Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Travis Mulhauser

While searching for her meth-addicted missing mother,16 year-old Percy James discovers a baby girl in the freezing home of a local minor criminal.  Taking the child, (or is it a rescue?), forces her to confront the nature of her mother’s affliction while she finds her own fate tied to that of the child’s.  Mulhauser captures the sweeping sense of cultural and geographic isolation of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a story of courage and sacrifice.

Sample some of Percys' story and get an idea of the author's excellent sense of place:

...Still I missed her.  I missed her …and I was tired of the wondering where she was, and of the constant alarm that gripped my heart like a strangler vine.

So I took Detroit to Grove...where the houses and lives improved considerably.  ...the shoreline where the real cash was.  The downstate and Chicago money put their roots down in sand – their seasonals all perfectly placed along the water for maximum panorama, and not a soul there to enjoy it because it wasn’t nice that time of year.

I couldn’t blame them.  It was the middle of January in Cutler County Michigan.  We’re at the northwest tip of the lower peninsula, the top of your left ring finger if you map it by the back of your hand, and unless you go the whole Jack London, ends of the earth vibe, why wouldn’t you fly off to somewhere else if you could?  It was only 9 o’clock at night and downtown was already 3 blocks of black windows behind banks of snow and there wasn’t a single other car in the streets…

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Diane, Administration

Berry the Hatchet

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Peg Cochran
Berry the Hatchet

Winter can be a quiet time in the small town of Cranberry Cove near the shores of Lake Michigan. With the tourists long gone and the holidays over, it may be a little too quiet. So the mayor, Preston Crowley comes up with the idea of having a Winter Walk – a festival of sorts that will light up the downtown businesses and boost the local economy. Snow begins to fall just in time for the grand kick-off event which is to be heralded by the arrival of the mayor and the Winter Walk Queen by horse-drawn sleigh.  But the picture postcard scene is disturbed when, several minutes ahead of schedule, the horse and sleigh races down Main Street - minus the queen, but with the mayor slumped over with a knife in his neck.

While the whole town is buzzing over the shocking murder, Monica Albertson who runs the market at her step- brother’s cranberry farm, feels compelled to do some detective work of her own. Her mother, her step-mother, and a friend and owner of the New Age shop in town are all implicated as possible suspects. Monica knows that none of them can possibly be guilty – but can she prove it?

This is the second book in the Cranberry Cove series which delightfully captures the west Michigan setting and Dutch influences. Highly recommended for readers of cozy mysteries and Michigan fiction. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

The Age Fix

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Anthony Youn, MD
The Age Fix

We all would like to look younger, right? In this book, Dr. Youn gives you his advice on what works and what doesn't. He gives brand name suggestions on what to use. Some are under $20.00. If you're looking for more radiant and youthful looking skin, check out this book!

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Jan H., Technical Services

Learning to Swear in America

Monday, August 29, 2016
Katie Kennedy
Learning to Swear in America

Yuri, a 17-year-old physics prodigy from Russia, is on his way to America to help save California from a big bad asteroid—a very big, very bad asteroid that could take out Japan with a tsunami. His knowledge of English is very good but he doesn’t know how to swear in English. Many of the much older physicists don’t believe this kid has any knowledge that can help this very serious situation. Yuri meets Dovie, a normal teenage girl and he learns what it’s really like to be a teenager. You will laugh out loud, cry a bit, and cheer on this pair of teens that could, might, maybe save the world.

An extra bit of knowledge: Ms. Kennedy is from the U.P. of Michigan and this is her first novel. I am hoping for many more.

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Jeanne S., Youth Services

Waiting for the Morning Train

Monday, August 1, 2016
Bruce Catton
Waiting for the Morning Train

An American Boyhood


Anyone interested in Michigan history, or Americana for that matter, should check out this memoir by Civil War historian Bruce Catton. He writes about his boyhood in Benzonia, Michigan, in the early twentieth century. Unlike other northern Michigan towns, Benzonia was not a lumbering town. It was a Christian community that supported a preparatory academy for young people, which Catton attended and was headed by his father. I really enjoyed Catton’s stories about the academy: his playing in a band, a near tragedy ice surfing on Crystal Lake, and the long train and boat trips to visit relatives. Throughout, he weaves in Michigan and world history and observes the effects of technology on both. I think a lot of readers, like me, can relate to Catton’s boyhood and his philosophical take on change.

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Doris M., Reference


Tuesdays with Todd & Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute

Friday, July 18, 2014
Todd and Brad Reed
Tuesdays with Todd & Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute

This beautiful book is filled with photographs taken every Tuesday (hence the name) during 2012. A few of the highlights are: the Charlevoix Lighthouse seen between icicles on a beautiful blue sky, sunny day; fly fishing the Pere Marquette River on a snowy January day; close-ups of a snowy owl; Mackinac Island when the lilacs are in bloom; a deer bounding through a blizzard (all feet off the ground!); and the sand dunes in various seasons. For anyone interested in photography a plus is that some of the camera settings are included. In the back of the book are two DVDs: Disc 1 is a slideshow of 1,014 Michigan images and Disc 2 includes movies from their top 20 Tuesdays. It has been designated one of the 2014 Michigan Notable Books. This is an absolutely gorgeous book!

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Betsy H., Reference

The River Swimmer

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Jim Harrison
The River Swimmer

Michigan author Jim Harrison’s latest book contains 2 novellas – The River Swimmer, which is the title of the book, and The Land of Unlikeness.  For each novella, Harrison returns to his native Michigan for the setting.

In The Land of Unlikeness, an art history academic and one-time artist returns to the northern Michigan farmhouse where he was raised to care for his elderly mother.  While there, he renews a relationship with his former high school sweetheart who lives just down the road.  He also begins painting again after a break of many years, and mends a fractured relationship with his grown daughter.  Harrison portrays northern Michigan with its woods, fields and streams as only someone who has hunted and fished and explored the area can.

In the book’s  other novella, The River Swimmer, there is a touch of magic as a farm boy is irresistibly drawn to the water, and uses swimming as an escape.  He swims the rivers of northern Michigan and the Great Lakes, meeting people along the way, but preferring being in the water to being on land.   

Both stories show Harrison’s love of the area where he grew up.  Even though he now lives in the American west, he returns to Michigan often in his writing. Check our catalog.

Catherine T., Reference

Force of Blood

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Joseph Heywood
Force of Blood

I have always loved the Woods Cop Mysteries set primarily in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and really expected this one to follow suit - especially since most of the action takes place in and around the area where my husband and I own property, and which was, in fact, evacuated when the 2007 Sleeper Lake Fire that plays a part in the book actually occurred. Unfortunately, that was also where the fascination left off for me. The plot, which supposedly centered on the discovery of a Native American archeological site and the illegal dealing of artifacts rambled all over the place. The author's attempt to insert himself into the plot in the fashion of Clive Cussler (in the Dirk Pitt novels) was self-serving at best. I was hugely disappointed in this one. Check our catalog.

Sue A., Reference