“Randhurst: Suburban Chicago’s Grandest Shopping Center” was a book that changed my life because, well, I wrote it. Authoring a book was one of my life’s greatest experiences. Even in a history book, there is a magnitude of “agony and ecstasy” that comes with the creation of any piece of art. In addition to the work itself, the book produced a number of lasting lessons, both about writing and living, in the year and a half I spent creating it: Self-discipline does not come easy; Inspiration is very similar to a powerful drug – When you’re not on it, you may do questionable things to find it; It’s healthy to make bold claims and assertions, but you better have some factual, thoughtful evidence to back them up (I opted for just under 200 citations); Never think there is anything you could possibly write about that isn’t interesting; Finally, the hardest part of writing book is deciding on the first line. Write, and live, with no regrets. (Also, the internet is amazing resource, and Wikipedia can give you some great leads, I don’t care what your professor tells you). All in all, “Randhurst” taught me to look at seemingly superficial things in greater detail, and to analyze them critically. While a book about the history of shopping malls may seem laughable, I quickly found out that how, why, and where we shop, and what we buy, tells us a great deal about ourselves. …Now go to Amazon and buy my book!