30 Great Summer Reads from Northern Michigan Bookstores and Traverse Magazine

Northern Michigan summers are made for reading and what better than reading great books that have Northern Michigan authors, settings and mentions? We had Northern Michigan bookstores and the editors of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine pick 30 Great Summer Reads. Have suggestions of your own? Share them here!

1. 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, Adrian Tierney Jones, 2010. Included are some favorite Michigan beers—selections from Jolly Pumpkin and Bell’s.—Traverse Editors.

2. An American Map, AnneMarie Oomen, 2010. One of our favorite essayists hits the road and brings back a winner.—Traverse Editors

3. As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, Lynne Rae Perkins, 2010. Leelanau County author and Newbery Medal winner Lynne Rae Perkins writes a quirky and fun book aimed at young adults, but everyone will enjoy.—Horizon Books

4. As If We Were Prey, Michael Delp, 2010. Delp, an Interlochen Arts Academy instructor, captures men and
Northern Michigan in their native states in these short stories.—Traverse Editors.

5. Brunch on the Porch, Jim Voltz, 2010. Tips, lists, and beverage suggestions guide even the most inexperienced chef. Chili Brunch anyone?—McClean & Eakin

6. Cooks’ House, Eric Patterson, Jennifer Blakeslee, 2010. Eat at the tiny, white tablecloth restaurant in Traverse City, and you’ll know why you want the cookbook.—Traverse Editors

7. Dinner on the Porch, Jim Voltz, 2009. Once you know about Brunch on the Porch you’ll want Dinner on the Porch, inspired by parties Voltz hosts at his Crystal Lake cottage.—Traverse Editors

8. Dead Sleeping Shaman, Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, 2010. The third Emily Kincaid mystery set between Mancelona and Kalkaska.—Saturn Booksellers

9. Deer Season, by Aaron Stander. The third Ray Elkins mystery, set along Lake Michigan. Small town politics and wealthy adversaries lurk beneath the murder of a local TV anchorwoman.—Mclean & Eakin

10. Driving with Dvorák, Fleda Brown, 2010. Memoir partly set at her Michigan cottage. Brown is former poet laureate of Delaware.—Traverse Editors

11. Freshwater Boys, Adam Schuitema, 2010. Short stories of growing up and growing old at the lake.—Saturn Booksellers

12. Horse Soldiers, Doug Stanton, 2009. Bestseller chronicles a band of soldiers on a secret mission in Afghanistan following September 11th. Stanton lives in Traverse City.—Horizon Books

13. In Harm’s Way, Doug Stanton, 2001. Stanton’s first bestselling nonfi ction book, the World War II sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.—Traverse Editors

14. Inherit All Things, J. Ryan Fenzel, 2009. Maritime mystery made for a Lake Michigan beach read.—Traverse Editors

15. The English Major, Jim Harrison, 2008. A sixty-something protagonist, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real estate shark of an ex-wife, on a road trip across America.—Traverse Editors

16. Measures of the Heart, Mary Ellen Geist, 2008. Memoir of dealing with her father’s Alzheimer’s. Geist is a Traverse
contributor.—Traverse Editors

17. Starvation Lake, Bryan Gruley, 2009. Edgar-nominated mystery set near Northern Michigan’s Starvation Lake, where Gruley, the Chicago Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, summers.—Traverse Editors

18. The Changing Environment of Northern Michigan, 2010. A must-have for eco-geeks, by scientists at the University of Michigan Biological Station.—Traverse Editors

19. The Hanging Tree, Brian Gruley, 2010. Gracie McBride is found swinging from a shoe tree, Gruley’s sequel to Starvation Lake, will pull on your heart and quicken its pace!—Mclean & Eakin

20. Up North at the Cabin, Marsha Wilson Call (Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1992) This picture book reminds us why we all love Up North.—Saturn Book Store

21. Nick Adams, Ernest Hemingway, 1972 If you haven’t yet—read the stories. (Buy the book then hop in the car and take the Hemingway Tour to visit locations that appear in the book.)—Traverse Editors

22. Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan, Michael R. Federspiel, 2010. Not a beach book, but defi nitely worthy of your cottage coffee table.—Traverse Editors

23. Shadow of the Wolf Tree, Joseph Heywood, 2010. The seventh Woods Cop mystery has DNR offi cer Grady Service
entangled with some real gold diggers.—Saturn Booksellers

24. The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb, 2010. A daughter travels to an island in the Great Lakes where her dead
mother once lived. Webb is editor-in-chief of Duluth Superior Magazine.—Horizon Books

25. Multo Gusto, Mario Batali, 2010. Leelanau County’s own celeb chef gives us simple, Italian-inspired recipes.—The Cottage Book Shop (Spend An Evening With Mario Batali on the front lawn of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons on August 14, 2010 from 5pm to 10 pm. Part of the Traverse City National Writers Series.)

26. Isadore’s Secret, Mardi Link, 2009. Gripping true story of a nun murdered in Leelanau County in the 1900’s.—The Cottage Book Shop

27. Season of Water and Ice, Donald Lystra, 2009. Compelling coming of age novel set in the Northwoods in the 1950’s.
Lystra summers in Leelanau.—The Cottage Book Shop

28. Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy Burden, 2010. Wendy keeps letting out the Vanderbilt family secrets.—McLean and Eakin. (Burden will be in Petoskey July 12, noon-2pm. mcleanandeakin.com.)

29. Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, Greg Grandin. A Henry Ford detail that they didn’t cover in history class.—Mclean & Eakin

30. The Good Soldiers, David Finkel, 2009. Heart-wrenching true story of a battalion sent to Iraq as a part of the military surge.—Traverse Editors.

Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    I heard that there is a new book out from a Northern Michigan author named, “The Art of the Knuckle Sandwich.” It is creating quite a buzz on the social media circuits. Has anyone heard about it?

  • Anonymous

    This is a great list. “South of Superior” by Ellen Airgood is another excellent summer read that will bring anyone from Northern Michigan a sense of returning home.