Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore

‘Three Strikes You’re Dead’ by Robert Goldsborough
Photography: Courtesy of the publishers

7419 Madison St., Forest Park

The ethos Established in 1990, this quaint bookshop reflects owner Augie Aleksy’s twin passions: history and mystery.

Aisle-hop Characteristic categories include “Vintage Mysteries of the Golden Age,” “New, Rare and Out-of-Print Sherlockian Books,” and “Chicago’s People and Places.”

Lit pick Three Strikes You’re Dead by Robert Goldsborough is set in 1938, the year the Cubs bought Dizzy Dean and made it to the World Series. “It’s a great Chicago mystery,” says Aleksy.

Exile in Bookville

’Revenge of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History From Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot’ by Vivien Goldman

410 S. Michigan Ave.

The ethos There’s a heavy music focus at this year-old Loop shop, which has a selection of vinyl to which customers can listen while they shop. “Books and music have always been intertwined for me,” says co-owner Javier Ramirez.

Aisle-hop You’ll find a display devoted to the series 33⅓, slim volumes each focused on one album, from Neil Young’s Harvest to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.

Lit pick Revenge of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History From Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot by Vivien Goldman is “an indispensable treatise on an oft-ignored era,” says Ramirez.

Women & Children First

‘Women, Race & Class’ by activist Angela Y. Davis

5233 N. Clark St.

The ethos Founded in 1979, this Andersonville institution focuses on feminist, kid-geared, and LGBTQ titles.

Aisle-hop “Young Adult Queer,” “Organizing and Abolition,” and a not-so-run-of-the-mill romance section, a genre that co-owner Sarah Hollenbeck says is “expanding in exciting, fierce, queer, feminist ways.”

Lit pick Women, Race & Class by activist Angela Y. Davis is a staff favorite and perennial bestseller. “I never tell anyone interested in Marxism to start with Marx,” says one staff member. “I tell them to start here.”