Hungry For Stories: A Chicago Book Club

Hungry for Stories is a book club & event series about the Chicago point of view, as constructed (and demolished) by contemporary writers, artists, activists, editors and publishers across the city.

“People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another.” - Studs Terkel

The Books
Each month, subscribers receive a surprise contemporary Chicago publication in the mail curated by Read/Write Library and our partners.

Selections are chosen to be radically different from one another to expand your perspective, build relationships across communities, directly support local creators and publishers through purchases, and to help us dig deeper into which stories we value as a city.

The Events
If you're local, join us for a discussion event each month featuring the book's creator(s). Subscribers attend free and may bring a +1 to each event, as well as having exclusive time and treats to discuss with other subscribers before the main event. The general public is welcome to attend the author portion for $10. We'll also be podcasting these, so keep an eye out!

Check out some past Book Club Selections
Have questions? Check out our FAQ

Three Ways to Join

Full Stack

12 months for over 25% off with upfront payment

 $339  $456
  • Media Mail Shipping Included
  • After 12 months, subscription recurs month-to-month until canceled
Short Stack

3 months for over 10% off with upfront payment

 $99  $114
  • Media Mail Shipping Included
  • After 3 months, subscription recurs month-to-month until canceled
À La Carte

Feeling non-committal? Go month-to-month

 $38 /mo
  • Media Mail Shipping Included
  • Recurs month-to-month until canceled

More Options

Sampler Platter

A 3-book pack of past Hungry for Stories selections, perfect for a gift!

  • Media Mail Shipping Included
  • One-Time Purchase
Group Subscription Discounts

Sign Up with a Group of 3 or More & You Each Get a Discount!

Want to subscribe with your own book club or a just get a group of friends together to join? Email us and we'll send you a unique code your group can use for individual order discounts. Looking for a gift for your colleagues? We can also work with you!

Sample Selections

The Telling

by Zoe Zolbrod
Curbside Splendor


Zoe Zolbrod remained silent about her early childhood molestation for nearly a decade. When she finally decided to tell, she wasn't sure what to expect, or what to say. Through a kaleidoscopic series of experiences—Zolbrod hitchhikes with a boyfriend across the country, hangs out in a strip club in Philadelphia, meets and marries her husband, and gives birth to her children—she traces the development of her sexuality, her relationships with men, and the cultivation of her motherhood in the shadow of her childhood sexual abuse. Bolstered with research, Zolbrod argues passionately for the empowerment of sexual abuse victims and the courage it takes to talk about it.

The Telling is an intimate examination of one woman's reckoning with a past she can't always explain, and a life lived in search for the right words.

Color Me Rising

by For The People Artists Collective


For the People Artists Collective and Chicago Childcare Collective selected around 20 different campaigns, actions, and efforts that spanned from November 2014 through December of 2015 in Chicago. From the We Charge Genocide Delegation to the United Nations, to the recent street protests demanding Justice for Laquan, these coloring book pages tell stories of loss, love, collective healing, resistance and liberation.

Artists include Leila Abdelrazaq, Cairá Lee Conner, Monica Trinidad, Tyesha Thomas, Ariel Perkins-Fenwick, Jireh L. Drake, Ruby Pinto, Annan Shehadi, Vicko Alvarez Vega, Timmy Rose, Melisa Stephen, Raquel Rodriguez, Molly Costello, Grace Mattingly, Rachel Hoffman, Dan Adams, and Rachel Wallis.

This is a Dance Movie

by Tim Jones-Yelvington
Tiny Hardcore Press


“Tim Jones-Yelvington doesn’t push the envelope. He kicks the shit out of it. If ever there was a writer who could garner a rock star following, it would be this man.”
—Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State

“This is the short story collection as playful dance party among serious things—a remix of pop culture, gay sex and celebrity, ranging from the confectionary to the visionary. A collection of sparks for various fires, from a bold young talent finding his way forward.”

—Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

Q & A

Are there any time restrictions on when I can join?
Subscribers can join anytime, but must join by the 15th of the month to receive the following month's book. We do this because most of the publishers participating in this Book Club are small presses and we need a firm count each month to ensure we have enough copies and that we're not overstocked.

Where and when will the discussions take place?
For now, all monthly book club discussions will take place at Read/Write Library. Depending on the number of subscribers, we may add additional times during the month to ensure that each discussion is comfortable and intimate enough for guests to be heard. If demand is great enough, we may also offer discussions in different parts of the Chicago area. We will keep subscribers in the loop as the program evolves to make sure we are taking your feedback on locations and timing into account.

What age is this book club appropriate for?
The Hungry for Stories book club selections are geared toward adults who are interested in literature as well as having deeper conversations about Chicago's narratives and creative expressions. While there are certainly high school students who can handle these themes and contribute to the conversation, we do suggest that you use your discretion in recommending or gifting a subscription to anyone under 18. Likewise, we ask that caregivers not bring children under 14 to the discussion so that other subscribers can feel comfortable speaking about the books' subject matter freely.

How do I give a gift subscription?
To create a gift subscription, simply enter your own information to create an account and choose to enter a different address for shipping. We're still working out the kinks with this system, so if you have any questions or hesitations, please get in touch!

Not ready to subscribe yet? No problem.

Enter your email to stay in touch for special events and more!


To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sponsorship packet coming soon