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Wednesday, June 13,2012

Ford tough

More than 20 years after he started it, Richard Ford unveils 'Canada'

by Bill Castanier
The hook: Joyce, Salinger, Twain, Vonnegut, Dickens — these are all authors we know by their last names. Each was also a master of the first line. Richard Ford’s “Canada” is likely to get “Ford” added to that pantheon of literary geniuses. Its stark opening sentences: “First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders”
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Wednesday, June 6,2012

'Golden' girls: The next generation

Kalamazoo native Richelle Mead parlays geekdom into a solid writing career

by Bill Castanier
The books by Kalamazoo native Richelle Mead are no different in their outside appearance, but inside you will find at least one remarkable variation: Vampires and humans don’t get it on. Yes, there is no love and no love lost in the tremendously successful vampire franchise created by Mead, who lives in Seattle.
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Wednesday, May 30,2012

Stormy, with a good chance of mystery

'Stand By' for meteorologist Jake Dunne´s second novel

by Bill Castanier
Like the hot and sticky weather he sometimes reports on, Lansing meteorologist Jake Dunne uses his concise and easygoing storytelling ability to grab the reader in “Stand By,” his new mystery-thriller.
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Wednesday, May 23,2012

Shades of summer

You can take a vacation through reading this season

by Bill Castanier
Thanks to a potential Eurozone meltdown, Greece is in the news nearly every day. But in the 1960s Greece was in the throes of a terrifying military dictatorship, and Natalie Bakopoulos’ “The Green Shore” reflects on an era of oppression, love, fear and day-to-day life in a Greece we’ve mostly forgotten about.
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Wednesday, May 16,2012

Frightening and funny

Louise Krug's dreams of a glamorous career were curtailed by a crisis

by Bill Castanier
Louise Krug had just started her dream life with a college degree, a new job, glam clothes, a wonderful and handsome boyfriend and a magazine assignment chasing Britney Spears. She was looking forward to the beautiful life California had to offer.
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Wednesday, May 9,2012

A playwright's work is never done

Sandra Seaton wins the Study of Midwestern Literature's Mark Twain Award

by Bill Castanier
When East Lansing playwright Sandra Seaton receives the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature´s Mark Twain Award for writing this week, she will join a distinguished group of previous winners, including Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Virginia Hamilton, Ray Bradbury, Jane Hamilton and Jim Harrison.
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Wednesday, May 2,2012

Home run

Jim Abbott writes about his baseball career and his parents' love story

by Bill Castanier
Abbott’s emergence from Flint was a storybook tale, especially considering that he was born without a right hand. On a scholarship to the University of Michigan, he collected two Big 10 championships, a solid 26-8 record and won the Sullivan Award for the best college athlete in 1987, the first baseball player to win the award. He then became a member of the triumphant U.S. Olympic Baseball Team, which won an unofficial Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics (baseball was classified as a demonstration sport that year).
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Wednesday, April 25,2012

Booking the big names

Award-winning Michigan authors take the spotlight at Night for Notables

by Bill Castanier
Ward, who won the National Book Award in 2011 for “Salvage the Bones,” and Gordon, the 2010 award winner for “Lord of Misrule,” will join 2009 finalist Campbell (“American Salvage”) for a conversation about winning, writing and life after the award at the 2012 Night for Notables award ceremony Saturday at the Library of Michigan.
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Wednesday, April 11,2012

Double header

Two authors of baseball books come to town on the same night

by Bill Castanier
Mark Twain once umpired a baseball game. Earvin Magic Johnson and a group of investors are willing to pony up $2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Wednesday, April 4,2012

'Writing well is the best revenge'

Loren D. Estleman is the keynote speaker at this year's Rally of Writers

by Bill Castanier
Estleman still prefers using his 1967 Olympia and his 1923 Underwood to bang out his novels, including his more than 30 books featuring Detroit private eye Amos Walker.
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