Kelly Strom: Three different stories about family, loss

Woody Allen once said, "I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens."

The books this week fly in the face of that sentiment, both for the ones at death's door and the family members helpfully carrying them through in their arms or holding them back. For many people, impending death is a frightening and difficult time filled with determination and reflection.

That's Entertainment: Spotlighting events in and around the area

Music scene

Craig Campbell will play at Fat City

Country musician Craig Campbell (above) will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at the City Center at Fat City Bar and Grill, 505 S. Chestnut St., C.

Among Campbell's hits are "Family Man," "Fish" and "Keep Them Kisses Comin'." His latest hit, "Tomorrow Tonight," has received rave reviews.

Patricia Hruby Powell: Book looks at the teens who fought the Nazis

Thousands of paper flyers were dropped from German planes over Norway and Denmark in April 1940, announcing the Nazi arrival and offering wartime "protection." Norway fought back against Germany and suffered massive losses. Denmark cooperated, such that Winston Churchill would eventually call Denmark "Hitler's tame canary."

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Sept. 27, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

This may be the only poem ever written in which a person claps the mud from a pair of shoes. Michael McFee's poetry is just that original, in all of his books. His most recent book is "That Was Oasis," Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012, and he lives in North Carolina.


He stood on his stoop

Weekend planner: Plenty of Pygmalion left

If you want some indie-music cred, head to downtown Champaign today and Sunday to check out the 11th Pygmalion Festival, which started Wednesday and features altogether 250 performers, vendors and speakers. The festival, a major one in the indie-scene, features live music by bands from throughout the U.S. and UK, a Made Fest today and Sunday, and technology and literature components.

Jim Dey: Author revisits Hoffa-Kennedy feud

Politics and public life are filled with rivalries, sometimes bitter. But deep, personal hatred? Not so much.

Bobby Kennedy, a Senate lawyer who was appointed attorney general in 1961 by his president brother, hated Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, and Hoffa returned the sentiments in spades.

C-U Haiku, Sept. 20, 2015

Edited by Lee Gurga/For The News-Gazette

Combining at dusk —

a rainbow joins me

to my grandson

— Gary Fisher, Tolono

It's time to Pyg out

CHAMPAIGN — If you haven't kept up with the indie music scene, you might not be familiar with many of the acts playing the 11th annual Pygmalion Festival this coming weekend.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Sept. 20, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

I've seen many poems about the atomic bomb drills that schoolchildren were put through during the Cold War, but this one reaches beyond that experience. John Philip Johnson lives and writes in Nebraska and has an illustrated book of poems, "Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town."

There Have Come Soft Rains

Alice B. McGinty: Two great school-related selections

Here's hoping the school year is off to a great start. These are two terrific new school-related picture books in tribute to an exciting back-to-school season.