allieb's blog

Seth reviews: There There

Reading this felt like a developing photograph showing bit by bit the lives of the characters leading up to the Powwow and all that happens there. Asking deep existential questions of each of them. What does it mean to have a heritage? What does my heritage mean to me? Has my heritage helped or hindered me?

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.

New Releases 4/3

The Female Persuasion: A Novel by [Wolitzer, Meg]

The Female Persuasion-Meg Wolitzer

Greer Kadetsky is a college freshman when she meets Faith Frank, a prominent figure in the women’s movement. Although madly in love with her boyfriend, Greer feels that something is missing, a sense of ambition she can’t place. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, something comes alive within Greer, and the two women connect. Faith invites Greer to seek out her purpose, and soon Greer finds herself on a path winding away from the future she’d always imagined. It’s Meg Wolitzer at her best.





Look Alive Out There: Essays by [Crosley, Sloane]

Look Alive Out There-Sloane Crosley

Readers will know Sloane Crosley from her acclaimed essay collections I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number and fans will be delighted to have her back with this new collection. Still witty as ever, these pieces are also warm, hilarious, and full of adventures.






The Overstory: A Novel by [Powers, Richard]

The Overstory-Richard Powers

Barbara's Bookstore owner/buyer Janet Bailey says,  "The Overstory is a grand mandala of stories both delicate and all-encompassing. These stories that finally merge in a violent conflict, confront recent history through an oddly mundane yet gracefully poetic theme, the life of trees. Ecology as both hope and despair. It is a big book in every sense, richly human, winningly pedantic. This is a masterpiece by a master writer."  


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