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Crowds of "Pokémon GO" players gather for some late night monster hunting in this park in Vancouver.
flickr user Peter Kudlacz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you wandered past any landmarks or took a stroll through a public park this summer, you may have noticed a lot more foot traffic than usual. But instead of walking and talking together, these large groups of new guests basically just sit around and stare at their smartphones. 

Yes, "Pokémon GO" players are everywhere.

For many, the game has become a core part of day-to-day life. 

Alexander Weinstein's new book of short stories takes the idea to the extreme, exploring a future full of dangerously immersive virtual reality games. 

Prisoners of war held in Michigan’s camps were mostly German, but there were also soldiers of other nationalities, like these Italians captured by the Germans in Greece in 1943.
Wikimedia user Bild Bundesarchiv / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There aren't many books that serve up history, suspense, crime and a love story, all beautifully tied together.

Wolf's Mouth manages to offer all that and more.

Courtesy of violashipman.com

Now that we've gotten ourselves past Memorial Day, nice lazy weeks of summer reading beckon. Packing supplies for a day at the beach has to include a book. Here's a great suggestion for a beach read: The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman. It's perfect because it is set in the fictional Michigan beach town of Scoops. 

Beowulf Sheehan

 

What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

That’s the premise of David Means' first novel, “Hystopia.” Means is a fiction writer born and raised in Kalamazoo.

 

Set in and around Michigan, the novel re-imagines the state during the Vietnam War era. Traumatized veterans run amok throughout the state. The novel explores the nature of memory, trauma and history.

 

Means joined us to talk about his new book and his relationship to his home state.

Hotel Walloon
HotelWalloon.com

Childhood summers spent fishing and swimming in a pristine Northern Michigan lake would later inspire Ernest Hemingway's The Last Good Country.

The newly-opened Hotel Walloon is borrowing that reference for the name of an upcoming weekend devoted to celebrating the literary giant's Michigan connection.

For three days, guests will have an opportunity to explore the famed author's boyhood hangout near Petoskey, and hear new details about his Michigan life.

flickr user Jamin Gray / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The rumor mill is certainly thriving in the 21st century.

But roll the clock back a few hundred years, and we see that not much has changed. Even without the help of Facebook or Twitter, rumors spread quickly in early America.

 

These rumors may have been groundless, but they managed to take root and affected many important issues of the day.

Wayne State University Press

Many women can relate to the witching hour. In the middle of the night, you wake up and have trouble falling back to sleep because your mind is racing. Concerns about the upcoming day, anxiety about the mounting to-do list while, oftentimes, your partner sleeps soundly next to you. The Witching Hour is the title of the first story in a collection of “flash fiction” – not short stories – by Detroit-based writer Desiree Cooper, titled Know The Mother.

Atlantic Monthly Press (2002)

The literary world suffered a significant loss over the weekend when Michigan author and writer Jim Harrison passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Arizona.

Harrison wrote more than three dozen books, including novels like True North, Dalva, and numerous collections of poetry.

Angela Flournoy
LaToya T. Duncan

Angela Flournoy’s new novel, The Turner House, is receiving praise across the literary spectrum, from The New York Times to Buzzfeed.

It was also a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction.

Agate Publishing

Whether you're a 65-year-old senior VP whose job has been eliminated or a 22-year-old with a freshly minted degree, trying to land a job is scary stuff.

Michigan native Matt Durfee has recruited for some of the biggest companies in the nation, and he has lost his job and had to navigate his way to a new position – not once, but several times.

When prospective parents consider the possibility of adopting a child, they think about what advantages they might offer a child: a loving, stable home with economic and education advantages that the child might not otherwise have.

But as the years go on and that child grows up, there can be pitfalls and problems that no one can foresee.

And, if the child is of a different race and ethnic background than the adoptive parents, the pitfalls can be especially challenging.

Larry and Priscilla Massie

Historians Larry and Priscilla Massie have opened Massie's Michigan Books (by appointment only) at their Allegan home.  

“For the last 35 years I’ve stuck away any book about Michigan that I came across with the intention of opening a book shop,” said author Larry Massie, who has written numerous books about Michigan. 

Massie built an addition on his home for the new store that houses about 5,000 books from fiction and poetry to railroading and shipwrecks.

People who feel drawn to a comeback story are moving to Detroit bring their narrative and point of view to what the city is all about.

But sometimes these narratives and views of Detroit come from outsiders. 

Writer and critic Aaron Foley decided it was time to give the visitors and the newcomers a dose of Detroit realism.

His new book pretty much says it all: How To Live In Detroit Without Being a Jackass.

Detroit has collapsed into ruin, and a man named Kelly is earning a living as a scrapper.

He picks through the thousands of abandoned buildings, stealing scrap metal and then selling it to salvage yards in Scrapper, the newest novel from Michigan author Matt Bell.

The New York Times describes Scrapper as, “equal parts dystopian novel, psychological thriller and literary fiction.”

Bell says he likes that description, but thinks of the novel also as a detective story.

