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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > Features > Dan Webster > Stories
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Most Recent Stories

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April 13, 2008, midnight
You could refer to Get Lit! as a shotgun ceremony Excuse the clumsy attempt at metaphor. But since we're applying that metaphor to an annual literary event – one that Eastern Washington University has held since 1998 – it's an appropriate stretch of the language. It's also a fairly accurate description of the 2008 version of Get Lit!, which begins in earnest on Monday and will culminate a week from today.

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April 6, 2008, midnight
One thing that any therapist worth spit will tell you is that life is all about connections. And what Nancy Leigh Harless is apt to tell you is that no connection is stronger than that of women attempting to support each other.

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April 6, 2008, midnight
From the very first time that someone slaps a Band-Aid on a knee we've skinned or a finger we've nicked, we become conscious of blood. Most of us limit that interest to wondering about the workings of our arteries, veins and capillaries while trying to avoid having actually to see the stuff.

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April 5, 2008, midnight
Nonie Darwish has every reason to hate Israel. As an Egyptian woman born in 1948, she has lived through a lifetime of conflict with the Jewish state. Her father, once an important intelligence officer for the Egyptian army, was murdered in 1956 by the Israeli Defense Forces.

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March 30, 2008, midnight
Anyone who has an interest in the world at large would benefit from reading the books of Thomas Cahill. Cahill, who will visit Auntie's Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, is the author of such notable histories as "How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe" and "Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter."

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March 23, 2008, midnight
Dan Butterworth may be the last writer in Gonzaga University's 2007-08 visiting writers series, but he's hardly the least. In addition to his teaching duties as an English professor at Gonzaga University (where he also serves as department chair), Butterworth – who will read at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at GU's Cataldo Globe Room – has published both nonfiction and poetry.

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March 16, 2008, midnight
Brevity may be the soul of wit, as Hamlet's antagonist Polonius says, but this much also is true: Length is no necessary measure of intelligent commentary. This is particularly relevant when the laugh-lines are cast as limericks.

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March 9, 2008, midnight
"Three Cups of Tea" is a story of how failure turned into unprecedented success. The nonfiction book by Portland author David Oliver Relin tells the story of Greg Mortenson, a mountain climber who failed in a 1993 effort to climb the Himalayan peak K2 but who then became an advocate for the students of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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March 2, 2008, midnight
It's always nice when someone local gets national attention. It's even better when that same person gets attention from the community that helped spawn him.

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March 2, 2008, midnight
Loving James Crumley is a little like loving the darkness at 4 a.m. Especially when you awaken in a sweat. And rather than going back to sleep, you find yourself obsessing about all the things that you haven't done, that you've failed at doing or that you'll never get a chance even to try.

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Feb. 26, 2008, midnight
In a year that saw the Academy Awards going several ways at once, correctly guessing 18 of the 24 categories was good enough to win the annual Spokesman-Review Oscar Contest. Three entrants hit the mark of 18, and two of those tied by correctly predicting that the best picture winner, "No Country For Old Men," would snare four awards in all. They share $100 movie gift certificates.

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Feb. 24, 2008, midnight
This may be a column devoted to books, but the Big Read is changing all of that. As part of February's community-wide reading project – which is sponsored by Spokane Public Library, the Spokane County Library District and the Fairchild Air Force Base library – a film-noir series will continue during the coming week.

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Feb. 24, 2008, midnight
When Robert Hass answers the phone, he sounds like any other 66-year-old guy who's just returned from a run. "Calling it running is sort of flattery at this point," he says with a slow laugh. "I get passed by old ladies speed-walking."

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Feb. 24, 2008, midnight
And then there was … blood. If there is one enduring image from the movies of 2008, it's the red stuff. And we're not talking just about horror movies such as those that make up the "Saw" and "Hostel" series, much less the hip horror takeoffs directed by Robert Rodriguez ("Terror Planet") and Quentin Tarantino ("Death Proof").

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Feb. 23, 2008, midnight
When Judy Laddon first considered writing a book about her longtime friend Sally Pierone, her intent was to make it a memoir. But the book that resulted, "Sally: The Older Woman's Illustrated Guide to Self-Improvement," is less memoir than love story. Which is to say that Laddon makes her affection for Pierone obvious on virtually every page.

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Feb. 17, 2008, midnight
Entries to the 2008 Spokesman-Review Limericks Contest are stumbling in. Not racing, not flying, not jetting, but stumbling.

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Feb. 10, 2008, midnight
Bill Hayes shares at least one thing with your average doctor: a fascination with the human body. The latest object of that fascination is a blend of memoir and nonfiction titled "The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray's Anatomy," from which Hayes will read at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Auntie's Bookstore.

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Feb. 3, 2008, midnight
Most great stories involve a road trip or two. What, after all, is Homer's "The Odyssey"? Or Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn"?

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Feb. 3, 2008, midnight
No one is a bigger fan of Christianity than Whitworth University theology/philosophy professor Gerald Sittser. If that fact wasn't clear in his 1996 best-seller "A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss" or his 2004 treatise "When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer: Insights to Keep You Praying with Greater Faith and Deeper Hope," then it definitely is in his newest book, "Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries" (IVP Books, 364 pages, $22).

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Feb. 3, 2008, midnight
There will be … Oscar. Yes, the time of year is again upon us in which we celebrate all things Hollywood. And no matter what happens between now and then regarding the writers' strike, there indeed will be Oscars to hand out.

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Feb. 2, 2008, midnight
Spend a half-hour on the phone with Indian-born novelist Bharati Mukherjee, and the experience is likely to smash a few of your prejudices. For example, Mukherjee – who was born 67 years ago in Calcutta – speaks a refined kind of British English. You know, the "Masterpiece Theatre" kind where the word "marginalization" is pronounced as "marginal-eye-zation," the kind that speaks of afternoon tea and – when put in a sports context – white-clad men carrying cricket bats.

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Jan. 27, 2008, midnight
Our readers have spoken. And so by popular demand, we will hold a 2008 Spokesman-Review Limericks Contest. We'll see how things go before we commit to anything past that.

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Jan. 20, 2008, midnight
If I were a Shakespearean scholar, I might begin this column by writing something such as, "Now is the winter of our discontent." This is, after all, the dregs of the winter season. It's that time of year when, even though the days are getting longer, the darkness seems as oppressive as Darth Vader's underwear. And the temperature, on occasion, dips south of single digits.

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Jan. 19, 2008, midnight
When coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, Kathy Kelly was waiting for them. She and other peace protesters carried a banner that read "Courage for peace, not war."

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Jan. 13, 2008, midnight
Even in a literal sense, what you see depends largely on how you see. Look at something from different angles and the object of your gaze is going to change. Or at least it will seem to. A kitty seen at close range can resemble a lion. A lion seen through binoculars might look like something as playful, and harmless, as a Disney cartoon.