicago Chapter

Jane Bertch was born and raised in Chicago. In 2006, she relocated to Paris, and soon thereafter, dared to open La Cuisine Paris, a French cooking school owned by an American in the heart of the city. Jane’s new memoir The French Ingredient tells the delicious story of how she faced down naysayers and obstacles to found what is now France’s largest non-professional culinary institute. This book is a love letter to France, and a master class in Parisian cooking-and living.

Your $40 ticket to this event with Jane includes a copy of her book (which she will happily sign for you), as well as a wine-and-cheese reception. Jane will be in conversation with Liz Barrett, the current president of the Chicago chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier (and no relation to store owner Nina Barrett).

Register Here

An In-Store Event at Bookends & Beginnings

Ryan Chester with Design Evanston: Chicago Reflected

Thursday, April 25 @ 6:00 PM

In collaboration with Design Evanston, Bookends & Beginnings will host a presentation by architect Ryan Chester of his new book, Chicago Reflected, a unique and playful hand-drawn exploration of the Chicago

River’s landscape.

In March 2020, Ryan Chester began drawing the Chicago River for at least one hour every day. Using only a pen, he moved methodically along a single massive roll of paper, staying connected with his adopted city throughout the COVID pandemic by carefully documenting by hand the beautiful intricacies of Chicago's riverfront architecture, boats, and bridges.

As completed, Chester's two-foot-high, fifty-five-foot-long drawing is a unique vision. In addition to dozens of accurately depicted buildings, Chester included pieces of Chicago's past, including the Union Station Concourse Building that was demolished in 1969 and the immense SS Eastland, which sank in the river in 1915, killing hundreds of people. Recent architecture is featured as well, including Studio Gang's St. Regis Chicago tower and the Bank of America Tower by Goettsch Partners. An essay by acclaimed writer Thomas Dyja accompanies the accordion-fold presentation of Chester's drawing.

The Bookends & Beginnings MiniBar will be open, serving wine, beer, cocktails, and light snacks for purchase.

Register Here

An In-Store Event at Bookends & Beginnings (& elsewhere)

Independent Bookstore Day

Saturday, April 27 ALL DAY

The annual celebration of Indie bookstores is back again this year, with a day of fun, games, and rewards, including the return of the ChiLoveBooks 50-store bookstore challenge: Visit 10 stores in one day and get 10% of at all the stores for a year; visit 15 and get 15% off.

More details about IBD are coming soon! 

An Off-Site Book Launch at the Athenaem Center for Thought & Culture

Amor Towles: Table for Two

Monday, April 29 @ 6:00 PM

WBEZ and Bookends & Beginnings are proud to present Amor Towles on Monday, April 29th at the Athenaeum Center for Thought. Towles, the author of The Lincoln HighwayA Gentleman in Moscow, and Rules of Civility, will be joined by host of WBEZ Nerdette podcast Greta Johnsen. 

Fans of the bestselling author are in for a treat, as Amor presents six short stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood. Written with his signature wit, humor, and sophistication, Table for Two is another glittering addition to Towles’ canon of stylish and transporting fiction.

Tickets include a discounted copy of A Table for Two (20% discount) and access to a post-event book signingNo Refunds!

Don’t miss out on this exclusive offer and be sure to subscribe to WBEZ’s Nerdette podcast for a deep dive discussion in May’s book club. 

Register Here

An Off-Site Book Launch at the Music Institute: Nichols Concert Hall

Ruth Reichl: The Paris Novel

Monday, May 6 @ 6:00 PM

Among her many other stellar achievements in the food world, six-time James Beard Award winner Ruth Reichl has charmed millions of readers with memoirs and novels suffused with the pleasure of tasting all the delicious things the world has to offer. And what more exquisite a setting could there be for her newest novel than Paris, where a one-way plane ticket, a mysterious note, and a vintage Dior dress set a woman named Stella on an adventure of decadent meals and self-discovery. A feast for the senses, The Paris Novel is a testament to living deliciously, taking chances, and finding your true home.

On Monday, May 6, Bookends & Beginnings hosts Ruth Reichl for a conversation about the book with WBEZ Morning Anchor Mary Dixon. Your $40 ticket includes a copy of the book and the chance to get it signed by Ruth Reichl herself. (Couples tickets with only one book are available for $55—but why not buy two copies and give one as a gift!)

This event will be held offsite at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue. Doors will open at 5:30 and books, including Reichl’s other books, will be available for purchase.

Register Here

We're Hiring for TWO Positions!

We are looking for an experienced Assistant Book Buyer.

And we are still seeking an Events & Marketing Coordinator to join our Events & Marketing Team!

THE ASSISTANT BOOK BUYER has primary responsibility for ordering and maintaining the store’s backlist book inventory, and for placing daily Ingram orders to ensure that customer special orders come in promptly and that the store does not run low on its bestselling titles. The position requires an evolving mastery of detailed information about the terms and delivery times for a broad array of suppliers including wholesalers, corporate publishers, and small and independent publishing houses. The Assistant Book Buyer will also work on the sales floor in order to provide customer service as needed and to maintain familiarity with the store and its customers, and which titles are selling. This is not an entry-level bookstore position. The ideal candidate will have prior experience with ordering books and with one of the major bookstore POS systems, preferably Anthology.

EVENTS & MARKETING COORDINATOR: The ideal candidate will be familiar with the Chicago literary community and be responsible for creating event descriptions, posting them on our website and social media platforms, and executing a checklist of activities that will ensure the event is successful. This person will also be trained as a bookseller and will work 8-16 hours weekly on the sales floor, to create familiarity with the store’s vibe, inventory, and customers. Because events are usually held in the evening, or on weekends, evening and weekend availability will be required. We are looking for someone who is extremely well organized, detail-oriented, and meticulous, and who is comfortable with and can learn promotional platforms including Constant Contact and basic design programs such as Canva. This position ranges from 32 to 40 hours a week. This position is evolving and will have opportunity for growth in the future.

Your resume will only be considered if accompanied by an articulate cover letter. Click the button below for more information and to apply!

Apply Here

Browse, Order, and Preorder Today!

Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our ninth calendar year. We are a member of the Chicago Independent Bookstore Alliance (ChIBA), the Great Lakes Independent Bookstore Association (GLIBA), and the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Show your support by shopping in our store (and other Chicago-area independent bookstores), by bringing your local and out-of-town friends and family to shop with us, by attending our events, and by "liking" us on Facebook and posting reviews on other social media. Remember that you can always see event photos and news updates on our Facebook page, which is updated almost daily. There you can also subscribe to our events feed with a single click.


Above all, keep reading good books! 

Visit our Website
Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201 

RSVP for events with