Library of Michigan Aims to Educate, Entertain and Inspire with 2006 Michigan Notable Books.
"When it comes to compelling tales, Michigan is right in the thick of it," said Robertson. "Not only is the Great Lakes State the site of some of the most defining moments of our collective history, it is also home to several of the publishing industry's most creative and insightful storytellers."
Each year's Michigan Notable Books list features 20 books published the previous calendar year that are about or set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region or are written by a native or resident of Michigan. Selections include nonfiction and fiction and typically have a wide appeal to the audience, covering a range of topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents.
Explained Michigan Notable Books author Jack Driscoll, whose work "How Like an Angel: A Novel" is set in northern Michigan, "Author Scott Russell Sanders said he wanted to make the 'home ground' the ground of his imagination and, in full agreement, I praise this northern tundra where I came to myself as both a writer and a person. Place is not only geography, it is spirit and character and story, the wellspring from which everything I have thus far written -- and will write -- originates."
The Library of Michigan plans to feature Michigan Notable Books authors in several libraries across the state this spring, with many opportunities for book lovers to meet authors and attend readings. On Saturday, May 6, the Library of Michigan will devote the day to Notables authors, with an afternoon event and evening reception.
For more information, visit http://www.michigan.gov/notablebooks . Questions about the selected books and Michigan Notable Books author events can be directed to (517) 373-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This year's Michigan Notable Books selection committee included representatives from the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Association, the Michigan Historical Center, the Grand Rapids Press, the Detroit News, Schuler Books & Music, Archives/Curious Book Shop, the Northland Library Cooperative, Capital Area District Library and Michigan Center for the Book.
The 2006 Michigan Notable Books program is sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Cooley Law School, ProQuest, LaSalle Bank, the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Center for the Book and Schuler Books & Music. The Library of Michigan is proud to welcome the Lansing State Journal as a media partner.
Michigan Notable Books is a statewide program that began (as Read Michigan) as part of the 1991 Michigan Week celebration, geared to pay tribute and draw attention to the many people, places and things that make Michigan so special. In that regard, the Michigan Notable Books program successfully highlights Michigan books and writers focusing on the Great Lakes State. Each title on the 2006 list, whether non-fiction or fiction, gives the reader great insight into what it means to make your home in Michigan and proves, without a doubt, that some of the greatest stories are indeed found in the Great Lakes region. For more information about Michigan Week (May 20-26, 2006), visit http://www.michigan.gov/michiganweek .
The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to strengthening the economy and enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Michigan Historical Center, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Film Office. For more information, visit http://www.michigan.gov/hal
The alphabetical (by title) list of 2006 Michigan Notable Books follows:
"Beast of Never, Cat of God: The Search for the Eastern Puma" by Bob Butz (Lyons Press) - Are there really cougars roaming the Michigan wilderness? Complete with local folklore, scientific analysis, political maneuvering and bureaucratic struggles, the author tirelessly searches for the elusive truth that has confounded biologists, wildlife experts and nature enthusiasts alike.
"Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink" by David Margolick (Alfred A. Knopf) - Set against the politically charged 1930s and the rise of Nazi Germany, this book explores the two historic boxing matches between Detroiter Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Louis' crushing victory in the 1938 rematch, only after his stunning defeat in 1936, shattered the myth of Aryan racial supremacy, reverberated throughout the world and provided an impetus for the nascent U.S. civil rights movement.
"Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans" by Thomas Lynch (W.W. Norton & Company) - While rediscovering his Irish roots in County Clare, the Milford- area writer takes us on a journey of personal discovery, glimpses into ancestral tales and traditions, and offers poignant commentary on our world, and its people, places and institutions. Lynch is the 2001 Michigan Author Award winner.
"The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy" by Charles K. Hyde (Wayne State University Press) - The critical importance of John and Horace Dodge, from their childhood in Niles to their company's merger with the Chrysler Corporation in 1928, is illustrated in this well-researched automotive history. After first working in the early 1900s as parts manufacturers and suppliers for Olds Motor Works and Ford Motor Company, the two brothers later became enormously successful with the introduction of their own nameplate in 1914.
"Grit, Noise, & Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll" by David A. Carson (University of Michigan Press) - The essence of the Detroit rock 'n' roll sound is captured in this front-row-seat look into the Motor City's rock scene. Influenced both by the soulful sounds of Motown and the blues of John Lee Hooker, the city's rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s reflected the city's image: tough, gritty and industrial. Memorable characters abound, including the MC5, Mitch Ryder, Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent and John Sinclair.
"Harry Sue" by Sue Stauffacher (Alfred A. Knopf) - Harriet Susan Clotkin aims to become a criminal and be reunited with her incarcerated mother. But Harry Sue's heart keeps moving her in a different direction, and with the help of her new friends and teachers, she learns to embrace the world around her. Set in the fictional Michigan community of Marshfield, this bittersweet young- adult tale is full of eccentric characters and witty dialogue.
"How Like an Angel: A Novel" by Jack Driscoll (University of Michigan Press) - In this engaging novel set in northern Michigan, Archibald Angel returns to the rustic cabin of his difficult youth. There, Angel re-examines his past, ponders the future and looks to understand and nurture the fragile relationship with his son or risk failing him, as Angel was by his own father.
