Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

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Thursday, January 30, 2003

Sharing the Hours with Mrs. Dalloway: Two takes on the Tragic Virginia Woolf

Books Nancy Sundstrom “There‘s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we‘ve ever imagined.... Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.“ – Virginia Woolf, “Mrs. Dalloway“

With the recent Golden Globe wins and predicted Oscar nominations for Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours,“ media and literary attention allover the world has made a cause celebre out of Michael Cunningham’s acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 1998 novel of the same name, and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,’ the 1925 book on which “The Hours“ is based.
 
Thursday, January 23, 2003

A True Blue Cop Thriller

Books Nancy Sundstrom If you read this column, you‘ve probably assumed, and I believe correctly so, that I love books and for the most part, am not a snob about them.
But a title like “Final Justice“ makes me nervous for some reason, perhaps because it evokes slightly coherent memories of cheezy movies starring the likes of Joe Don Baker and most of the ensemble cast of the first “Billy Jack“ opus that I went with high school buddies to see at drive-ins during the big, bad, beloved early 1970‘s, when the point was always (if unspoken) that little watching of the “film“ would occur.
 
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Get the Book and Get Fit

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s January, which means that in an act of penance for holiday season indulgence, many of us have made resolutions for the new year about weight control, exercise, healthy living habits, and the like.
Most likely, you’re one of those who have, and if that’s the case, you may be seeking guidance from any one of a number of bestsellers devoted to diet and fitness. Currently, there are around two dozen books on those topics that are selling briskly and have garnered positive reviews. The following are summaries of a few that have risen to the top of that list, and may be worth your consideration.
 
Thursday, January 9, 2003

The Princess Bride: One Woman‘s Perilous Journey

Books Nancy Sundstrom Marrying a Malaysian prince after a whirlwind romance and settling on his royal family’s island, Patricia Sutherland thought she had discovered paradise. The truth was that she found herself in hell instead.
Sutherland’s story is an incredible one in every regard, especially because it is true. The idyllic island, royal life, and Muslim faith that the Suttons Bay resident found herself surrounded by each became a prison of their own, and a major obstacle to attempting to free her two children from her tyrannical husband and the powerful extremists who surrounded him.
 
Thursday, January 9, 2003

Bush at War: An untested President Responds to a World of Terror

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s something of a given that any new book from journalist Bob Woodward will shoot to the top of the bestseller list. And history has repeated itself with his latest effort, even though some would argue that the history on which it is based is still being written.
 
Thursday, January 2, 2003

The Best of Books 2002 - part II

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s been great fun to take a look back on some of the best books of 2002 - the only true challenge has been in narrowing it down to just ten of my favorite fictional works.
In Part Two of this column, there will be many similarities to the five works previously named for this annual Express honor. The books named here represent debuts as well as the latest from established authors, and cover ground from the great American West of the early 1800s to tony East Coast settings of today where the rich and famous make -- and play -- by their own rules. Again, if you haven’t had a chance to read any of these, consider them before the new works for 2002 are quickly ushered in.
 
Thursday, December 26, 2002

The Best in Books for 2002 - Part I

Books Nancy Sundstrom What a great year for books.
For both fiction and non-fiction categories and virtually every other genre, and whether it was an established author or a novice, 2002 was marked by literature that was nothing short of outstanding, with some of the selections being benchmarks. As the year comes to an end, it has become an Express tradition to take a look back at the best of the best, at least in the hungry eyes of this reviewer.
 
Thursday, December 19, 2002

Books for Holiday Browsing

Books Nancy Sundstrom Some of us anticipate the holiday season all year-long and approach it with an organized discipline that might even make Martha Stewart sit up and take notice. For the rest of us, it arrives before we know it, and then, as it happened this year with Thanksgiving falling so late in November, we find ourselves scrambling to get to all those plans we’ve been hatching since last year’s festivities.
 
