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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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Wednesday, January 9,2013

Potent notables

Annual event celebrates Michigan-based literature

by Bill Castanier
The 11-year-old program Michigan Notable Books, which is coordinated by the Library of Michigan, highlights local authors and stories and promotes reading. To be selected, books must be published in the previous calendar year and must be about Michigan (or the Great Lakes region) or written by an author with Michigan ties.
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Wednesday, December 26,2012

Closing the book on 2012

by Bill Castanier
Author readings may not measure up to the spectacle of a Wharton Center musical or the audacity of the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, but for many in the Greater Lansing community and me, they provide a window to an earlier time when authors were the rock stars of popular culture.
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Wednesday, December 12,2012

Portrait of the artist as a playful grandfather

East Lansing comic artist illustrates new children's book by James Joyce

by Bill Castanier
Bloomsday fans have reason to rejoice this holiday season — they are doubly blessed with a new biography of James Joyce as well as a never-before-published children’s book by the acclaimed Irish author.
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Wednesday, November 28,2012

Tales from the underground

Author documents America's underground newspaper movement

by Bill Castanier
"What a long, strange trip it’s been," may be part of Grateful Dead lore, but it goes a long way in describing Ken Wachsberger's lifelong passion of documenting America's Vietnam-era underground newspaper movement.
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Wednesday, November 14,2012

Bookstore tailgate

Schuler hosts novel fundraiser for Haven House tonight

by Bill Castanier
Spartan football fans won't have to crash the tailgate party tonight at Schuler Books in the Eastwood Towne Center — everyone's invited.
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Wednesday, October 24,2012

How to raise your Olympian

Rita Wieber writes how-to book for 'gym moms'

by Bill Castanier
In her book "Gym Mom: The Twists and Turns of Your Daughter’s Gymnastics Career," Rita Wieber (mother of Olympic team Gold Medalist Jordyn Weiber) writes about the stressful and gratifying times of her daughter's 12-year quest to the 2012 London Olympics.
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Wednesday, October 10,2012

Of mice and Mennonites

Michigan author's second memoir covers religious humor and a cancer fight

by Bill Castanier
Readers of Rhoda Janzen's hilarious 2009 New York Times bestseller "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" may recall her failed date with a guy named Mitch who wore a Jesus-nail necklace. Since then, life has changed dramatically for Janzen — in her newest book, "Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?" Janzen and Mitch have each added another piece of jewelry: wedding rings.
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Wednesday, September 26,2012

Doctorow is in

Sci-fi wunderkind coming to Lansing for signing event

by Bill Castanier
Young adult author, science-fiction novelist, blogger, website editor, magazine contributor, expert on publishing and copyright law. They all fit the bill when describing Cory Doctorow, but he's more than a one-man band. He has a symphonic voice when it comes to the bloody edge of technology and the publishing industry.
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