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The upcoming Small Business Saturday has us thinking local! While you're prepping to shop local and support area businesses, we're thinking about books and movies by local authors and filmmakers, and also all about the Chicagoland area. Think local with these suggestions from our staff.

Book River
Book River Items

Dead Eleven (2023)

by Jimmy Juliano

Off the Door County Peninsula, there's an island stuck in the year 1994. A place where rules are put in place, rules put there for a reason, for protection. Willow Stone arrives on the island and disappears five weeks later. Her brother comes to investigate and finds something sinister on the island. - Lauren, Hanover Park Branch

Some Choose Darkness (2019)

by Charlie Donlea

Charlie Donlea of Cary, IL, is one of my favorite mystery/suspense/thriller writers. I have met him three times! Some Choose Darkness is one of my favorite books by him. It is set in Chicago, has interesting characters, and links current and past cases. - Allison, Hoffman Estates Branch

The Blues Brothers (1998)

by Universal Pictures Corporation

This classic, popular film stars John Belushi and Dan Aykrord! In the film, Jake Blues rejoins with his brother Elwood after being released from prison, and they have just days to reunite their old band and save the Catholic home where the two were raised, outrunning the police as they tear through Chicago. I love the Chicago scenes and all the shenanigans these two go through to attain their goal! A very fun flick! - Janet, Fiction, Movies & Music

Check Engine and Other Stories (2021)

by Jennifer Companik

This debut collection features stories about marriage and divorce, life and death, gender roles and all manner of complications that come with just existing. Showing range and nuance, it is an exiting sample of what is to come from this author. - Emily, Fiction, Movies & Music

Animal House (2003)

by Universal Pictures

Writer and director Harold Ramis was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and was known largely for his work in comedy - spending his early career writing, performing and studying with National Lampoon and Second City Improv. His first foray into screenwriting came with National Lampoon’s Animal House, and he was a frequent collaborator throughout his lifetime with other local artists, such as Bill Murray, John Belushi and John Landis. His comedic voice and talent are unmistakable, and he has left a lasting impression on the genre. In 2016, shortly following his death, he was honored with the creation of the Harold Ramis Film School, established through Second City. - Monica, Fiction, Movies & Music

Bride of the Tornado (2023)

by James Kennedy

Featuring sentient tornados that show up once a generation to wreak havoc on a small midwestern town, this isn't like any monster story you've read before. With beautiful turns of phrase and deeply realized characters, this book knocked my socks off. - Emily, Fiction, Movies & Music

Cicada Summer (2017)

by Maureen Leurck

This book about second chances is set in Lake Geneva, WI. Maureen Leurck lives in the Chicago suburbs and spent her summers in Lake Geneva. Fans of realistic, relationship-based fiction or the Lake Geneva area would enjoy this captivating read. - Allison, Hoffman Estates Branch