Zinta Aistars

Host of 'Between The Lines'/Freelancer

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.

Aistars is creative director, writer, and editor at Z Word, LLC. She's also the published author of three books in her native Latvian language. Aistars regularly contributes to many print and online publications in addition to freelancing for WMUK.

Immigrants often face prejudice. As an immigrant from Taiwan, Chien-Juh Gu, an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University, knows this first-hand. She's explored the immigrant experience of middle-class, professional Taiwanese women in the U.S. Her latest book is The Resilient Self: Gender, Immigration, and Taiwanese Americans (Rutgers University Press, 2017).

Rick Merron / AP Photo

A conversation over Thanksgiving dinner inspired Portage resident Tony Edwin, known as Tony Ettwein to his friends, to compile the events and milestones of a single year, one day at a time. That year was 1968. Looking back half-a-century later, Edwin says he realized that it was a year like no other. His new book book is 1968 Plus 50: Looking back at the historic, tumultuous year of 1968.

Christopher Tremblay

He goes by the nickname “Mr. Pixie Dust.” While most of us leave our fascination with the world of Mickey Mouse behind with our childhoods, Christopher Tremblay never did. His parents first took him to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1977, when he was five. The magic stayed with him into adulthood.

Courtesy KC Weaver

Many of us talk about the exotic places we'd like to visit - someday. But we usually just stay on the couch, dreaming. We get bogged down in daily routines and obligations. That was never enough for KC Weaver, a Grand Rapids native and history professor who just can't sit still. Weaver calls himself "The Gypsy Professor" and writes a blog about his adventures, and misadventures. He's visited 69 countries in 14 years and he’s just getting started.

April Montague

Colby Sharp is a nerd and proud of it. In his new book for kids 8 to 12, The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection (Little, Brown, 2018), the fifth grade teacher in Parma, Michigan, combines the creativity of many authors and artists to prompt young writers to discover just how creative they can be.