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Back to School: Our Favorite Things
Amanda Snyder gets into the RUI spirit

Amanda Snyder at RUI spirit

Kristie Kahns

RUI: Reading Under the Influence

Amanda Snyder puts down her book, knocks back a shot, and addresses the crowded bar: “If I were a lesbian,” she says, “would I rather sleep with Reese Witherspoon or Kate Winslet?” The room erupts in shouting. Whoever’s credited for calling out the right answer—and they’re all shouting at once—could win a free drink. Oh, and a free book.

Snyder is a regular at RUI: Reading Under the Influence, a monthly night of reading, drinking, and trivia she helped start at Sheffield’s in Lakeview. RUI has got to be the city’s most fun reading series. First of all, it’s not an open mike. Readers—there are usually six to eight of them, all prescreened— must read a piece of original writing and an excerpt from someone else’s published work. All the material is loosely related to a theme—risk, say, or virgins—and is usually raunchy and/or somehow otherwise twisted. The excerpt is book-ended by shots (mandatory for the reader, voluntary for the audience). And the trivia that follows is supposed to relate to the published work, but sometimes the connections are more abstract, or perhaps the booze obscures them. The “correct” answer to Snyder’s question, for example, was Witherspoon, even though everyone knows a real lesbian would pick Winslet, hands down. And none of us can remember now what book she was even reading from. First Wednesday of every month, 7 PM, Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield, 773-281-4989, readingundertheinfluence.com, $3 cover. —Kathie Bergquist

We also want to hear your stories about your favorite people, places, and things in the city--go here to share them with the rest of the class.


A & T Grill
Elizabeth M. Tamny

All Rise Gallery
Liz Armstrong

The Ando Gallery at the Art Institute
Tamara Faulkner

Bartender Ballet at the Violet Hour
Mike Sula


The Basement of After-Words
Monica Kendrick

The Blue Crab Lounge at Shaw’s
Michael Lenehan

The Butcher Shop
Noah Berlatsky

Deborah Butterfield’s “Ben”
Ryan Hubbard


The Diary of Virginia May Garcia
Noah Berlatsky

The Fern Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory
Martha Bayne

Fine Wine Brokers
Kathie Bergquist

The Grid
Bill Savage


Hideout Dance Parties
Martha Bayne

Jazz Record Mart and Dusty Groove
Peter Margasak

Jollyball at the Museum of Science and Industry
Noah Berlatsky

Ken Dunn
Mick Dumke


The Lobby Bar at Second City
Albert Williams

Lost & Found
Kathie Bergquist

Manhattans at the Matchbox
David Hammond

Matinees at the Music Box
Adam Langer


Marina City
Lynn Becker

The Mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery
Kerry Reid

Monday Night at Sidetrack
Zac Thompson

Monday Night Farm Dinner at Lula Cafe
Peter Margasak


Moo & Oink
Mike Sula

Music Box Massacre
J.R. Jones

The Murals at the 18th Street El Stop
Brenna Ehrlich

The Newberry Library
Harold Henderson


The North Branch Trail
Jennifer Sodini

Open Mike at Gallery Cabaret
Julia Rickert

Outdanced!
Liz Armstrong

RUI: Reading Under the Influence
Kathie Bergquist


Silent Summer Film Festival
J.R. Jones

Sunday Transmission at the Hungry Brain
Peter Margasak

The Sweet Spot at the Empty Bottle
Miles Raymer

Textile Discount Outlet
Tasneem Paghdiwala


The Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute
Albert Williams

Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater
Albert Williams

Wil Hasbrouck
Harold Henderson

The Window Seat at Letizia’s
Emerson Dameron


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