IllinoisTimes - Books https://illinoistimes.com/articles.sec-37-1-books.html Wed, 19 Sep 18 00:00:00 -0400 en hourly 1 Just Judy, a politician we miss - Her son’s loving tribute to Judy Baar Topinka’s leadership and style https://illinoistimes.com/article-20430-just-judy-a-politician-we-miss.html Just Judy, a politician we miss - Her son’s loving tribute to Judy Baar Topinka’s leadership and style
 Judy Barr Topinka had a distinguished career in politics, serving as Illinois representative, senator, state treasurer and comptroller. She was often called “colorful” so it is fitting that...]]>
Harsh story well told - Sundown Town: The Negroes didn’t know they would not be welcome in Illinois https://illinoistimes.com/article-20401-harsh-story-well-told.html Harsh story well told - Sundown Town: The Negroes didn’t know they would not be welcome in Illinois
Sundown Town is an easy, yet difficult, read. It’s a page-turner with an unbelievable, yet believable, story. Taking the reader from Alabama to Illinois right before the turn of the century, the aut...]]>
Lincoln’s last trial - How a smart Springfield lawyer saved Peachy Harrison from the gallows https://illinoistimes.com/article-20321-lincoln%25E2%2580%2599s-last-trial.html Lincoln’s last trial - How a smart Springfield lawyer saved Peachy Harrison from the gallows
 Were Abraham Lincoln to somehow miraculously reappear on the streets of Springfield this week, there would be a great deal that he might recognize. He could walk to his home on Eighth Street whe...]]>
Free Frank’s City of Brotherly Love https://illinoistimes.com/article-20201-free-frank%25E2%2580%2599s-city-of-brotherly-love.html Free Frank’s City of Brotherly Love
Picture what life was like in the 1830s in western Illinois near the Mississippi River. Although the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the area that became Illinois, residents could ke...]]>
A fictional Illinois small-town police chief, pregnant and endearing https://illinoistimes.com/article-19972-a-fictional-illinois-small-town-police-chief-pregnant-and-endearing.html A fictional Illinois small-town police chief, pregnant and endearing
Kelly McMullin is a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, having served the final decade as a detective in the bomb squad. Relocating to Loda, in east central Illinois, he began his writin...]]>
Ali, adopted son of Illinois - The most famous man on the planet, he stayed in the ring too long. https://illinoistimes.com/article-19801-ali-adopted-son-of-illinois.html Ali, adopted son of Illinois - The most famous man on the planet, he stayed in the ring too long.
 Muhammed Ali died in 2016 at the age of 74. Upon his death, President Barack Obama eulogized him with the observation that, “He stood with King and Mandela; stood up when it was hard; spoke up...]]>
A reporter’s novel brings alive characters and the Klan https://illinoistimes.com/article-19558-a-reporter%25E2%2580%2599s-novel-brings-alive-characters-and-the-klan.html A reporter’s novel brings alive characters and the Klan
 Mark Twain’s often quoted observation, “write what you know” is often debated by writers. Some are critical, some supportive. But St. Louis author William Stage is a true believer in Twain...]]>
Colorful stories from Rochester history https://illinoistimes.com/article-19388-colorful-stories-from-rochester-history.html Colorful stories from Rochester history
Cotton, Violins & Shots in the Night – A Timeline Visit to Rochester, Illinois By Raymond and Pamela Bruzan. 467 pagesIf you live in Rochester, you should pick up this book. If you live in Sprin...]]>
Solid history, entertainingly told - Krohe’s clever prose makes mid-Illinois history almost fun https://illinoistimes.com/article-19352-solid-history-entertainingly-told.html Solid history, entertainingly told - Krohe’s clever prose makes mid-Illinois history almost fun
 James Krohe Jr., Corn Kings & One-Horse Thieves: A Plain-Spoken History of Mid-Illinois. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2017.This work of solid history, entertainingly told,...]]>
Society of the Living Dead https://illinoistimes.com/article-19083-society-of-the-living-dead.html Society of the Living Dead
