Books Between Bites 2014-15 Flyer in a printable pdf file
Our Complete 2014-15 Season Schedule:
September 18, 2014

Jackie's Journal

by Jackie Christiansen and Diane Mayer Christiansen

Diane Mayer Christiansen

Glenview resident Jackie Christiansen describes himself as "just a regular 12-year-old kid." He likes to fish, play chess, swim, and collect Hot Wheels cars. But his struggle with Autism Spectrum Disorder often alienates him from his peers.

Follow one boy’s journey with ASD through his mother’s never-ending mission to help others understand what this difference looks like on a daily basis. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly—the things that the rest of the world typically doesn’t understand. Mostly, it’s a celebration of who we are.

Diane Mayer Christiansen’s other works include Snub Club, Secrets of Woodcrest: Escape from Levitius, and Switcher.


Books will be available for sale and signing

October 16, 2014

History of
Batavia High School Yearbooks

Mayor Jeff Schielke

Batavia's Mayor Jeff Schielke makes his annual visit to the program to share stories and historical anecdotes about our city.

This year he shares highlights of the interesting historical information he has found from the collection of Batavia High School yearbooks that are available to peruse at the Batavia Public Library.
Mayor Jeff Schielke
November 20, 2014

Program on

Chicago World's Fair 1933-1934

A Century of Progress International Exposition

Rick Rann

Rick Rann has been collecting 1933 Chicago World's Fair items for over 25 years. He co-founded and produces the World's Fair Memorabilia Show that has been held every spring for the last 20 years. Rann is an amateur historian and a World's Fair aficionado. He has a collection of over 5000 World's Fair items, from snapshots to souvenirs, to employee uniforms and architectural models.

He has given several lectures on the 1933 World's Fair at area libraries and provided artifacts and material for PBS shows related to the World's Fair. Rann lent several items from his collection to the "Designing Tomorrow - America's World's Fairs of the 1930s" exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. which also traveled to the Museum of the City of New York and the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan from 2010 to 2013. 

December 17, 2014

Busy-Busy Little Chick
Author & Poet Janice N. Harrington

We welcome the return of children’s author, poet, and storyteller Janice Harrington. She will read from her new children’s book The Busy-Busy Little Chick, talk about the challenges of turning a traditional story into a picturebook, share family stories, and give you a chance to write your own story through poetry.

Harrington is a former librarian and professional storyteller, who now teaches creative writing in the Department of English at the University of Illinois. She  last visited our program in 2012 and shared her poetry book The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home and her children's book The Chicken-Chasing Queen of LaMar County.

Books will be available for sale and signing

For more about Harrington, visit her website:

January 15, 2015

The Bully Pulpit:
Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Judge Steve Sullivan

Goodwin, renowned historian and author of several best-selling books on the American Presidency, recounts the careers of two of the most fascinating figures of the turn-of-the-century political scene, as well as the role of the muckraking journalists of the era.

Sullivan, a retired judge from Batavia, will highlight the events and personalities of the time from a unique perspective.

February 19, 2015

A Feathered River Across the Sky:
The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction

Joel Greenberg

Valerie Blaine

With his knack for natural and cultural history, Joel Greenberg tells the story of the Passenger Pigeon and the “perfect storm” of its destruction. With an eye to the future, he urges the reader to consider the lessons that can be learned from the disappearance of this iconic American species.

We welcome back Valerie Blaine, Nature Programs Manager at the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, who will address the question: How can a species that numbered in the billions plummet to zero in less than 100 years?

March 19, 2015

Michael Jordan: The Life

by Roland Lazenby

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

Lester Munson

Lester Munson, nationally known commentator and ESPN senior writer and legal analyst, returns to our program to discuss two distinctly different books (and he may throw in another, come March!)

Michael Jordan: The Life has been called the definitive biography of a legendary athlete. Basketball journalist Roland Lazenby spent almost thirty years covering Michael Jordan's career in college and the pros. He witnessed Jordan's growth from a skinny rookie to the instantly recognizable global ambassador for basketball whose business savvy and success have millions of kids still wanting to be just like Mike. Yet Lazenby also witnessed the Michael Jordan whose drive and appetite are more fearsome and more insatiable than any of his fans could begin to know.

Just added - The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  This is a story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
Lester Munson

April 16, 2015

Notable Chicagoans:
Nelson Algren & David Mamet

Rick Kogan

Kogan, of the Chicago Tribune and WGN radio, returns to continue his discussion of noteable Chicago writers. Nelson Algren (1909-1981) grew up in Chicago and wrote essays, short stories, and novels. His books included: Chicago: City on the Make, The Man with the Golden Arm, and A Walk on the Wild Side.

David Mamet, born in Chicago in 1947, is a playwright, essayist, screenwriter and director. His well-known plays include
Speed the Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo.  Mamet's films include The Verdict, House of Games and The Untouchables.

In addition to discussing Algren and Mamet, a lively Q&A will likely ensue on a wide variety of Chicago topics.
Rick Kogan
May 21, 2015

Song of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn

Philip Burnham

Philip Burnham

Philip Burnham, originally from Batavia, is a free-lance journalist/historian based on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He is also an assistant professor of composition at George Mason University.

Song of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn is the biography of a Lakota who witnessed the Battle of Little Bighorn and survived the Wounded Knee Massacre, and chronicles a remarkable life that can be traced through major historical events from the late nineteenth into the mid-twentieth century. 

Burnham previously visited Books Between Bites in 1995 to discuss his book
How the Other Half Lived: A People's Guide to American Historic Sites, an investigation of the public history of American minority groups. He is also the author of Indian Country, God's Country: Native Americans and the National Parks (2000), an exposé of how America's public lands were wrested from North American tribes; and So Far From Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons (2003), a narrative account of Civil War confinement.

His work focuses on American culture, Native American history, and the role of minorities in American life today. Burnham has published in
American Heritage, The Washington Post, MHQ, Transition, Emerge, The Columbia Journalism Review, and Indian Country Today.

Books will be available for sale and signing


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