Bestselling Author Mike Lupica Brings ‘True Legend’ to BTPL

Acclaimed sports writer and young adult author Mike Lupica will be visiting the Bloomfield Township Library on Friday, September 14th from 7 t0 8:30pm to promote the release of his latest young adult novel, True Legend. Mike will speak and sign copies of his numerous titles, which  will be available for purchase and signing at the event courtesy of Book Beat.

True Legend tells the story of basketball phenom Drew “True” Robinson, whose once in a generation talent is a blessing and a curse. True buys in to his own hype, much to the chagrin of his mother, who wants to keep her boy’s head grounded–and suddenly trouble has a way of finding him. That is, until a washed-up former playground legend steps back onto the court and takes True under his wing. In this age of street agents promising riches to kids barely out of elementary school and college programs being taken down because of recruiting violations, True Legend is a resonant and inspiring novel in the Lupica tradition.

Mike Lupica is a sports writer for the New York Daily News and a commentator for ESPN. He has written dozens of inspirational sports stories for children of all ages, as well as mystery titles for adults.*

*Information taken directly from Book Beat e-news. You can subscribe to the Book Beat newsletter here.

– Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

Post by Megan Shaffer

Nicola’s Books Stacks Stellar Appearances This Week

Dust to DustNicola’s Books in Ann Arbor has plenty on tap for local readers this week.

On Tuesday evening, actor and author Benjamin Busch will be appearing at Nicola’s Books for a discussion and signing of his memoir, Dust to Dust. Busch, who currently lives in Reed City, Michigan, was born in Manhattan and grew up in upstate New York. He is an actor, photographer, film director, and a United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer who served two tours of combat duty in Iraq. In addition, he has appeared in the HBO series The Wire, Homicide, The West Wing, and Generation Kill.

Acting aside, Busch’s memoir is a heavy, thoughtful read that utilizes the elemental (water, metal stone, blood, etc) as device for examining the brevity of our existence.

Dust to Dust will hit stores this Tuesday, which happily coincides with Busch’s appearance at Nicola’s. The discussion and signing will take place on March 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm. For more on Benjamin and Dust to Dust, try this recent piece in the Detroit Free Press.

The Boiling Season: A Novel

Also appearing this week at Nicola’s Books is author and debut novelist Christopher Hebert. Hebert is a graduate of Antioch College and earned his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, and was awarded its prestigious Hopwood Award for Fiction. Currently, he teachers at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with his wife and son.

The Boiling Season, Hebert’s debut novel, is a stunner thus far (I’m halfway through), and I’m quite shocked Hebert isn’t getting more airtime for this richly detailed and beautifully written work.

Hebert’s discussion and signing of The Boiling Season will take place Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm. For more with Christopher Hebert you can link to this Metro Pulse interview.

Nicola’s Books is located in the Westgate Shopping Center at 2513 Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor. As always, events are subject to change so please call first before heading out the door (734.662.0600).

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

National Writers Series and Beyond – A Book Lover’s Trip Worth Taking

There’s good reason why Traverse City was recently ranked as a top city for book lovers. Not only does this lakeshore city hum a little literary tune all its own, but it also falls in line with a mighty band of independent booksellers strung in solidarity along Michigan’s stunning northern shores.

These indies, each offering their respective knowledge and charms, compliment rather than compete through their pure, unmitigated passion for the literary arts. Such cumulative verve for the book is palpable, and has many readers road-tripping North for more than cherry pie.

One of the key draws of the much-talked-about Traverse City lit scene, however, is undoubtedly the National Writers Series. “Some observers believe that Traverse City’s growing reputation as a city of book lovers can also be attributed to the National Writers Series,” asserts Publisher’s Weekly in Traverse City is for Book Lovers. Brainchild of TC native and author Doug Stanton, the National Writers Series was founded in 2009 and continues to flourish with each new season.

The Detroit News recently featured the man behind the NWS magic, noting Stanton’s dedication not only to the art of writing, but to its future voices as well. “You don’t often get a chance to water your own roots, but that’s what he’s doing with every session,” states the Detroit News. “The events raise money for scholarships and the Front Street Writers Program, a workshop for talented high school students.”

The NWS brings at least one celebrity author each month to Traverse City for a reading and discussion of their work. The ticketed event is usually held in TC’s 19th-century opera house. This year’s lineup includes authors Jodi Picoult, Anna Quindlen, and Geraldine Brooks among others. Also, the incredibly popular Harvard professor Michael Sandel will appear to discuss What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.

For book lovers like myself who live in the Detroit metro area, Traverse City can feel like a world away. However, with the flavorful Writers Series and an incredible string of informed independents both in and outside the city, I can assure you that the drive Up North is definitely a trip worth taking.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Book Beat Owner Honored With Bookwoman Award

Colleen Kammer is receiving some well-deserved recognition from the Women’s National Book Association. Kammer has been selected as the recipient of the WNBA Detroit 2011 Bookwoman Award for her many contributions as bookseller and owner of the independent bookstore Book Beat in Oak Park.

The WNBA, which was established in 1917, is a national organization of women and men who work with and value books. The Detroit Chapter of the WNBA initiated the Bookwoman Award in 1991 to honor Michigan women who have made significant contributions to libraries, reading, writing, literacy or publishing.

