Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day (August 9) or just the fact that you love anything Michigan with this collection of short stories, novels, and thrillers written by Michigan natives or set against the Michigan landscape. They make for some fantastic reading on your next vacation.
Somewhere in Time: Author Richard Matheson wasn’t from Michigan, but he created the tale of a 1970s playwright falling in love and going back in time to be with a 19th century woman, an actress who captivated him through a portrait. The movie classic, Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour is a tantalizing rendition of this tale brought to the silver screen. Why should this be on your summer reading list? The movie was filmed on Mackinac Island and features the Grand Hotel as well as the old-world charm only an island filled with horses and lilacs can bring. Usually, the book is better than the movie, and since the movie is well-loved (it’s played every Saturday night at the movie theater at Mission Point Resort), the book has got to be good.
Detroit: An American Autopsy: Learn the history and culture of the country’s Motor City from an award-winning journalist who inflect his own edge and personality into the prose. It reads more like investigative journalism than a history book, focusing on what led to the downfall of one of the state’s greatest cities.
Brown Dog: Author Jim Harrison, a Michigan native, is best known for writing Legends of the Fall. Brown Dog is a collection featuring one of Harrison’s most beloved characters, a Native American man living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula named Brown Dog. Rod Philips, a professor at Michigan State University, calls the main character, “a very funny character and a bitter outsider.” All of Harrison’s books have natural settings, showing how much he valued the natural world.
The Nick Adams Stories: Famed author Ernest Hemingway spent his summers in Walloon Lake near Petoskey. His collection of short stories featuring Nick Adams are partially based on his own life and experiences, focused on what boys go through as they come of age and navigate through adolescence. One of the most famous is the “Big Two-Hearted River,” a true-to-find waterway in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “The story explores the destructive qualities of war, which is countered by the healing and regenerative powers of nature,” according to the book’s description.
Tuesdays with Morrie: Everybody should know this title, as it was an international bestseller and then made into a film. Author Mitch Albom was born in New Jersey, but he currently lives in Detroit and was a well-loved columnist for the Detroit Free Press, receiving multiple accolades and awards for his sports writing. He’s the author of many other titles, including The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, which released in 2015. All of Albom’s novels are characterized by man’s search for the divine, the transcendent – and finding a way to believe and, ultimately, transform.
For the Kids: Michigan Chillers: If you want to give your son or daughter a horrific tale reminiscent of the mysteries of Scooby-Doo, introduce them to the Michigan Chillers collection. There are 19 in the series, with titles ranging from Aliens Attack Alpena to Great Lakes Ghost Ship to A Ghostly Haunting in Grand Haven. Better yet, read a chapter or two by the campfire or before tucking the kiddies into bed to prolong the suspense and let the dark hours play with their imaginations. Adults are sure to enjoy them, too.