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Wednesday, April 24,2013

Pedaling Detroit

Author takes a unique look at the beleaguered metropolist

by Bill Castanier
When he was researching his book, "Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis," Rolling Stone contributing editor Mark Binelli wanted to see a different side of Detroit than the one portrayed in popular media — a side even some of us "locals" have only seen by expressway on our way to see the Tigers, the Lions or a show at the Fox Theatre. To accomplish this, he spent a year in the city, exploring the streets by bicycle.
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Wednesday, April 10,2013

April literary round-up

As spring settles in, literature aficionados have a rich selection of events to choose from

by Bill Castanier
Lovers of great literature will have their hands — or at least their bedside tables — full if they want to stay up with the remarkable number of distinguished authors who will be visiting Lansing in the next few weeks.
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Wednesday, March 27,2013

Read poets society

East Lansing's celebrates poetry throughout April

by Bill Castanier
April is National Poetry Month, and, like the flowers it often celebrates, poetry is about to spring forth all around town. Michigan State University's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities' Center for Poetry has several activities planned for the month, including three poetry readings, a poetic chalking of a section of the Lansing River Trail and Poetry in Motion, which is hitching a ride on local CATA buses for the second year in a row.
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Monday, March 18,2013

Writers with issues

Bonnie Jo Campbell kicks off a series devoted to authors addressing Michigan life

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Jan. 25 — Michigan State University associate dean and writing professor Edward Watts wants to make the Midwest less of a flyover zone when it comes to literature. Watts, who has long been teaching the works of Midwest writers, is the driving force behind a series of three events featuring Michigan writers who delve into political socio-economic issues.
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

‘When I fail, I learn’

John Smoltz’s 'Starting and Closing' addresses baseball and Christian faith

by Bill Castanier
Thursday, May 31 — John Smoltz’s professional baseball career is a highlight reel in itself, but he still calls hitting an eighth-inning walk-off home run to win the Lansing area Diamond Classic in 1985 one of his greatest moments in baseball. One of his worst moments occurred just a couple of weeks earlier, when his Waverly High School team was knocked out of the state finals by Okemos in a rain-shortened game he thought his team had won.
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Rally cats

Detroit author reaches out to Michigan writers

by Bill Castanier
Thriller writer Karen Dionne, who will keynote the 26th annual "A Rally of Writers," has had three novels published, including the environmental thrillers "Boiling Point" and "Freezing Point." The Detroit native is noted for her meticulous research, including a visit to an active volcano in Chaiten, Chile, for "Boiling Point."
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Wednesday, March 6,2013

Choose your own adventure

Local thriller author makes it big by e-publishing

by Bill Castanier
More than half a million readers can't be wrong. That's the number of e-books sold by Holt thriller writer Rick Murcer.
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Wednesday, February 27,2013

Motown in mortem

Detroit author writes requiem for rotting metropolis

by Bill Castanier
Detroit author and journalist Charlie LeDuff doesn't need a white suit, acid or a rich boy's swagger to prove that he belongs among the greats of New (now old) Journalism. His new book not only gives him a seat at that table, but he gets to pick the entrée — and he certainly looks the part.
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Wednesday, February 13,2013

Born of fire

Local author conjures up historical fiction based on real Lansing tragedy

by Bill Castanier
Ghosts, UFOs and other unexplained happenings provide fodder for plenty of spooky mystery novels, but author Barbara Darling Saxena said the central plot for her debut thriller, "Souviens," came to her one night after doing some genealogical research at the Library of Michigan.
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Wednesday, January 30,2013

Whitehills, gold anniversary

Local women's book club celebrates 50 years of literary greats

by Bill Castanier
The Whitehills Book Club is unlike typical book clubs, which gravitate toward bestsellers and popular fiction. It's not because the women who compose the group, mostly residents of the Whitehills subdivision in East Lansing, are book snobs — instead, they like to push their collective literary taste beyond traditional fare.
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