Welcome back, lovely readers! I hope that you’ve shaken off any lingering woes of 2012 and are ready to start afresh in the New Year. If you’re still procrastinating those resolutions, I’m here to help. Resolve to expand your literary horizons in 2013 by braving the Chicago cold and venturing out to one of these upcoming events in the city. *Drumroll please*

A fan of short stories? If you aren’t (yet), come hear from the brilliant George Saunders as he shares his most recent stories — a writer you should be sure not to miss. If you don’t believe me, check out his endlessly amusing work the New Yorker or Harper’s… just to name a few. This is an event you’ll undoubtedly enjoy, so add Tuesday, January 8 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Hall (in Lincoln Park) to your iCal. The event is $5, or free with the purchase of the book.

Looking to hear from a captivating author and support a good cause? Of course you are. Come out to see Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, (which you should pick up to read if you haven’t, by the way) at a fundraiser for the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library. Broaden your horizons and learn a thing or two as Jared Diamond talks about The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies? Don’t miss this event on Thursday, January 10 at 7 p.m. at the Unity Temple (875 Lake St.). The event is $21.50, which, I admit, is a bit on the pricey side, but fear not, you do get $10 off of your purchase of the book!

If you’ve decided to attempt spending less money at Chipotle in the New Year, come out to the Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble on Webster (1441 W. Webster Ave.) to meet Cynthia Kallile of The Meatloaf Bakery. Kallile will be promoting their book, Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food With a Twist. Who knows, maybe you’ll take away some recipes and fine tune your culinary prowess in the New Year. The event is Saturday, January 12 at 3 p.m. 

I hope you find this guide helpful for enriching your literary side in the New Year!