62 books like Living Landmarks of Chicago

By Theresa L. Goodrich,

Here are 62 books that Living Landmarks of Chicago fans have personally recommended if you like Living Landmarks of Chicago. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Code of Conduct

Sharon Michalove Author Of At First Sight

From my list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs. After a career at the University of Illinois, 150 miles downstate, I moved back to my hometown to recapture the urban vibe that I love. A historian, I love the stories that architecture tells me and wandering the streets of the city never stales. Having romance in my life is important and writing about how relationships can develop in the city is part of that. Everywhere I go in Chicago, I think of how my characters might interact with each other and the setting. Romance can be found in grand restaurants and in odd corners and Chicago has it all.

Sharon's book list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago

Sharon Michalove Why did Sharon love this book?

This book combines romance and suspense, humor, and action, all in one package. Shane, a P. I., and Gabriel, a security expert, are separately investigating a person of interest. They eventually cooperate to catch their villain. This is a slow-burn romance with a stiff-upper-lip Brit, working for Cipher Systems in Chicago and an amputee who takes no prisoners. Their explosive mix makes for an exciting ride with a great love story. 

I loved that both Gabriel and Shane live in The Manor, which is the former British consulate. I’d live there myself if I could afford it. Having characters situated in neighborhoods that I know makes the reading experience more authentic. I also loved how Shane handles being an amputee. Her scenes with her prosthetics designer are hilarious.

By April White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Code of Conduct as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** 2021 RWA Vivian Award Finalist – Romantic Suspense **

** Finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards **

“The slow-burn romance between Gabriel and Shane becomes delicious torture. This is a winner.” – Publishers WeeklyStarred Review

There are three things you need to know about Shane P.I.
1) P.I. is not her last name, it’s her job title,
2) Her specialty is catching cheaters, and
3) She’s a superhuman – kind of.

Gabriel is a security expert for Cipher Security, and a former UN Peacekeeper with a fierce protective streak that finds its focus on the beautiful…


Book cover of The Color of Trauma

Sharon Michalove Author Of At First Sight

From my list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs. After a career at the University of Illinois, 150 miles downstate, I moved back to my hometown to recapture the urban vibe that I love. A historian, I love the stories that architecture tells me and wandering the streets of the city never stales. Having romance in my life is important and writing about how relationships can develop in the city is part of that. Everywhere I go in Chicago, I think of how my characters might interact with each other and the setting. Romance can be found in grand restaurants and in odd corners and Chicago has it all.

Sharon's book list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago

Sharon Michalove Why did Sharon love this book?

Hollie’s debut novel is a combination of romantic suspense and paranormal with an interesting concept. The female protagonist is a memory surgeon in Chicago. She removes and keeps painful memories from her patients, which weighs on her psyche. Dean, a police officer, asks her to look at the memories of someone in a coma in an attempt to catch a serial killer. As the two become more and more entangled, their search for clues and growing romance, may make Kiera the next victim.

The paranormal aspect is intriguing, and the concept was completely unfamiliar to me. The book is not for the faint of heart because her depictions can be graphic, but if you like urban grit and sexy romance, this may be the book for you.

By Hollie Smurthwaite,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Color of Trauma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman who can experience other people’s traumatic memories is coerced into helping a Chicago homicide detective catch a serial killer.

"An impressive slice of suspense fiction anchored by two fiery heroes with brio to spare." - Kirkus Reviews
". . . I was on the edge of my chair for the last thirty pages." - Windy City Reviews

Kiera is a memory surgeon. With her gift of removing and holding other’s traumatic memories, she’s helped dozens of women but hasn’t helped herself. Now Dean, a Chicago homicide detective, is asking for even more: for her to look into the…


Book cover of Pucked Love

Sharon Michalove Author Of At First Sight

From my list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs. After a career at the University of Illinois, 150 miles downstate, I moved back to my hometown to recapture the urban vibe that I love. A historian, I love the stories that architecture tells me and wandering the streets of the city never stales. Having romance in my life is important and writing about how relationships can develop in the city is part of that. Everywhere I go in Chicago, I think of how my characters might interact with each other and the setting. Romance can be found in grand restaurants and in odd corners and Chicago has it all.

Sharon's book list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago

Sharon Michalove Why did Sharon love this book?

This is a hockey romance set in Chicago. This is the final book in Helena Hunting’s Pucked series and my favorite. Her fans waited for years for Helena to get Charlene and Darren’s story right. Chicago is a hockey town, so it fits in very well. Underpinned by comedy and angst, a great group of characters, the relationship between the mysterious Darren and his firefly girl, Charlene, are the compelling center. 

In my own book, one scene takes place at a game at the United Center. I have been following my home team, the Blackhawks since the age of eight and when I discovered hockey romance, I was over the moon. I asked Helena why she chose Chicago for her books, and she said it was most like her native Toronto.

