Ann Arbor Reads Events: 2010

ANN ARBOR/YPSILANTI READS AUTHOR EVENT

Acclaimed author Jerry Dennis will make a special appearance as part of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads. His book, 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching For The Heart Of The Inland Seas', has been chosen as the focus of the 2010 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program.

On Thursday, January 28 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Towsley Auditorium of the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College (4800 Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor), he will discuss this book as well as his own thoughts on the Great Lakes and his personal 4-week journey through the lakes and beyond as a crew-member on a tall-masted schooner (which formed the basis of the book). A booksigning will follow and books will be on sale at this event, courtesy of Nicola’s Books. For information, call 327-4555

This appearance is a key event for the 2010 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program, which this year focuses on the theme of Michigan.

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OTHER EVENTS

Sunday, January 3, 2:00- 3:30 pm
Concert: The Paul Keller Trio – The Michigan Jazz Suite

This acclaimed trio Paul Keller (Paul Keller (bass), Steve Richko (piano) and Sean Dobbins (drums) will perform Keller’s Michigan Jazz Suite (which won the 2009 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording). The Michigan Jazz Suite is a compilation of 15 jazz tone poems inspired by famous Michigan destinations, people, events and icons and filled with vivid imagery.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Wednesday, January 6, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Lecture: University of Michigan’s Margaret Noori Discusses Native Americans Of Michigan: The Three Fires Confederacy

The US census of 1900 counted 6,354 Indians in Michigan. What did that census statistic mean at that time? What is the current census count of this Michigan population and what does it mean? A strong sense of social and environmental identity, and the ability to resist and accommodate change, has influenced Michigan Native American over the last two centuries. Join us for this fascinating look into the Michigan Native American culture and history. Margaret Noori is Director of the Comprehensive Studies Program and teaches the Anishinaabe Language and American Indian Literature at the University of Michigan.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Monday, January 11, 7:00- 8:30 pm
Lecture: Great Lakes Shipwrecks: Committed To The Deep: Exploring Underwater Treasures With Detroit Historical Society Curator Joel Stone

The very first ship on the upper Great Lakes, LaSalle’s Griffon, sailed only a single voyage before disappearing beneath the waves. Since then, thousands of other vessels, along with their crews, have met the same fate. What remains of their ships and cargos beneath the mighty Great Lakes? What are the stories of those adventurers who brave the waters of the deep to search for these sunken monuments of the seas? Join us for a fascinating tour of the mysteries of the Lakes with Detroit Historical Society curator Joel Stone.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Saturday, January 16, 2:00- 3:30 pm
Lecture: Auto Expert & Automotive Magazine Publisher David E. Davis Jr. Discusses The 2010 Auto Show And The Future Of Michigan’s Auto Industry

What does the future hold for this industry in Michigan? What trends can be spotted from this year’s Auto Show? David E. Davis Jr. will also discuss his historic automobile life in Michigan and why he and his wife chose to return and live here. Davis is an automobile journalist and magazine publisher. His career in the automotive industry spanned from race car driver, factory worker and car salesman to ad salesman with Road & Track and copywriter for Corvette advertisements before becoming a writer for Car and Driver magazine in 1962. He wrote for that publication until 1967 and later became its editor and publisher from 1976 to 1985 before leaving to found Automobile magazine. Time magazine called Davis the "dean of automotive journalists."
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Sunday, January 24, 2:00- 3:30 pm
Lecture: Michigan: If You Seek An Interesting History, Look Around You Discussed By Martin Hershock, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of History at the University of Michigan, Dearborn

The presentation will offer a broad overview of Michigan's history from the time of its earliest native inhabitants up through the present day. Among the themes to be emphasized will be: migration, mobility and diversity; the importance of geography in Michigan's past; Michigan's extractive industries; the rise of the auto industry; environmental history; the legal landscape; and urbanization and post-industrialism.
Martin Hershock is also the author of The Paradox of Progress: Economic Change, Individual Enterprise, and Political Culture in Michigan, and co-editor of The History of Michigan Law (Law, Society & Politics in the Midwest), and The Political Lincoln: An Encyclopedia.
Ann Arbor District Library - Malletts Creek Branch
3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
For information, call 327-4200

