November Events at 
Women & Children First
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A plea for used furniture!

In the coming weeks, we will be creating a comfortable new seating area-perfect for leisurely book browsing and book group meetings! To keep costs down, we are looking for a gently used sofa or love seat, a coffee table and side tables, lamps, and a rug or two. Please send photos of possible items to We will let you know if the item fits our space and then make arrangements for transporting it. Many thanks for helping us with this exciting new project! 

Thursday, November 1st - Kat Meads

7:30 p.m.

For You, Madam Lenin

Livingston Press


After learning that Lenin's mother-in-law was not terribly impressed with her daughter's unemployed revolutionary husband and that she insisted on accompanying the young couple on all their travels, Kat Meads was intrigued. The resulting novel, For You, Madam Lenin, is extensively researched and covers a broad expanse of time-from prerevolutionary St. Petersburg to the Soviet experiment post-Lenin. Told from a feminist perspective, the novel explores the domestic side of running a political revolution. Meads writes with humor and empathy about both the trio's complex relationships and their revolutionary struggles. Kat Meads is an award-winning writer of fiction, drama, nonfiction, and poetry who lives in California and teaches in Oklahoma City University's low-residency MFA program. 

Friday, November 2nd - Hannah Gamble and Kathleen Rooney



7:30 p.m.

Hannah Gamble

Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast

Fence Press


Kathleen Rooney

Robinson Alone

Gold Wake Press


Hannah Gamble's new poetry collection Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series, engages the structures of family and intimacy, exposing the viscera of the everyday, all its frailties and familiarity rendered absurd. Gamble teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and lives in Chicago. Her poems and interviews appear or are forthcoming in APR, jubilat, Forklift Ohio, Indiana Review, and Ecotone, among others.

For more than a decade, Kathleen Rooney has been fascinated by an unsettling group of poems, the "Robinson" poems, written by Weldon Kees. (Kees-poet, painter, critic, musician, and Midwesterner-traced a brief, bright path before vanishing in 1955, an apparent suicide.) Was Robinson, urbane member of the smart set, an alter ego for Kees himself? Rooney found "Kees' gift for the mordant and the grotesque, his poised disappointment, and his overall style-as a person and as a poet-to be fascinating." Rooney's novel-in-poems Robinson Alone conjures Kees and creates a portrait of an underappreciated genius and his era. 



Sunday, November 4th - Suzanne Kline and Cosmo

5:00 p.m.

Cosmo for President


Cosmo for President follows Cosmo the dog as he runs as part of the "Happy Party" with friend and vice-presidential running mate Squirrely Shirley. Their opponents are Fussy Finnegan and Fussy Fiona of the "Fussy Party." The book provides an easy-to-understand introduction to voting and the election process. "Elections, with all their intricacies, can be difficult for children to understand," said Kline. "However, with Cosmo's help, children can learn about the process at its most basic level and voice their opinions. We . . . hope it will empower them to follow their dreams, maintain honesty and spread happiness and joy, just like Cosmo does." Cosmo is not only the inspiration behind her beloved children's book series, but Kline credits Cosmo with assisting in her own recovery from a traumatic brain injury she suffered in 2004. Now Cosmo is a certified pet therapy and service dog. 



Thursday, November 8th - Deborah Niemann

7:30 p.m.

EcoThrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life

New Society Publishers


Our environment is awash in a sea of plastic, our climate is changing, and diet- and lifestyle-related illnesses are epidemic. Are we doomed? No. We can make greener, healthier choices, and we can do it while saving money. Deborah Niemann has packed EcoThrifty with simple, practical ideas and recipes, including those for making homemade skin products and cleaning products, growing your own food, and cooking more from scratch. A must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to live a greener life but thought that it would be too expensive, time-consuming, or difficult, this handy, complete guide will show you how small changes can have a huge environmental impact and save you thousands of dollars, all while improving your quality of life.


"Those of us embarking on the journey of consuming less and enjoying ourselves more desperately need guidebooks, and Deborah Niemann has written one for us. Ecothrifty leads us gently down the path of changing the way we think about what we buy." - Kathy Harrison, from the Foreword

Friday, November 9th - Hugh Sheehy and Amina Gautier



Friday, November 9

7:30 p.m.

