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Louis Zamperini dies; Mark Langan book signing; Skau, Kosmicki reading

  • One of the most popular figures portrayed in contemporary literature died Thursday. Louis Zamperini, the 1936 Olympic Games runner and World War II prisoner of war, was the subject of a book, "Unbroken," on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 165 weeks and counting. Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken: : A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," was a No. 1 best-seller for 14 weeks. According to Hillenbrand's website, only four nonfiction books have been on the list longer. Zamperini had written his own book about his life, but "Unbroken" was a new synthesis of information about him.
  • Michael Skau and Greg Kosmicki will read from their recently published books of poetry at UNO's Criss Library Tuesday at 7 p.m., according to the Poetry Menu. Kosmicki's new book is "Sheep Can Recognize Individual Human Faces," from Stephen F. Austin University Press. He has several previous books of poetry and founded the Backwaters Press. Skau, who taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will read from his book "Me and God."
  • The author of "Busting Bad Guys: My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers, and Ladies of the Night," former Omaha Police Department investigator Mark Langan, will sign books tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at HyVee, 78th and Cass streets. It is the next of at least six more book signings Langan has scheduled for the Omaha area this year, in what might be the most intensive local promotion for any book about Omaha. An Omaha World-Herald article by Michael Kelly reported that more than 400 attended the book launch event at the Nebraska Humane Society, Langan's current employer. Langan's book is the second recent book about police investigative work in Omaha; "Busting Bad Guys" was published soon after "Three Bodies Burning: The Anatomy of an Investigation into Murder, Money, and Mexican Marijuana," was produced by his colleague Brian Bogdanoff. Bogdanoff's fast-paced book focuses on one case while Langan's book has the story lines of many cases.