The Barn House
New American Library; $22.95
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, an idea that Ed Zotti explores in his urban rehab tell-all The Barn House. "The house was the kind of place that the neighborhood kids probably held their breath and crossed their fingers when walking past," writes Zotti about the dilapidated property—threatened by a foundation of sand—that he remodeled in Ravenswood. 

Everyday Survival
W. W. Norton; $25.95
With his seventh book, Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things, Evanston writer Laurence Gonzales examines how today’s society has weakened our most basic of instincts: survival.

The Galloping Ghost
Houghton Mifflin; $25
Football wasn’t truly football until the coming of Red Grange, one of the most influential Bears players of all time. In The Galloping Ghost, first-time biographer Gary Poole describes the life of Wheaton-raised Grange and his impact on the game, the business, and the popularity of football in our country.

Dream City
MacAdam/Cage; $22
Oak Park resident Brendan Short has written a powerful first novel, Dream City, about a six-year-old whose comic-obsessed, carefree innocence is broken after his mother’s death. The book is set in a faithfully re-created Depression-era Chicago.