Resident has written guide to life in Naperville
By Jane Donahue For The Sun January 17, 2013 2:54PM
Elizabeth Gretz hosted a signing of her first book, "Live and Laugh in Naperville." last month at Anderson's Bookshop. The author said Mayor A. George Pradel, seen here holding the book, wrote the forward and was "one of my biggest champions." Photo courtesy of Laurie Manzardo.
Updated: January 25, 2013 4:59PM
Elizabeth Gretz traded her Lincoln Park digs for a Naperville home after her husband Daren popped the “suburban excursion” question. The Chicago couple needed space for their expanding brood, and Naperville was the answer.
“We were living in a two bedroom condo with three sleigh cribs, three babies, a dog and the two of us,” said Gretz. “Always being up for an adventure and really having no concept of how life as I had known it was about to change I said ‘yes’ to a ‘trial period.’ Daren probably sold it as a place where one could actually sleep through the night and I was in.”
That was six years ago.
Gretz immersed herself in everything Naperville and as a result, added author to her resume. Her first book, “Live and Laugh in Naperville, A Guide to Life and Fun,” was released in December. The 230-page book is being called “the new definitive guide to all that Naperville has to offer.”
“When I arrived in Naperville, I was in search of just this type of book and it did not exist,” said the author. “I saw the need and was determined to fill it. I also thought it would be the very best way to learn about this new place I was calling home.”
The book is currently available at Anderson’s Bookshop in downtown Naperville, where Gretz held her first book signing last month. Candy Purdom of Anderson’s Bookshops said it’s clear “Elizabeth did her homework on this guide.”
“Really, it’s such a thorough volume, any family or Naperville newcomer would welcome this book,” Purdom said. “It’s so up-to-date that even longtime residents would learn a thing or two.”
When Gretz isn’t enjoying all Naperville has to offer with her husband and children Calum, 9, Jack, 8, and Elle, 7, she works as a broker for Coldwell Banker.
1. What do you hope readers gain from “Live and Laugh in Naperville?”
“Insight. The sense (quickly) of what a truly great community they live in and the many, many opportunities that exist here in so many areas.”
2. What surprised you the most during the writing process?
“As for the community, I was most surprised and impressed with Naper Settlement. I find that what they do and all they offer is simply amazing. I am astounded at the organizations that come together to raise funds for our community, the many publications that exist specifically for us are mighty impressive and clearly our educational systems, but mostly I am amazed at the kindness shown by strangers.”
3. What do you consider to be one of Naperville’s hidden gems?
“Naper Settlement, 360 Youth Services and Two Mothers Foods.”
4. What is something most people don’t know about you?
“I am a huge fan of musicals and most especially the musical ‘Hair.’ It has been my favorite since the age of 10, and a lifelong dream to tour with the show. I know every word by heart and can certainly figure out the wardrobe.”
5. What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I am not sure that I even can recall what spare time looks like but I love to read, and a perfect day would be spent on the ocean with my children, husband and a great book. I actually have not seen one of those since I have had my children but I am looking forward.”