July 28, 2012

Printers Row
Edited by Elizabeth Taylor

The Book Lovers -- The relatively new literary supplement to the Chicago Tribune is everything a literary supplement should be. Rather than page after page of tedious plot recaps and ponderous reviews (see: the evermore stodgy New York Times Book Review), Printers Row offers a lively reflection of the Windy City's vital literary scene. In addition to brief book reviews, Printers Row publishes clever features, interesting Book Club profiles, and telling glimpses into Chicago's appreciation of writers and the written word. A typical delight: the use of a CTA public transit map to show titles of books passengers were spotted reading at different El and subway stops throughout the city. My favorite Book Club profile so far describes the Edward Hines Jr. Veteran Affairs Hospital Literature and Medicine Book Club, whose members knocked Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" for being too wordy. (As Robert Charles pointed out, that's a rather cheeky criticism coming from a group that calls itself -- now take another deep breath -- the Edward Hines Jr. Veteran Affairs Hospital Literature and Medicine Book Club.) Other features have listed Chicago schools named for authors; turns out, Louisa May Alcott has both an Elementary School and a School for the Humanities named after her. Printers Row is not inexpensive; but, it also spotlights reading recommendations from local booksellers and even provides much-needed, much-appreciated publicity to independent and self-published authors like yours truly. What's more, Printers Row publishes a new short story each week, rivaling perhaps only The New Yorker in sharing at least 52 new works of fiction every year. In short, Printers Row is the perfect reading for people who love books -- written, edited and designed by people who so obviously love books themselves.


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