Books

Telling the Working-class Stories of Rural Michigan: A Review of “Enough to Lose”

When asked about his background, RS Deeren’s first instinct is to describe the setting of his upbringing: rural isolation and working-class struggle. This view...

How Illinois Librarians Are Waging War on Literary Censorship

“Of Mice and Men,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Catcher in the Rye.” They have more in common than being household classics of American...

Paradise Found? The Intriguing Saga of Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library

Does a tree really fall if no one’s there to hear it? Is a book really read if no one’s there to discuss it? In...

“Writing Was the Thing That Saved my Life”: On Being a Thai American Writer in Ohio

Born in Chicago to Thai immigrants, author and teacher Ira Sukrungruang spent much of his early life wrangling the divided aspects of his identity — one irrevocably tied to his birthplace and home in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and the other struggling to resonate with the culture, language and traditions of his family’s heritage.

A Tiger in Ohio: How Bill Watterson’s Hometown Inspired “Calvin and Hobbes”

In 1995, the final edition of Bill Watterson’s iconic comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” ended with the title characters (a precocious, rascally child and...

American Crayon Company’s Enduring Legacy: A Review of “Color Capital of the World”

As a child, John Kropf knew he could always find a bucket of American Crayon coloring sticks to doodle on old newspapers, draw on...

Tiny Libraries Are Leaving Big Impacts in Book Deserts Across the Midwest

Little “bookshelves on a stick” sit on sidewalk corners, in front of houses or on busy roads. They often feature fun display colors and...

The Art of Publishing Midwestern Literature

When Robert James Russell, a Michigander, went to England to study American Modernism, he found that in the curriculum “there was kind of a...

Booktown: Ann Arbor’s Enduring Literary Legacy

Picture the perfect bookstore. Are you standing in New York City, facing the miles of shelves that make up the Strand? Are you imagining...

When Pandemic Hit, Libraries Were There — And for More Than Just Books

When 2020 hit, it seemed like no one was prepared for what was to come. Except, maybe, libraries.  Not to say the pandemic didn’t hit...

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