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Barbara Gregorich     
Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Other Stories
Houghton Mifflin, July 24, 2006
ISBN: 0618473068
$15.00, 64 pages

"Be careful," said Matilda. "Do not buy a pig in a poke." "What's a poke?" asked Darwin. Yes, what is a poke? And why would Waltur, a bear, buy a pig, anyway? Together with the help of his best friends, Matilda and Darwin, Waltur is about to find out the wisdom of Matilda's words. Through trial and error, he will also learn the truths behind two other funny old sayings: "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" (why not?) and "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" (wanna bet?).

Laura Mazzuca Toops     
Hudson Lake
Twilight Times Books, June 15, 2006
ISBN: 1-933353-57-0
$16.95, 230 pages   

In the summer of 1926, jazz lovers head to the Blue Lantern on Hudson Lake, a rural Indiana dance hall where the season's resident jazz band features a young jazzman named Bix Beiderbecke. But when outside influences show up—including local bootleggers, the Ku Klux Klan, a Chicago investor named Jack McGurn and two beautiful women—jazz isn't the only thing that's hot at Hudson Lake...

"Toops' ability to capture the intoxicating mix of energy and danger that defined the early days of jazz makes the novel required reading for anyone caught up in the enduring Bix legend."
   —Bill Ott, Booklist

Amy Hassinger    
The Priest's Madonna
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-15317-9
$24.95 – 319 pages   

Based on a true story, The Priest's Madonna interweaves the history of France at the turn of the twentieth century, scenes of ancient Judea, and the romantic and religious journey of a spirited and intense heroine to spin a tale of the forbidden love between a woman and a holy man and the moral and spiritual struggles of faith.

Gerry Souter    
Frida Kahlo – Beneath the Mirror
Parkstone Press Ltd, 2005
ISBN: 1-85995-930-X
$35.00 – 208 pages   

This sketch of Frida Kahlo’s life and art begins with her cremation as the crippled body completed its final betrayal. Her amazing art, painted in the shadow of her famous husband-lover-mentor Diego Rivera, has gone on to eclipse his in notoriety and admiration. Illustrated with many of her most famous works, the story is written at the headlong pace of her plunge into life.

Janet Souter
O’Keeffe – Georgia O’Keeffe
Parkstone Press Ltd, 2005
ISBN: I-85995-935-0
$35.00 – 207 pages

This work explores the personal journey of Georgia O’Keeffe, her creative process and the legacy that she left to the art world. It not only explores the experiences that shaped Georgia O’Keeffe at the beginning of her life, but it also informs the reader about her later years, when she was just as vibrant and prolific an artist as in her youth.

Robert Hellenga
Philosophy Made Simple
Little Brown & Co.
ISBN: 0316058262
$23.95, 288 pages

In what he interprets as a moment of transcendent vision, Rudy Harrington buys an avocado grove in the Rio Grande Valley and take up philosophy. The wisdom that emerges from his struggles with Plato and Aristotle, Schopenhauer and Sartre, is put to the test when he enlists the neighborhood elephant to preside over his daughter’s Hindu wedding and falls in love with the groom’s mother.

ISBN: 0-595-37907-9

"Political intrigue, murder, sex, and a country on the brink of disaster. Burgauer combines all the elements in this futuristic story that gets better and better with each page."
   —Ken Behrens . . . WJBC radio
author website
book website (order online)

Alan H. Neff    
Blauser's Building
Denlinger's Publishers, Ltd.
ISBN: 0-87714-XXX-X eBook edition
ISBN: 0-87714-349-8 PB edition
180 pages
order online

A comic, dark, and fast-moving David-and-Goliath story about lawyers in Chicago—lawyers in love (but not with the law).
more information
about the author

Billy Lombardo
The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories
BkMk Press, July 2005
ISBN: 1886157502
Price: $15.95, 146 pp.

Love, truth, and beauty are at the core of these recollections of an Italian corner of Irish Bridgeport in the 1970s.

James C. Schwab, Paula L. Gori, and Sanjay Jeer
Landslide Hazards and Planning (PAS 533/534)
American Planning Association's Planning Advisory Service
ISBN: 1-932364-12-9
Price: $60; 208 pp.

This report will help planners minimize the risk landslides pose to life and property. It offers basic knowledge of the factors that trigger landslides, as well as guidance on identifying at-risk areas and determining whether development should be permitted there. The best practices and remedial tactics described here can mitigate losses in at-risk areas where development is permitted.

Order from the American Planning Association's Planners Book Service at

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