Each year, the Michigan Notable Book (MNB) list features 20 books. Each is about, or set in, Michigan, or written by a Michigan author. They are published during the previous calendar year. Selections include a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction . They appeal to many audiences and explore topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents. This 2022 honorees include 11 authors who currently reside in the Great Lakes State.
“The MNB selections clearly demonstrate the diverse tapestry of subject matter that Michigan offers to inspire writers,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Everyone will find something of interest that speaks to their lives or experiences in our great state.”
Below are titles and descriptions of 2022 Michigan Notable Books by the local authors whose work was honored this year. Please remember to purchase these, and other titles of interest to you, from a local bookstore whenever possible.
The Cut by John Wemlinger – Mission Point Press
Alvin Price and Lydia Cockrum literally bump into one another in the summer of 1870 and fall in love. Coming from vastly different backgrounds, their relationship encounters struggle amid the feuding farmers and powerful lumber industry in Manistee, Michigan. Additionally, a terrible storm on October 8, 1871 sweeps across the upper Midwest. The weather sets off fires in Chicago and dozens of other cities, including Manistee. Will their love endure?
Day of Days: A Novel by John Smolens – Michigan State University Press
Decades after experiencing the Bath school bombing, survivor Beatrice Marie Turcott, recalls the spring of 1927. The haunting experience leads shapes her conviction. She knows one does not survive the present without reconciling hard truths about the past.
Dead of Winter by Stephen Mack Jones – Soho Press, Inc.
Detroit ex-cop August Snow must fight for both his life and the soul of Mexicantown itself. The trouble begins when a local business owner is targeted by an anonymous entity. The mystery is linked to a dangerous net of ruthless billionaire developers.
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – Henry Holt and Company
Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine of Sault Ste. Marie, is part Ojibwe. She defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother. Reluctantly, she becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate by Senator Carl Levin with Linda Gustitus – Wayne State University Press
He represented Michigan for 36 years in the U.S. Senate. In fact, Carl Levin is the longest-serving U.S. senator in Michigan history. He was known for his dogged pursuit of the truth, his commitment to holding government accountable, and his basic decency. Follow Levin’s story – from his early days in Detroit as the son of a respected lawyer to the capstone of his career as chair of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn – Wednesday Books
In this powerful story about forgiveness and love, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey travels north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in order to meet the family she never knew existed to find answers and instead falls for Micha Allen, who is dealing with his own traumatic past.
Private Love, Public School: Gay Teacher Under Fire by Christine A. Yared – Penning History Press
Gerry Crane was a talented high school music teacher, loved by students and parents, and lauded as one of the best teachers at his school. Everything changed once word spread that he had married a man. Follow the events of the true story of what happened when members of a midwestern community demanded that their religious beliefs be imposed on a public school-and the school followed suit.
Standpipe: Delivering Water in Flint by David Hardin – Belt Publishing
A memoir of the author’s work as a Red Cross volunteer delivering emergency water to residents of Flint, Michigan, Standpipe sets the struggles of a city in crisis against the author’s personal journey as his mother declines into dementia and eventual death. The book is an intimate look at one man’s engagement with both civic and familial trauma.
Tin Camp Road by Ellen Airgood – Riverhead Books
In a novel set against the wide-open beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a young single mother and her 10-year-old daughter stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive.
Trout Water: A Year on the AuSable by Josh Greenberg – Melville House
At the beginning of trout fishing season, Josh Greenberg-proprietor of a fishing tackle store on America’s most famous trout-fishing stream, the Au Sable River-is struggling to cope with the slow death of a close friend. Over the course of the fishing season, he’ll revisit that relationship and its importance to him as he takes solace, and maybe something more, from fishing.
Up North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons by Jerry Dennis – Univ. of Michigan Press
A collection of essays that capture a lifelong journey to better know northern Michigan by exploring it in every season, in every kind of weather, on foot, on bicycle, in canoes and cars. The essays are more than an homage to a particular region, its people, and its natural wonders. They are a reflection on the “Up North” that can only be experienced through your feet and fingertips, through your ears, mouth, and nose-the Up North that makes its way into your bones as surely as sand makes its way into wood grain.
For more information or questions about the Michigan Notable Book program, contact the Library of Michigan at 517-335-1477 or email Librarian@Michigan.gov. The complete list of 2022 selections can be viewed at the Notable Books website.