So it’s summer, and newspapers and magazines have published lists of the latest books to enjoy while you’re on vacation. But what better way to spend time on a splendid Great Lakes beach than reading about the lakes? Our thoughts exactly.
We offer the following nonfiction and fiction reads to help you consider your view from the beach with even more appreciation.
The Long-Shining Waters, by Danielle Sosin. Fiction, 2012, winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize.
The vast, powerful Lake Superior transcends time to connect three narratives that are separated by centuries and similar in their search for meaning in uncertainty. Available from IndieBound.
South of Superior, by Ellen Airgood. Fiction, 2012.
When Madeline Stone walks away from Chicago and moves 500 miles north to the shores of Lake Superior and Michigan’s upper peninsula, she isn’t prepared for how much the lake, friendship and charity will teach her to live a bigger life. Available from the publisher at Penguin Books.
The Once and Future Great Lakes Country: An Ecological History, by John L. Riley. History, 2014
A passionate, wide-ranging history of the landscapes around the Great Lakes.Available from McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America, by Michael McDonnell. History, 2015.
Assumptions about trade, diplomacy, and war in the Great Lakes region of Revolutionary America are shattered by these vivid historical depictions from the Odawa native perspective. Available from MacMillan Publishers.
Stormstruck: When Supercharged Winds Slammed Northwest Michigan, by Robert Campbell. Nonfiction, 2015.
It was a 100-year storm that snapped thousands of trees like matchsticks, blasted homes apart with its vertical winds and left Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakes with a cleanup likely to last years. This book includes extensive maps, photos and stories. Available from the publisher at Mission Point Press.
Floating Palaces of the Great Lakes, by Joel Stone. History, 2015.
Relives the lively history of the steam-powered ships that provided jobs and countless memories for those who travelled throughout the Great Lakes through much of the 19th century. Available from University of Michigan Press.
Miss Colfax’s Light, by Aimee Bissonette. Children’s, 2016.
This is the true story of Harriet Colfax, who became lighthouse keeper for the Michigan City lighthouse off Lake Michigan in 1861 at the age of 37, and kept the light shining until she was 80. Available from Sleeping Bear Press.
Sally Cole-Misch is the public affairs officer for the IJC’s Great Lakes Regional Office.
Allison Voglesong is the Michigan Sea Grant fellow at the IJC’s Great Lakes Regional Office.