Adolf Tolkachev leaving his car at a roadblock on June 9, 1985.
Courtesy of H. Keith Melton and the Melton Archive
July 10, 2015

A Tale Of Real-Life Espionage In New Book

David Hoffman details the story of Adolf Tolkachev, the most valuable Soviet spy during the Cold War, and the CIA agents he passed hundreds of thousands of pages of information to in his new book – the Billion Dollar Spy. 


Signature of Saul Bellow from 1975
Public Domain
June 10, 2015

Saul Bellow’s Editor Remembers The Chicago Novelist On His Centennial

Saul Bellow would have been 100 on Wednesday. The novelist who set much of his work in Chicago, immigrated to Chicago from Montreal in July of 1924 and his family settled in Humboldt Park. He stayed in Chicago for most of the rest of his life, attending Northwestern University and teaching at the University of Chicago. We talk with Beena Kamlani who began editing Saul Bellow’s works at Viking in 1988 about her time working with the author considered one of the United States’ greats.


Millennium Falcon spread from Ultimate Star Wars
Courtesy of DK
June 05, 2015

New Star Wars Book Sets The Stage For Episode VII

Star Wars fans are waiting anxiously to see what Disney does with Star Wars when Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens on December 18th. Adam Bray is excited. He’s one of the authors of a forthcoming Star Wars guide: Ultimate Star Wars that sets the stage for Episode VII.


The To Write Love On Her Arms Webpage
May 28, 2015

To Write Love On Her Arms Founder Says Help Is Necessary

Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, which helps people with depression, substance abuse, and self-injury. He has released a new book, If You Feel Too Much, and will be speaking in Chicago on June 8th. He talked with us about his non-profit, the movie based off his original short story, and more. 


Sir Ken Robinson's new book is called Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education
From Image Courtesy of Viking Penguin
May 04, 2015

Education About Creativity and Personalization Not Standardization Says Sir Ken Robinson

World-renowned educator Sir Ken Robinson says education should be about helping children and young people understand the talents that lie within them, and about helping them become fulfilled individuals and compassionate productive citizens. He says this can be achieved if education becomes more personalized rather than standardized.


Author Michael Perry
Courtesy of Michael Perry
April 10, 2015

The Pull Of The Farm Inspires Wisconsin Writer

Michael Perry is a New York Times Bestselling author, known for his memoirs of growing up in and returning to rural Wisconsin. He is also a humorist, singer/songwriter, radio host, and intermittent pig farmer. Even with all of that he is visiting Champaign-Urbana Saturday as the keynote speaker for the Champaign Library’s Local Author Festival. 


Poet Richard Blanco with President Obama
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
April 07, 2015

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco On Identity, Art And Fame

Richard Blanco likes to say that he was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain and imported to the United States. The writer served as the country's fifth inaugural poet at President Obama's 2013 inauguration – an assignment that forced him to confront some long-standing questions about his own identity. 


a cake called tequila mockingbird decorated to look like a drunk bird and a bottle of tequila
Credit: Kaitlin Bane/WILL
April 03, 2015

Devouring Books At The Edible Book Festival

Every year around the start of April, book lovers gather with some of their favorite titles ... and eat them.  It's called the annual Edible Book Festival. This year's local event was held April 1st on the University of Illinois Urbana campus. The creations compete for awards in categories that include, the Funniest-Punniest.


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