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.

Wayne State University Press

Mermaids have been swimming through books and movies and people’s dreams through the ages. Wondering why Lake Michigan didn't have its own mermaid, author Linda Nemec Foster, the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, and Anne-Marie Oomen, an author and teacher at Interlochen’s College of Creative Arts, decided to create one. Their new book, The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems (Wayne State University Press, 2018), is illustrated by Meridith Ridl.

Princeton University Press

Aaron Burr nearly became President of the United States in the election of 1800. Instead, Thomas Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice President. Burr only served one term as Vice President, and in 1807 faced trial for Treason. 

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.