Today, we armchair travel to the Windy City for a deep-dive into what makes Chicago different from every other city in America. We break the rules a little bit and discuss six books we love that explore Chicago’s culture, food, and history of rabble-rousers and heroes.
Chicago is a representation of everything that makes the United States the awesome and challenging country that it is. There’s a tradition there of firsts — the skyscraper, the telegraph, the Twinkie — and a commitment to industry with railroads and shipping and meatpacking and teamsters.
There’s also a sobering history of race riots and gangsters. Daring muckrakers and corrupt politicians. Life-affirming jazz and blues musicians and baseball. Hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches. And a population made up of immigrants from all over Europe that’s spawned high-spirited, tough-minded native Chicagoans.
We cover all of this and more in our discussion of books and life in Chicago.
For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus the full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 09 show notes.
Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss a must-read book or thrilling destination!
If we're not available on your favorite podcast-listening platform, send us an email!
Top image courtesy of MisterStock/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.