Archives for posts with tag: indie press

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What initially drew me to the book was, of course, its intriguing title and colorful cover. I know, I know. You’re never supposed to judge a book by its cover. But honestly, whose curiosity wouldn’t be peaked by a book entitled Blue Jesus?

 Luckily, the inside of the book proved just as interesting as its outside. Blue Jesus tells the story of Buddy, a ten-year-old boy white boy often bullied for being less masculine than what is expected of him, and his best friend Early, a boy looked down upon because of his skin color—blue. (Why yes, you did read that right. Early is blue with white hair. And interestingly, author Tom Edwards informs us in an afterword that blue skin is a recessive gene, and that in the 1800s, there were actual blue people living in the southern Appalachians. How cool is that?)

Within the first ten pages, Buddy and Early find a dead baby in their small Georgia town’s dump, and if that isn’t surprising enough, Early manages to do the impossible—bring the baby back to life. And, as expected, complete chaos follows.

 The book gracefully deals with sensitive issues—child abuse, adolescence and its abrupt end, death and its toll on those left behind, and the existence of God are all weaved throughout the novel. Its messages are profound, but sometimes too much so. Although told through Buddy’s eyes, at times I felt I was reading the observations of someone much older. Still, the novel left me with a different perspective of the world, and that’s something all good books should strive to do.

And can I just say plot twist? Totally didn’t see that ending coming, and I’m usually pretty astute about these things.

I highly recommend Blue Jesus. Check it out here!

~Ashley

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 Could literary events survive without Chicago? Could Chicago survive without literary events?

Whatever the answer, here is a list of this month’s upcoming events.

Tuesday, August 13

Word Is Out reading series is the brainchild of OutLoud Chicago and In Our Words blog. The season opener, It Takes Two, features stories told in pairs because some stories need more than one voice to be heard. For $5 check them out at:

The Hideout (7 pm)

1354 W Wabansia, Chicago IL

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The Seven Deadly Sins Reading Series tells stories involving; you guessed it, the seven deadly sins. Performers pick a sin and a medium (mixed media, poetry, comedy, storytelling, etc.) to tell their tale.  Always fun, occasionally intense, this is a show worth checking out. Catch them a:

Café Mustache (8 pm)

2313 N Milwaukee, Chicago IL

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Thursday, August 15

On the Wall: Zine Art Meets Gallery Art is the first event co-sponsored by Quimby’s bookstore and Strange Beauty Show! This show features zine and comic art on display as well as for purchase.

If that isn’t enough to get you there, entry is free and there are cocktails, treats and karaoke! Now who doesn’t want some tunes to go with their books? Sing it out at:

Strange Beauty Show (7 pm)

1118 N Ashland, Chicago IL

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Thursday, August 22

Patricia Ann McNair, author of The Temple of Air, will be discussing her short story collection at the Beverly Arts Center. Afterwards stick around for a book exchange! Bring up to five books that you have loved (or hated) and exchange them with others for a new library. It’s free admissions with a cash bar. Get new books at:

Beverly Arts Center (7 pm)

2407 West 111th, Chicago IL

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Monday, August 26

Held on the last Monday of every month, Do Not Submit gives readers 7 minute per story to try out material that is experimental and raw. Told in an intimate space, so intimate that they don’t even need a microphone, gives readers a chance to hone their performance skills. The event is BYOB and free to the public. Get your story (and drank) on at:

Powell’s Bookstore (7pm)

2850 N Lincoln, Chicago IL

 

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Thursday, August 29

Seven Stories-The Line Between has actors accompany the storyteller on stage. This vibrant reading series is having its

third ever performance this August. Along with actors, there are props, music and a drag queen host. Founded by students at Columbia College Chicago, this gutsy reading series is always entertaining. Come be interactive at:

Martin’s Corner (8 pm)

2058 W 22 Place in Pilsen, Chicago IL

Sorry for being super lame and not posting for however long it’s been.

We are never (ever) going to let that happen again. Keep checking out our blog to see spotlights on our  books, intern picks, book reviews, author interviews and everything else a literary nerd could ever want.

There’s a new batch of interns hanging out around Academy Chicago Publishers and we’re dedicated to updating this shindig.