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Ted McClelland
Horseplayers: Life at the Track
Chicago Review Press, May 2005
ISBN: 1556525672
Price: $24.95, 272 pages

Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses, including Scott "The Professor" McMannis, a onetime college instructor who now teaches a course in handicapping, and Mary Schoenfeldt, a former nun and gifted handicapper who donates all of her winnings to charity.

Richard Cahan, Michael Williams, Neal Samors
Real Chicago Sports: Photographs From the Files of the Chicago Sun-Times  
Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc.   
ISBN: 0-9725456-6-2 (hard) 972545654 (soft)
Price: $50 hardcover/$35 soft, 280 pages/375 duotone photos

They play for love. They play for money. On soggy softball fields. And in front of the ivy at Wrigley. And wherever they play, the Chicago Sun-Times photo staff is there. For 75 years, photographers from the Daily Times, the Sun, the Daily News and the Sun-Times have shoved to the front row to capture the cigar-smoke atmosphere and Cracker Jack feel of sports. Once there, they take direct, in-your-face photos that show what it takes to be a champion and how it feels to lose. Real Chicago Sports contains over 375 duotone photos from the 1930s to today, including the magical 2005 Chicago White Sox season.

Donna Seaman
Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books   
Paul Dry Books   
ISBN: 1-58988-021-8
Price: $24.95, 484 pages

Writers on the Air brings to print Donna Seaman's conversations with writers on her radio program, Open Books, broadcast in Chicago on WLUW 88.7 FM and Seaman speaks with writers about their inspirations, favorite books, and writing and research habits. The more than 30 interviews include conversations with Lynda Barry, T. C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, Chitra Divakaruni, Stuart Dybek, Aleksandar Hemon, Alex Kotlowitz, Alice McDermott, and Anchee Min.

Writers on the Air received an excellent review from Library Journal.

Ray Hanania
Arcadia Publishing, August 2005   
ISBN: 0-7385-3417-X
Price: $19.99, 128 pages with historical text and 205 historical photographs  

The first ever look at the history of Chicago's Arab/Muslim community from their arrival and settlement at Hull House in the mid 19th Century to their growth and activism in the city today. Hanania is a veteran Chicago journalist and one of the only professional Arab American syndicated columnists in the country.

Thomas Frisbie and Randy Garrett
Victims of Justice Revisited   
Northwestern University Press, May 2005   
ISBN: 0-8101-2236-7
Price: $19.95, 440 pages

Perhaps no legal case has done more to fuel America's death penalty debate than Illinois's conviction of Rolando Cruz for the 1983 murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. This significantly expanded edition of "Victims of Justice" provides a detailed study for readers interested in death penalty issues as well as for serious scholars interested in how capital cases are prosecuted in America.

Fractal Edge Press, May 2005
ISBN: 1-933126-16-7
Price: $15.00

The story of two families, one Armenian and one Greek, forced out of Turkey, uniting by marriage in Greece, and trying to assimilate into a succession of new nations and cultures on three continents over six decades. After surviving the horrific death march across the Turkish countryside, the families settle first in Greece, then in Argentina, California, and finally Chicago.

Gregory Harms and Todd M. Ferry
The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction
London: Pluto Press, 2005
ISBN: 0745323782   Barnes & Noble

Written in a comfortable style, Harms and Ferry provide the student and general reader with a comprehensive yet clear and easy rendering of the Palestine-Israel conflict - the most notorious and ingrained conflict of the twentieth century - and an entire history of the region (Canaan and Palestine). By including the ancient background, the common assumption that the Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting "for thousands of years" is put to rest. Broken up into three sections - Background History, Pre-Conflict, and Conflict - the reader is walked through Ancient Israel, Muhammad and Islam, and on through two world wars and up to the current situation covered on the evening news. Aside from the brief history, the reader is also provided with further direction, such as detailed citing of sources and suggested reading lists and resources (books, periodicals, and websites).

Cheryl L. Reed
Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns
Berkley Books (Penguin) Hardcover: March, 2004
Trade Paperback, March, 2005
ISBN: 0-425-19511-2
PRICE: $40.00 hardcover, 240 pages, 200 duotone images

When reporter Cheryl L. Reed set out to examine the lives of nuns, she was fulfilling a personal quest, discovering for herself what was behind the mysterious image instilled by her Protestant upbringing and reinforced by Hollywood clichés and her Catholic friends' childhood stories of foreboding figures in black. So, began a journalistic pursuit of an enigmatic subculture, during which Reed interviewed more than three hundred nuns. She lived and prayed with them, observed their daily lives, and participated in silent worship. She witnessed their vow ceremonies, mourned with them, celebrated and drank with them. In turn, they welcomed questions no one had ever dared ask before...

Neal Samors and Michael Williams
Chicago in the Fifties: Remembering Life in the Loop and the Neighborhoods
PUBLISHER: Chicago's Neighborhoods
ISBN: 09725456-4-6
PRICE: $40.00 hardcover, 240 pages, 200 duotone images

Chicago in the Fifties: Remembering Life in the Loop and the Neighborhoods combines pictures and memories to recreate life during the decade. It's all here: The 1959 White Sox pennant, Loop movie palaces and restaurants, high school life, early television, dating, drive-ins, Riverview Amusement Park and the founding of Playboy magazine.

Chicago in the Fifties is also an amazing time-capsule of photographs from the period, including Tony Bennett singing at a Fenger High School sock hop, Mayor Daley playing softball (and hitting a double), candy shops, diners, wrestling, midget cars, marble championships, Lincoln Park Zoo, celebrities at the Pump Room, steam engines and even sleeping on the beach on hot summer nights.

Marlene Targ Brill
Lerner Publishing Group, 1-800-328-4929,
ISBN: 1-57-5-699-2 for library binding at $23.93, 1-57-5-057-66-2 for paperback at $5.95, 0-82-2-531-21-6 for paperback Spanish edition (pub. date 9/1/05)
48 pages for readers grades 2 and up

This heavily illustrated holiday book stands out for its peaceful take on the history of the day that honors our nation's heroes, Veteran's Day. Back matter includes ideas to celebrate peace and honor veterans, a timeline, and resource Web sites.

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