It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not speaking of the warm fuzzy holiday season, but rather that time of sensational selection when the Library of Michigan annually decides on 20 Michigan Notable Books that have been published during the year.
As stated on the Notable site, The Library of Michigan annually decides on 20 of the most notable books that “are reflective of Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience.” Such works feature “high-quality titles with wide public appeal” and are either penned by a Michigan resident or written about a subject related to our state.
The Michigan Notable Books for 2011*
1) “Apparition & Late Fiction: A Novella and Stories” by Thomas Lynch
NLR Comment: If you have the chance to hear Mr. Lynch read in person – grab it!
2)“Blues in Black and White: The Landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals” by Michael Erlewine and photographer Stanley Linvingston
NLR Comment: For anyone who loves black and white photography, these pictures are not to be missed.
3) “Chrysler’s Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit’s Coolest Creation” by Steve Lehto
4) “Detroit Disassembled” by Andrew Moore
5) “The Detroit Electric Scheme: A Mystery” by D.E. Johnson
6) “Eden Springs: A Novella” by Laura Kasischke
NLR Comment: I highly recommend this work by Kasischke. Though fictional, it is based on fascinating Michigan history. You can link here to NLR’s review, “Kasischke Shines in Eden Springs.”
7) “Freshwater Boys: Stories” by Adam Schuitema
!) “The Hanging Tree: A Starvation Lake Mystery” by Bryan Gruley
NLR Comment: The Starvation Lake series is well-written and a ton of fun. Make sure you don’t forget to read Gruley’s “Starvation Lake” which is the first in the series as well. You can link to NLR’s reviews of both: ‘Starvation Lake’ is a Trip Worth Taking and Gruley Turns it Up in Starvation Sequel ‘The Hanging Tree’
9) “Lord of Misrule” by Jaimy Gordon
NLR Comment: As this year’s National Book Award winner for fiction, I am absolutely twitching as I try to patiently wait in the library queue for Gordon’s “Lord of Misrule.” If anyone feels compelled to send it to me as a Christmas gift, feel free!
10) “A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks: A War Memoir” by Godfrey J. Anderson
11) “Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country” by Alison K. Hoagland
12) “Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan” by Michael R. Federspiel
13) “Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City” by John Gallagher
14) “Sawdusted: Notes From a Post-Boom Mill” by Raymond Goodwin
15) “Sixty to Zero: An INside Look at the Collapse of General Motors and the Detroit Auto Industry” by Alex Taylor III
16) “The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants” by Stephen Ostrander and Martha Bloomfield
17) “To Account for Murder” by William C. Whitbeck
18) “Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams” edited by M.L. Liebler
NLR Comment: This work is published by Coffee House Press which I recommend as a solid link. Do yourself a favor and check out their site www.coffeehousepress.org.
19) “Wounded Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Michigan Governor John Swainson” by Lawrence M. Glazer
20) “You Don’t Look LIke Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face-Blindness and Forgiveness” by Heather Sellers
-Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.
-Post by Megan Shaffer
*List information taken from Free Press article 2011 Michigan Notable Books Winners Explore Regions Lively Diversity