Thursday, January 28, 7:30- 8:30 pm
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Author Jerry Dennis Discuss This Year’s Reads Book ‘The Living Great Lakes: Searching For The Heart Of The Inland Seas’

Dennis will discuss this book as well as his own thoughts on the Great Lakes and his personal 4-week journey through the lakes and beyond as a crew-member on a tall-masted schooner (which formed the basis of the book). A booksigning will follow and books will be on sale at this event, courtesy of Nicola’s Books.
Morris Lawrence Building
Washtenaw Community College
4800 Huron River Drive
Ann Arbor, MI
For information, call 327-4555

Saturday, February 6, 3:00- 4:00pm
Fur, Feathers, and Scales

Come see native Michigan animals and learn about the classification of animals from the folks at Leslie Science Center. (Youth)
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1340

Sunday, February 7, 2:00- 3:30pm
Concert: A Tribute to the Golden Age of Jazz with the Detroit-Based Jazz Group, Giant Steps, Featuring Allan Barnes

For over 40 years, the legendary Allan Barnes, a gifted instrumentalist, talented composer, and performer, has created a series of recordings of unparalled mastery. Giant Steps is a compilation of Detroit's finest jazz band leaders, featuring Cliff Monear (piano), Sunny Wilkinson (vocals), Rayse Biggs (trumpet), Gayelynn McKinney (drums) and Nick Calandro, Jr. (bass)
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Thursday, February 11, 7:00- 8:30pm
Michigan Eats! with Yvonne Lockwood, Curator of Folklife at the MSU Museum

Yvonne Lockwood shares images and stories about local and regional foods in Michigan. From muskrat dinners to Coneys, she will discus the variety of unique foods and the traditions surrounding them.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Saturday, February 13, 1:00- 2:00pm
Sing a Song of Michigan with Carl Behrend

Join us in celebrating one of Michigan’s greatest natural resources with folksinger Carl Behrend whose songs are inspired by the people, legends, and historic tales of our Great Lakes. (All Ages)
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1377

Monday, February 15, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Current Ecological Issues of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes have undergone massive environmental change since European settlement. James Diana, Director of the Michigan Sea Grant College Program, University of Michigan, will discuss the dramatic changes that have occurred in the Lakes, including invasive species, as well as the changes likely to occur over the future.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Tuesday, February 16, 7:00- 8:00pm
Soup Talk with Local Chef Bee Mayhew

Winter is the perfect time to cook soup to feed your friends and family. Local chef and restaurateur Bee Mayhew from Beezy’s Café and Coffee in downtown Ypsilanti will talk about making soup using everyday Michigan food products. Come add to your recipe files and try a soup sample! (Adult/Teen)
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1377

Sunday, February 21, 2:00- 4:00pm
Historic Photographs of Ann Arbor

Wystan Stevens, local history buff, and Kingsbury Marzolf, retired UM professor, present photographs from the very rare local history book, 'Art Work of Washtenaw County,' which was published in 1893. Cosponsored by the Washtenaw County Historical Society.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Thursday, February 25, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Alternative Energy and Michigan's Future

Larry Kaufman of DTE, Trista Gregorski of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, and Sean Reed of Clean Energy Coalition will discuss wind energy, solar energy, and biofuels and their impact on Michigan.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
For information, call 327-4555

Saturday, February 27, 2:00- 4:00pm
Crafternoons @ Superior: Michigan Mittens

Make your own decorative foam mitten. (Youth)
Ypsilanti District Library
8975 MacArthur Blvd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Details: 734.482.3747

Thursday, March 4, 7:00- 9:00pm
Strut Your Stuff: Motown Karaoke at YDL!

In YDL’s first-ever karaoke event, come as you are or dress as your favorite performer and “strut your stuff.” Take a turn solo or as a group. Have fun singing and watching everyone’s take on the legendary Motown sound. This is not a contest, but a celebration of Michigan’s great musical heritage. (Adult/Teen)
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1377

Saturday, March 6, 2:00pm
Michigan Magic! Women’s History ALIVE!

