Hello.  My name is Julia. I am a freelance book reviewer and newly made librarian, who has yet to find a job in the field.  I can generally be found in a Chicago bookstore or serving coffee in one of its many coffee shops.  I also hold the impressively ambiguous job of “CyberNavigator” at the Chicago Public Library.  Reading is my favorite thing in the world, particularly children’s and YA literature, and I dream of one day having a home library, complete with a rolling ladder.

Other reviews of mine can be found on Shelf-Awareness.com and Booklistonline.com, or collectively on my Tumblr: http://juliakatereviews.tumblr.com.

Tweet me to reach me (@JuliaKate32) or drop me a line at JuliaKateReads@gmail.com.


9 thoughts on “About

  1. I recently stumbled upon your blog and, being new to Chicago and sharing your passion for books and coffee, I wanted to get your opinion on the best coffee, bookstore, and library in the city. Your expert advice in these areas would be much appreciated.

    • Welcome to Chicago! The weather’s finally lifting enough for enjoyable wandering, so here are a few spots I’d suggest checking out:
      Coffee Shops
      1) Wormhole in Wicker Park or Kickstand Espresso Bar in Lakeview for good coffee & atmosphere
      2) Any Intelligentsia Coffeebar for excellent coffee
      3) Asado Coffee Co. or Ipsento Coffee House for small shops that roast in-house
      1) Unabridged Books (Lakeview)
      This is my favorite bookstore in the city. Their selection is excellent; their store is cozy with reading nooks; and their friendly staff writes helpful “shelf-talker” reviews that are posted throughout the store. There is also a nice discount section that is always worth a look.
      2) The Magic Tree Bookstore
      How could I not mention my former place of employment? This magical store specializes in children’s and young adult literature. It’s out in Oak Park but worth the hike if this genre interests you. Everyone who works here is wonderful and will make sure you find a book you’ll love.
      3) Myopic Books (Wicker Park)
      This multi-leveled shop has a vast selection of used books, late hours, and a resident cat. Definitely worth a look.
      4) The Book Cellar (Lincoln Square)
      If you fancy a glass of wine while you peruse the shelves, this is the place for you. The also have some interesting readings and in-store performances so check out their calendar, as well.
      Harold Washington Library is my favorite. It’s huge, beautiful, and has an amazing children’s library. Hit up Intelligentsia in the old Monadnock Building on Jackson first and the library is just a few blocks away.

      • Wow, this list and the sun making its long overdue return has me pretty excited. When the temperature rises there will be wandering, oh yes, there will be wandering. Thank you for the advice. Next up for me, concert venues.

        On a side note, I admire your ability to look at the rise of ebooks objectively. Personally, I will always reserve the stink eye for anyone carrying an ebook. Physical copies are just so much cooler on so many levels. And a library in your house is nice, but I’ll take this instead:


  2. Woah! That is a dream bookcase! Thank you for sharing! I must admit, that it’s easier to maintain a level-head regarding ebooks when writing about them in an apartment brimming with actual books. I find that I openly scowl at people who bring them into my coffee shop or are reading them on the bus or train. I am trying to be fair but I could try a little harder.

    Try to see some shows at Schubas, the Beat Kitchen, and the Empty Bottle. Also, there are great free shows in Grant Park over the summer.

    • Thanks again for the tips. Made my way through most of the list and I really enjoyed your suggestions. I’ll be checking Schubas off come Saturday night.

      I also was wondering if you saw this yet. Amazon is offering a cheaper kindle with ads. You had to know it was coming, but books with ads just strike me as ridiculous. It’s only a matter of time until commercials are added between chapters.


  3. Julie, Someone gave me a Kindle for my birthday. Honest! i would never buy one. Honest. However, I have to confess I have ordered some of your suggestions and read them on my Kindle. Got to admit they are great space savers for travelers.
    Anyhow, want to tell you I LOVED “Ella Minnow Pea”. Thank your for the review. Now I shall have all my friends discovering amazing books through your blog.
    Hope you are enjoying Chicago – but I don’t believe you can really live there until you choose a TEAM for which to cheer and experience the ups and downs of true emotion.
    IN case you don’t recall, we met on the Nile River where you were, by far, the favorite of all the people we met – even as a dance partner on the falluca!
    Love to your mom, too.
    Again, Claire Davis

    • Claire, it’s so lovely to hear from you! Of course I remember you from our adventures in Egypt, and I have to admit that “we met on the Nile River” is a wonderful phrase to utter in order to jog the memory. As for your Kindle, I see how it would be advantageous for someone who travels as much as you but I will never succumb! Out of curiosity, how does the screen fare in sunlight? So many of my electronics get washed out by the sunshine and I was wondering if that was a problem with e-readers, as well.

  4. Hey Julia! I admit I have a Kindle. However, I have not given up on actual books. The Kindle is great for traveling since there are weight restrictions on luggage. I went to Hawaii this summer and spent a lot of time on the beach reading (3 books to be exact). I am really glad that I didn’t have to carry them around!

    Kara Q

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