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Once in a while we here at Evanston Public Library like to highlight the local authors and legends that make it onto our shelves. We particularly like it when we learn something new in the process. The other day I received a very interesting email from a Professor of History at Texas Southern University. She wrote:

I would like to suggest that you consider adding the following historic novel to your collection: “Angie Brown: A Jim Crow Romance” (Outskirts Press, 2017), by Lillian Jones Horace (1880-1965), the US South’s earliest known African American female novelist, editor, Karen Kossie-Chernyshev, Ph.D, foreword by Michon Benson, Ph.D.

“Angie Brown: A Jim Crow Romance” is a coming-of-age migration novel in which the protagonist journeys midwestward in search for a better life. Part of the story unfolds in Illinois, which your readership may appreciate.

Suggesting a gradual positive reception, this book recently won the Hungry Monster Gold Book Award, sponsored by a review service affiliated with

You might also appreciate knowing that Lillian Horace spent considerable time in Evanston, as her husband, J. Gentry Horace, once served as pastor of the historic Second Baptist Church, where he is still honored for helping marshal the church through the Great Depression.

Please consider adding “Recovering Five Generations Hence: The Life and Writing of Lillian Jones Horace” (Texas A & M University Press, 2013) to your collection as well. It contains an annotated version of Ms. Horace’s historic first novel, “Five Generations Hence,” and a collection of scholarly essays treating various aspects of her work. Perhaps most importantly, it contains a biographical essay on Horace that examines her life in Chicago and Evanston.

I am happy to report that we will indeed be adding Ms. Horace’s books, both the new publication of “Angie Brown and Recovering Five Generations Hence.” Look for these on the EPL shelves soon.

Meanwhile, local photographer Mark Swanson was in the library the other day. He contacted me to let me know that he has a wide range of absolutely stunning nature books taken in our very own neck of the woods. In fact he personally donated the following items:
• Moments in Nature, Vol. 1: Birds of Chicagoland
• Moments in Nature, Vol. 2: Insects of Chicagoland
• Moments in Nature, Vol. 3: Butterflies & Moths of Chicagoland
• Moments in Nature, Vol. 4: Damselflies of Chicagoland
• Moments in Nature, Vol. 5: Dragonflies of Chicagoland
• Animals of North Park Village Nature Center
• Birds of North Pond Nature Sanctuary
• Birds of Montrose Point

Because these items don’t have an ISBN our talented catalogers will have to take a little extra time to add them to our collection. Rest assured that it will be worth the wait, however.  The critters on these pages are rendered in all their magnificent splendor.