A friend of mine recently went to Chicago. For a bit of background context he read Devil in the White City which, he said, provided him with a terrific understanding of the place.
Featuring what, on the surface, seems like an odd juxtaposition the book explores the architecture of the 1893 World’s Fair and the life of one of America’s first serial killers, H.H. Holmes. For the literary tourist, the book serves as a map to what remains of a grand place (an arsonist set the “White City” ablaze and most of it burned to the ground) and a glorious event . Check out this lovely slide show
and Literary Tourist’s listings map of Chicago for other places, events and attractions that might be of interest.