July 30th, 2021
On our Front Table this week, explore tensions between American law and individual freedoms, including an ACLU lawyer's complicated relationship to questions of privacy, artistic freedom, and personal expression; the increasing militarization of American policing and its impacts on civil liberties; and a religious leader's historic presidential campaign, which highlighted the question of protections for religious minorities. Find the following titles and more at

Do Not Erase: ...
Front Table
July 23rd, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore global histories of queerness, including an account of the quarter-century fight for same-sex marriage in the United States; an examination of globalization and queer politics in India; and a history of a pivotal point in ancient Greece, shaped largely by a Theban army of same-sex lovers. Find the following titles and more at

Black Bodies, White Gold: Art, Cotton, and Commerce in the Atlantic World...

Front Table
July 22nd, 2021

On this episode of Open Stacks: a prismatic exploration of new releases at the Front Table, an editorial dialogue with Elizabeth Branch Dyson and Eve Ewing, and Ann Kjellberg on a life in publishing, Joseph Brodsky, and how serious books connect us to one another and the world.

Elizabeth Branch Dyson is Assistant Editorial Director and Executive Editor at The University of Chicago Press. She also appears on the first episode of this season of Open Stacks...

Open Stacks Podcast
July 16th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore personal encounters with the natural sciences, including a teenager's naturalist diary; a novelist's account of her insomnia and its various would-be cures; an artist's quest to accurately capture the physical world; and a critical call for the revaluation of women's testimonies in the medical sciences. Find the following titles and more at

Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World (Pegasus Books)
Philip Hoare

In 1520, Albrecht Dürer, the most celebrated artist in...

Front Table
July 15th, 2021

A Braided Heart provides a friendly, personal, and smart guide to the writing life. It also offers clear and original instruction on craft elements at the forefront of today’s emerging forms in creative nonfiction: from the short-short, to the braided form, to the hermit crab essay. An acknowledged expert in these forms, Brenda Miller gives writers practical advice on how to sustain and invigorate their writing practice, while also encouraging readers to explore their own writing lives. Below, she answers some questions about her new book.

What draws you to writing about writing?


July 9th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore new cultural histories, including a critical reexamination of the forms and roles of pop music in Asia during the Cold War; a compendium of artists and writers confronting questions of Black art and identity between 1960 and 1980; and an exploration of Martin Luther as a cultural figure. Find the following titles and more at

Ain't I a Woman? (Random House)
Sojourner Truth


Front Table
July 8th, 2021

On this episode of Open Stacks, a circle around the Co-op’s Front Table: from a post-war pioneer of Afrofuturism on Chicago’s South Side to the complex communal powers of games like spades, mahjong, and pickup soccer.

Thanks to Bryce Lucas for taking us on a tour of the Front Table this time. In this episode, you hear fragments of archival recordings of Sun Ra, including brief excerpts from his film Space is the Place and the track...

Open Stacks Podcast
July 4th, 2021

On our Front Table this week, explore materiality in literature, including an investigation of the role of water in figuring a queer aesthetics in Black diasporic literature; an examination of ruin and decay in Western culture; and an experimental "not-quite study" of a novel from the early AIDS epidemic exploring themes of technology and embodiment. Find the following titles and more at

Averting Catastrophe: Decision Theory for COVID-19, Climate Change, and Potential Disasters of All Kinds (New York University Press)
Cass Sunstein

The world is increasingly confronted with new challenges related to climate change,...

Front Table
June 25th, 2021

FT 6-25On our Front Table this week, explore new works of music criticism, including a biography of the early years of a folk icon; an examination of the science of music, from physics to physiology; and a critical guide to books on American popular music. Find the following titles and more at


Front Table
June 24th, 2021

On this episode of Open Stacks, we celebrate the Co-op reopening its doors for in-person browsing – the first time since we closed 15 months ago. Browsers, booksellers, authors, and our own Clancey D'Isa and Bryce Lucas discuss the transfiguration of space, absence and presence, the "invisible" work of bookselling, and how reading needn't be a solo activity.

Have you read something recently (or over the last year) that moved you, that made you laugh, that you can't stop thinking about, or, simply, that changed you? We'd love to hear you reading an excerpt from the book. Click here to find everything you need to know to...

Open Stacks Podcast