Earlier this month I traveled to Chicago for a couple of book appearances, and discovered a city so literary I couldn't begin to cover it all. I read trivia questions about solar power in a bar where I met a couple of terrific local writers, visited more than half a dozen bookstores, prowled through Printer's Row (the midwest's largest outdoor book festival), visited the Balzekas Museum which is America's only museum for Lithuanian culture and history, and read at one of Chicago's newest bookstores, City Lit Books. I spent one day getting around on the local bike share system, Divvy, which works particularly well because the city is so flat. It made me ever more impatient to get bike share in LA. I also bought way too many books.
While in town I picked up a copy of Newcity, which had a fantastic cover piece on Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago. It's a great overview of who matters in literary Chicago, from bookstores to local indie presses to the literary editor at the Chicago Tribune. Turns out, I'd met one of the city's literati, Eric May, while doing trivia at Sheffield's bar.
It wasn't until I got back home that I found out The Rumpus had listed my reading at City Lit Books on their "Notable in Chicago" events listing for that week. The Rumpus! It pairs nicely with being listed as one of the Top 5 Things to do in Seattle the weekend I read at Elliot Bay Bookstore.
Here are a few pics from my Chicago literary biking adventure. Some of them you might have seen already on Instagram or Twitter.
Looking for your next book to read? I can recommend all these great indie press books.