Sandra Hansen’s wonderful one-woman show is filled with magic tricks and the tales, trials, and tribulations of six women in Michigan history. Laughter and learning for all ages!
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1377

Sunday, March 7, 2:00- 4:00 pm
Cook Michigan! Celebrate the Foods of Our Great Lakes State

Calling chefs of all ages! We’re celebrating Michigan’s bounty with a cooking contest. Create a dish featuring at least one made or grown in Michigan food products and bring it in to the library for judging on March 7. Entry forms with all rules and details will be available at all YDL locations starting February 1.
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1377

Book Discussions: 2010

BOOK DISCUSSIONS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Thursday, February 4, 1:00pm
Thursday Morning Book Discussion Group

Engage in an hour-long lively discussion about 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' by Jerry Dennis (the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection). Anyone is welcome to attend.
Ypsilanti District Library
Conference Room 1C
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1376

Wednesday, February 10, 7:00pm
Wednesday Evening Book Discussion Group

Engage in an hour-long lively discussion about 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' by Jerry Dennis (the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection). Anyone is welcome to attend.
Ann Arbor District Library - Malletts Creek Branch
3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Details: 327-4200 or visit aadl.org

Saturday, March 8, 7:00 pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion Group

Engage in an hour-long lively discussion about 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' by Jerry Dennis (the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection). Anyone is welcome to attend.
Ypsilanti District Library
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 734.482.4110 ext. 1306

Saturday, March 15, 7:00 pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion Group

Engage in an hour-long lively discussion about 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' by Jerry Dennis (the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection). Anyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided during the discussion.
Barnes & Noble
3235 Washtenaw Avenue (at Huron Parkway)
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 pm
Wednesday Evening Book Discussion Group

Engage in an hour-long lively discussion about 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' by Jerry Dennis (the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection). Anyone is welcome to attend.
Tanner Philosophy Library
1171 Angell Hall (located on the first floor, south)
435 S. State Street, Ann Arbor
If questions, e-mail: mcmahony@umich.edu

About the Reads: 2010

In 2010, the program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme of Michigan.

   

Jerry Dennis, The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2003.


Click here for information about the two finalists.

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Statement of Purpose

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

History

Launched in 2003 by the University of Michigan Life Sciences, Values and Society Program, the Reads project was fashioned after a civic reads program designed by the Seattle Public Library. The book chosen for the inaugural Reads was “Lincoln’s DNA,” by Phillip R. Reilly. The Ann Arbor District Library was a major partner in this effort along with other area organizations.

In subsequent years, the Reads Program has been co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti District Libraries and is supported by interested civic groups, the University of Michigan School of LS&A, the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Public Schools, local bookstores, Eastern Michigan University Libraries and Washtenaw Community College.

Reads Theme

The theme that informs the selection of potential reads titles often follows the broad topic chosen for the University of Michigan’s LS&A School for its annual “theme semester.” Previous themes have included a review of civil rights in the United States in celebration of the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education; “Revolutions in Science,” a discussion of evolution and the scientific method and “We the People...” how we define citizenship; in 2008 the theme was China and America: Bridging Two Worlds; and for 2009, The Universe: Yours to Discover. However, this year the Steering Committee opted for a general theme of “Michigan.”

Book Selection

Books chosen for the Reads should meet the following criteria:

Readability:
- The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
- The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
- The length, price and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
The book should be available in audio format.

Appropriateness:
- The book should explore and develop an understanding of the theme of the Read.
- Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the subjects further with others, at home, work, reading clubs and community events.
- Ideally, the exploration of these concerns should lead to constructive dialogues across the many boundaries that presently separate members of our community from each other, whether by race, gender, age, residence, occupation, or other affiliation.

Process:
Selecting the final book for the Reads is a two-pronged process. During the summer the Book Screening Committee made up of individuals selected as representative of various civic constituencies read approximately thirty titles of fiction and non-fiction that reflect the year’s theme. In the fall, the Book Selection Committee reviews the three titles suggested by the Screening Committee and makes a final recommendation of the Reads book for the coming year.

The titles selected for the 2011 Reads will be announced in September 2010. Please watch this site for more information.

