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Wednesday, October 19,2011

Booked up

Maureen Hirten was the Capital Area District Library interim director; now, she’s got the job long term

by Bill Castanier
The best of times is her recent appointment to director. Hirten, 60, has been with CADL for nine years, starting as a public service librarian in Okemos.
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Wednesday, October 19,2011

Blue-plate special

Full-time waitress Ellen Airgood cooks up romance with her debut novel, set in the U.P.

by Bill Castanier
Airgood, who has been working at this quintessential diner in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for more than 20 years, is also an accomplished writer who published her first novel this year.
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Wednesday, October 12,2011

Historical sleuth

Kevin Boyle delved into the archives to put together ‘Arc of Justice’

by Bill Castanier
By BILL CASTANIER National Book Award Winner Kevin Boyle describes himself as an “archives rat” ' and that’s a good thing for a historian and the author of the award-winning “Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age.
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Wednesday, September 28,2011

Finding the heart of a 'Lionheart'

Richard I was a man of many faces, according to Sharon Kay Penman

by Bill Castanier
By BILL CASTANIER So who is this Richard I, also known as Lionheart? Is he the crusader of popular myth from tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men? Was he the aloof, reckless warmonger and anti-Semite described by some historians? Or, as historical...
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Wednesday, September 21,2011

Looking back at a state on the verge of disaster

Jennifer Granholm and husband Dan Mulhern share their thoughts on Michigan in 'A Governor's Story'

by Bill Castanier
The couple is on the road promoting their new book, “A Governor’s Story: A Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future.” The book is on sale this week, and Granholm and Mulhern will make their first public appearance in Michigan at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor.
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Wednesday, September 14,2011

Detroit R&B legend comes to life in bio, 'Fever'

Michigan author, journalist Susan Whitall tells the tragic tale of '50s and early '60s singer Little Willie John

by Bill Castanier
Detroit writer and 1974 Michigan State University graduate Susan Whitall, who in her new book “Fever: Little Willie John: A Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul,” makes the legend of Willie John come to life. It also shows Whitall to be an accomplished historian and music ethnomusicologist.
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Wednesday, September 7,2011

Get a clue

Popular mystery authors Stephanie Pintoff and Louise Penny come to town Saturday

by Bill Castanier
Mystery lovers get a double shot of love Saturday as two of the hottest mystery writers in North America visit Schuler Books & Music in the Meridian Mall for back-to-back presentations. Both are so good it wouldn’t be fair to pit them against each other.
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Wednesday, August 24,2011

'Extremely' challenging and 'Incredibly' appealing

Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel left critics cold, but it seems to speak to One Book, One Community readers

by Bill Castanier
Jonathan Safran Foer has a writing pedigree that can be traced back to his freshman year at Princeton University when his professor, the venerable Joyce Carol Oates, told him he could be a writer.
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Wednesday, August 3,2011

The kids are not all right

In ‘The Kid,’ Sapphire paints a disturbing picture of an adolescent adrift in the inner city

by Bill Castanier
For more than a decade, Sapphire, the author of “Push,” put a sequel on hold. “I put the ‘The Kid’ on the back burn- er,” she said in a recent telephone inter- view. “I hadn’t had a novel in 15 years, but I was not feeling outward pressure. I was in academia and writing poetry.
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Wednesday, July 27,2011

'River' siren

Bonnie Jo Campbell makes a major splash

by Bill Castanier
It’s easier to name a major author Bonnie Jo Campbell hasn’t been compared with (Edith Wharton comes to mind) than it is to tick off the long list of writers to whom she’s being compared: Eudora Welty, Mark Twain, Raymond Carver, Daniel Woodrell,...
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