"The Lake, the River & the Other Lake: A Novel" by Steve Amick (Pantheon Books) - Local residents, summer tourists and down-staters all intertwine in this entertaining novel set in the fictional Michigan resort community of Weneshkeen. Memorable plotlines include Roger Drinkwater's crusade against jet-skiers, Mark Starkey's adventurous teen romance with the local beauty and Reverend Eugene Reecher's growing obsession with his young computer tutor.
"Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio" photographs by Ed Wargin (Ann Arbor Media Group) - Michigan's Great Lakes maritime
heritage is vividly reflected in this spectacular photographic collection of selected lighthouses and their beautiful landscapes. Striking examples include lighthouses at Au Sable Point, Grand Haven, Granite Island and Point Iroquois.
"Made in Detroit: A South of 8 Mile Memoir" by Paul Clemens (Doubleday) - In this fascinating glimpse into growing up white in the predominantly black city of Detroit, the author wrestles with the question of racism and his own personal struggles and triumphs, and offers insightful and entertaining commentary on social and racial prejudices, his car enthusiast father and the polarizing Coleman Young.
"Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-grant Philosophy, 1855-1925" by Keith R. Widder (Michigan State University Press) - Long before it became Michigan State University, a number of progressive-thinking men forged a vision of education that would transform higher learning in Michigan and the United States. This vision struggled at first, but eventually became the embodiment of what a "land-grant" institution of higher education came to mean -- education "for the people." Through meticulous research and vivid archival photographs, this book shows how the mission was played out at every turn, within the first 70 years of the founding of what was then the Michigan Agricultural College.
"Michigan Shadow Towns: A Study of Vanishing and Vibrant Villages" by Gene Scott (Gene Scott) - Historic small-town Michigan is illuminated in this important study of 128 Michigan towns across the Upper and Lower peninsulas. These historical narratives capture the unique stories of the towns' founding, early growth and development, economic decline and ongoing struggles for survival. Many of these small towns are now mere shadows of their former selves, while others have rebounded to become thriving, vibrant communities.
"Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Michael Schumacher (Bloomsbury) - Still one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Great Lakes, the Edmund Fitzgerald and its 29-man crew perished in Lake Superior during a November storm in 1975. The tragic story of the ship and crew is recounted here, as well as the search and rescue efforts, the official investigation and the controversial struggle over the recent recovery of the ship's bell.
"Please Don't Come Back From the Moon" by Dean Bakopoulos (Harcourt) - In this gritty and engaging novel set in the fictional community of Maple Rock, an ethnic enclave in southwest Detroit, the town's men have mysteriously vanished, or "gone to the moon." Michael Smolij, the narrator, is left with his unemployed mother, a younger and embattled brother and a town full of young males his age and in the same predicament. The realness and sociological complications of these characters, as well as their difficulties of loneliness, responsibility, depression and heartbreak, are all masterfully detailed.
"Singing in a Strange Land: C.L. Franklin, the Black Church, and the Transformation of America" by Nick Salvatore (Little, Brown, and Company) - This compelling book follows the life and career of Reverend C.L. Franklin, from his dire beginnings in the Mississippi Delta to his fame as radio personality and leader of the Temple Bethel church in Detroit. C.L. Franklin was a vortex for the intellectual, spiritual and cultural life of black America during the rise of the civil rights movement, the rise of the black church and the rise of black music as a "crossover" musical expression.
"Soapy: A Biography of G. Mennen Williams" by Thomas J. Noer (University of Michigan Press) - With a stunning 1948 upset that reflected his unrivaled campaigning skills, G. Mennen Williams became Michigan's 41st governor, only the second Democrat to win since the Civil War. This book charts the highs and lows of the governor's life and distinguished political career, including the construction of the Mackinac Bridge, leading the state to financial bankruptcy, 1960 presidential aspirations, his unabashed liberalism, his time as the chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and the origins of both his nickname and trademark bow tie.
"The Summer He Didn't Die" by Jim Harrison (Atlantic Monthly Press) - This novella collection marks the triumphant return of the character Brown Dog, now with two children left in his guardianship by their imprisoned mother. Particularly attached to the youngest child, Brown Dog is consistently beleaguered by the encroachment of civilization. Another novella is told from the persona that attempts to reconcile the need for the simplicity of the North and the civilized professional life of a writer. The answer to this complexity lies in one of two places -- the geography of the North and the solitude of the woods.
"Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan's Rocks and Fossils" by Charles Ferguson Barker (Wayne State University Press) - In this charming book for young readers, aspiring scientists can have fun learning about the rocks below the Michigan surface, including the mountains underneath Lake Huron, the salt beds under Detroit and the oldest rocks in Michigan, located near Escanaba, Ishpeming and Marquette.
"Vintage Views of the Charlevoix-Petoskey Region" by M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson (Petoskey Publishing / University of Michigan Press) - Take a trip back in time with this colorful history of tourism and vacationing in the Charlevoix and Emmet County region. Complete with hundreds of postcards and photographs, historic promotional brochures and newspaper accounts, the picturesque grandeur of the Charlevoix-Petoskey region is vividly retold.
"Winter's Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey" by Robert Sabuda (Little Grove) - Sure to enthrall young readers and adults alike, the magic and majesty of a Michigan winter is brilliantly captured in this artistic pop-up book based on the author's Michigan youth.
CONTACT: Casey Warner (517) 373-5578 email@example.com
First Call Analyst: FCMN Contact:
CONTACT: Casey Warner of Library of Michigan, +1-517-373-5578, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.michigan.gov/notablebooks http://www.michigan.gov/hal