2012 Michigan Notable Books Announced

The much anticipated 2012 Michigan Notable Books were announced today. 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” and feature “high-quality titles with wide public appeal.” (via)

This year’s list, which features fiction, nonfiction, picture and children’s books alike, were either penned by a Michigan resident or written about a subject related to the Great Lakes region.

“The list has been a year-end tradition since 1991 with selections made by a panel under the umbrella of the official state library, part of the Michigan Department of Education,” states the Detroit Free Press. “Authors don’t receive prize money for the award, but the prestige of appearing on what has become a high-profile list does invite greater visibility and a potential bump in sales.”

This year Night Light Revue weighs in on only three of the 20 titles, and all fiction at that. I must say that Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Once Upon a River is not only my favorite book of 2011, but now falls into my “best book of all time” list. Also, Ellen Airgood’s South of Superior is highly entertaining while Scott Sparling’s Wire to Wire is a dark and dirty little ride.

Sales aside, Michigan now holds some of the country’s hottest authors in its mittened hand. Regardless, our authors modestly accept their awards and graciously make themselves available to Michigan readers through library tours, appearances and literary engagements. In addition, our university presses get a big boost and a much deserved nod for their remarkable, prolific publications.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Hamilton’s ‘The Lock Artist’ Lands Alex Award

As most of you know, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals were announced this past week. The American Library Association honored Clare Vanderpool with the Newbery for her first novel Moon Over Manifest, while Philip and Erin Stead (who live in Ann Arbor) took the Caldecott for  their picture book A Sick Day For Amos McGee. Though the biggies snatch the limelight, there’s actually another very cool award bestowed by teen readers that snagged another Michigan author for this year’s list.

Having only become an official ALA award in 2002, the Alex Award is a bit obscure and still quite young. This Award is given to ten chosen books that are written for adults but draw on the 12 to 18 year-old crowd. And, among this year’s selections is Michigan author Steve Hamilton’s The Lock Artist.

Steve Hamilton was born and raised in Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Hamilton is well known for his Alex McKnight series, particularly A Cold Day in Paradise which won both an Edgar and Shamus Award. If you want a little more on the Alex Award winner and The Lock Artist, try this Q&A with author Steve Hamilton.

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Author Steve Hamilton Appearing at Troy Barnes and Noble

Born and raised in Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan, author Steve Hamilton is well known for his Alex McKnight series, particularly A Cold Day in Paradise (Michigan,that is) which snagged both an Edgar and Shamus Award.

It appears, however, that Mr. Hamilton is branching out with a new piece of work. His site states that his latest book The Lock Artist, “…steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character unlike anyone you’ve ever seen in the world of crime fiction.”

Whether you are new to Steve Hamilton’s work or have been with him from the beginning, you can catch him up close and personal at the Barnes and Noble store in Troy on Friday, January 15, 2010 from 5-7 pm. As always, call first to confirm.

*Support your local bookstores. It matters!

-Post by Megan Shaffer

For More on Steve Hamilton:

The Lock Artist Q&A with author Steve Hamilton