Selected Bibliography

Ann Arbor Ypsilanti 2010 Reads
MICHIGAN
A VERY Selective Bibliography *

Afro-Americans
Cox, Anna-Lisa. A Stronger Kinship: One Town's Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press/ Bison Books, 2007.
In the nineteenth century, when much of the nation was solidifying racial discrimination and barriers between the races and to achievement for former slaves, the small town of Covert, Michigan, was embarking on a bold social order--equality among the races. Historian Cox details the founding families--black and white--who established Covert in 1860 as a mixed-race community that defied the social conventions of the time, electing blacks to powerful political positions and providing a haven for economic development for achievers of all races.

Walker, Lewis and Benjamin C. Wilson. Black Eden: The Idlewild Community. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2002.
Black Eden" chronicles the history of Idlewild, MI. one of the many American black communities founded during the aftermath of the Civil War.

Detroit / Music / Automotive /
Boyle, Kevin. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2005.
In the summer of 1925, Detroit, there is rising tension from racism as native-born whites, immigrants, and blacks, drawn by the flourishing automobile industry, jockeyed for jobs and housing in the teeming metropolis. This is the story of Ossian Sweet, his family, his rights and his murder trial.

Carson, David. Grit, Noise & Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2005.
Carson chronicles Detroit pop music between World War II and Motown Records' early-1970s removal to L.A., delineating loud, intense Motor City acts from John Lee Hooker to Bob Seger and drawing lines of influence between white and black acts.

Early, Gerald. One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004.
In this elegant, far-ranging essay, African American studies professor Early (The Culture of Bruising) offers a portrait of the revolutionary as a decidedly bourgeois family man and businessman-Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr., stage manager of "the most shining moment of the American black in popular culture."

Hernandez, Lolita. Autopsy of an Engine: And Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 2004.
Hernandez's short stories capture the effect on Detroit after Cadillac closed its plants there. Hernandez, who worked for Cadillac for 21 years, writes a tender tribute to the working-class people who made the auto industry thrive.

Smith, Suzanne E. Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
A history of Motown's founding in 1958 on through the city's devastating riots in 1967 and the related early-'70s flight from its precincts of the two enterprises central to its modern identity. If you've never heard about the Concept East Theater; or of WCHB, the first radio station built, owned, and operated by African-Americans; or never knew about organizations like the League of Revolutionary Black Workers; or the Freedom Now Part (the first all-black political party in the nation), Smith's text will explain their rich legacies.

Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Title says it all.

Native Americans
Dowd, Gregory Evans. War Under Heaven: Pontiac, the Indian Nations, and the British Empire. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Graham, Loren R. A Face in the Rock: The Tale of a Grand Island Chippewa. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.
Off the south shore of Lake Superior lies an island eight miles long and four miles wide, shaped like the palm of a hand. Known as Grand Island, it was once home to a sizable community of Chippewa Indians who lived in harmony with the land and with each other. The tragic demise of the Grand Island Chippewa began more than 200 years ago when their fellow tribesmen from the mainland goaded the peaceful islanders into joining them in a senseless battle with their rival the Sioux. A Face in the Rock tells the fascinating story of the Grand Island Chippewa.

Petoskey, Warren. Dancing My Dream. David Crumm Media, LLC, 2009.
This memoir of Native American teacher, writer and artist Warren Petoskey spans centuries and lights up shadowy corners of American history with important memories of Indian culture and survival.

Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1998.
This intelligent study of Tecumseh's life relates a great deal as well about the history of the Shawnee, especially in the Ohio region, and the wider context of Tecumseh's attempt to create a Pan Indian resistance, including a history of earlier such attempts. A very competent addition to the literature on this remarkable man; recommended for most academic and larger public libraries. --- Charlie Cowling, SUNY at Brockport

Environment, Nature and Weather (including literary works)
Bohnak, Karl. So Cold a Sky: Upper Michigan Weather Stories. Ed. Rebecca Tavernini and Judy Johnson. Negaunee, MI: Cold Sky Publishing, 2006.
Weather history of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from the 1600's to the present.

Dempsey, Dave. Ruin and Recovery: Michigan's Rise as a Conservation Leader. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2001.
Dempsey tells the story of Michigan's cycles of resource exploitation and conservation from the early days of statehood in 1837 to the present day. Drawing from a large number of resources, including archival records and reminiscences, official documents and individual interviews, Ruin and Recovery charts the development of a conservation ethic in Michigan and chronicles the major battles for environmental protection since the late 1800s.