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women By Kate Moore, 2017, Sourcebooks, 404 pages, $26.99Back in 2007, a group of students from Ottawa High School were invited to perform a 20-...]]>
It’s hard to build heaven in Illinois https://illinoistimes.com/article-19022-it%25E2%2580%2599s-hard-to-build-heaven-in-illinois.html It’s hard to build heaven in Illinois
Can one ever really form a true utopia – and will it actually survive? Randall J. Soland of Springfield explores six utopias formed in Illinois between 1839 and 1942, in an interesting, well-researc...]]>
Timeless hunger - A sparkling new account of the doomed Donner Party https://illinoistimes.com/article-18859-timeless-hunger.html Timeless hunger - A sparkling new account of the doomed Donner Party
Of all the stories of the settling of the American West, none is as compelling, heroic and tragic as that of the Donner Party, which stepped into history on April 15, 1846, from Springfield, Illinois....]]>
A courtroom thriller to make you think https://illinoistimes.com/article-18781-a-courtroom-thriller-to-make-you-think.html A courtroom thriller to make you think
Deep into his new novel, Testimony, author Scott Turow makes a prescient observation about trial lawyers through the thoughts of his protagonist, Willian ten Boom. “The truth is that every effective...]]>
A new history of New Salem - Celebrating the town once called “Lincoln’s alma mater” https://illinoistimes.com/article-18623-a-new-history-of-new-salem.html A new history of New Salem - Celebrating the town once called “Lincoln’s alma mater”
 If not for Abraham Lincoln, New Salem would have been just another frontier community lost to history. Instead, the people, places, and events live on in books, articles, plays, and a reconstruc...]]>
Pioneers in women’s baseball - The long road to sports equality began long ago https://illinoistimes.com/article-18594-pioneers-in-women%25E2%2580%2599s-baseball.html Pioneers in women’s baseball - The long road to sports equality began long ago
Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers, by Debra Shattuck.University of Illinois Press, 2017.The role of women in sports has traveled a somewhat winding road, occasionally strewn with potholes and det...]]>
Lincoln on leadership - Guessing what a 19th-century president would do today https://illinoistimes.com/article-18474-lincoln-on-leadership.html Lincoln on leadership - Guessing what a 19th-century president would do today
Lincoln on Leadership for Today: Abraham Lincoln’s Approach to 21st Century Issues. By Donald T. Phillips, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.In his first nationally televised one-on-one interview, Donald Tr...]]>
Parade power - A history of floats promoting visibility and understanding https://illinoistimes.com/article-18319-parade-power.html Parade power - A history of floats promoting visibility and understanding
 Perhaps If You Saw One is a picture book of whimsical parade floats and enthusiastic participants. Published by Springfield’s Coalition of Rainbow Alliances, the book amounts to an informal hi...]]>
Pictures of the past - A new photo collection showcases an era of preservation https://illinoistimes.com/article-18146-pictures-of-the-past.html Pictures of the past - A new photo collection showcases an era of preservation
 Springfield underwent a substantial transformation during the 1960s and 1970s. Through developments in the areas of tourism, education, entertainment and commerce, the city wasc adamant about pr...]]>
Powell’s politics of pragmatism - How downstate dealmakers got things done https://illinoistimes.com/article-17878-powell%25E2%2580%2599s-politics-of-pragmatism.html Powell’s politics of pragmatism - How downstate dealmakers got things done
Pragmatism used to be a dirty word in government. The pragmatist was too quick to sacrifice principle for the grimy give-and-take of backroom deals, too eager to exploit the interests of the many for...]]>
Titanic exhibit comes to Peoria museum - See artifacts and an iceberg, opening Nov. 12 https://illinoistimes.com/article-17879-titanic-exhibit-comes-to-peoria-museum.html Titanic exhibit comes to Peoria museum - See artifacts and an iceberg, opening Nov. 12
