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by Richard C. Lindberg

    ...In the traditionally published non-fiction category, last year's winner, Ferdinand, chose Lindberg's "Whiskey Breakfast" over Robert Rodi's travel memoir, "Seven Seasons in Siena," for its "unusual personal candidness, its historical depth, and its important contribution to the compendium of Chicago literature."

Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family My American Life
University of Minnesota Press, 2011, Trade paperback, $18.95

More than two decades ago, I had an idea for a book about my enigmatic father, the radical socialist Oscar Lindberg. It would be a book that blends memoir with a history of Swedish immigration to Chicago framed through the lens of two disparate families, those of my mother and my father. I had invented a title for this book back in 1989 - Whiskey Breakfast - then fretted that some other author would take it. Thankfully, that did not occur.

My father was married four times in an event-filled life. He was once a widower and twice divorced before settling in with his fourth and final wife in 1967. I was his second U.S.-born son, and my mother, Helen Marie Stone, was his third wife. She grew up on the side streets off of Clark Street - Chicago's last Swedetown. Inside Simon's Tavern on Clark Street, a relic of the Depression Era that still serves the neighborhood people, my mother's father, Richard Stone, brokered the marriage of Helen to my father-a marriage she never really wanted.

Duty and obligation beckoned. Her family was poor, but my father was older and gave the appearance of being quite wealthy. He built fashionable homes up and down Chicago's North Shore as he buried his family secrets and presented a veneer of probity, respectability, and good business sense. Privately, his radical Swedish socialism belied his lifestyle of conspicuous consumption in Skokie, Illinois, an affluent suburb north of Chicago. My mother suffered an unhappy seven-year marriage that ended disastrously.

This is the backdrop of Whiskey Breakfast, a painful and haunting echo of the past; divorce, alcoholism, lives torn asunder, and my own experiences growing up in turbulent times. It is my life story.

Heartland Serial Killers: Belle Gunness, Johann Hoch and Murder for Profit in Gaslight Era America
Northern Illinois University Press

A book profiling Gunness and Hoch, two early 20th Century serial killers who placed advertisements in the lonely hearts columns of ethnic newspapers advertising for desperately lonely men and women to marry…swindle…and ultimately murder, was published in the Spring of 2011 by Northern Illinois University Press in DeKalb, IL. Belle Gunness carried out her bloody work in a rural farm house outside of LaPorte, Indiana from 1900-1908. Hoch, the lesser known fiend, was an apprentice to Dr. H.H. Holmes, the "master of murder castle" (more famously known as the "Devil in the White City") in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair. Hoch struck off on his own after his mentor, H.H. Holmes, was captured and hanged. Hoch, this squat, balding killer married 35 women in his time - about ten of them ended up in graves once their dowry and insurance policies were safely in his hand. Hoch and Gunness were contemporaries but they did not work together, nor did they know each, but if they had, one would have cancelled out the other.

Winner of TWO Awards:
Society of Midland Authors 2009-2010 Biography Winner
&
Award of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society

The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of the Chicago's Democratic Machine
Southern Illinois University Press
(Elmer H Johnson & Carol Holmes Johnson Series in Criminology)
Hardcover
Amazon.Com

Rich's lifelong fascination with Michael C. McDonald, Chicago's wily 19th Century political boss, roué, and roguish gambler, inspired the new book, published in May, 2009.

The McDonald story, a first-ever biography about this enigmatic but mostly forgotten gambler who built the foundation of the city's enduring, and eternally corrupt Democratic Machine is still in power after 120 years.

Chicago Yesterday & Today
by Rich Lindberg and Carol Jean Carlson
Publications International

A lavish photo and narrative essay of historic contemporary Chicago from the earliest days of the Fort Dearborn settlement through the opening of Millennium Park is available now. The beautiful edition debuted at the 2009 Lit Fest, and was enthusiastically received. Rich and Carol nearly sold out their personal inventory of books at the Society of Midland Authors author table.

This hardcover coffee-table edition features hundreds of vintage photographs, maps and wood-cut drawings juxtaposed with Chicago history and text supplied by Rich and his co-author Carol Jean Carlson. For Rich, it is quite a departure from crime, politics, and sports and a year-long writing project.

Now available in hardcover at all major retail book outlets. .


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