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
Rescheduled for Tuesday, November 29, 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. 

"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








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World War I- 
A Series at the Wilmette Library
August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. This fall the Library will offer a series on "The Great War."  
Register for the book discussions and programs via the
Library's online calendar or call 847 256-6930.
Click here for a list of the World War I materials.
Book Discussions    7 pm

Led by Paul Grasmehr, Reference Coordinator 

at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

October 8  

Catastrophe 1914 : Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings     
A history of the war's outbreak from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battles that occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.


November 12  

Storm of Steel  by Ernst Junger
A memoir of astonishing power and lyricism, the book illuminates not only the horrors but also the  fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. 
Registration required.  Sign up here.
World War I -How and Why the US Got Involved 
Wednesday, September 10
Dr. Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny, will discuss the US entry into the war, from the initial stance of neutrality, to the evolution of President Woodrow Wilson's thinking and policies amid a changing international scene, and finally to the declaration of war in April, 1917.  Using materials from the McCormick Research Center at Cantigny, he will cover the experience of Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick during these years and the organization and deployment of the first combat troops sent to France, the First Division. 
Military Genealogy-Finishing the Story 
Saturday,  Sept 27 at 11 am
Tracing a World War I or II soldier can be challenging. Many researchers are unaware of the records and resources available outside of the usual genealogical sources. Explore the lives, service, and deaths of three soldiers,  and learn about numerous military resources available. Through a brief reading from her new book  Stories of the Lost, Jennifer Holik will demonstrate how to write the stories of your Soldier.
Mike at the Movies : Global Perspectives on WWI 
Saturday, October 18 at 2 pm
Film scholar Michael Smith will examine cinematic depictions of the "Great War" from a variety of perspectives. Film clips will include portrayals of the conflict as seen by Hollywood in the silent as well as the sound era not to mention responses from France and Germany, where the reaction was more "coded" through the bleak movement known as Expressionism.
Myths and Realities of World War I 
Sunday,  December 7 at 2 pm 
In the popular imagination, WWI consisted of repeated attacks  by neat rows of infantry against trenches defended by barbed wire and machine guns, resulting in the slaughter of a generation of young men. The reality of war was far more complex. Thomas Mockaitis,  PhD, Professor of  History at DePaul, will consider  the significance of the war in historical context.
Film Screenings
2:30 and 6:30 pm
October 10       
 All Quiet on the Western Front  
A group of young World War I German recruits pass from idealism to disillusionment with war.
November 7  
Paths of Glory
 During WWI, a French battalion is ordered on a suicide mission that is likely
to fail .When it does, the general that planned the mission selects three soldiers from the battalion to be executed for cowardice, and selects their leader as their attorney.   
December 5
Joyeux Noel 
Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.   Subtitled.
For more information contact Nancy Wagner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (847) 256-6930.
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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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