“The Detroit Chapter shares the mission of the WNBA:  to promote reading and support the role of women in the community of the book,” states the Detroit Chapter site. Members of the Detroit Chapter live throughout lower southern Michigan and represent a variety of book-related professions including writers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, and editors. (via)

Kammer’s Book Beat is a literary landmark that offers fantastic author events, book clubs, art, readings and signings. The Book Beat also hosts many book related events throughout the area at venues such as libraries, community houses and schools. More importantly, independent booksellers like Kammer offer first-hand knowledge of their wares and offer great leads to titles of any interest.

There’s nothing like an indie, and for that alone Colleen Kammer deserves her award. Kammer will be honored on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at a special celebration at Sweet Lorraine’s in Southfield.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Related Links

History of Book Beat bookstore

– The WNBA partners with organizations such as The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress to promote literacy through national and chapter-based initiatives.

Borders a Bummer but Michigan Indies Still Alive and Kicking

In light of the Borders liquidation, I decided to post this indie piece once again. If you are an independent bookstore in Michigan and wish to be included on the list, please feel free to reach out to NLR through Comments or via Contact page. Night Light Revue will be offering a monthly Michigan Indie Feature starting this fall to promote the variety of bookstores that continue to entice readers and promote the written word throughout our state.

While big chain book retailers continue to shimmy, Michigan boasts a solid slew of fabulous independent bookstores throughout the state. An indie worth its salt is staffed with a knowledgable crew that not only loves to shoot the breeze about books, but can often provide you with the perfect pick regardless of your literary appetite.

If you’re headed Up North and are looking for a good read, an independent bookseller is a great way to go. Not only will you be falling into unique establishments that house both fringe and mainstream literary works, but you’ll also be adding much needed fuel to Michigan’s economy and the book industry at large.

While I can’t possibly cover all the indies in northern Michigan, here are a few of my personal favorites. Keep in mind that author events, book signings, and related discussions often go hand with individual bookstores. Also, most progressive booksellers roll with the techno tide and provide related links on their homepage and can be followed on facebook and Twitter.

Independent Booksellers due North

If you’re headed to Petoskey, stop in at McLean and Eakin.

If you’re headed to Gaylord, stop in at Saturn Booksellers.

If you’re headed to Traverse City, stop in at  Horizon Books.

If you’re headed to Glen Arbor, stop in at Cottage Books.

If you’re headed to Northport, stop in at Dog Ears Books.

If you’re headed to Suttons Bay or Traverse City, stop in at Brilliant  Books.

If you know of other bookstores, please feel free to add them in Comments!

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Ellen Airgood’s ‘South of Superior’ Seduces With Rustic Charm

Cover ImageEllen Airgood is an unlikely author. Clocking outrageous hours as a waitress and baker at the small diner she owns with her husband in Grand Marais, Michigan, it’s a wonder she has a second to write up anything other than a customer’s tab.

Airgood, however, is clearly as resourceful as the colorful characters who appear in her lyrical new novel South of Superior (Riverhead).  Released just last week, South of Superior is shaping up to be that perfect summer read. While its charms hold particular appeal for those who reside in Michigan, Airgood’s debut will easily translate to any reader looking for a wise, warm tale of love, life and friendship.

“Celebrating community and a hardscrabble way of life, South of Superior brilliantly captures what it’s like to live in a place that’s remote and lonely, yet enlivening and vital…” states Riverhead. “Filled with people who take great joy in the simple things and who recognize the deep reward in caring for others, it’s the kind of place – and story – that grabs hold of the soul and doesn’t let go.”

Airgood resides in Grand Marais, which sits on the Lake Superior shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and provides the setting for South of Superior. Known as the “Yoop” from those south of the Mackinac Bridge, the UP is nothing short of majestic and remains somewhat of a mystery for those who reside outside of its breathtaking borders. In South of Superior, Airgood grants a glimpse into the rustic lives of those who have called the peninsula home for generations and captivates with its rugged beauty.

Airgood will be appearing at several northern Michigan bookstores for signings of South of Superior over the summer. You can link to Airgood’s appearances here but as always, call venues before heading out the door.

* Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Indie Booksellers a Must for Lit Lovers Heading to Northern Michigan

With school winding down and the impending relief of slackening schedules upon us, many locals will be heading up north to take in their bright summer days on Michigan’s beautiful shores. Whether it’s a few days, a few weeks, or the break in its entirety, tightroutines will quickly unravel letting loose, wanton hours for pleasure reading.

While big chain book retailers continue to shimmy, Michigan boasts a solid slew of fabulous independent bookstores throughout the state. An indie worth its salt is staffed with a knowledgable crew that not only loves to shoot the breeze about books, but can often provide you with the perfect pick regardless of your literary appetite.

If you’re headed Up North and are looking for a good read, an independent bookseller is a great way to go. Not only will you be falling into unique establishments that house both fringe and mainstream literary works, but also adding much needed fuel to Michigan’s economy and the book industry at large.

While I can’t possibly cover all the indies in northern Michigan, here are a few of my personal favorites. Keep in mind that author events, book signings, and related discussions often go hand with individual bookstores. Also, most progressive booksellers roll with the techno tide and provide related links on their homepage and can be followed on facebook and Twitter.

Independent Booksellers due North

If you’re headed to Petoskey, stop in at McLean and Eakin.

If you’re headed to Gaylord, stop in at Saturn Booksellers.

If you’re headed to Traverse City, stop in at  Horizon Books.

If you’re headed to Glen Arbor, stop in at Cottage Books.

If you’re headed to Northport, stop in at Dog Ears Books.

If you’re headed to Suttons Bay, stop in at Brilliant  Books (now in Traverse City too).

If you know of other bookstores, please feel free to add them in Comments!

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer