We are open for browsing, and thrilled to see you! Masks are optional but recommended, and we have extras on hand if you'd like one!
Lane Tech students and familes: click here to purchase books for upcoming classes!
Contemporary Fiction Book Club: Just your regular ol' fiction book club with discussion, opinions, and wine!
What we're reading: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
Next Meeting is Monday, April 10th at 7:30pm, here at RoscoeBooks. For the safety of our members, the book club is open only to fully-vaccinated individuals.
Classics in Brief Book Club: All the classics you meant to read...kept short!
What we're reading: Cane, by Jean Toomer
Next Meeting is Thursday, April 13th at 7:00pm, here at RoscoeBooks. For the safety of our members, the book club is open only to fully-vaccinated individuals.
CHIRP Music Book Club: After a long pandemic hiatus, CHIRP Radio's Music Book Club is back, and we're delighted to play host!
What we're reading: Hit Girls: Women of Punk in the USA, 1975-1983, by Jen B. Larson
Next Meeting is Monday, April 24th at 6:30pm, here at RoscoeBooks. Ordering the book online? Use the code CHIRP to receive a 10% discount!
I Have Some Questions For You, by Rebecca Makkai: Few novels meet the current moment with the confidence and astuteness of this thrilling literary mystery. Makkai's new novel centers on our disturbing obsession with crime (especially against women) as entertainment. It also looks at the power of social media, how we remember our individual histories, and what we can really do to right past wrongs. Comparisons to The Secret History are inevitable -- and this may be just as good.
The Bandit Queens, by Parini Shroff: Geeta lives in a rural Indian village where gossip is a competitive sport, and too many women are at the mercy of inferior men. So when the (false!) rumor that Geeta killed her husband starts making the rounds, it's not long before fellow villagers start enlisting Geeta's help killing THEIR husbands, too. This is a story with an awesomely bonkers premise that has a little something for everyone -- murder, blackmail, and revenge, of course, but also hilarious banter, commentary on patriarchy and caste, and best of all, real friendship and sisterhood. So great!!
Holiday Gift Recs For Your Hipster Cousin
Yes, of course Infinite Jest, but if your hipster cousin (nephew, daughter-in-law, etc) is historically hard to buy for, here's a stack of recommendations even the most avowed "Ugh, I liked that way before it was cool" person will enjoy.
Falter, by Bill McKibben
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, by Shehan Karunatilaka (2022 Man Booker Winner)
Crying In The Bathroom: A Memoir, by Erika L Sanchez
This Is What It Sounds Like, by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas
Mount Chicago, by Adam Levin
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
The World We Make, by N.K. Jemisin
Maus (two-volume set), by Art Spiegelman
Holiday Gift Recs For Dad
Conventional wisdom is that Dad likes long books about the Civil War, John Grisham thrillers, and Stephen King. We definitely have all those if that's your dad. But...what if your Dad is...COOL? This list is for him: Books slightly off the traditional Dad Book beaten path.
Dickens and Prince, by Nick Hornby
Deacon King Kong, by James McBride
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
Falling, by T.J. Newman
Happy Go Lucky, by David Sedaris
Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out, by Josh Noel
Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office, by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman
Silent Spring Revolution, by Douglas Brinkley
Holiday Gift Recs For Mom
Need a perfect gift for your mother? We recommend any of these eight great reads*:
These Precious Days, by Ann Patchett
On Rotation, by Shirlene Obuobi
Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
Lessons In Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama
Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng
Taste, by Stanley Tucci
The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley
*Purposefully absent: Cookbook of any kind. :)
Now Is Not The Time To Panic, by Kevin Wilson: Wilson brings his signature quirky charm to two friends in 1990s small-town Tennessee. Frankie and Zeke want to create some art that is interesting and mysterious, and mostly want to entertain themselves. They end up causing a frenzy reminiscent of the Satanic Panic of the 80s. Wilson captures teenage friendship, summer boredom, and something spiraling out of your control!
Horse, by Geraldine Brooks: A fantastic and painful study of America's history set in the world of thoroughbred racing. Horse braids several storylines over centuries scrutinizing race, identity, and justice, and Horse anchors all the tales.
Dinosaurs, by Lydia Millet: The premise here is so simple: A wealthy man with a sad backstory uproots his life in New York, moves to Phoenix, and forms a relationship with the family living in the glass-walled house next door. But really, this is a story about how humans connect with each other, and even how events in the natural world and among birds and animals mirror what happens in human lives. The less you know about this one going in, the better...but from Millet's sympathetic characters to her spare, graceful prose, I loved pretty much everything about this book.
Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng: By the standard definition of a dystopia -- an imagined society where there is great suffering and/or injustice -- this is DEFINITELY dystopian. What's most terrifying -- and what makes this such an engaging read -- is that it's not at all hard to imagine this dystopian version of America becoming reality: There's violence against Asian-Americans, freedoms curtailed in the name of "patriotism," and even children ripped from their families. But Ng's novel entertains as much as it warns, though these are warnings we should all take to heart!
