Select Page


A Bernie’s Book Bank fundraiser 

Book Lovers’ City Lunch is an annual benefit that was inspired by the North Shore Book Lovers’ Lunch. The event supports the mission of Bernie’s Book Bank to increase book-ownership among under-served children throughout Chicagoland. Book Lovers’ City Lunch takes place during the fall in downtown Chicago.

Guests enjoy a delicious meal while hearing from a featured author and learning more about the mission of Bernie’s Book Bank.

Stay tuned for information about the 6th Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch in 2020! 

5th Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch featuring Marie Benedict (October 23, 2019)

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in history and art history and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law.

Benedict is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of The Only Woman in the Room, The Other Einstein and Carnegie’s Maid. Marie lives in Pittsburgh with her family. 

4th Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch featuring Hank Phillippi Ryan (November 16, 2018)

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She’s won 34 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. The nationally bestselling author of 10 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense” and “a superb and gifted storyteller” and she is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal’s Best of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Hank’s newest book is the acclaimed standalone psychological suspense thriller Trust Me (August 28, 2018), which Suspense Magazine’s reviewer calls “By far one of the best thrillers I’ve read in years.” The Booklist starred review says “a knockout!” and New York Post, BOOK BUB, Real Simple Magazine and CrimeReads named it one of the Best Thrillers of Summer 2018.

3rd Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch featuring Newton N. Minow (November 7, 2017)

Newton N. Minow is Senior Counsel in Sidley’s Chicago office. He was a partner with the firm from 1965-1991. He served as a U.S. Army Sergeant in the China-Burma India Theater in World War II. He served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Fred M. Vinson, Chief Justice of the Unite States and as Assistant Counsel to Governor Adlai E. Stevenson. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

A graduate of Northwestern University, he is the Walter Annenberg Professor Emeritus there as well as the author of four books and numerous professional journal magazine articles. He is the recipient of 14 honorary degrees. Mr. Minow is also the recipient of the following awards: American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award, Chicago Bar Association John Paul Stevens Award, Federal Communications Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, he received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

2nd Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch featuring Steve Pemberton (October 21, 2016)

“None of us look like our story,” says Steve Pemberton., who grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he and his siblings were separated into different foster homes.

Along the difficult journey, a single faint light came only from a neighbor’s act of kindness – a box of books. From one of those books, he learned that he had to fight in any way he could – for victory in the battle. Against all odds, Pemberton succeeded. He graduated college, became a successful corporate executive and established a loving family of his own.

“I want to change the narrative of how we look at adversity. I want to be an example of what is possible for someone whom society had forgotten and discarded. And I want my legacy to be that I took this crooked road that I inherited and made it straight for other generations to build from.

1st Annual Book Lovers’ City Lunch featuring Jamie Ford (October 15, 2014)

Jamie Ford is an American author, who has written two best-selling books. Ford is best known for his debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. The book received positive reviews after its release, and was also awarded best “Adult Fiction” book at the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. The book was also named the #1 Book Club Pick for Fall 2009/Winter 2010 by the American Booksellers Association.

His work has been translated into 34 languages. Jamie Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford.” He lives with his own family in Great Falls, Nevada.

Books for me were what the ocean is to the fearless explorer-deep and mysterious, boundless and soothing. I loved the smell of books, the feel of their weight in my hands, the rustle of the pages as I turned them, the magnificent illustrations on the covers that promised hidden treasures within.

Steve Pemberton

Author, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home

You don't have to work in education to know that there are many factors in learning to be a successful reader, but none is as important as having actual access to personal books. Bernie's Book Bank comes walking right into the classrooms on a regular basis and makes the impossible possible for these children.

Jane Vester

Librarian, McCall Elementary School