Monday, November 14, 2011

New Books from Michigan Authors

Here’s a quick look at some interesting books with a Michigan connection that came out earlier this year.

“The Color of Night: by L.C. Timmerman and John H. Timmerman (New Horizon Press $24.95) is a compelling true crime account of the struggle for justice in the murder case of 19-year-old Rachael Timmerman and the disappearance of Shannon, her 3-month-old daughter in Newaygo County.

The fascinating, gritty, highly detailed book opens with the 1997 discovery of Rachel’s body, duct-taped, handcuffed and chained to a cement block, in Oxford Lake.

She and her daughter had disappeared two days before she was to testify against Marvin Gabrion, who she had accused of attacking and raping her. The FBI is called in; eventually he is captured in a small New York town and is a suspect in other murders.

There are many more complications in the case; ironically, the 6th Court of Appeals recently overturned the death sentence on a technicality.

This well-researched book includes courtroom testimony as well as personal insights. It’s co-written by her father, who lives outside of Cedar Springs and her uncle, a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids.

“As Life Goes On” by Lansing author Larry Webb (CreateSpace $14.99) is an intriguing tale about Jeremy, a teen-ager whose best friend Scott is killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Jeremy goes to the cemetery, finding Scott and Jeremy’s long-dead dog Mooshy as ghosts, sitting on a mound of dirt.

It gets stranger from there, as the trio tries to unearth what really happened in the moments before Scott’s death.

The helpful spirits discover useful information; soon they assist Jeremy in a search for a missing classmate. Although they face numerous challenges, they are successful – in a way, opening the door for another paperback in the series, “Life Moves On”.

“In Which Brief Stories Are Told” by award-winning poet Phillip Sterling, (Wayne State, $18.95) is a slim, unusual collection of 15 short stories, some only two pages long.

These carefully crafted tales by Sterling are often enigmatic, offering quick slice-of-life glimpses of emotional situations.

It’s akin to reaching your hand into a large glass jar filled with razor blades, marbles and honey - you never know where Sterling’s literate tales will take you. Sterling teaches writing and literature at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Sop, 
has reviewed Michigan books regularly since 1987.

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal 
on Sunday,  November 13, 2011.

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