The Great Man Theory, by Teddy Wayne: I love Wayne's writing -- smart and punchy but accessible and readable! Our main character Paul is a Gen-X academic who is liberal but with plenty of "kids these days" grumpy attitude. I was annoyed by Paul. I empathized with Paul, and I wanted to shake him as he made bad decision after bad decision. But couldn't turn away from the growing disaster of his life. I laughed, I cringed, and I thought about the effect of social media on our political landscape.
Fairy Tale, by Stephen King: Know this: The dog lives and there's a happy ending! Also know this: FAIRY TALE isn't King's best, but there's no doubt the man tell a (profanity-laced) story. His folklore remix is plenty enjoyable and integrates everything from Rumplestiltskin to Star Wars. A slow but engrossing read. (Side note: You'll probably love it more if you're a dog person.)
On Rotation, by Shirlene Obuobi: This was such a fun read! The main characters are so human; even when they frustrated me, I still loved them! Funny, witty, and at times devastating, I thoroughly enjoyed the tension between Ricky and Angie, the friendships, and the hard-learned lessons in this story. Also, Shirlene Obuobi being Ghanian makes it extra special for me (also Ghanian!).
The Displacements, by Bruce Holsinger: Part disaster story, part social observation, this is a deep dive into life at a post-hurricane FEMA mega-shelter. We follow a wealthy family who loses their phones/credit cards and enters the shelter with nothing. We see a FEMA employee set up this city-within-a-city and deal with daily needs of the clients. And we meet an insurance agent who takes advantage of a captive audience to sell drugs. What develops is a microcosm of society. We learn that often people uprooted from their lives adapt almost overnight and fractures along the lines of race, class, and politics always seem to surface.
Lessons In Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus: Elizabeth Zott is a woman born before her time. A brilliant chemist who has always taken an unconventional path through life, she's seen it all -- sexism, hostility, and more than her share of tragedy. But when she reluctantly becomes the host of a smash-hit TV cooking show, it changes the game not just for her, but for women all over America too. The pages fly by with this one, and though parts of the story may require a suspension of disbelief, they're more than made up for by some very funny dialogue and a stellar cast of supporting characters. A truly, truly fun book!
More Than You'll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierrez: If you like your murder mysteries smart, sexy, and a bit unconventional, this is the novel for you. Here's the hook: A woman leads a secret double life with a secret second husband. Then, one secret husband kills the other. Or did he? Thirty years later, murder blogger Cassie sets out to find the truth. As intriguing as the plot is, Gutierrez also has some really interesting things to say about journalistic ethics, Kantian philosophy, and the limits of family loyalty. This would be an absolutely perfect book club pick. So much to discuss!
Take My Hand, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez: This is a heartbreaking reminder of the ways the world has failed our vulnerable members. Perkins-Valdez takes us to 1970s Alabama and government-funded women's health program that goes tragically awry. Based on a real federal court case, it explores racism, classism, and ultimately, the power of redemption.
Go Back To Where You Came From, by Wajahat Ali: This deep dive into America's relationship with Muslims is heartbreaking. It's also funny as hell. The ups and downs of Ali's life are ridiculous, horrifying, and hilarious. I loved every minute of this!
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, by Akwaeke Emezi: If Emezi published their grocery list, I'd read it. They set out to write a romance with complex relationships and succeeded spectactularly. Their writing continues to take my breath away. This isn't the kind of romance novel where you swoon and turn your brain off but rather one that takes on grief and loss and death and the life that can emerge from those cracks.
Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju, and Ryan Estrada: Banned Book Club is a memoir in graphic novel form, telling the true story of university students in South Korea in the 80's, and how their secret banned book club tied in with the widespread pro-democracy protests of the time. I wish there were more books like this!
Trust, by Hernan Diaz: Diaz's utterly brilliant novel is more than one thing: It's a fine piece of historical fiction. It's a book (multiple books, really) within a book. And it's a thoughtful examination of how money and power are related, and how they both affect what we're willing and able to believe. To say much more might spoil some of the wonderful surprise of this book, but I will say that this is some of the most thoughtful, elegant writing I've encountered in a long time. There is no way this book won't be among my favorites of the year.
Monday — Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 11am - 6pm
Please Note: our website updates stock once per day, so the book quantities indicated on our site may not be an accurate representation of what we actually have in stock at the store. But please know we very much appreciate your order and will do everything we can to get you your books as quickly as humanly possible!
At long last, Story Time at RoscoeBooks is BACK! Please join us every Thursday morning at 11:00 am as we read aloud from some of our favorite books for our littlest readers. All are welcome!
We're proud to carry a range of local goods including cards and prints by Chicago Artists, Dmitry Samarov, Steve Musgrave and Eliza Rosen. Also, be sure to check out our monthly collaboration with Alex's Music Studio for our Children's Story Time!