It is often bewildering when a writer urges readers to abandon his/her work and stray into the prose of another, but since this article is short and the summer is long, and because a campfire should illuminate something other than tired faces and forgotten hot dogs laying in the dirt, here are three works by Michigan authors that warrant abandoning this article for your local bookstore.
1.) The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas by Jerry Dennis
In his book, Jerry Dennis, a Traverse City Author and contributor to publications such as Sports Afield, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and The New York Times, tactfully balances a wealth of information about the Great Lakes, including: the geology, natural history, cultural history and environmental concerns with personal experiences on the waters and shores.
Written as a personal narrative of Dennis’s four-week voyage from Grand Traverse Bay to Bar Harbor, ME, the reader is taken on as a crew member aboard the Malabar, a tall-masted Schooner, as it makes its way around Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and on to Maine.
The book serves not just to inform but to intrigue and spark a desire for adventure and a respect for Michigan’s precious and powerful waters.
2.) The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway
Not published until after Hemingway’s death in 1961, The Nick Adams Stories follows a young man as he grows up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula becomes a soldier, then a writer and then a parent. Nick Adams’s life is argued to closely resemble that of Hemingway who spent his adolescent summers in Northern Michigan.
Though many of Hemingway’s novels and short stories offer excellent reading material during the spring and summer months, the stories in this collection closely center around Michigan and create an intriguing relationship with readers from the area who may recognize and feel a deep connection to some of the settings.
3.) True North by Jim Harrison
This novel, by Grayling, MI native Jim Harrison, looks closely at the narrator’s disgust with his family tree of logging moguls. To deal with his distaste for the environmental destruction committed by his ancestors the narrator sets out to write a history of the Upper Peninsula that will expose the acts his family has committed against the land.