Book Release Party for two Flannery O'Connor Award Winners

Hugh Sheehy

The Invisibles


Amina Gautier


Both books University of Georgia Press


Help us celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the publication of work by two recent winners.


At the heart of Hugh Sheehy's thoughtful thrillers are finely crafted character studies of people who wrestle with the darker aspects of human nature-grief, violence, loneliness, and the thoughts of crazed minds. In this debut, Sheehy shines a spotlight on the bleak fringes of America, giving voice to the invisibles who need it most. In a starred review of The Invisibles, Publishers Weekly called Sheehy "a wicked new talent."Hugh Sheehy received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and is now a lecturer at Yeshiva College in New York City. His stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.


In Amina Gautier's Brooklyn, some kids make it and some kids don't, but not in simple ways or for stereotypical reasons. In At-Risk, now in paperback, Gautier explores the lives of young African Americans who are trying to survive in complicated circumstances. Within these stories they exist as real people and can be seen as they are, in the moment of choosing. Amina Gautier is an assistant professor of English at DePaul University. (At-Risk will also be discussed by the Women's Book Group on December 18th.)

Saturday, November 10th - Snoozapalooza!
9:30 a.m.

Snoozapalooza! Pajama Party Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss's The Sleep Book


Leave on your pj's, and join us for a Saturday morning pajama party complete with games, activities, giveaways, and snacks. Miss Linda will read several Dr. Seuss favorites, including The Sleep Book. Recommended for ages 3 and up. 



Monday, November 12th - Chris Hedges

7:00 p.m.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Nation Books


OFFSITE: The Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago


For tickets ($5 each) go to 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Chris Hedges is now a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and Truthdig columnist. In Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Hedges and Sacco (the book's illustrator) show us what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize earnings. Hedges will speak about poverty in the U.S. and read from his work and then engage in a conversation with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Book signing and reception to follow. Women & Children First is pleased to be the bookseller at this event.

Wednesday, November 14th - Kathryn Born

7:30 p.m.

The Blue Kind

Northern Illinois University Press


Join us for the launch of The Blue Kind, a dystopian drug fantasy told from the perspective of a young woman struggling to break from her physical and emotional connections to a drug cartel. The story is set in a city's apocalyptic debris where "the laws of physics are lax and everyone gets high." Although Alison is powerless within the system, hopelessly stoned, and traumatized by the events of the past, she is determined to get out of the mess she's in. When a new drug is discovered, it promises to fix their lives-but with a catch-it's sold by the city's most dangerous kingpin. The lines between running from a bad husband and a vengeful drug dealer begin to blur, as do the lines between escaping from addiction and escaping from a city. Kathryn Born is a Chicago-based artist and writer, and co-editor of The Essential New Art Examiner. She also is editor-in-chief of Chicago Art Magazine, which went to an online-only format earlier this year.

Thursday, November 15th - Jonathan Odell

7:30 p.m.

The Healing

Random House


Plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield's intense grief over losing her daughter crosses the line into madness when she takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada. Troubled by his wife's disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague sweeping through the slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave woman known as a healer who immediately senses a spark of the same gift in Granada. Soon a battle of wills begins, leading to tragedy. Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is a powerful, warmhearted novel about unbreakable bonds and the power of story to heal. Jonathan Odell is the author of the acclaimed novel The View from Delphi, and his short stories and essays have appeared in numerous collections. He spent his business career as a leadership coach to Fortune 500 companies and currently resides in Minnesota.

Friday, November 16th - Jeff Kinney

11:00 a.m.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel



Jeff Kinney, author of the famous Wimpy Kid series, stops by the store to sign books and meet readers (and/or their parents)! Surprise someone in your life with a signed copy of the seventh book in the series, The Third Wheel, which publishes November 13th.

Saturday, November 17th - Sappho's Salon

Sappho's Salon Dance Party and Mixer

7:30 p.m.

$7-$10 sliding cover charge


Come shake, shimmy, and groove at Sappho's Salon's dance party and mixer. Our midwinter dance party was such a success that we're doing it again. Lesbians, queer girls, and their friends are invited to join us for tonight's party. Think you have the moves? Earn the title of Sappho's Smoothest Mover with our Smooth Mover contest while Sappho's house DJ SpinNikki gets your body moving with a funky mix of classic disco and soul, global sounds, pop, indie, and electronic dance music. Bring your pals and meet new ones. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Proceeds benefit the Women's Voices Fund.


