Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Christopher Garlington  

Pen Name: Bull Garlington

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: May 13, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama

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Illinois Connection

Garlington lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Christopher "Bull" Garlington is an award-winning syndicated humor columnist and author. His features have appeared in various magazines and newspapers across the nation since 1989. He is the writer behind the infamous parenting blog, ''Death by Children''. Along with the books listed below, Garlington has also written several ebooks - ''The Lucky Jim'', ''King of the Road'', ''Gone'', ''Jenny's Parents are Cool'', ''Largemouth Bass'', ''Many Boats on the Ocean'' and ''Stingy Brim Trilby''. He also edited ''Carbituaries''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats
ISBN: 1893121720

Lake Claremont Press. 2011

When a beat cop pauses from taking a bite out of crime, he takes a bite out of donuts, polish sausage, fried chicken, enchiladas, and omelettes to deliver tongue-in-cheek expertise in this follow-up to the 2004 award-winning The Streets & San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats. This time around, Sgt. David J. Haynes of the Chicago police department and his partner in crime, blogger Christopher Garlington, provide a street-level guide to the best mom-and-pop food bargains in Chicago.

When the Beat Cop pauses from taking a bite out of crime, he takes a bite out of donuts, polish sausage, fried chicken, enchiladas, and omelettes...

Lake Claremont Press's 2004 award-winner, The Streets & San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats, delivered tongue-in-cheek style and food-in-mouth expertise by a certified expert of the City of Chicago's Department of Lunch: streets & sanitation department electrician Dennis Foley.

Now, Sgt. David J. Haynes of the Chicago Police Department, and his partner-in-crime, blogger Christopher Garlington, want to take on Foley's street-level guide to the best mom-and-pop food bargains in Chicago with their follow-up: The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats. "We're funnier, better-looking, and have the street smarts, girth, and weaponry to meet him in any alley, taqueria, or rib joint."

He's no chef, food writer, or restaurateur. A former marine, Sgt. Haynes has spent the past 15 years dodging bullets and chasing down gang bangers on the city's West Side, running Chicago's first ever Homeland Security Task Force, and supervising squads in the 19th District at Belmont and Western. During those years, one of his most daunting tasks--and indeed one of the most important ones--was to get lunch.

Laugh if you want to. Getting lunch for 20 hungry cops who have been riding around in the freezing Chicago winter or blistering summer heat requires a remarkable degree of diplomacy, grit, and street savvy. Seriously, these folks are armed! They're out there putting their lives on the line hour by hour and when their stomachs are growling, they're not calling for a Big Mac. They want real food--good food--the kind of food that makes them forget about the mean streets of Chi-Town for half an hour. They want Italian beefs, stuffed pizza, and catfish nuggets they want ribs, red hots, and pulled pork sandwiches. Some even want salads.

Navigating this volatile terrain has become second nature to Sgt. Haynes. His knowledge of local eateries comes hard-earned from years on the beat and years of fierce debate with other cops. Haynes's understanding of the best places to get lunch in Chicago makes for an unprecedented blue-collar guide to the best food in the Windy City. You know we're not talking white tablecloths and Perrier.

The cafes and counters in this book are the places where locals go to get a sandwich. They're the places that cater church suppers. Go to one of these joints and you'll sit shoulder to shoulder with pipe fitters, bricklayers, yardmen, sanitation removal engineers, pimps, organized crime leaders, and cabbies.

And cops. Because first and foremost, this book is about where cops eat. On any given day at any of these restaurants, you'll find yourself eating with some of the 11,000 men and women who help keep our city safe. This book is dedicated to them. "The idea," says Haynes, "is to get in, get a good meal, and get out before your lunch break ends for under ten bucks." Peppered with outrageous stories from working cops, Chicago cop lore, and even a few recipes, The Beat Cop's Guide takes you on a gustatory journey through all five CPD areas, including some of the toughest neighborhoods in the nation.

The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats comes at a time when Chicagoans really need it. The economy is in a slump like never before. Times are tough. Money is tight. The Beat Cop doesn't just direct you to a great meal for eight bucks--he's secured you your very own police discount. The book retails at $15.95 and includes $34 in coupons. It's like being buddies with your alderman.

Death by Children!: I Had Kids So You Don't Have To
ISBN: 1893121992

Everything Goes Media. 2013

Edgy, rude, self-deprecating and--most importantly--hilarious, this collection of blog posts and columns from award-winning humorist Christopher "Bull" Garlington serves as uproarious evidence that fatherhood is hard, often messy, and always life-altering work. Where other parenting memoirs focus only on the diaper years, "Death by Children" proves that a father's job only gets more complicated as children move into adolescence and prepare to leave the nest. Parents--and dads in particular--will have no trouble recognizing their own daily struggles in the humorous and engaging anecdotes gathered in this book, including favorites "Happy Pulaski Day!," "Poison Control Poster Child Training," and "Raised by Google."

The Full English: A Chicago Family's Trip on a Bus Through the U.K. - With Beans
ISBN: 1684197929

220 Publishing. 2017

The Full English is the hilarious story of a father's failed attempt to take his family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the United Kingdom, a disastrous trip ruined by his stratospheric expectations, his inner American, ennui fatigue, his wife's meddling in his perfect plans, Alabama, his children's massive indifference, the Doctor Who experience, ginger cookie based chemical warfare, mimes, sheep, The Beatles, a hermetically sealed bus full of the elderly, a militant librarian, and England's classic breakfast which consists almost entirely of canned beans.

This is not a guide book. It isn't Fodor's or a Lonely Planet guide. God knows such literature would be quite helpful if you plan, like the author, to take your family on an epic journey. The Full English won't. Not even a little. It will teach you diddly squat about Jolly Olde England. Instead, it will lead you deeper and deeper into the author's pervasive bad attitude, arrogant disregard for the comfort of his fellow traveling companions, and a sense of humor which is best described, and we're being diplomatic here, as juvenile, puerile, egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic, and ever so slightly, just the teensy-weensiest bit culturally insensitive and perhaps borderline racist to Brits, Scots, Irish, Canadians, and the Japanese.

You'll watch helplessly as your author falls prey to coach tour comforts and the narcoleptic effect of the U.K.s endless supply of roadside sheep herds, sleeping through 90% of his trip of a lifetime. You'll be on the edge of your seat as he rails against the Beatles and (for some reason) Erskine Caldwell. Finally, you'll rally alongside him as he prepares himself for mortal combat, facing an enemy far beyond his skill set, the nemesis we meet in the very beginning of the trip who menaces him every step of the way, and whom he must, somehow, triumph over, the angriest librarian in the world, the meanest old lady on the bus, and Garlington's arch enemy: Mildred.


Death by Children

Speaking Engagements

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Contact Sharon Woodhouse at Lake Claremont Press 312-226-8400 or