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Books about Michigan & the Great Lakes

E. A. Lovitt "starmoth"
The list author says: "This is a list of my favorite books about the state where I've lived my whole life. Most of them are nature books, but there is a smattering of true crimes that occurred in Michigan, accounts of adventures on the Great Lakes, Michigan history, and some extraordinary biographies."
Horsepower: A Memoir
Horsepower: A Memoir
"A quixotic Mount Pleasant woman rescues an old Belgian work horse and brings him back to health.   Ren is twenty-five when the author rescues him, which is very old for a draft horse.  This is a luminous autobiography as well as a great horse story."
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
"My very favorite book on Great Lakes shipwrecks and disasters.  It is probably classified as a book with limited 'regional' interest, which is a shame because it deserves a much wider audience."
The Potawatomi (Indians of North America)
The Potawatomi (Indians of North America)
"The author (an anthropologist) has written a truly interesting, sometimes poignant history of this Great Lakes tribe."
Enslaved by Ducks
Enslaved by Ducks
"both hilarious and touching: a sort of "Ring of Bright Water" as authored by Dave Barry; except it's not about otters.  It stars the eponymous ducks, along with surly parrots, turkicidal turkeys, etc."
Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region (Great Lakes Environment)
Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region (Great Lakes Environment)
"well-organized, well-illustrated, & well-written"
Mammals of the Great Lakes Region: Revised Edition (Great Lakes Environment)
Mammals of the Great Lakes Region: Revised Edition (Great Lakes Environment)
"the natural histories of eighty-three mammals living in the Great Lakes ecosystem, livened by the occasional wry personal anecdote."
Michigan Wildflowers in Color, Revised Edition with Wildflower Walks
Michigan Wildflowers in Color, Revised Edition with Wildflower Walks
"Very easy to use although pictures are a bit small.  Well-organized by flower color."
Geology of Michigan
Geology of Michigan
"Dorr and Eschman take an elevator from the basement of time in the Precambrian up through Michigan's modern topological features that have been formed by wind and water."
Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan's Rocks and Fossils (Great Lakes Books)
Under Michigan: The Story of Michigan's Rocks and Fossils (Great Lakes Books)
"This book has got all sorts of really cool information about the geology of this state, written in a fashion that kids should find easy to understand--this book is only 50 pages long, with many full-color drawings. It is arranged in chronological order, with a bit of plate tectonics, and short explanations of why our rocks and fossils are arranged in the order they're found."
Michigan: A Bicentennial History (States and the Nation)
Michigan: A Bicentennial History (States and the Nation)
"The history of our state by a Michigander who also happens to be a world-class historian."
The Birds of Michigan
The Birds of Michigan
"A treasure!  All birders in Michigan should have a copy of this oversize book."
The Country Kitchen
The Country Kitchen
"This is quite an extraordinary book:  a combination of "Little House on the Prairie" and one of my grandmother's old cookbooks.  Autobiography of growing up in Michigan in the late 1800s."
Month-by-Month Gardening in Michigan
Month-by-Month Gardening in Michigan
"Suppose you live in Michigan and want to know whether to prune your climbing roses in March.  This book is very well organized and easy to use."
True Tales of the Great Lakes
True Tales of the Great Lakes
"All of Dwight Boyer's books on the Great Lakes are highly recommended.  A wealth of fire, ice, fog, collisions, and tragedy."
Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes
Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes
"Some ships sighted through night, fog, and ice sank or disappeared 'through a crack in the lake' many years ago."
Great Stories of the Great Lakes
Great Stories of the Great Lakes
"Well-researched and incurably romantic tales of the world's largest Inland Lakes."
Ghost Ships, Gales and Forgotten Tales: True Adventures on the Great Lakes
Ghost Ships, Gales and Forgotten Tales: True Adventures on the Great Lakes
"I believe this book was written partly to counter-act the romantic story-telling of Great Lakes authors like Dwight Boyer.  Still very interesting."
White Hurricane : A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster
White Hurricane : A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster
"Meticulous meteorological reconstruction of the 1913 storm that raged for four days in early November and sank ships on Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron (the worst hit) and Erie."
Ships Gone Missing: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913
Ships Gone Missing: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913
"I've read two of Robert J. Hemming's books about Great Lakes storms and shipwrecks--this volume plus his "Gales of November"--both recommended."
Michigan Atlas & Gazetteer
Michigan Atlas & Gazetteer
"Detailed, easy-to-use maps with natural features, game areas, sports locations."
Anatomy of a Murder
Anatomy of a Murder
"Number #1 bestseller in 1958, and still a gripping tale of murder in Thunder Bay country."
