Members’ New Books

Barbara Gregorich
Cookie the Cockatoo: Everything Changes
Paperback: 112 pages, $19.60
Independently Published
Softcover ISBN 979-8633708561 ($8.00)
Ebook ASIN B086Y7DS8M ($2.99)
Purchase this book online.

Today the Brookfield Zoo is home to approximately 2,300 animals. But on July 1, 1934, when the zoo first opened, it was home to only a few. Among those few was a year-old Major Mitchell’s cockatoo from Australia. The zookeepers named her Cookie. But, as the keepers discovered a year or two later, Cookie was not a female bird — so Cookie changed from a female name to a male name. And that was just the beginning.

Nobody could have predicted it way back in 1934, but Cookie would see many, many more changes. He would live in the zoo for more than eighty years, becoming the longest-lived cockatoo on record. During those decades, the world saw changes in music, science, transportation, discovery, and attitudes. Cookie the Cockatoo: Everything Changes imagines what it would be like for a small (but loud) bird to witness these profound changes.

Told in free verse vignettes, and aimed at middle-graders, ages 10+ — but enjoyed by adults as well, because adults have lived through all the changes Cookie lived through.

Marc Frazier

Paperback: 112 pages, $19.60
Publisher: Adelaide Books
ISBN-10: 1-949180-52-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-949180-16-9

Willingly is my third book of poetry. It explores the ramifications of one’s search for identity within and without the bonds of a relationship. It is centered on the many manifestations of “narrative.” For it is always, it seems, a story we are telling no matter the form or type of poetry. One line demonstrates this: “One way or another we make the stories fit.” Willingly explores the idea that instead of my life having been fated, it is something I’ve chosen willingly. It is the story of one LGBTQ individual. The epigraph to the book is also indicative of one of the major themes in the book: “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are” (Anais Nin).

One poet had this to say about my work: “Frazier illumines the darkest corners of memory, bearing apt witness to remembered experience with uncommon clarity and sureness, each poem a gem cut and polished to a fierce brightness. In poem after poem, he insists on uncovering the radiance buried beneath the questions, with words that live, breathe, and “lean like leaves toward light.” (Angela Narciso Torres, author of Blood Orange, grand prize winner for poetry, Willow Books)

Christoph Irmscher
The Arkansas Regulators

ISBN: 978-1-78920-212-0
$23.99, $24.95 pages, paperback

The Arkansas Regulators is a rousing tale of frontier adventure, first published in German in 1846, but virtually lost to English readers for well over a century. Written in the tradition of James Fenimore Cooper, but offering a much darker and more violent image of the American frontier, this was the first novel produced by Friedrich Gerstäcker, who would go on to become one of Germany’s most famous and prolific authors. A crucial piece of a nineteenth-century transatlantic literary tradition, this long-awaited translation and scholarly edition of the novel offers a startling revision of the frontier myth from a European perspective.

“Americans are often amazed and amused at the fascination and enthusiasm Germans have long brought to tales of the American West. It is an enthusiasm, rooted in the real and imagined, that stretches back across nearly two centuries. It’s alive today. Now comes the delightful story of The Arkansas Regulators – translated in its entirety into lively English for the first time since its publication in 1846. This is Friedrich Gerstäcker’s celebrated yarn of the frontier, the granddaddy of German novels about the Old West, a picaresque tale that will surely satisfy scholars and charm lay readers.” • Christopher Corbett, author of Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express.

Greg Borzo
Lost Restaurants of Chicago
ISBN: 978-1-62585-933-4
$23.99, 222 pages, paperback
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Many of Chicago’s greatest or most unusual restaurants are “no longer taking reservations,” but they’re definitely not forgotten. From steakhouses to delis, these dining destinations attracted movie stars, fed the hungry, launched nationwide trends and created a smorgasbord of culinary choices. Stretching across almost two centuries of memorable service and adventurous menus, this book revisits the institutions entrusted with the city’s special occasions. Noted author Greg Borzo dishes out course after course of fondly remembered fare, from Maxim’s to Charlie Trotter’s and Trader Vic’s to the Blackhawk.




Ray E. Boomhower
Indiana Originals: Hoosier Heroes and Heroines
ISBN: 978-1-4671-4097-3
$21.99, 208 pages, paperback
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Hoosier history overflows with bold visionaries, noble heroes and lovable rogues. May Wright Sewall struggled to uplift womankind and unflinchingly called for peace in a world sleepwalking toward conflict. In the guise of Abe Martin, Kin Hubbard graced the Indianapolis News’s back page for twenty-six years with folksy humor. Combat photographer John A. Bushemi bravely faced the terrors of war and perished capturing its violence. Audacious automotive pioneer Carl G. Fisher went to any length to promote himself, even flying a car via a hot-air balloon. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience, author Ray E. Boomhower, the dean of Hoosier biographers, brings together forty of the most notable figures from the nineteenth state’s history.