Courtesy of the author

That writing major you took in college could become the lifeline that helps you cope with loss and pain years later.

That's what Gabriella Burman of Huntington Woods is finding.

Courtesy of the author

The power of forgiveness. The power of trust. The often-complicated, sometimes-thorny relationship between a mother and a daughter.

Those are some of the themes that Lansing's Lori Nelson Spielman explores in her latest novel Sweet Forgiveness.

Flickr user Mike Mozart / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Your backyard may be full of potential wild edibles that you never considered.

Lisa Rose is an herbalist, urban farmer and a forager. Her mission is to get us to connect with the land we live in by using plants we can find in our surroundings.  And you can learn how to do this in her book Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach.

Many people think of foraging as something that has to be done in wilderness, but Rose says there is potential all around us, saying she wants to "bring that level of awareness that nature is right out our front door, it's not just exclusively at a nature center or at the farmer's market."

Shelly Sulser

What makes someone want to live on an island?

Loreen Niewenhuis pondered this question in her book, A 1,000 Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure, which recounts her journey traveling to many of the islands in each of the Great Lakes. This is the third in her Great Lakes Adventure series and the last time she spoke with us she had just completed hiking the shorelines of all five Great Lakes.

Courtesy of the author

The power of friendship. It cuts through time and distance. The kind of friendship where, even if you haven't seen each other for a long stretch of time, you pick right up as if no time had passed. The kind of friendship that rides through life's ups and downs.

She Writes Press

When describing the previous ten years of her life, writer Kelley Clink explains, “Being a sister to him made me who I was. Losing him has made me who I am.”

Her brother's suicide in 2004 sent her on a journey of guilt, of mourning, of realizing that her brother is gone. And the feeling that she may be to blame.

Clink turned this emotional journey into a new memoir, A Different Kind of Same.

Courtesy of the author

The Old Testament story of Cain and Abel is one of the most compelling in the Bible. How could a man kill his brother?

The tragedy is at the heart of the stunning debut novel The Fishermen from Chigozie Obioma.

Obioma was born in Nigeria and earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

The Fishermen is a parable set in 1990s Nigeria.

Andy Ryan

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

When Brad Meltzer sent his first novel to 20 publishers, he got 24 rejection letters.

His next novel became a New York Times bestseller.

Meltzer has lived at the top of the bestseller lists ever since, and he’s just released his newest political thriller: The President’s Shadow.

Success has not made Meltzer forget his past. In fact, he draws directly on his initial failure for inspiration to continue writing.

Susan Brewster

Eighty-nine years after being banned, John Herrmann’s first book What Happens is finally being published.

Arguably Lansing’s best forgotten writer, Herrmann was part of the famous expat American writers’ crowd in Paris in the 1920s and called Ernest Hemingway a friend.

All photos are from a collection from Susan Brewster, niece of John Herrmann, and have not been published until now.

Michelle and Chris Gerard

Michigan has a long and well-known history of car manufacturing, mining, logging, and agriculture.

But there's something else this state produces: writers. 

Anna Clark's new book explores the lives of ten of Michigan's most notable writers. Michigan Literary Luminaries: from Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden is a collection of essays that are not just biographies.

Don Shikoshi

In her latest memoir, writer Anne-Marie Oomen takes us back to growing up in the turbulent 1960’s on a her family’s Michigan farm. From school dances and sewing lessons to the Detroit riots and the Cuban missile crisis it’s all in her new book Love, Sex and 4-H. 

Dr. Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko was a Nazi prisoner for 15 months. She endured a women's prison, three concentration camps, four slave labor camps and a death march.

She and her fellow prisoners were liberated by the U.S. 87th Infantry Division 70 years ago this week.

After the war, she came to Michigan with her husband and daughter, seeking a new life.

She found that new life, but her Polish medical credentials had been lost in the war and she was never able to practice medicine in America. Instead, she worked as a nurse's aide at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

poetryfoundation.org/bio/ken-mikolowski

It’s National Poetry Month and in its honor, we are exploring the work and styles of Michigan poets.

Ken Mikolowski, a poet and poetry professor at the University of Michigan, has just released his fifth book, ThatThat. It’s a book that reveals this poet’s mastery of the short poem – no poem within the book is longer than three short lines.

“Haiku is much too long for me,” Mikolowski said.

Stateside celebrates National Poetry Month with a special month-long series on poetry in Michigan.

We'll be talking with Michigan poets about their new work, about poetry in the 21st century and about why poetry continues to inspire.

Erna Roberts has had a full life. As a survivor of the WWII Nazi takeover of her homeland, Latvia, as well as two separate Russian occupations, still living on her own at the age of 97 is the least of her feats.

Photo: Michelle Ann Photography

Michelle Balconi believes you can make economics something to “chat about” – and you can do it in a book aimed at children.

She’s a writer and a mother from Grosse Pointe Park who has teamed up with renowned Reagan administration economist Arthur B. Laffer and Clinton Township artist Mary Kinsora to create the book Let’s Chat About Economics, a nuts-and-bolts guide to economics.

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