Kalt, Brian C. Sixties Sandstorm: The Fight Over Establishment of a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 1961-1970. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2001.
The 1,600 people who lived in the proposed park area feared not only that the federal government would confiscate their homes, but that a wave of tourists would ensue and destroy their beloved and fragile lands. In response, they organized citizen action groups and fought a nine-year battle against the legislation. Sixties Sandstorm is not a book about dunes as much as it is a book about people and their government. It chronicles the public meetings, bills, protests, and congressional interactions that led to the signing of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Act in 1970.

Knott, John R. and Keith Taylor. The Huron River: Voices from the Watershed. 2000: University of Michigan Press.
A collection of new poems, essays, and stories, accompanied by maps, photographs, and illustrations that celebrate the Huron River. Over twenty locally and nationally known literary figures, including Alice Fulton and Charles Baxter, have contributed to this volume.

Swan, Alison. Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes. Ed. Alison Swan. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, 2006.
A collection of nonfiction works by women writers. These works focus on the Midwest: living with the five interconnected freshwater seas that we know as the Great Lakes. Contributing to this collection are renowned poets, essayists, and fiction writers, all of whom write about their own creative streams of consciousness, the fresh waters of the Great Lakes, and the region's many rivers.

Roethke, Theodore. Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. New York, New York: Anchor Books, 1991 "Originally published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1966: - T.p. verso.
Theodore Roethke was born in Saginaw, Mich., on May 25, 1908. The family owned the largest greenhouses in the state. He called his home "a wonderful place for a child to grow up in and around"--25 acres under glass in town and "the last stand of virgin timber in the Saginaw Valley" out in the country.

Michigan History
Faber, Don. Toledo War: The First Michigan-Ohio Rivalry. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2008.
The conflict started with a long-simmering dispute over a narrow wedge of land called the Toledo Strip. Early maps were famously imprecise, adding to the uncertainty of the true boundary between the states. When Ohio claimed to the mouth of the Maumee River, land that according to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 fell in the territory of Michigan, the "Toledo War" began.

Margolick, David. Beyond Glory: Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink, by David Margolick. . New York: Knopf, 2005.
The 1938 heavyweight rematch between Detroit's Joe Louis and Germany's Max Schmeling qualifies as the sort of sporting event that coalesces into a symbolic moment with much larger themes. The African-American Louis's success and demeanor were an unsubtle rebuke to the Aryan theories of race; the affable Schmeling, for his part, would be shoehorned into the role of "Nazi Max," despite the uneasiness of the fit—later that year, on Kristallnacht, he would courageously protect two German Jews.

Maritime Stories/ Memoirs / Special Places
Catton, Bruce. Waiting for the Morning Train: An American Boyhood. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1987.
One of America's great Civil War historians recounts his days growing up in Benzonia, a small town in Michigan's lower peninsula.

Emerick, Lon L. Going Back to Central: On the Road in Search of the Past in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Skandia, MI: North Country Publishing, 2003.
Cornish copper miners in the region in the 1800’s.

Kowalski, Greg. Hamtramck: The Driven City. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2002.
Hamtramck is more than just pączki. Surrounded completely by the city of Detroit, Hamtramck is today home to 24,000 residents, but its small size of just 2.1 square miles belies its expansive history and the influence this remarkable community has had far beyond its borders.

Neuschel, Fred. Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships.Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2007.
Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Shipsbrings the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes to life, using the tragic story of the schooner Rouse Simmons as a porthole into the robust but often forgotten communities that thrived along Lake Michigan from the Civil War to World War I.

Nguyen, Bich Minh. Stealing Buddha's Dinner : A Memoir. New York, New York: Viking Penguin, 2008.
Nguyen is a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids in the 1980s.

True Crime
Bernstein, Arnie. Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009.
On May 18, 1927, the small town of Bath, Michigan, was forever changed when Andrew Kehoe set off a cache of explosives concealed in the basement of the local school. Thirty-eight children and six adults were dead, among them Kehoe, who had literally blown himself to bits by setting off a dynamite charge in his car.

