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Best bookstore

Pilsen Community Books

Video: Shane Collins

Whether you’re browsing for a bilingual children’s book or a first-edition Woolf, founders Mary Gibbons and Aaron Lippelt have you covered, thanks to their unique taste and talent for hunting rare finds. Below, Gibbons picks five obscure titles—something for every kind of reader.

1102 W. 18th St., pilsencommunitybooks.org

Photo: Jeff Marini

1 Saturnalia by Rey Andújar (translated by Kolin Jordan)

“It’s experimental and wild,” says Gibbons of the local author’s story collection. $20

2 These Are the Ways in Which I Have Tried to Tell You by Nathaniel Russell

A mix of drawing and prose, this Pilsen-printed zine is like a picture book for adults. $10

3 Little Labors by Rivka Galchen

Alternately hilarious and wrenching, this must-read essay set for new moms tackles “constraints on creativity when you have a newborn.” $14

4 The Woman’s Day Book of House Plants by Jean Hersey

“The surprise hit this summer has been field guides”—including this 1965 introduction to house plants. $6

5 Painted Cities by Alexai Galaviz-Budziszewski

The world according to this longtime Pilsen resident is dark, graffiti-marked, and run by neighborhood staples. $16

Celebrate this year’s winners at our annual Best of Chicago event on August 11. Get tickets here.


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