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Wednesday, January 4,2012

Take note

Michigan Notable Books encompass a wide range of topics and genres

by Bill Castanier
Make room on your bookshelf or e-reader: The Library of Michigan has named the top 20 Michigan Notable Books of the year, and the list represents established and debut authors, books covering topics and people that may have been lost to time and books that will take you places you’ve never been.
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Wednesday, December 28,2011

Book 'em!

A harvest of Hemingway, plus first-rate reads from contemporary authors

by Bill Castanier
When it comes to books, 2011 was the YOH — Year of Hemingway — complete with a masterful collection of letters, a new coffee table book, a book on his first wife and a book on his boat, the Pilar, joining a Woody Allen movie that pays tribute to the Lost Generation of the “Moveable Feast.” This seems fitting since 2011 was the 50th anniversary of Papa’s death.
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Wednesday, December 21,2011

Zaslow keeps it personal

The success of 'Last Lecture' led the former columnist to tell more inspirational stories

by Bill Castanier
In 2007, Zaslow learned that Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch was about to give his final lecture. An $800 airline ticket to Pittsburgh was a little steep, so Zaslow decided to drive from his suburban Detroit home to Pittsburgh: That'euro;'s approximately 600 miles round trip.
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Wednesday, December 14,2011

Second-hand, but first-rate

Lansing offers a variety of outlets for book bargains

by Bill Castanier
There’s an old saying that when you stop believing in Santa Claus you get books. Why didn’t someone tell me sooner? The good news: The Lansing area never had a Borders, so we don’t have to drive across the state to find a bookstore. Two Schuler Books and Music locat...
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Wednesday, December 7,2011

From blight to beauty

Author J.H. Shapiro salutes famed Detroit artist Tyree Guyton

by Bill Castanier
Detroit artist Guyton started painting his Heidelberg neighborhood 25 years ago. He had returned to his childhood home after serving in the Army and attending art school, only to find vacant dilapidated and abandoned houses.
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Wednesday, November 30,2011

Reminiscing about retail

Author charts the rise and fall of Jacobson’s

by Bill Castanier
In the heyday of the East Lansing Jacobson’s, you could take your kids to Breakfast With Santa or sit down for an elegant dinner in the Asian-inspired 1970 East Room restaurant. As a Michigan State University grad, you knew you d arrived when you bought your business attire there, or registered for your wedding.
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Wednesday, November 23,2011

Worth booking

Pick up page-turners from Jeffrey Eugenides, Erin Morgenstern and Ernest Hemingway

by Bill Castanier
Give ho-ho Hemingway books this holiday season. Several new books on Papa are on every Hemingway lovers list this holiday season and, surprisingly, they provide some new insight into the world of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. I say surprisingly because writing about Hemingway is a literary industry.
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Wednesday, November 16,2011

‘Laughing Whitefish’ resurfaces

Republished 1965 novel still has much to say about Indian law

by Bill Castanier
Voelker, who spent most of his life in the Upper Peninsula, also creates a window into the customs and language of the Cornish mining community around Ishpeming, where he lived.
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Wednesday, November 9,2011

Turning old books into new revenue

Library of Michigan wraps up its sale of 75,000 out-of-circulation volumes

by Bill Castanier
Since midsummer, the Library of Michigan has been selling more than 75,000 books that were no longer deemed essential for library collections at the state s online auction site (mibid.bidcorp.com). The books were part of what was once the Dewey Collection; some of the books date back to the late 19th century.
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Wednesday, November 2,2011

Coming-of-old-age story

Jim Harrison shares poetry and mystery

by Bill Castanier
A conversation with Jim Harrison is like opening a box of Cracker Jacks. You get to nibble through the delightful crisp kernels knowing a prize awaits: You just won t know what it is until you get there.
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