Dennis Foley
The Blue Circus

ISBN-10: 1629794538
ISBN: 978-0998803920
$16.95, 355 pages

In THE BLUE CIRCUS, award-winning author Dennis Foley offers a wild romp through assorted Chicago neighborhoods, dive bars, shady political deals and more that only an insider can tell. In Foley’s story, Danny Lonigan, a disbarred attorney, gets a job as a City of Chicago electrician with the help of his union boss big brother and attempts to earn an honest paycheck and stay clean. But once he befriends mob-connected city worker, Jimmy “the Hat” Scarpelli, Danny Lonigan’s world will never be the same. From Roger’s Park to Hegewisch, from the mayor’s office to tiny Street’s and San yard lunch rooms, at times tender, often humorous, and always gritty, THE BLUE CIRCUS offers insight into the politics of the City of Big Shoulders and the Lonigan family as its members fight to survive.

Kate Hannigan
A Lady Has The Floor

SBN-10: 1629794538
ISBN-13: 978-1629794532
$18 and 32 pages
Purchase online: Amazon

Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way — not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman on the ballot. In this nonfiction picture book biography that has earned four starred reviews and been named a Junior Library Guild Selection as well as a Bank Street College pick, award-winning author Kate Hannigan and celebrated artist Alison Jay illuminate the life of Lockwood, a woman who was never afraid to take the floor and speak her mind.

Richard Lindberg
Northeastern Illinois University: The First 150 Years.

Northeastern Illinois University
The book costs $35.25, and tax, shipping and handling fees may apply

In celebration of Northeastern Illinois University’s sesquicentennial anniversary, author, historian and alumnus Richard C. Lindberg chronicles the rich and fascinating history of Northeastern Illinois University in “Northeastern Illinois University: The First 150 Years.” Through the lens of Chicago history, the author examines the early foundations of universal public education and the struggle to establish teacher training programs in the frontier settlement growing up along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Copies of the book are available for sale at the University’s bookstore, located on the Main Campus near the Student Union and Information Center in Village Square The phone number is (773) 442-4990. The book can also be purchased online. The book costs $35.25, and tax, shipping and handling fees may apply.

Barbara Gregorich
Charlie Chan’s Poppa: Earl Derr Biggers
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Softcover ISBN  978-1983943454   ($10.00)
Ebook  ASIN  B079KH9CFD  ($3.99) 
Purchase the book online.

When she was sixteen years old Barbara Gregorich discovered the Charlie Chan novels of Earl Derr Biggers on the “local authors” shelf of the Warren Public Library. She fell in love with the wisdom, humor, and perceptiveness of the amiable Chinese-Hawaiian police detective, and she admired the author who created him.

Although seldom given credit for it, Biggers was one of the first writers to help create mystery’s Golden Age on the American side of the Atlantic. His six Chan novels were serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, published by Bobbs-Merrill, and sought by Hollywood, and he received fan mail from thousands.

Wanting to know more about Earl Derr Biggers and how he came to write his mysteries, Gregorich researched the Bobbs-Merrill Archives at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington. There she read all the correspondence between Biggers and his editor — correspondence which brings to life the author’s struggles to satisfy the Chan-hungry public.

Cheryl L. Reed
Poison Girls

It’s the summer of 2008. Chicago’s Hyde Park Senator is running for the White House, the city is vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Poison, a lethal form of heroin, has killed more than 250 people, including dozens suburban girls from prominent families.

Natalie Delaney, a crime reporter from theChicago Times, discovers that daughters of Democratic powerhouses are the real targets of a serial killer who uses drugs instead of a gun. Obsessed with finding who is behind the killings, Natalie becomes entangled in an underworld where drugs, cops, gangs, politics and privilege collide. Risking everything, this reporter becomes the story…

Here’s what others are saying:

“A gritty story of a Chicago reporter’s infiltration of the city’s toughest neighborhoods during a heroin epidemic, written by a great new voice in crime fiction. Noir fans and readers of Laura Lippman will love Poison Girls. – Jamie Freveletti, internationally bestselling author of Dead Asleep.

“Already an award-winning investigative reporter, Cheryl Reed now proves equally talented in the world of fiction. At turns raw and tragic, tender and ultimately uplifting, Poison Girls is an impressive debut.”
— Sean Chercover, award-winning author of The Savior’s Game

“Touching, salty, brutal, organized, lost, powerful and tragic.” –Janet Burroway, author of Writing Fiction

“An ambitious book, noirish, Dickensian in a modern way, and rooted in the realistic tradition.”
–Stuart Dybek, MacArthur “Genius” Award Winner and author of The Coast of Chicago ​

Ceryl L. Reed is a veteran journalist. She is the author of POISON GIRLS, a thriller about mysterious deaths of girls in Chicago. She is also the author of UNVEILED: THE HIDDEN LIVES OF NUNS, which chronicles her four years living off and on with nuns. She is a former editor and reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers. She earned her MFA from Northwestern University and recently was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine. She is an assistant professor at Syracuse University. Cheryl’s reportage of girls using drugs drug is the inspiration for POISON GIRLS, her fiction debut.

