The Polar Express: A Favorite for Three Decades

It’s been three decades since “The Polar Express” first came chugging off the pages and into our lives, enchanting us with the story of a young boy who boards a train on Christmas Eve to take a fateful and reaffirming journey. In the book, which has sold more than 6.5 million copies, author Chris Van…

White Collar Girl

Even if you weren’t addicted to the black and white movies about newspaper gals such as Katherine Hepburn in “Woman of the Year” and Glenda Farrell in the Torchy Blane series like I was, Renee Rosen’s latest book, “” about a Chicago reporter in the 1950s, is still a great read. Rosen, who plums Chicago’s…

United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists

In his latest book, United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists (Crown 2016; $28), CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen discusses the factors leading to the radicalization of U.S. citizens, how social media plays a big part in recruitment and the increase in the number of women joining terrorist groups. His book, made into…

Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the US Film Industry

When California was still all about oranges, Chicago ruled when it came to movies—a brief but glorious decade where local girl Gloria Swanson earned money as an extra to pay for pickles (of all things) before moving on to stardom, becoming Joe Kennedy’s mistress and then later the fading actress in the classic Sunset Boulevard….