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Wednesday, September 17,2014

The integration of Spartan Nation

‘Raye of Light’ explores the players and coaches who crossed racial lines in the ‘60s

by Bill Castanier
Hearing 76,000 Spartan football fans chanting “kill, Bubba, kill” was a bit disconcerting for opponents’ offensive ends as they lined up across from Michigan State University’s Charles “Bubba” Smith in the mid-1960s.
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Wednesday, September 3,2014

Vampire weeknight

Bestselling supernatural author sinks her teeth into the Big Apple, comes to Lansing

by Bill Castanier
There is sex. There are breakups. And there is a murder. Would you expect anything less from the vampires of the Blue Bloods Coven in Melissa de la Cruz’s new book, “Vampires of Manhattan”? The newest installment in her successful “Blue Bloods” novels finds the characters 10 years older and living a peaceful coexistence with humans.
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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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Wednesday, August 20,2014

One book, one community

A conversation with John Lewis to cover race struggles in the U.S.

by Bill Castanier
Today’s news is tomorrow’s history. This season’s One Book, One Community lineup will challenge readers to see history with the fresh eyes lest we forget. Monday the season kicks off with a Civil Rights legendīs ugly but inspirational story. Georgia Congressman John Lewis will address incoming MSU freshmen before kicking off the book program that evening at 7 p.m. at the Hannah Community Center. Both events are free and open to the public.
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Wednesday, August 13,2014

Read ‘em and cheap

A guide to free and low-cost reading options

by Bill Castanier
If you’re not too picky and you can wait to read recent bestsellers, books are easy to snag for a couple bucks or even free.
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Wednesday, August 6,2014

Power of the people

‘Detroit Resurgent’ features works by French photographer who captures spirit of Detroit

by Bill Castanier
Not all summer reading necessitates a whisking away to exotic locales. “Detroit Resurgent” is a photography book by Parisian photographer Gilles Perrin and documentarian-interviewer Nicole Ewenczyk. The book showcases the portraits of more than 60 Detroiters taken by the world-class portrait photographer accompanied by poignant interviews by his partner.
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Wednesday, July 23,2014

Overdue appreciation

The digital age puts the ‘e’ in ‘library’

by Bill Castanier
With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of libraries are greatly exaggerated, and two prominent Lansing-area librarians couldn’t agree more.
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Wednesday, June 25,2014

Turner and hooch

Book chronicles the history of Lansing’s historic Turner-Dodge house

by Bill Castanier
It’s unlikely that most of the brides posing and toasting in the rose garden next to the Turner-Dodge House have any idea who Frances Willard was. If they did, they might find irony in the fact that the fountain that bookends the garden is a testament to Willard, a founder of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and her noted anti-alcohol efforts. Elizabeth A. Homer, author of “Pioneers, Reformers, & Millionaires,” a new book on the Turner family, details how the family was active in the temperance movement as well as many of the most important social movements of the 19th and 20th century.
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Wednesday, June 18,2014

You are here

Author profiles all of Michigan’s 139 breweries and brewpubs

by Bill Castanier
Travel writer Kevin Revolinski calls himself a “born-again drinker with a writing habit.” Over the last several years, he’s developed a practical knowledge of Great Lakes area craft beer and brewpubs, and he describes the Mitten State’s burgeoning beer industry in his new book, “Michigan’s Best Beer Guide.” The new book is the follow-up to his “Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide,” and was published by Thunder Bay Press in Holt.
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Wednesday, May 21,2014

Survivors tales

Two books detail stories in Michigan’s harsh natural and urban extremes

by Bill Castanier
Great storytelling is an art, and this week, the Capital Area District Library will host two raconteurs. Tonight, Dennis Hale will share the amazing true story of his survival after the freighter he was working on sank in the ice-cold waters of Lake Huron. Then on Thursday, author Jim Daniels will read from his work that weaves fictional tales of survival in the rust-belt lifestyles in Warren, Mich.
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