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April 2014

A Fiction Writer After Fifty

April 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Twice honored by the Library of Michigan as a Michigan Notable Book author, Donald Lystra will talk about his journey to learn to write fiction beginning in his fifties. He will discuss his experience to master the craft of fiction and the road to getting published. Using examples from his recent story collection, Something that Feels Like Truth, and his 2009 novel, Season of Water and Ice, he will speak about the blending of facts and imagination that can lead…

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March 2014

Author Visit: Dwight “Skip” Stackhouse

March 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Author and former Grand Rapids resident Dwight G. Stackhouse will read from and discuss his novel Mother’s Milk. Stackhouse was the protege of author James Baldwin who wrote the poem Song for Skip about him. Mother’s Milk, influenced by Baldwin’s work, is the story of a young minister who is broken by the death of his mother. A book signing will follow the presentation. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today.

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The Great Michigan Read: Annie’s Ghosts

March 15 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Three area experts will explore the themes found in Steve Luxenberg’s book Annie’s Ghosts, which was selected as the 2014 Great Michigan Read. Author D.E. Johnson will discuss Eloise Hospital using information and photos gained from researching his book Detroit Breakdown. Christy Buck, executive director of The Mental Health Foundation will provide an overview of mental health treatment and practices from the 1900s to now. Genealogist Don Bryant will share tips on how to find your family’s real past. Sponsored…

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One Book, One City for Kids: Author Rob Buyea at Pooh’s Corner

March 10 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Pooh's Corner Bookstore,
Breton Village Mall, 1830 Breton Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 United States
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Come to Pooh’s Corner Bookstore for a reception and book signing. Visit with the author, ask him all your questions, and share your thoughts about his books. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today.

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February 2014

Living History and The Colored Car: The Backstory

February 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Sharing the process of researching and writing her latest book, author Jean Alicia Elster will provide the backstory to the creation of The Colored Car. Elster will also explore the challenge of keeping historical authenticity within the plot while creating a storyline and characters that will engage twenty-first century readers. Interspersed throughout the presentation, she will read selections from various chapters of The Colored Car. A book signing will follow the presentation. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a…

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Taste of Soul Sunday

February 16 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at the ninth annual Taste of Soul Sunday. Sample African American art, music, literature, history, and food. Free and open to the public. Call 616-988-5400 or visit www.grpl.org/tasteofsoul for more information. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today.

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December 20132013

The Shocking Story of Helmuth Schmidt: Michigan’s Original Lonely Hearts Killer

December 12, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Follow detectives as they untangle the twisted web of Michigan’s original Lonely Hearts Killer, who prowled newspaper matrimonials under various pseudonyms in WWI-era Detroit. Eavesdrop as investigators stage a line-up in a victim’s front yard, interrogate suspects, probe Schmidt’s Royal Oak “death” house, unearth a clandestine grave under a Detroit cellar, and ultimately solve one of the most bizarre criminal cases in Michigan history. Listen to testimony as the alleged wives of the “Michigan Bluebeard” face-off in an epic court…

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November 2013

Snowblood’s Journal

November 11, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Author Bob Linsenman will discuss his recent book Snowblood’s Journal: An American Novel about Dogs and Men in Vietnam. The book follows Jason Snowblood and Benny Coyne, cousins of Ottawa-Irish descent from a small northern Michigan town, who are assigned to the U.S. Army’s scout dog program in Vietnam. Day to day descriptions of fear, instinct, heroism, love and devotion combine for a great read. Linsenmen is an excellent storyteller and will share the inspiration and research behind this remarkable…

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October 2013

Remarkable Ramona Park

October 24, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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In 1882, the Grand Rapids Railway Company opened its first pavilion at Reeds Lake on property that was purchased the previous year. The success of this venture prompted the construction of a bigger and better building in 1893 which burned down four years later. For the resort season of 1897, the new pavilion opened as a vaudeville theater. Ramona Theater soon became immensely popular, and the company expanded its resort by 1903 to include amusements. Besides having one of the…

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A History of the Syrian Community of Grand Rapids, 1890-1945

October 7, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Author and professor Jim Goode will present a brief history of the Syrian community of Grand Rapids, one of the largest in the United States. In particular, he will discuss patterns of emigration and immigration, and the economic and religious character of the community, focusing on the slow process of ethnic acculturation during which members developed a hybrid culture, drawing on elements of the old and the new.

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