Barbara's C2

Interior The original Barbara's at 1434 Wells Street in Old Town was in an ancient three-story with two apartments above the store. When I came to Barbara's in the late 60s, we expanded to the second floor, built a steep and precarious staircase in the middle of the store to get to it, and used the new space for a little more book store and an office.

Barbara's 1968

Donald B Chicago 1968:
I bought Barbara's Bookstore from Barbara Siegel Markowitz - exactly fifty years ago. Or maybe it was 1967.

My law partner, David Baylor, asked me to be his campaign manager that year. He was running as the anointed Democrat against incumbent Republican Donald Rumsfeld - yes, Rumsfeld - in the Illinois 13th congressional district. I did it and succeeded in maneuvering Dave to a 73% to 27% loss.

Dan reviews: The List

The List

They say when a dictator or tyrant takes power, you should keep a list of all the subtle changes so you'll know how to fix them later.

Amy Siskind started such a list when Trump took office and would pass it onto her friends, and from there it grew into a website, and now a book. As much as I try to stay on top of current events, there were things in The List that I had missed which makes it a worthwhile read for anyone interested in modern politics.

Ted Heinecken

Ted Heinecken

If you look at the About Us page on this website you will see a photograph of the original Barbara's Bookstore on Wells Street in Chicago, circa 1963. I was quite familiar with that store, not only because when it opened my wife and I lived a short block away from it but also because it became part of my professional life. No, I was not one of those knowledgeable staff members who was familiar with every title in the store (as the caption states); instead, I was a rookie publisher's sales rep calling on the owner/buyer in hopes of selling her a decent representation of my company's offerings.

Frances reviews: Ask Me About My Uterus

"The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language runs dry."
-- Virginia Woolf, "On Being Ill"


With this, Abby Norman begins her tale of personal pain, self-advocation, and systemic struggle. Each chapter starts with such a quote, and they remind the reader that Ask Me About My Uterus is not a new story, but one that many women and femmes have experienced and chronicled throughout history. While the book is more memoir than scientific study, at its heart is Norman’s diagnosis of endometriosis.


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