Lehto, Steve. Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder. Troy, MI.: Momentum Books, LLC;, 2006.
Death's Door is the true account of the tragedy that struck a Michigan copper mining town during a time when a bitter struggle raged between the striking workers and the mining companies in 1913.

Link, Mardi. Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009.
A gripping account of the mysterious disappearance of a young Felician nun in a northern Michigan town in 1907 and the national controversy that followed when she turned up dead and buried in the basement of the church.

When Evil Came to Good Hart. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2008.
There is an intemporal quality to Good Hart, the kind born of ancient rocks, mature mixed forests, enduring Ottawa legends, and the turquoise waters of Little Traverse Bay. Hovering over this paradise is the dark chapter in the village's past that locals still don't care to talk about: the massacre of six members of the vacationing Robison family in the summer of 1968. In the first nonfiction book about this baffling and still unsolved crime, Link offers up a balanced and absorbing account of this mystery, allowing readers to form their own opinions and leaving them wanting more from this very talented writer. -- author Richard Bak

Fiction
Amick, Steve. The Lake, the River & the Other Lake. New York, New York: Anchor Books, 2005.
“By turns humorous, tender, and tragic, Amick’s debut novel features a deeply involving story that’s as authentic and addicting as Mackinac Island fudge and makes perfect summer reading.” – The Flint Journal

Arnow, Harriet. The Dollmaker. New York, New York: Macmillan, 1954.
Gertie Nevells is a strong and compassionate woman living in Kentucky and migrating north to Ypsilanti just before World War II with her husband and children. “The Dollmaker is both a passionate denunciation of industrialization and war, and a tribute to a woman's love for her children and the land.”

Barr, Nevada. A Superior Death. New York, New York: Berkley Book, 1994.

---. Winter Study. New York, New York: Putnam, 2008.
Anna Pigeon, National Park Service Ranger, is stationed at Isle Royal National Park in Lake Superior.

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. New York, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2002.
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor.

Hamilton, Steve. A Cold Day in Paradise. New York, New York: Minotaur Books/ St. Martin's Press, 2000.
Alex McKnight is a retired Detroit cop living in Paradise, Mich., on disability with a bullet next to his heart.

Harrison, Jim. Off to the Side: A Memoir. New York, New York: Atlantic Montly Press, 2003.
Whether recalling bits of his past as a depressed child, manual laborer, Hollywood screenwriter, aspiring poet, novelist, or alcoholic husband, Jim Harrison pauses to analyze these moments--the cause and effect--and the choices that have made him who he is.

---. Returning to Earth. New York, NY: Heritage Press, 2007.

---. True North. New York, New York: Grove Press, 2004.

Jackson, Jon A. Man with an Axe. New York, New York: Grove Press, 1998.
The seventh book in Jon A. Jackson's addictive series about Detroit homicide detective sergeant "Fang" Mulheisen begins on the day of Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance, July 30, 1975.

* The titles here should be considered a ‘starting point’ for books on Michigan, or books by Michigan Authors about Michigan. Descriptions were taken from a variety of sources.

Living Great Lakes Reading Guide Questions

    1. Do you have any sailing experience?

      a. Do you think the author did a good job of describing the experience?
      b. Do you have a preference for fresh or salt water sailing?
      c. Did you find the use and explanation of sailing terms useful?

    2. Do you have a favorite Great Lake?

      a. Did one lake seem more ‘favored’ than another in the book?
      b. Did the author make you want to learn more about a particular lake?

    3. Have you ever experienced living in tight quarters?

      a. Do you think the author described the relationships realistically?
      b. Do you think that the experience is the same (cramped quarters) on both land and sea?- why or why not?

    4. Librarians will use the phrase, “non-fiction that reads like fiction” to describe a book that is factual, but reads like a novel. Do you think that this describes The Living Great Lakes? Why or why not?

    5. There are several “stories” in this book:

      a. the actual sailing adventure
      b. the natural history of the Great Lakes
      c. the relationships between crew members
      d. the sailing differences between the Great Lakes and the ocean
      e. maritime history of the Great Lakes
      f. memoir of author’s experience
      Did you find one story more compelling than another? Are there too many stories?

