Printers Row 1

PRINTERS ROW LIT FEST

Catching up on many things, here is finally something about a very exciting time I spent in Chicago last June!

Printer’s Row, also known as Printing House Row, is a neighborhood located south of the Chicago downtown area known as the Loop. The annual Printers Row Lit Fest is held in early June along Dearborn Street. This year it was the 30th Fest, and finally my first time there!

It was really neat to see these long rows of booths full of books, authors, and readers, with the famous Chicago architecture landmarks in the background.

PR4 Dearborne

I did walk miles and miles, going up and down I don’t know how many times. Hiking + books, do you know about a better combo? I don’t.

 PR7 (2) PR5

Readers were very focused, as they should be, right? alert to find any good bargain.

PR3 PR1

And then, ta-dah! I spotted Amika Press, (see also their Facebook page) and suddenly remembered that with France Book Tours, we had organized a virtual book tours for Ruth Hull Chatlien and her great historical novel published by that press on The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte. This is about Betsy Patterson, who grew up in Baltimore, and ended up marrying Napoleon’s older brother!
So I went to the booth, presented myself, and asked if by any chance Ruth would be there. And yes, she was on her way! So it was really fun to meet face to face.

with Ruth Hull Chatlien

If you have not yet heard about The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, I highly recommend you come and visit the tour page, read a few of the reviews, and go have a look at the author’s web page. She is also on Twitter and Facebook.
Here was my verdict for her book:

I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy historical fiction, strong women, and/or reading about the Bonapartes. On a very detailed and informative background, Chatlien manages to draw the lively portrait of a strong woman, victim of history and of her milieu. You will want to accompany Betsy all along and discover what fate has in store for her and those she loves.

As extra cherries on the cake, I discovered two new to me local authors :

with Dan Burns

Dan Burns even offered me his collection of short stories: No Turning Back. I just read them and will present them very soon on this blog. I will tell you more about him with my review, but I would like to mention here that he just won for Best Screen Play at the Naperville Independent Film Festival with A Fine Line!

I also met an author of very interesting historical mysteries featuring Emily Cabot, published by Allium Press:

with Frances McNamara

I just read Death at The Fair, by Frances McNamara: it is about a murder during the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Fascinating! She also has a volume on Chinatown. I will present Death at the Fair very shortly here as well.

Conclusion: if there are literary events around you, don’t miss them, they are fun and great opportunities to meet with authors you know, connect with new ones, and discover small presses.
And don’t wait for 5 months to talk to us about it as I did!

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