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Wednesday, August 22,2012

Slumdogs, no millionaires

Pulitzer Prize winner speaking in East Lansing

by Bill Castanier
As some of the overindulged freshmen of 2012 move their flat-screen TVs, laptops and mini-fridges into comfortable dorms with gourmet dining, they could probably use a cold dose of the harsh reality presented in Katherine Boo’s debut book, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers."
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Wednesday, August 15,2012

The Sexperts

Local panel discusses inflammatory book series next week

by Bill Castanier
The window at Barnes & Noble in the Lansing Mall beckons the mall walkers like a suburban siren with more than 50 copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" proudly on display. Since it first appeared as an online-only fan fiction spin-off of the "Twilight" series, British author E.L. James' lurid novel series, which includes the two sequels "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Free," has become an unprecedented publishing phenomena.
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Wednesday, August 8,2012

Satanic verses

Author Michael Poore provides some damned good summer reading

by Bill Castanier
Michael Poore must have had a devil of a good time writing his debut novel "Up Jumps the Devil" about a modern-day Lucifer on the make for souls.
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Wednesday, July 25,2012

Castles and goat farms

'Ink Trails' follows famous and not-so-famous Michigan writers

by Bill Castanier
They hailed from Benzonia, Elk Rapids, Saline, Hudson, Harbert, Grass Lake and numerous other whistle stops between Marquette and Monroe.
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Wednesday, July 18,2012

Get on the write track this month

Short story contest challenges authors to build a story around a bookstore

by Bill Castanier
The Lansing area has two locations of Schuler Books & Music, an independently owned chain thatīs been in operation for 30 years, and two used book stores, Curious Book Shop and Archives Book Shop. However, none of these are located within the city of Lansing.
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Wednesday, July 11,2012

Booked up for July

High-profile authors descend on Lansing

by Bill Castanier
A new report from Nielsen BookScan shows it's been a hot summer for books — so to speak — with the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy accounting for one in five of all "real" books sold. It's time to break that filthy habit. To help with any withdrawal symptoms, several major authors will be visiting Lansing in the next 10 days.
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Thursday, July 5,2012

Another day for McKnight

Author Steve Hamilton brings back ex-Detroit cop Alex McKnight in 'Die a Stranger'

by Bill Castanier
Last weekend, Steve Hamilton was in the Upper Peninsula, enjoying the cool breezes off the big lake and a whitefish fry at the local Lions Club. He was staying in Brimley, not far from Paradise, the literary home of Alex McKnight, the protagonist of his award-winning mystery series.
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Wednesday, June 27,2012

50 years of 'Spring'

MSU exhibit looks back at author/environmentalist Rachel Carson

by Bill Castanier
Some books change the way you think; others change the way you look at the world around you. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," published in 1962, not only profoundly changed the way we think about our relationship with the natural world, it helped launch the modern environmental movement.
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Tuesday, June 19,2012

A different kind of dine and dash

Author Scott Jurek talks about 'Eat & Run' Wednesday at Playmakers

by Bill Castanier
Tuesday, June 19 — As an eighth-grader in rural Minnesota, Scott Jurek hated running. As a high-schooler, he only ran to stay in shape for Nordic skiing. Today, Jurek, 38, is one of the world’s best ultramarathoners and thinks nothing of going out for a 30- or 40-mile run twice a week while logging 120-mile weeks.
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Wednesday, June 13,2012

Ford tough

More than 20 years after he started it, Richard Ford unveils 'Canada'

by Bill Castanier
The hook: Joyce, Salinger, Twain, Vonnegut, Dickens — these are all authors we know by their last names. Each was also a master of the first line. Richard Ford’s “Canada” is likely to get “Ford” added to that pantheon of literary geniuses. Its stark opening sentences: “First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders”
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