By Helena Hunting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pucked Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I've let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as…


Book cover of The Secret Life of Maggie Blake

Sharon Michalove Author Of At First Sight

From my list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs. After a career at the University of Illinois, 150 miles downstate, I moved back to my hometown to recapture the urban vibe that I love. A historian, I love the stories that architecture tells me and wandering the streets of the city never stales. Having romance in my life is important and writing about how relationships can develop in the city is part of that. Everywhere I go in Chicago, I think of how my characters might interact with each other and the setting. Romance can be found in grand restaurants and in odd corners and Chicago has it all.

Sharon's book list on romance, mystery, and suspense in Chicago

Sharon Michalove Why did Sharon love this book?

Much like Walter Mitty, Maggie Blake has a rich fantasy life that breaks the tedium of being a housewife with twins. After seven years of marriage to the seemingly stolid Preston, Maggie misses the excitement of her career as an investigative reporter. When a terrorist plot threatens Chicago, Preston and his team move in to stop it. But he is also trying to protect his identity as the Motorcycle Maverick, a masked Zorro-like figure Maggie dreams about. 

Chicago and its environs, especially a suburb that is reminiscent of Lake Forest, add to the texture of the story. The idea of romantic suspense that involves a married couple is unusual and extremely well done. Marilyn is always an inspiration to me as a writer and this book is no exception.

By Marilyn Brant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of Maggie Blake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SECRET LIFE OF MAGGIE BLAKE is a contemporary romantic suspense, light action & adventure tale by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Marilyn Brant! This story is for fans of humorous husband/wife spy films such as "True Lies," readers who love slow-build romantic suspense, admirers of heroes in disguise like Zorro & The Scarlet Pimpernel, and anyone who's ever found themselves having "Walter Mitty"-like fantasies in the middle of the day...

In an affluent Chicago suburb, Maggie Santori Blake, a clever stay-at-home mom with vivid daydreams of a more exciting life, is caught up in a dangerous…


Book cover of Chicago's Grand Midway: A Walk around the World at the Columbian Exposition

Jocelyn Green Author Of Shadows of the White City

From my list on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and the Historical Novel Society.

Jocelyn's book list on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

Since the Midway was not on the official fairgrounds, it isn’t always discussed in detail in books about the Columbian Exposition/World’s Fair. This book focuses solely on the Midway and includes the background on all the attractions from Mr. Ferris’s Wheel to Cairo Street to Old Vienna, along with photographs and a map.

By Norman Bolotin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chicago's Grand Midway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Created as a centerpiece for the Columbian Exposition of 1893, the Midway Plaisance was for one summer the world's most wondrous thoroughfare. A journey along its length immersed millions of spellbound visitors in a spectacle that merged exoticism with enlightenment and artistic crafts with dizzying technical achievement. Norman Bolotin, with Christine Laing, draws on his vast knowledge of the 1893 exposition to escort readers down the Midway. Step by step he takes you past forbidding Dahomeyans and dozens of belly dancers until, at last, you reach the colossal Ferris Wheel with cabins the size of street cars. The tour reveals…


Book cover of A Trouble of Fools

Scott Von Doviak Author Of Charlesgate Confidential

From my list on crime that bring Boston to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

The roots of my debut novel Charlesgate Confidential are in the time I spent in Boston, most notably the three years I lived in the Charlesgate building when it was an Emerson College dormitory. I always wanted to find a way to write about that time, but it wasn’t until I immersed myself in the world of Boston crime—not only the novels of Higgins, Lehane, and company but nonfiction works like Black Mass and movies like The Departed and The Town—that I hit on the way to tell my story. I’ll always be excited for new Boston-based crime fiction, and I’m happy to share these recommendations with you.

Scott's book list on crime that bring Boston to life

Scott Von Doviak Why did Scott love this book?

Here’s another PI series set in Boston, and while Carlotta Carlyle is nowhere near as well-known as Spenser, Linda Barnes is every bit as readable as Robert Parker. In her first outing (an Edgar Award nominee for Best Novel), ex-cabbie and ex-cop Carlyle takes on a missing person case that has her tangling with IRA gunrunners. A Trouble of Fools is my pick because it brings the ‘80s Boston I remember to life, and because of the light, humorous voice Barnes lends the proceedings.

By Linda Barnes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Trouble of Fools as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This award-winning debut mystery introduces a Boston PI who’s “one of the most sparkling, most irresistible heroines ever to grace the pages of a whodunit” (Chicago Sun-Times).
 
Six-foot-tall, redheaded ex-cop and Boston-based private eye Carlotta Carlyle is “the genuine article: a straightforward, funny, thoroughly American mystery heroine” (New York Post).

Let go from the Beantown police force for insubordination, Carlotta Carlyle is ready for business. Her first client is the genteel and elderly Margaret Devens, whose brother, Eugene, one of the last in a handful of Boston’s aging Irish cabbies, has suddenly vanished.
 
The case should be a cinch. Carlotta…


Book cover of Run, Come See Jerusalem!