Ray E. Boomhower
Dispatches from the Pacific
Indiana University Press
Paper ISBN 978-0-253-03036-8 $24.00
eBook ISBN 978-0-253-02993-5$23.99
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. According to the Washington Post, Robert L. Sherrod’s stories of the Pacific theater of WWII were “some of the most vivid accounts of men at war ever produced by an American journalist.” Now, for the first time, award-winning author Ray E. Boomhower tells the story of the journalist in Dispatches from the Pacific: The World War II Reporting of Robert L. Sherrod, an intimate account of the war and the journalists who risked their lives to cover it.
In the fall of 1943, armed with only his notebooks and pencils, Time and Life correspondent Robert L. Sherrod leapt from the safety of a landing craft and waded through neck-deep water and a hail of bullets to reach the shores of the Tarawa Atoll with the US Marine Corps. Living shoulder to shoulder with the marines, Sherrod chronicled combat and the marines’ day-to-day struggles as they leapfrogged across the Central Pacific, battling the Japanese on Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. While the marines courageously and doggedly confronted an enemy that at times seemed invincible, those left behind on the American home front desperately scanned Sherrod’s columns for news of their loved ones.

“Sherrod’s dispatches to Time and Life magazines brought America’s bloodiest war to a sometimes unknowing and complacent home front,” explains James H. Madison, author ofSlinging Doughnuts for the Boys,“Ray Boomhower’s deeply researched and superbly written book makes clear why Sherrod was one of American’s greatest reporters and why his work rings true today.”
“Boomhower explores World War II through the light of an extraordinary individual with fresh, sobering insights. Boomhower succeeds again with the saga of Time correspondent Robert Sherrod,” writes Dan Carpenter, freelance writer and former columnist at theIndianapolis Star.

Billy McCarthy
Beat Me Til I’m Famous
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10: 1548424250
ISBN-13: 978-1548424251
Price:  $8.99
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A no-punches-pulled memoir that sucks you in like the Hollywood dream it describes—it won’t let you quit until you’re finished, or, rather, it’s finished with you. *** It’s the artist’s curse: that nagging temptation to chuck it all and head to Hollywood, your big dreams your only baggage. In 1981, Billy hears the call. He ditches his South Side Chicago suburb and jets off to the Sunset Strip to become a rock star. He only has four years of drumming under his belt, he’s dead broke, and no one thinks he can hack it. Billy hits the road regardless, throwing naysayers the middle finger salute. Billy drums for a group called Kid Rocker. They live a floor above some unknown band, Mötley Crüe. Kid Rocker is red hot but fizzles. Meanwhile, his former neighbors and a bandmate planted the seeds to become MTV legends as Billy watches from his couch back in Chicago. It’s 1986. Billy McCarthy is now Billy Dior. He forms another band—this one hits the Sunset Strip like a nine-pound sledgehammer. The crass, bold D’Molls perform in women’s lingerie. Within days, they play sold out shows at iconic venues. A few weeks later, they land a deal with Atlantic Records. Reviewers laud them as the next band that has that thing—that indescribable thing that makes a band just … rock. But ego hits the band. Fights break out. Blood is shed. D’Molls are a mess in a dress. Frustrated, disillusioned, and no longer bandleader and drummer in a Hollywood rock group slated for greatness, Billy dives into a dangerous cocktail of drugs, booze, and beautiful women. But before long, he’s back in the game—only this time, on his terms. Beat Me ‘Til I’m Famous is a raw, no-filter picture of the Hollywood rock scene at the height of its heyday—and what awaits an artist after fame fades, all the fans go home, and you can’t shake that nagging voice that asks: But what will you create next? For anyone with an ounce of artistic creativity in his or her blood, Beat Me ‘Til I’m Famous is must read. Want to know more about the man who jumped into the fires of fame and basked in the heat until it burned too hot to stand—only to push through the pain and demand yet another round? Settle in and get ready for one hell of a story.

Ruth Spiro
Baby Loves Quantum Physics!
Charlesbridge Publishing
ISBN: :  978-1580897693 
Price:  $8.99

​ Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book engages readers in a game of hide-and-seek with Schrodinger’s famous feline. Can cat be awake and asleep at the same time? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

Baby Loves Thermodynamics!
Charlesbridge Publishing
ISBN: :  978-1580897686
Price:  $8.99

​Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the transfer of energy as it flows from the sun to an apple to baby. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!