Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” Such is the Latin translation of Michigan’s state motto in The Great Lakes Reader, a snappy little book of essays written by independent booksellers and librarians who reside in the five states that live and breathe the waters of the Great Lakes.
Having just returned from an extended trip to Pierport, I’m hard-pressed to properly articulate the beauty of this area in northern Michigan. Anyone who has shared the joy of waking to the majestic music of Lake Michigan knows her siren’s song. From cool calm to unending fury, those of us raised near the Great Lakes are repeatedly drawn back to these ubiquitous waters.
If you are a Michigander and feel like you just don’t qualify to weigh in on the matter, consider this tidbit from the The Great Lakes Reader – No point in Michigan is farther than eighty-five miles from one of the Great Lakes. That means that wherever you live the fickle temperaments of the lakes permeate your very existence, ultimately shaping our personalities, quirks, and behaviors alongside the ever-shifting tides.
The Great Lakes Reader: Essays on the States that Make the Great Lakes Great offers two essays from Michigan’s own. Bill Cusumano, the head buyer at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, offers up his thoughts in Tough Enough Michigan while librarian Justin Wadland keeps “coming home” in his humorous essay Michigan Left. More essays appear from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio – but for those you’ll just have to read the book. Link to Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association for more information.
*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.
-Post by Megan Shaffer