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5. "Walter's Perspective: A Memoir of Fifty Years in Chicago TV News" by Walter Jacobson

— Carol H., Chicago

Lots of Chicago on this list, and I'm going to make my recommendation in that spirit. A classic that anyone who wants to know Chicago's past needs to read, "The Man with the Golden Arm" by Nelson Algren.

1. "My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson" by Alfred Habegger

2. "The Nerdist Way" by Chris Hardwick

3. "Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division" by Peter Hook

4. "The Battle for God" by Karen Armstrong

5. "Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?" by Mindy Kaling

— Kathy M., Chicago

Boy, this one is tough. Definitely an interest in biography, though I can't see an immediate link between a 19th century poet and the bass player for a seminal alternative band. I'm going to head toward the Hardwick and Kaling with this recommendation, "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman.

1. "The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman

2. "Finding Grace" by Sarah Pawley

3. "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots" by Deborah Feldman

4. "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes

5. "In One Person" by John Irving

— Andrea B., Northbrook

For Andrea, an early book by Ann Patchett, "The Patron Saint of Liars."

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