Perennials for Michigan
Perennials for Michigan
"Not just for Michiganders.  One of the best perennial guides I've had the pleasure to read."
Roses for Michigan
Roses for Michigan
"Valuable info! The authors admonish us to be cautious when ordering from southern and western rose growers, as their roses may be grafted onto rootstock unsuitable for Michigan."
Natural Michigan: A Nature Lover's Guide to 228 Attractions
Natural Michigan: A Nature Lover's Guide to 228 Attractions
"Descriptions & maps to the parks, nature preserves, pathways, wetlands, & arboreteums of Michigan"
Michigan Bird Watching
Michigan Bird Watching
"Excellent, fact-filled guide on 100 most commonly seen birds in Michigan."
Darker than Night: The True Story of a Brutal Double Homicide and an 18-Year Long Quest for Justice (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
Darker than Night: The True Story of a Brutal Double Homicide and an 18-Year Long Quest for Justice (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
"We live in the woods, not far from where this grotesque double homicide took place in 1985.  A rumor had been circulating for almost two decades about a pair of downstate deer hunters, who had been beaten to death, chopped up and fed to the murderersÂ’ pigs after an alcohol-fuelled encounter in a local bar. A dedicated State Trooper took on the cold case and brought the murderers to justice."
Blood Justice (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
Blood Justice (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
"Two of Michigan's most notorious cold cases featuring serial killer Jeffrey Gorton."
Trees of Michigan Field Guide (Our Nature Field Guides)
Trees of Michigan Field Guide (Our Nature Field Guides)
"Full-page photos and information about each tree's leaves or needles, bark, size, fall color, and Michigan range map. This book includes more than 100 common trees and is the right size for field trips."
Birds of Michigan Field Guide, Second Edition
Birds of Michigan Field Guide, Second Edition
"Tekiela's notes are the best part of this well-illustrated book."
Birds of Michigan Audio CDs: Compatible with Birds of Michigan Field Guide
Birds of Michigan Audio CDs: Compatible with Birds of Michigan Field Guide
"Bird songs organized by bird color, which matches the field guide but is confusing if you don't have the book."
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Lakes Region
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Lakes Region
"This book is for you if you like an author who personally experiments with the plants he describes."
The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Michigan
The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Michigan
"Extremely useful. I'm a field observer for ABBMII, and alas, the proposed new edition of this book won't go to print because of costs.  So get this book while it is still for sale."
Farm Ballads
Farm Ballads
"With the ‘Public Act 51Â’ of 1919, the Michigan legislature passed a law requiring teachers to teach at least one of Will CarletonÂ’s poems to children in school.  This book contains 33 ballads by this Michigan poet, including his famous "Over the Hill to the Poor-House.”"
Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders: A Field Guide and Pocket Reference
Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders: A Field Guide and Pocket Reference
"Well-organized, well-written, and well-illustrated color guide of the 23 amphibians that live in our state."
Michigan Turtles and Lizards: A Field Guide and Pocket Reference
Michigan Turtles and Lizards: A Field Guide and Pocket Reference
"Another great field guide from Michigan State University, this one covering the 10 turtles and 2 lizards (minus snakes) that live in our state."
William Beaumont: Frontier Doctor
William Beaumont: Frontier Doctor
"A biography of William Beaumont, who served in the U.S. army during the War of 1812. While posted on Mackinac Island, Dr. Beaumont healed his most famous patient:  a voyageur, who ended up with a permanent 'window' into his stomach."
If We Make It 'til Daylight : The Story of Frank Mays
If We Make It 'til Daylight : The Story of Frank Mays
"The story of Frank Mays, one of only two sailors of a crew of 35 men, who survived the sinking of the 'Carl D. Bradley,' a 639-foot Great Lakes freighter that broke up in a savage storm on Lake Michigan on November 18, 1958."
Sole Survivor: Dennis Hale's Own Story
Sole Survivor: Dennis Hale's Own Story
"The story of Dennis Hale, the only sailor of a crew of 29 men, who survived the sinking of the 'Daniel J. Morrell,' a 603-foot Great Lakes freighter that broke up in a savage storm on Lake Huron."
Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry (Huron River Mist)
Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry (Huron River Mist)
"In a collection this extensive (90 poets) you have to expect a mix of great and not-so-great poetry.  Some of Michigan's most famous poets are in here, including Conrad Hilberry and Diane Wakoski, but most of the names are unfamiliar to me.  Taken as a whole, this book is a keenly honed tribute to this watery, industrial-strength peninsula."