The Dial…a fabulous bookshop in Chicago

I haven’t been to The Dial in person yet. I’m sure that now Biden is president, and people are comfortable resuming their normal lives again, I will be able to go soon. But, I found them while playing on my iPad one night, and I signed up for their Book of the Month, in which an “undercelebrated” book is delivered (with free shipping!) on the last Saturday of every month.

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the arrival of the book each month. It is always a surprise, a book specially chosen by their staff, and so it is unbeknownst to me until I open it.

This month’s selection is New People by Danzy Senna. It seems quite timely, even though it was published in 2017:




Vogue • Elle • Harper’s Bazaar • Glamour • Buzzfeed • In Style • Men’s Journal • Bustle • Ms. Magazine • Pop Sugar • Newsday • The Millions • Time Out • Bitch • CNN’s The Lead • The Fader

“[A] cutting take on race and class…part dark comedy, part surreal morality tale. Disturbing and delicious.” –People

“You’ll gulp Senna’s novel in a single sitting—but then mull over it for days.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Everyone should read it.” –Vogue

From the bestselling author of Caucasia, a subversive and engrossing novel of race, class and manners in contemporary America.

As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, “King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom.” Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They’ve even landed a starring role in a documentary about “new people” like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her–yet she can’t stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria’s perfect new life but her very persona.

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.

And so now, if you’ll excuse me, I will be set to read this afternoon, with the snow falling outside of our windows and the chocolate chip cookies cooling on the counter.

15 thoughts on “The Dial…a fabulous bookshop in Chicago”

    1. I’ve been been signed up for two months, but nope! Both books were a pleasant surprise. The first was The Amorous Heart by Marilyn Yalom, which is nonfiction, and now this delight. I must admit to loving fiction the most. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been so long since I have been to Chicago; the pandemic, and the protests combined, have kept me away from my favorite places. I am hopeful that small business, and especially bookstores, can keep Amazon at bay.


    1. I miss them, too! Even our libraries have been closed for the longest time! Then, they only opened for ‘browsing and book checkout.” But, even that was better than locked doors! (Like so many churches!)


  1. Oh, that bookstore looks wonderful (even before the pandemic, bookstores with personality were hard to find) I love Chicago — used to travel there on business a few times a year and always tried to visit the museum (and, occassionally, orchestra & opera). When travel’s possible again, I definitely have a visit planned and will most certainly include this bookstore!
    I belong to the NYRB Classics and really look forward to my own monthly selection! (like you, I prefer fiction) It’s almost like getting a Christmas present every month . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that a.) you have visited Chicago and b.) the nyrb has a monthly selection! Those book subscriptions are indeed like a Christmas present every month; no matter what you receive, it feels special.

      I took my son to Riverdance in the Auditorium Theater when he was 7 (in 1997), and that was about the last time I was at a performance. But, I remember going with my father to the Chicago Symphony once in awhile, as my parents had season tickets when I was a child. It was such a special outing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I love Chicago although I must admit I don’t know it at all well. It’s just one of those citities with a very distinctive personality that you sense right off the bat. Season tickets to the Chicago Symphony would be an incredible treat — what a wonderful experience to have as a child (I’ve been lucky enough to hear the Chicago Symphony only a few times, once in Chicago and a couple of times when they’ve been on tour). Such a great orchestra!


    1. It is never an interruption to be with you, dear friend! In fact, I made the cookies especially for us to share. And, your friendship is one of the sweetest parts of my life, to be able to talk about all the important things, like Christ, and faith, and family, and way on down the line to lipstick. 😉


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