Chicago in the ’90s

I talked to WGN’s Nick Digilio about why the 1990s were the greatest decade in Chicago’s history. It wasn’t just because of the Bulls. Read the Chicago magazine article that sparked the conversation here, and listen to the interview here.

Rahm Emanuel: The Exit Interview

After eight years, I finally got into Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office to ask him about school closings, declining neighborhoods and the Laquan McDonald shooting. He was combative. He was defensive. He was Rahm. Read what he had to say here.

Upcoming “Folktales and Legends of the Middle West” events

July 1: The Hideout, Chicago, 5 p.m.
July 3: Tuesday Funk, Hopleaf, Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
July 5: 57th Street Books, Chicago, 6 p.m.
July 7: Everybody Reads, Lansing, Mich., 3 p.m.
July 8: Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., 7 p.m.
July 9: Pages Bookshop, Detroit, 6 p.m.
July 11: Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wis., 6:30 p.m.
July 14: Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, Wis., 10 a.m.
July 14: Fond du Lac Public Library, Fond du Lac, Wis., 2 p.m.

“How to Speak Midwestern” on WGN Radio

On Thursday, June 8, I joined Justin Kaufmann, host of WGN’s “The Download,” for a feature called “You Know What I’m Saying?” I tried to guess where callers were from by asking probing questions such as “What do you call a store where you buy alcohol?” or “What do you call athletic footwear?” I was able to identify the home states of most callers; the ones who stumped me won a free pass to Sycamore Speedway in Sycamore, Illinois. Listen here.




Publication Day for “How to Speak Midwestern”

December 1 was Publication Day for “How to Speak Midwestern.” It started off with an interview on the “Morning Shift” program at WBEZ in Chicago. Listen here. Crain’s Chicago Business ran an excerpt from the book. Chicagoist weighed in with a nice feature, as did Third Coast Review. In the evening, I did a book reading at the Book Cellar, where we sold 29 books, a one-day record for me.