Larry A. Brown Author Of Temporal Gambit

From my list on time travel resulting in alternate realities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read SF, starting with the classic Jules Verne, since I was a young teenager. Soon I discovered Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Ellison, Zelazny, Dick, all of whom lit up my mind with wondrous and sometimes dangerous visions of possible futures. During the COVID shutdown period, when our university went to online instruction, my wife convinced me to try my hand at writing in my favorite genre. Previously I had written a textbook, How Films Tell Stories (listed here at Shepherd), but never any fiction, so I wrote Temporal Gambit, a time-travel adventure combined with themes of first contact, artificial intelligence, and alternate history. I then followed it with a sequel. I hope you enjoy. 

Larry's book list on time travel resulting in alternate realities

Larry A. Brown Why did Larry love this book?

This clever novel takes the old premise, “What would happen if you went into the past and met yourself?” and magnifies it by multiple degrees.

Returning to the time of the great Chicago fire, the hero ends up meeting several past and/or future versions of himself, each time making his situation more complicated. A quick, enjoyable read.

By Richard C. Meredith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Run, Come See Jerusalem! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1st edition paperback, vg++


Book cover of Crossroads

Sherry Marie Gallagher Author Of Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture

From my list on reliving the American countercultural experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a degreed socio-linguist and international educator, my novel writing has been immersed in the human experience that began early on as a teen musician immersed naively in a non-mainstream world of creatives and cons, when the word 'counterculture' was perceived more as a renaissance than the drug-laden world of darker gatherings that it later came to be known as. Boulder Blues is a work of fiction drawn from both fantasy and personal exposure. From there I went on to teach in American alternative education and later at university with a focus on rhetoric and forensic writing. My draw to other cultures and their perspectives moved me to go on to teach internationally.

Sherry's book list on reliving the American countercultural experience

Sherry Marie Gallagher Why did Sherry love this book?

Vogue praises this as a "magnificent portrait of an American family on the brink" by painting a story of a typical 1970’s family that is influenced by the challenging morals of the time. Exploiting a generational perspective that the breaking of old taboos leads to a better world, this novel drags out tired themes of egoistic flirtation and personal searches for fulfillment to the detriment of others involved, such as the family unit. 

The mother of the story is perhaps the only sympathetic character waking up to the fact that she’s buried herself in calories while avoiding truths she has a hard time facing as she attempts to reshape her being through a more pleasing physical self. The husband, on the other hand, is a failed contemporary minister in love with another one of his parishioners. Without facing up to his own moral shortcomings, he instead justifies his own motives…

By Jonathan Franzen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Crossroads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.

It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social…


Book cover of Sister Carrie

William Breedlove Martin Author Of Expense of Spirit

From my list on the allure of wealth, status, and illicit romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1942. My father was a druggist and my mother a housewife until his illness put her to work as a newspaper reporter and eventually as a school teacher. After spending four years in the U.S. Air Force I earned a B.A. and a M.A. in English. After teaching English for thirty-one years, I retired in 2006. My wife and I live in Savannah and have two daughters, five grandchildren, and a black Lab. Among the many novels that I taught during my years as an English professor, the five on my list were invariably the ones to which my students most actively responded.

William's book list on the allure of wealth, status, and illicit romance

William Breedlove Martin Why did William love this book?

First published in 1900, Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie chronicles the rise of a poor girl, Carrie Meeber, and the contrasting, complementary decline and fall of the older, well-to-do man who is obsessed with her, George Hurstwood, whose steady, emasculating ruin is the most poignant narrative sequence, bar none, that I’ve ever read.

By Theodore Dreiser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sister Carrie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Sister Carrie" by Theodore Dreiser. Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format.


Book cover of Sacred Smokes

Coll Thrush Author Of Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire

From my list on urban Indigenous lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to Indigenous history through the experience as a settler growing up at the edge of a reservation. I also love cities as “texts,” and the ways in which urban places never fully erase what came before. These two interests led me to urban Indigenous studies. Urban and Indigenous histories are often treated as though they are mutually exclusive, when in fact they are deeply entangled with each other: for example, the majority of Indigenous people in the United States live in urban areas. These works capture the rich history of migration, political organizing, and cultural production that has taken place in Indigenous cities.

Coll's book list on urban Indigenous lives

Coll Thrush Why did Coll love this book?

This collection of short stories draws from Van Alst’s experience as a Native American growing up in Chicago, where racism and gang violence were everyday realities. Gripping and uncompromising, the stories walk a line between the traumas of Indigenous life in America and the possibilities of resilience and resistance.

By Theodore C. Van Alst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sacred Smokes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Growing up in a gang in the city can be dark. Growing up Native American in a gang in Chicago is a whole different story. This book takes a trip through that unexplored part of Indian Country, an intense journey that is full of surprises, shining a light on the interior lives of people whose intellectual and emotional concerns are often overlooked. This dark, compelling, occasionally inappropriate, and often hilarious linked story collection introduces a character who defies all stereotypes about urban life and Indians. He will be in readers' heads for a long time to come.


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