Nix cover

Meet debut novelist

Nathan Hill

Thursday, October 27, at 7 pm

Wilmette Public Library Auditorium


Mr. Hill will discuss his new book,

The Nix

Free and open to the public. 

A book signing will follow the program, and The Book Stall will have books available for purchase.

For more information, call 847-256-6930.

Search for a copy of The Nix in the Library's collection.


The New York Times calls Nathan Hill “a gifted and tenderhearted storyteller” and describes The Nix as an “ambitiously panoramic and humane debut novel.” According to the review, “Hill has so much talent to burn that he can pull off just about any style, imagine himself into any person and convincingly portray any place or time. The Nix is hugely entertaining and unfailingly smart, and the author seems incapable of writing a pedestrian sentence or spinning a boring story.”

Months before its release, The Nix already had received wide acclaim from authors and reviewers alike and was listed on nearly a dozen “best of” lists, including Publishers Weekly’s “Booksellers’ Summer Picks,” Huffington Post’s “Summer Books You Won’t Want to Miss,” and The Strand Bookstore’s “16 Books We Can’t Wait to Read this Summer.”

As the novel moves about in time and space from the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that shook Chicago and beyond, the author uses humor and tenderness to explore the resilience of love and home, even in times of radical change.

In this election year, The Nix touches on timely issues. According to the New York Magazine review, “There is an accidental topicality in Hill’s debut, about an estranged mother and son whose fates hinge on two mirror-image political events—the Democratic Convention of 1968 and the Republican Convention of 2004.”

Publishers Weekly noted that “Hill’s first novel offers an ironic view of 21st-century elections, education, pop culture, and marketing, with flashbacks to 1988, 1968, and 1944” and adds that “Hill skillfully blends humor and darkness, imagery and observation. He also excels at describing technology, addiction, cultural milestones, and childhood ordeals.”  In various reviews, author Nathan Hill’s work has been compared to that of other writers, including John Irving, Jennifer Egan, Don DeLillo, and Jonathan Franzen.

In its starred review, Kirkus Reviews described The Nix as a “sparkling, sweeping debut novel that takes in a large swath of recent American history and pop culture and turns them on their sides” and noted that the novel is “grand entertainment, smart and well-paced, and a book that promises good work to come.”


About Nathan Hill:

Nathan Hill for Web 3

Nathan Hill is a native Iowan, grew up all over the Midwest, and now makes his home in Naples, Florida. He is an Associate Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he has taught creative writing & literature courses. Currently, Mr. Hill is on leave from St. Thomas in order to focus exclusively on writing. Mr. Hill holds a B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Before joining the faculty at St. Thomas, Nathan Hill taught writing at Florida Gulf Coast University. Prior to that position, he worked at the Academy of American Poets, editing and designing the website, He also has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist.


Nathan Hill's website

Nathan Hill on Facebook

New York Times: Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens.


Interviews with Nathan Hill:

Book Talk Radio: The Nix by Nathan Hill

Here and Now: With Debut Novel 'The Nix,' Author Nathan Hill Finds Success After Years Of Struggle

Minnesota Public Radio: If You Lose Everything You've Written, Start a New Novel

Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review: "The Things That Matter" - A Conversation with Nathan Hill

Professional Book Nerds: Interview with Nathan Hill, Author of The Nix

Vulture/New York Magazine: Talking to the Author of The Nix, Fall’s Splashiest Debut Novel


Reviews of The Nix:


Dallas News

Kirkus Reviews


New York Times


Open Letters Monthly: an Arts and Literature Review

Publishers Weekly

USA Today

Washington Post


The Nix was named to numerous "Best of" Lists, including:

Amazon: Best Books of the Month

Barnes and Noble: Fall 2016 Discover Great New Writers

Bookish: Summer 2016 Fiction Preview

GQ: These Are the Books You Should Read in August

Gear Patrol: Best Summer Books 2016

Goodreads: Best Books of the Month, August 2016

Harper's Bazaar: The 12 Summer Books That Everyone Will Be Talking About

Huffington Post: 22 Summer 2016 Books You Won't Want to Miss

New York Times: 9 Great Books to Start Off September

The Strand Bookstore: 16 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer

Vulture: 8 Books You Need to Read This August


 Mark your calendars for a fall series  focusing on our fascinating neighbor to  the south. 
From arts to politics, Chicago has made its mark and continues to innovate. 
picture of Dominic PacygaChicago, City of Neighborhoods
Wednesday, September 21, at 7 pm
Dominic A. Pacyga, PhD, professor of history in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College, will discuss Chicago's neighborhoods and how they developed over time as a response to transportation systems, industrialization, and immigration.
picture of Hedy Weiss
Hedy Weiss and the Chicago Theater Scene  
Sunday, October 23, at 2 pm
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tonight theater critic, will talk about what makes the Chicago theater scene so special and what changes she has seen over the years. She also will take a look at some of the highlights of the new season. 
picture of Jay ShefskyNow for the Good News - WTTW's Jay Shefsky's 
Stories about Everyday Chicagoans
Tuesday, November 8, at 7 pm
Jay Shefsky is Senior Producer of 
Chicago Tonight and the host of Jay's Chicago.  He's a 30-year veteran of the station and has made an award-winning career telling stories of human spirit, passion, and creativity. He will show several examples of his work, share some behind-the-scenes stories of life at WTTW, and talk about the importance of listening to our neighbors around the Chicago area.  

