Movies and Festivals in Detroit and Michigan

Movies and Festivals in Detroit and Michigan

Arts & Culture
  When this issue makes it to print, the Academy Awards will have aired and that Hollywood excitement will rest until next year. But Hollywood isn’t the only entity (and, arguably, not necessarily the best) for film appreciation. The Detroit area and other spots in Michigan are presenting some worthwhile film events in March and beyond. The second annual Freep Film Fest, founded by the Detroit Free Press and Michigan.com, runs March 19-22. It showcases documentary “films that are about or relevant to Detroit, the region and Michigan in the hopes of fostering engagement and discussion about the issues and challenges we face while at the same time celebrating what makes us unique.” The event’s venue partners are the Fillmore Detroit and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute…
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Great Winter Happenings in the City

Events, Life & Community
  The holiday season offers many cultural events for people of all ages, in and around Detroit. Here are just a few highlights to mark on the calendar. These events are all housed at wonderful Detroit or metro-area gems, which is why they are featured. The history and beauty of the venues is always a cause for celebration, and during the holiday season, they shine just a bit brighter. Enjoy! The 42nd annual Noel Night is on Saturday, December 6 this year (it’s always the first Saturday of December and seems like an official kick-off for the holiday season in Detroit). Several arts organizations such as the DIA, The Charles H. Wright Museum, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Public Library, galleries, and more will be open from 5 p.m.…
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Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Arts & Culture, Books
  Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest trail--starting in California, going through parts of Oregon, and ending in Washington State--when she was 26 years old. Before she took off on her trek, she’d had a traumatic early life with an abusive father and a loving, hippy mother. She dabbled in drugs and the wrong guys, but married a good guy when she was barely out of high school. Her mother died of cancer when Cheryl was 22, and it shook her to the core. She heartbreakingly reveals how very hard it was for her to lose her mother: “It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that…
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Book Review: Land of the Blind by Jess Walter

Arts & Culture, Books
Review By: Laurie Fundukian Those who read my reviews know that I tend to become enamored with a writer, but perhaps don’t discover them upon their debut, as I’ve done with Gillian Flynn, and now with Jess Walter, whose popular Beautiful Ruins was reviewed here last year. So I tend to go backward into their bodies of work. Walter was a journalist, and his earlier work falls into the thriller and suspenseful crime genre. Needing some titles to download to my Kindle for a big trip this summer, I turned to one of his earlier novels, Land of the Blind. And I was not disappointed. The book starts in Spokane, Washington with Caroline Mabry, who is a detective working her turn on the night shift—a schedule given to detectives who…
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Book Review: The Light in the Ruins

Arts & Culture, Books
Many readers may be familiar with Chris Bohjalian’s novel Midwives, which was a popular “Oprah pick” back when she had the power to move millions of books off the shelves. Bohjalian’s powerful novel The Sandcastle Girls, about the Armenian Genocide, was reviewed in Thrive a year or so ago. So yes, Bohjalian is a favorite, and he holds that place deservingly. I was in the midst of The Light in the Ruins when news outlets were running commemorative stories to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the book certainly enhanced my understanding of that time, since it is set during the war years, and in the post-war 1950s in Italy. The book gave me a glimpse into what families went through, from a different prospective. I’ve been to Normandy…
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Intriguing Summer Reads

Arts & Culture, Books
[caption id="attachment_2196" align="alignnone" width="600"] A Summer Trio[/caption] Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s third novel, published in 2012, became a sensation, and will make its feature film debut in October, starring Ben Affleck and Rosemond Pike as the married couple in this addictive thriller. When I was thinking of some good reads to take on vacation a couple of months ago, I decided to check out her first two novels, because I was not on her bandwagon until her third novel—a bit behind legions of loyal fans. Now I can’t wait for her next effort. The author has been quoted as describing her work in this way: “You might say I specialize in difficult characters. Damaged, disturbed, or downright nasty. Personally, I love each and every one of the misfits, losers, and…
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