The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

Random House; $23
Elizabeth Berg‘s series of charming, defiant short stories dare readers to indulge in simple pleasures, even if it means breaking a few rules. “I opened the lid on the box and had a good whiff of the donuts,” she writes. “And then I looked around and there was no one so I ran my tongue along every single surface of every single donut. Man.”


Little Things: A Memoir in Slices

Simon & Schuster/Touchstone; $14
His cartoon fuzz beard intact, award-winning comics artist Jeffrey Brown wanders bewilderedly through relationships in this collection of short graphic stories set in and around Wicker Park.


Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future

University of Chicago Press; $22.50
Nearly 50 years after the first televised presidential debates, former FCC chairman Newton Minow and Northwestern professor Craig LaMay provide a comprehensive firsthand account of the debates’ history, plus five plans for improvement. Suggestion one: Kick canned speeches and get real.


Easy Innocence

Bleak House Books; $24.95
A North Shore girl is murdered in what looks like high-school hazing gone awry, but private investigator Georgia Davis discovers this case isn’t as simple as it seems. By Northbrook writer Libby Fischer Hellman, founder of the Chicago crime authors’ blog The Outfit


Photography: Black Box Studios, Inc.