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Wednesday, March 19,2014

Graphic history

‘One Book, One Community’ chooses graphic novel memoir of civil rights activist for 2014

by Bill Castanier
Thirteen-term Georgia congressman John Lewis is the last living member of the core group of speakers who addressed the historic March on Washington in 1963. He also led marches and sit-ins that would result in severe beatings for him and his followers at the hands of the police. Lewis recently added comic book author to that resume. This week, his graphic novel memoir, “March: Book One,” was officially announced by the City of East Lansing and Michigan State University as the 2014 One Book, One Community book.
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Wednesday, March 5,2014

Pontiac vibe

Local author details complex history surrounding Native American

by Bill Castanier
When I was a child, I always looked forward to our family’s annual summer vacation in Sault Ste. Marie, pestering my grandmother in the front seat when we were going to see “real” Indians — not knowing at the time she was 100 percent Chippewa.
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Wednesday, February 19,2014

Drawing on Lewis’ history

Graphic novel illustrator recreates life of civil rights hero in comic form

by Bill Castanier
There are no capes, masks or superhuman abilities in the graphic novel “March: Book One.” But there is a hero: Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, 73, the book’s co-author. “March: Book One” is the first part of a three-volume set illustrated by Nate Powell, who visits East Lansing on Friday for a book signing at Hollow Mountain Comics.
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Wednesday, February 5,2014

The Beatles and America, at 50

Local perspectives and a shrine on the band that helped pull America out of the doldrums

by Bill Castanier
Handsomely dressed in black suits, skinny ties, pegged pants and pointed boots, and gripping their blue Pan Am bags like someone was going to ask for them back, the Beatles arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport about 1:20 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, 1964. Beatlemania was in full swing. Adoring fans swarmed, screamed and fawned over them at every stop.
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Wednesday, February 5,2014

State of the union

Labor leader’s son recounts the early days of the UAW in new memoir

by Bill Castanier
Iconic folk singer Pete Seeger, who died last week, performed and helped write the classic union organizing song “Talking Union” for people like late United Auto Workers leader Ken Morris. Seeger understood the hazards, the glories and frustrating paths followed by union organizers. His song was almost a primer for their mission.
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Wednesday, January 22,2014

The edge of oblivion

Life, death and poetry with Thomas Lynch

by Bill Castanier
There are celebrity chefs, celebrity fitness instructors and, yes, even celebrity duck call manufacturers. But there is only one celebrity mortician.
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Thursday, January 9,2014

Loogan’s run

Michigan author’s newest release is a prequel … with a twist

by Bill Castanier
These three terrific characters are all woven into a tight story through the young law student who was involved in the Innocence Project and was trying to exonerate a schoolteacher who was sent to prison for life for the killing of his wife.
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Thursday, December 26,2013

Best of 2013: Books

by Bill Castanier
“Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton” by Matt Phelan This graphic novel, suitable for both adults and young adults, tells the charming but little known story of silent film star Buster Keaton and his family’s vaudeville troupe that summered near Muskegon in the ea...
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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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