Independent bookstores abound in Northern Michigan—treasured destinations in our small downtowns. Part of what makes each shop so special is the friendly, knowledgeable staffers who are always happy to make recommendations and handpick a great book for you or a friend. We asked the team at Between the Covers in Harbor Springs to share some cozy fall and winter reads, and they gave us spectacular suggestions.
Featured in the November 2020 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Subscribe.
MATHEMATICS + A MURDER MYSTERY
“The Eighth Detective,” by Alex Pavesi (Henry Holt & Co.)
When an ambitious and sharp editor seeks to republish the work of a mathematician who once discovered the formula for the perfect murder mystery, she soon finds herself sorting through old clues that don’t add up and may in fact lead to a story that is more than fiction.
COMING-OF-AGE + REMOTE UPPER PENINSULA B&B
“Burn the Place: A Memoir,” by Iliana Regan (Scribner Book Company)
While Iliana Regan’s childhood provided the beginnings of her connection to earth and food, she traveled a long and hard road through addiction, intolerance and simply being a woman in the big-city, cut-throat restaurant business, before finding her slice of heaven in the U.P.
A WEEKEND GETAWAY + NO WAY TO GET AWAY
“Leave the World Behind,” by Rumaan Alam (Ecco Press)
Amanda and Clay treat themselves and their teenage children to a vacation rental in a remote part of Long Island. All is well until the evening when a couple arrives, claiming to own the home, and bringing news that a sudden blackout has swept New York City. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—there’s no way to verify the news. Whom to believe in a world that seems to be growing increasingly less familiar …
DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY + SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION
“Nothing to See Here,” by Kevin Wilson (Ecco Press)
When Lillian receives a desperate letter from an estranged boarding school classmate, she accepts the position of caretaker for Madison’s two step-children, who just happen to occasionally burst into flame, but also manage to steal Lillian’s heart.
A MOTHER’S PAST + A DAUGHTER’S PRESENT
“Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir,” by Natasha Trethewey (Ecco Press)
If you’ve ever wondered what sort of family legacy might create a young woman destined to become one of America’s greatest poets, look no further than this searingly beautiful and elegiac memoir—part true crime, part meditation on grief, all human.
A MARRIAGE ON THE ROCKS + SURVIVAL AT SEA
“Sea Wife,” by Amity Gaige (Knopf Publishing Group)
In a novel with all the tension of psychological suspense and the literary chops of a master storyteller, Amity Gaige brings readers the story of a couple who abandons suburbia for a year at sea with their children … and the consequences wrought from their choices.
INA GARTEN + COCKTAILS
“Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter Publishers)
Eighty-five new recipes—from brunch to drinks and everything in between! Need we say more?
ONE GIRL’S LOVE FOR HER BROTHER + ONE GIRL’S LOVE FOR HORSES
“The Wild Path,” by Sarah R. Baughman (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
When Claire Barton’s beloved older brother is sent to rehab and her parents make plans to sell the family horses to make ends meet, the bighearted 12-year-old (with the help of some mysterious wild horses) discovers the way to help her family and to find her own voice.
OPOSSUMS + WITCHES
“Snapdragon,” by Kat Leyh (First Second)
The rumor is that Snap’s town has a witch, but the magic that this young girl discovers when she decides to find out for herself doesn’t come from any spell, but rather from a power she finds within herself.
HAND-CUT STAMPS + HOMAGE TO A PICKUP
“The Old Truck,” by Jarrett & Jerome Pumphrey (Norton Young Readers)
The Brothers Pumphrey have brought fans of children’s picture books a gorgeously rendered love letter to an old truck parked in a field—it may not look like much from the outside, but it holds a lifetime of work and family and happiness in its unassuming presence.