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Thursday, August 28,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

New York, New York (and elsewhere)

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, AUG. 28 — I received an array of questions from one of this newsletter's readers last week about the book review process itself - how I got started, what the process is, how much and when I read, etc. Answering them was a good reminder for me how much I enjoy this, both the writing about what I've read and the responses from you I'm privileged to read every week. I've said it before, but thank you again for staying in touch and letting me know what you think. I'm truly grateful, and this would be a lot less fun without you. Here's what we're reading:
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

Painting the Oldsmobile

Lansing Art Gallery’s ‘backbone,’ Cathy Babcock, retires after 17 years

by Lawrence Cosentino
Championing art in Lansing is like painting an Oldsmobile. Ask Cathy Babcock. Last week, Babcock retired after 17 years with the Lansing Art Gallery, the last 15 as director. She led the gallery through three problematic locations, including a car dealership and a basement that rings with the clanging weights of an upstairs gym. Donor dollars all but dried up in the 2008 recession, but she wrote grants like a racehorse, kept the gallery going and never doubted that her gritty city has a big heart for art.
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

The daily show

Jack Ebling expands sports coverage in Lansing with weekday talk show

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In a city where wearing blue and yellow on certain days of the year could get you tarred and feathered, it’s safe to say that sports is kind of a big deal ‘round these parts.
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

A day in the life

Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ captures adolescence, humanity in real time

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? One minute they’re cute little munchkins shoving rocks into pencil sharpeners trying to make arrowheads, the next they’re surly malcontents shuffling through the door an hour past curfew with glazed eyes. Parents go from being heroes of the universe to embodiments of mortification, and through it all runs a procession of seemingly mundane moments punctuated by world-shattering “catastrophes.”
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

New in town

OLD TOWN CHANGES

by ALLAN I. ROSS
Last month, Old Town Commercial Association executive director Louise Gradwhol announced she would resign to pursue a medical degree. This week her replacement was named: Old Town resident Megan Barrett will assume responsibilities as executive director on Tuesday.
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

Manifest “Destiny”

MONDAY, SEPT 1

by Jonathan Griffith
Michigan seems to have a cultural climate conducive to producing eccentric, ambitious film directors. Michael Moore is probably the most high profile, the poster child for idiosyncratic documentary moviemakers. Moore’s fellow Flint native Kerry Conran is another piece of work; he toiled for years on what became the 2004 genre mash-up “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” a throwback sci-fi action film that married 21st century technology with tropes from old serials. And now there’s Thomas Reilly-King, a Michigan State University graduate and aspiring filmmaker who, much like Conran, has blended disparate styles into a feature-length film, “Enduring Destiny.” And those styles are about as unalike as Alfred Hitchcock and “National Lampoon.” Seriously.
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

Try to tri

Hawk Island race gives kids back-to-school bragging rights

by Nathan Kark
The first few weeks that kids are back at school are filled with telling summer tales and catching up with friendly faces. Just like parents, kids try to cling onto summer memories as long as possible while trying to make the warm weather last just a little bit longer. But if your kid is the athletic type — or at least has an adventurous spirit — there’s one last hoorah to provide one more sustaining summer memory: The Hawk Island Kids Triathlon.
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Thursday, August 21,2014

Book collection of peace

Oral histories chronicle lesser-known stories of social change

by Bill Castanier
THURSDAY, Aug. 21 — The individuals who intimately lay out their lives for us in the scores of oral histories in Rosalie Riegle’s two recent book collections have something in common: each has heard the cold steel of a jailhouse door slamming in their face.
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Thursday, August 21,2014

Book reviews: Notes from Neil

Was It Funny for You, Too?

by Neil Rajala
THURSDAY, AUG. 21 — An eclectic trio this week, a reminder that the world of literature is able to cover more of the vast array of human interests and concerns that any other artform. If it interests you, worries you, or entertains you, there's undoubtedly a book on the subject. Here's what we're reading:
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Wednesday, August 20,2014

Love the church, hate the dogma

Methodists’ rift over gay marriage could divide church

by Lawrence Cosentino
If the Rev. Jennifer Browne were gay, she wouldnīt bother to warm a pew in her own church, University United Methodist in East Lansing. "Iīd be out the door in a second," she said. "Even as a straight person, I couldnīt be part of a congregation that wasnīt completely affirming of who LGBT persons are."
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