    6. Which character did you identify with in the book? Why?

    7. Have you read many sea stories? Would you class The Living Great Lakes in this genre? Why or why not?

    8. Does this book make you proud to live in Michigan? Why or why not?

    9. Jerry Dennis discusses the demise of Michigan’s forests by logging. Has this book changed your perspective on Michigan’s natural resources, especially its water? Do you feel motivated to take care of our resources?

    10. What is something you learned in this book that you did not know before?

The Living Great Lakes

Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Reads is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

In 2010, the program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme of Michigan.

An eleven-member selection team, composed of community members, educators, students and librarians from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area chose the book:

LivingGreat Lakes

The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, winner of the “Best Book of 2003” by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, chronicles author Jerry Dennis’ travels as a crew member on the tall-masted schooner Malabar on a four-week trip through the waters of Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. The author, a resident of Traverse City, Michigan, reminisces on a lifetime spent near the lakes and interweaves his personal journey with stories from the biologists, fishermen and sailors that he met during his travels.

This title has been praised as “passionate, poetic, and meticulously researched. Its voice beckons like a trusted friend: look, discover, enjoy… this is history at its best and adventure richly described. A magical book, hugely enjoyable and entertaining” (Doug Stanton, author of In Harm’s Way).

Click here for copies available at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Click here for copies available at the Ypsilanti District Library.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Arc of Justice

ArcOfJustice Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Kevin Boyle, chronicles the ordeal of Dr. Ossian Sweet, who moves with his young family to a previously all-white Detroit neighborhood in the steamy summer of 1925. When the local block association incites a mob to drive Sweet back to the ghetto, he gathers people to defend his new home with a deadly arsenal. The resulting shooting death of a white man leads to a sensational murder trial, featuring the legendary Clarence Darrow, fresh from the Scopes Monkey trial, defending Sweet, his family and their associates.

Written with a “novelist’s flair” Arc of Justice “grips right up to the stunning jaw-dropper of an ending” (Publishers Weekly). It is a National Book Award winner, New York Times Notable Book, and was cited as one of 2004’s Best Books by the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Detroit Free Press, The Seattle Times and Salon.com.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Arc Of Justice

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, by Kevin Boyle, chronicles the ordeal of Dr. Ossian Sweet, who moves with his young family to a previously all-white Detroit neighborhood in the steamy summer of 1925. When the local block association incites a mob to drive Sweet back to the ghetto, he gathers people to defend his new home with a deadly arsenal. The resulting shooting death of a white man leads to a sensational murder trial, featuring the legendary Clarence Darrow, fresh from the Scopes Monkey trial, defending Sweet, his family and their associates. Written with a “novelist’s flair” Arc of Justice “grips right up to the stunning jaw-dropper of an ending” (Publishers Weekly). It is a National Book Award winner, New York Times Notable Book, and was cited as one of 2004’s Best Books by the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Detroit Free Press, The Seattle Times and Salon.com.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

Three Finalists for 2009

A selection committee of community leaders, librarians, students and educators in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area will meet in mid-October to choose one of three books as the focus for this year. Which book should be chosen? We appreciate your comments and opinions.

The three book finalists are available in alternative formats for those who are unable to read or use printed materials due to a physical disability (blindness, macular degeneration, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, dyslexia, etc.). Please contact the Library of Michigan Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at 1-800-992-9012.

Click on the titles below for more information about the books and authors, and to add your comments.

The three books under consideration are:


Timothy Ferris, Seeing In The Dark: How Amateur Astronomers Are Discovering The Wonders Of The Universe. New York: Simon & Schuster, c2002.


Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys: A Memoir. New York: Delacorte Press, 1998.


Dava Sobel, The Planets. New York: Viking, 2005.

2009: How to Participate

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2009 is a community-wide event! How may you participate?

Hold A Discussion Group In Your Community

Organize an event or discussion related to the read.
Events may be open to the public or restricted. Examples include:
• Book clubs wishing to use the book at a private meeting or discussion
• College or high school instructors assigning the book to their class
• Local workplaces hosting discussion groups for their employees
• Coffee shops inviting customers to connect over coffee on a particular night

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