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Wednesday, December 18,2013

Diesen’s sphere

Grand Ledge author recommends kids books this holiday season

by Bill Castanier
Books make great presents. “The key to a really fun book for very young readers is it must be enjoyed by the child and also the adult,” said Grand Ledge childrenīs book author Deborah Diesen.
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Wednesday, December 11,2013

Happy birthday, Jim

Michigan native Jim Harrison and friends on the author’s ability to produce after all these years

by Bill Castanier
He was making a list and checking it twice, stuffing everything into his Airstream for the big trip. Santa Claus? No. Just Guy de la Valdene — author, photographer, fisherman and French count — packing for his annual visit to fellow author, fishing companion and long-time friend Jim Harrison.
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Wednesday, December 4,2013

E got game

Local literary roundup, including talk by NYT bestselling author who’s gone electronic

by Bill Castanier
A new short story has brought the writing career of New York Times best seller author Jodi Picoult full circle. The online publisher Byliner recently released “The Color War,” a return to the form for the novelist: She got her start in the literary world when, as an undergrad at Princeton, two of her stories appeared in Seventeen magazine.
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Friday, November 22,2013

‘The president’s been shot’

Local, statewide officials recall Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated

by Bill Castanier
“The president’s been shot.” No words could be more succinct and terrifying at the same time.
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Wednesday, November 20,2013

Rare finds

A roundup of literary happenings in Lansing this week

by Bill Castanier
There’s a room on the fourth floor of the Library of Michigan where about 17,000 books are kept in the dark — for a good reason. It’s the Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room, and among the books protected by what librarian Carol Fink calls “extremely regulated temperature and humidity controls,” is an incunabulum, a rare 1490 edition of the Statham Abridgement of Law (a British law written in French) and a miniature copy of The Gettysburg Address, which — trivia alert — was written 150 years ago this week.
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Wednesday, November 20,2013

VIDEO: Proto-Twitter feed

Lansing Historical Society to host show featuring antique postcards

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Nov. 20 — Before there was Twitter, 100 years ago the nation was atwitter with another kind of communication that forced you to condense your thoughts into bite-sized piece nuggets of information. The penny postcard allowed more than 50 characters sending millions of cards each year via the U.S. Postal Service.
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Wednesday, November 6,2013

Life of pie

DeWitt bakery owner puts out first cookbook

by Bill Castanier
Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber and national pie-baking champion Linda Hundt have more in common than just winning spirits and a shared hometown of DeWitt: One of Hundt’s 52 pie recipes in her new cookbook, “Sweetie-licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life” was inspired by Wieber.
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Tuesday, November 5,2013

Unsportsmanlike conduct

Sports writer laments commercialization of college football

by Bill Castanier
Tuesday, Nov. 5 — Sports writer-turned-author John U. Bacon threw a literary touchdown in 2011 with the New York Times bestseller “Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines,” which dissected the broken University of Michigan football program. He’s back covering the game in his new book, “Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football.” On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Bacon will appear at the Schuler Books in Eastwood Towne Center to talk about his book, in which he searches for the ideals of the original game and contrasts them with the contemporary business of college football.
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

Feeding the meter

Lansing Poetry Club celebrates 75 years of ruminations and alliterations

by Bill Castanier
The inspiration for Gary Stephens’ poem, “Meeting, the Challenge,” belies what one might envision as the romantic muse for a poem. There were no beautiful sunrises or sunsets, no pastoral fields of sheep, no fluffy clouds, no quiet rains.
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

Four score

Lansing Historical Society looks at history of local health care, including famous quadruplets

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Oct. 16 — The Historical Society of Greater Lansing takes a look back at local health care at a special event on Thursday. In the late 1800s, Lansing hospitals were so bad nobody would go there said Mary Jane Wilson, a local historian and volunteer at Sparrow Hospital for 45 years.
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