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Thrillers Times Three

Books Nancy Sundstrom Arthur Raven, Alex Cross, and Jack Forman are three tough, smart, yet sensitive guys (think a special forces operative meets Tom Hanks) who just can’t seem to stay out of harm’s way. As a result, the predicaments in which they find themselves in make for some page-turning reading and razor-sharp suspense writing.
The trio are the lead characters and heroes in the latest works from three of the toughest, smartest, and yet sensitive thriller masters around. Respectively, they are the focus of “Reversible Errors“ by Scott Turow, “Four Blind Mice“ by James Patterson, and “Prey: A Novel“ by Michael Crichton. While each has their flaws, they represent the potential of which their creators are capable of delivering, along with being highly enjoyable, worth recommending, and at present, nesting comfortably on the top of the bestseller lists.
 
Thursday, December 5, 2002

Walk Down this Lane

Books Nancy Sundstrom The title of the book, “Nobody‘s Perfect: Selected Writings from the New Yorker,“ gives a nod to the classic ending line delivered by Joe E. Lewis in the movie “Some Like It Hot,“ when his character discovers that his intended, played by Jack Lemmon, is actually a man. In real life, that saying may be true, but it’s debatable when it comes to the focus here, which is the writing of film critic Anthony Lane.
 
Friday, November 29, 2002

A May-December Love Story Blossoms in Q Road

Books Nancy Sundstrom For those who have been awaiting the heir apparent to Sissy Hawkshaw in Tom Robbins’ legendary “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,“ Michigander Bonnie Jo Campbell has arrived on the literary scene with “Q Road“ and delivers an equally memorable heroine in Rachel Crane, a gun-toting child bride with a loose mouth and an undying passion for the “damned land.“
 
Thursday, November 21, 2002

How Does She Do It? The Ups and Downs of a Working Mom

Books Nancy Sundstrom If the title doesn’t get you, the opening pages of Allison Pearson‘s debut novel, “I Don‘t Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother,“ will.
In those first few moments one knows they’ve discovered a treasure trove of observations about being a working mother that are so spot-on and elicit emotions from laughter to tears within even the space of a few sentences.
 
Thursday, November 14, 2002

Q is for Quarry is Quintessential Grafton

Books Nancy Sundstrom I was recently perusing the well-stocked shelves of a friend’s library, an eclectic collection that encompassed everyone and everything -- Kafka to the Kama Sutra, Socrates to Jacqueline Susann, Bronte to Burroughs. You get the point.
Among the extensive collections by a number of authors were the first 17 installments of Sue Grafton’s best-selling series about private investigator Kinsey Millhone, which have been done in alphabetical fashion. The latest, “Q is for Quarry“ was there, as well. Knowing that it had immediately shot to the top of the best seller lists after its recent publication, and has remained there since, I asked for an explain as to what all the fuss was about. My ignorance earned me a bit of a tongue-lashing, but by the evening’s end, I was comfortably settled in with Grafton’s newest in my hands.
 
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Donna Tartt‘s Little Friend is Worth the Wait

Books Nancy Sundstrom On the page and in real life, if there is one thing Donna Tartt has mastered, it’s the fine art of suspense.
After all, Tartt has held an eager audience of readers at bay for slightly more than a decade since publishing her remarkable, bestselling debut novel, “The Secret History.“ The literary world has been clamoring for her sophomore effort ever since, but Tartt opted to crank out thoughtful and provocative columns, critiques, and essays, while quietly working on “The Little Friend.“
 
Thursday, October 24, 2002

The Last Place Finishes First

Books Nancy Sundstrom Make no mistake about it, “The Last Place“ is a first-rate thriller.
“The Last Place“ is the seventh book in a mystery series about Baltimore, MD detective Tess Monaghan from real-life Baltimore Sun reporter Laura Lippman, whose previous novels, “The Sugar House,“ “Baltimore Blues,“ “Charm City,“ “Butcher‘s Hill,“ and “In Big Trouble,“ have won the Edgar, Agatha, Shamus, and Anthony Awards.
Like fellow Baltimorians film makers John Waters and Barry Levinson, she loves the city she lives in and has found it a rich backdrop for her well-conceived series, whose strongest asset is her savvy, wise-cracking, independent former reporter turned private investigator Monaghan.
 
 
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