Sunday, November 18th - Gail Barazani

5:00 p.m.

Poems 2


Over the course of her 85 years, Barazani has had several careers, but none she loved so well as writing poetry. She has kept journals full of poetry for more than seventy years and is now collecting some of that work into chapbooks. The first, Poems, was published in October 2011, and now we celebrate the publication of her second one. In her poems she celebrates her daily life and her feelings about the world around her and its challenges. Barazani has lived in Edgewater for more than fifty years with her husband, Morris, an artist. 

Thursday, November 22nd - Store is Closed!

Happy Thanksgiving! We will be closed for the day, celebrating with family and friends.


Saturday, November 24th - Small Business Saturday

Please remember to shop at Women & Children First (in person or at on Small Business Saturday! Also, watch your email for special Thanks for Shopping Indie promotions beginning today and running into December.

Tuesday, November 27th - Charlotte Pierce-Baker

5:00 p.m.

This Fragile Life: A Mother's Story of a Bipolar Son

Chicago Review Press


OFFSITE: Northwestern University, Hagstrum Room, University Hall 201, 1897 Sheridan Rd., Evanston


Charlotte Pierce-Baker did everything right when raising her son, providing not only emotional support but the best education possible. At age twenty-five, he was pursuing a postgraduate degree and was seemingly in control of his life. She never imagined her high-achieving son would wind up in jail.The moving story of an African American family facing the challenge of bipolar disorder, in This Fragile Life Pierce-Baker traces the evolution of her son's illness and, in looking back, realizes she mistook warning signs for typical child and teen behavior. Hospitalizations, calls in the night, alcohol and drug relapses, pleas for money, and continuous disputes, her son's journey was long, arduous, and almost fatal. This Fragile Life weaves a fascinating story of mental illness, race, family, the drive of African Americans to succeed, and a mother's love for her son. Women & Children First is pleased to be the bookseller at this event.

Wednesday, November 28th - Allison Adler, Jennifer A. Freeman, Claire Young, Vicki Zwart and Angus Caroll

7:30 p.m.

Allison Adler, Jennifer A. Freeman, Claire Young, Vicki Zwart (authors) and Angus Carroll (editor)

Lyin' Cheatin' Bastards

Assassin Bug Press


From Anthony Weiner's wiener to Larry Craig's infamous bathroom toe-tap, we've come to expect large stores of stupidity and dishonesty from our elected officials. But it's getting hard to keep track of who's done what-hence the handy compendium Lyin' Cheatin' Bastards. No political office is sacred and no party immune. From small-town mayors to well-known congressmen, this fully illustrated compilation proves neither intelligence nor integrity is required to get elected in America. In fact, it may be time to ask if there's a deeper problem. Do the right people run for office? Have we set the bar too low? Is there anything we can do but laugh? Join the authors and editor of the collection for what is sure to be a revealing evening. 

Thursday, November 29th - Lori Rotskoff and Deborah Seigel

7:30 p.m.

When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made

University of North Carolina Press


Celebrate Free to Be...You and Me's 40th anniversary with cultural historian Lori Rotskoff and gender expert Deborah Siegel as they discuss the creation and legacy of this popular children's classic (as well as other songs, stories, toys, and television)-and explore how the world of gender has changed for girls, boys, and the folks who raise them. Lori Rotskoff teaches at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and is the author of Love on the Rocks. DeborahSiegel, Ph.D., is an expert on gender, politics, and the unfinished business of feminism across generations. She is the author of numerous books and online projects (including the blog The Pink and Blue Diaries) and is currently a visiting scholar at Northwestern University and Midwest director of The OpEd Project. 

Book Groups
Sunday, November 4th - 2pm - Family of Women Book Group - How to Walk to School by Jacqueline Edleberg

Wednesday, November 7th - 7:15pm - Women's Classics Book Group -  The Talented Mr. Ripely by Patricia Highsmith
Sunday, November 11th - 5pm - Kids First Book Group - The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
Tuesday, November 16th - 7:30pm - Women's Book Group - Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson