Reading is magic. It has the power to whisk you away to a place where the wind blows through your hair, warm sand squishes beneath your feet, and the sounds of waves crashing on the beach caress your ear. It has the ability to offer a fresh perspective, provoke thoughts, and create an appreciation for everyday events, places, and even people.
In honor of National Reading Month, I have compiled a list of 10 books that feature people, places, and the history of our awesome Mitten.
Each chapter features an extraordinary Michigan woman who helped shaped history. Readers can learn about all twenty young women or pick and choose based on their interests. A few highlighted women include Nancy Harkness—the youngest American woman to earn a private pilot’s license, Geraldine Hoff—the “We Can Do It!” poster girl, Betty Bloomer Ford—First Lady, and Serena Williams—tennis champion. This book is geared toward youth readers but is appropriate for all ages.
Former Detroit Free Press journalist, Dan Austin, sheds light on historic and destroyed landmarks by using their architecture to tell the story of Detroit’s rise, fall, and revitalization. Detroit is a city that many are pushing to demolish. However, Austin uses this book to share his advocacy for the preservation and appreciation of Detroit’s unique businesses and buildings. Perhaps he may even change your mind about the Motor City.
Did you know that Michigan’s National Cherry Festival began as a blessing of the cherry blossoms? Or that Traverse City produces 75% of the nation’s cherry crop? These and many more surprising facts are included in this story of the growth and development of the Traverse City and one of Michigan’s most famous festivals.
This book is a compilation of photographs capturing the natural beauty of Michigan from our renowned lakes, beaches, forests, and many more breathtaking landscapes. It is a perfect coffee table book for aspiring photographers, artists, and nature lovers.
For the curious out-of-townee, this book features 101 quintessential places, people, events, customs, lingo, and eats of our Great Lakes state. As a Michigander, this collection will have you laughing and nodding in agreement as you flip through its pages. The perfect read for an out-of-state Michigander missing the Mitten.
This collection of essays comes straight from the hearts of Ann Arbor community members. A brainchild of the Ann Arbor Public Library staff, this tribute to the town is written by people of all walks of life—ranging from students, homemakers, small business owners, and even the mayor. It includes poems, pictures, stories, and personal accounts.
Amazon described this book as “part memoir, part history and part chronicle.” Dennis Cawthorne has worked numerous jobs on Mackinac Island. From carriage driver and restaurateur to attorney and chamber of commerce manager, Cawthorne shares his years of experience as a member of the very small community who calls this tiny island home.
Proudly donning the title of Beer City, USA, the Grand Rapids brewery scene has exploded in recent years. However, the beer industry has been part of this river city’s culture for much longer than many realize. This book explores the presence and impact of beer in the development of Grand Rapids which dates back to pre-prohibition times. I highly recommend enjoying this book with a crisp cool microbrew for the best reading experience!
History buff? This book is for you. It includes traditional and well-known historic facts regarding the development of Michigan as a state. The authors’ biggest goal for this book was to “present Michigan’s history in a different fashion” by shedding light on socioeconomic issues, race, civil rights, and other conflicts.
Think “Humans of New York” but more condensed focused on Lake Michigan. This book is a collection of pictures taken by author Miyazaki as he traveled the perimeter of Lake Michigan. Each photograph and portrait captures the people from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana who are drawn to the fresh water’s beauty and awe.
Visit your local library or bookstore for more Michigan-related books and authors.
What’s your favorite book about Michigan? Where is your favorite reading spot or local bookstore?