Chicago Architecture 101                                                                            
Sunday, November 13, at 2 pm                                chicago building             
Timothy Wittman, architectural historian and historic preservation professional,
 examines the forces that created the opportunity for Chicago architects to revolutionize architecture in the Industrial Age. Chicago's location, amazing growth and industrial development during the second half of the 19C, combined with the timing of the Great Fire of 1871, presented unprecedented challenges for architects and architecture. The solutions discovered through experimentation and innovation transformed the modern city. 
The Space Within: Inside Great Chicago Buildings
Saturday, December 3, at 2 pmBook cover
Author Patrick F. Cannon, who has lived and worked in Chicago and its suburbs for more than sixty years, and James Caulfield, a noted architectural photographer, lead a visual tour into both the intimate and grand interiors of the Chicago area's finest buildings which are showcased in their new book.  Copies will be available for purchase. 
Chicago: a Biography ~ Book Discussions  7 pm 
Led by Dominic Pacyga, PhD, professor of history in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College. 
Dr. Pacyga will lead a 2 part discussion of his book Chicago: a Biography.  The book traces the history of Chicago from its beginning to the 2000s.
October 19  We will discuss the rapid growth of the city in the nineteenth century with a focus on its economic, ethnic, and cultural development
November 16  We will discuss the impact of two world wars, the Great Depression and the post-industrial era as we look at Chicago throughout the tumultuous twentieth century
 Registration required.  Sign up via the online calendar.  Copies of the book are available at the Library. 
Pic pic pic

"The Man Who Loved China" (2009 Selection)

About the Book
About the Author


About Author Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester studied geology at Oxford and has written for Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. In addition to The Man Who Loved China, Mr. Winchester is the author of "A Crack in the Edge of the World," "Krakatoa," "The Map That Changed the World," "The Professor and the Madman," "The Fracture Zone," "Outposts," and "Korea," among many other titles. He lives in Massachusetts and in the Western Isles of Scotland.


Websites About Simon Winchester and "The Man Who Loved China"

Simon Winchester's website

Simon Winchester interview with PM (Australian public broadcasting) (available in print and audio)

Simon Winchester on the Man Who Loved China (video -- scroll down the page)



Websites About Simon Winchester and His Other Works

Bookbrowse: An Interview with Simon Winchester

Contemporary Writers: Simon Winchester

National Public Radio, "Talk of the Nation": The Meaning of Everything (audio) Interviews: Simon Winchester

Travel Writers: Simon Winchester

Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.


Meet Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist


November 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Community Recreation Center

3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette


Mr. Suskind and his wife will discuss his new book,

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism

Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

A book signing will follow the program, and The Bookstall will have books available for purchase.

For more information, call 847-256-6930.

Known for his critically acclaimed book, A Hope in the Unseen, as well as four New York Times bestsellers about domestic policies and international affairs, Mr. Suskind has written his most personal work yet in Life, Animated, which describes his family’s 20-year journey to connect with their autistic son, Owen, through Disney films and characters.

While Life, Animated tells of one family’s remarkable story, the stunning, poignant, and highly-readable memoir also portrays the universal themes of hope, perseverance, and resilience as well as the never-ending power of storytelling.  It is a book about family - and about raising a son.

A seemingly typical and talkative boy, Owen stopped communicating soon before his third birthday.  He couldn’t speak for many years, but he memorized dozens of Disney movies and used the films to express himself.  As Owen’s parents and older brother struggled to find ways to communicate with him, they discovered they could reach him when they themselves became Disney animated characters, singing and reciting from the films.

Life, Animated was excerpted in the March 7, 2014, issue of The New York Times Magazine in an article titled, “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney,” and the book was published last spring. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called the memoir “a wonderful book, whether or not you know a person with autism.” Kirkus Reviews described Mr. Suskind as “a master journalistic storyteller” and termed the book a “deeply felt, movingly written account of raising an autistic son.” The Chicago Tribune called the book an “extraordinary saga” and noted that “those looking for a smart, well-written, deeply moving, up-from-the-depths inspirational tale with a positive ending should love it.”


More about Ron Suskind and Life, Animated


Ron Suskind’s website

CBS Sunday Morning: Breaking Through Autism With Disney Movies

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Ron Suskind

Diane Rehm Show: Ron Suskind - “Life Animated”

Here & Now: Using Disney to Reach a Child With  Autism

HuffPost Live: Ron Suskind - How Disney Helped My Autistic Son

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Journalist Ron Suskind Writes About Son's Autism

NBC Nightly News: Disney Characters Help Boy With Autism Find His Voice

Parents: A Conversation with Ron Suskind

Radio Times: Ron Suskind’s Life, Animated

Radiolab: Juicervose Talking to Ron Suskind About  Fnding his Austistic Son’s Voice Through Disney Movies


Reviews of Life, Animated

Boston Globe

Kirkus Reviews

New York Times

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

USA Today









About One Book, Everybody Reads

Photo of book cover:State of Wonder

"One Book, Everybody Reads" is the library's annual community-wide reading and book discussion program, funded by the Friends of the Wilmette Public Library. The library selects one book that is the focus of the program, which takes place each spring. In order to facilitate the experience for the community, the library offers numerous copies of the book in various formats for patron use.

We are thrilled to announce that the 2012 "One Book, Everybody Reads" selection is Ann Patchett's newest novel, STATE OF WONDER.

Local residents are encouraged to read the selected title and participate in a series of events that explore the book and its themes. The various programs are designed to create opportunities for shared enjoyment of the selected book as well as enhance an individual's personal reading experience. The culminating event takes place when the author visits Wilmette to discuss his or her book.

The "One Book, Everybody Reads" program began in 2006. Previous selected titles were:

Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.


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