 Ever since Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet stood on the bow in that blockbuster movie, crowds have flocked to exhibits dedicated to all things Titanic. Swinging a trip to museums in Southampt...]]>
Life in focus https://illinoistimes.com/article-17720-life-in-focus.html Life in focus
 Hardworking, faithful, and resilient in the face of what others might call setbacks, professional photographer Dave Beatty has enjoyed a career photographing corporate jets and entertainment sta...]]>
Conflicts of interest - Chicago writer Michael Harvey takes a quick trip to Boston for his latest mystery https://illinoistimes.com/article-17465-conflicts-of-interest.html Conflicts of interest - Chicago writer Michael Harvey takes a quick trip to Boston for his latest mystery
 “If my bones are Chicago, my blood is Boston, and specifically Brighton,” observes Michael Harvey in the acknowledgements to his most recent mystery novel. Harvey is a multitalented journali...]]>
The story of Shoeless Joe Jackson https://illinoistimes.com/article-17347-the-story-of-shoeless-joe-jackson.html The story of Shoeless Joe Jackson
 Writer Nelson Algren once observed that “Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.” Fans of Chicago’s baseball teams would certainly disagree since October is the month of basebal...]]>
Sex in St. Louis, 1980s-style - A mystery that reads like a crime novel, minus guns https://illinoistimes.com/article-16866-sex-in-st-louis-1980s-style.html Sex in St. Louis, 1980s-style - A mystery that reads like a crime novel, minus guns
Creatures on Display, by Wm. Stage. Floppinfish Publishing Co. Ltd. I have always believed that the only thing more difficult than reading about sex is writing about it. Creatures on Display, by Wm. S...]]>
Funny murder mystery - For a good holiday read, curl up with Mrs. Modine https://illinoistimes.com/article-16511-funny-murder-mystery.html Funny murder mystery - For a good holiday read, curl up with Mrs. Modine
Mrs. Modine and the Case of the Haunted Halloween Séance. By D. Ann Johnson. ISBN 9781517140434. 206 pages. Available on Amazon or CreateSpace.Want to cozy up with a good mystery over the holidays? M...]]>
From Lithuania to the land of Lincoln https://illinoistimes.com/article-16383-from-lithuania-to-the-land-of-lincoln.html From Lithuania to the land of Lincoln
 A Century of Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois by Sandy Baksys, 2015 My advice is always to “read locally,” but you’ll find when you read about Springfield’s Lithuanians, you’re rea...]]>
At 92, a Springfield poet faces the future https://illinoistimes.com/article-16358-at-92-a-springfield-poet-faces-the-future.html At 92, a Springfield poet faces the future
In his 23rd book of poetry, Springfield poet John Knoepfle uses his voice – customarily cagey and perhaps even more intimate than usual – to deliver quietly crucial insights about what it is to be...]]>
Stories of people on the margins getting by https://illinoistimes.com/article-16321-stories-of-people-on-the-margins-getting-by.html Stories of people on the margins getting by
 Springfield author Barbara Wyatt Olson has completed her first short fiction collection. On the Rez and Other Stories is an anthology populated with ordinary people whose struggles stay with you...]]>
The Illinois governor becomes a fugitive - After his conviction, the governor disappears https://illinoistimes.com/article-15593-the-illinois-governor-becomes-a-fugitive.html The Illinois governor becomes a fugitive - After his conviction, the governor disappears
The Governor’s Wife, by Michael Harvey. Knopf, 2015.Many fictional detectives and private investigators are identified with the cities of their authors. It is a means for the writer to share with th...]]>
The Cubs’ golden age https://illinoistimes.com/article-15281-the-cubs%25E2%2580%2599-golden-age.html The Cubs’ golden age
In the interest of journalistic disclosure, I confess that I am not a Chicago Cubs fan. Indeed those who know me understand that if there were a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders f...]]>