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Michigan Notable Books 2014

The Michigan Notable Books program has made its annual selection of the 20 books published in the previous year that best reflect the state's diverse ethnic, historical, literary and cultural experiences. Many of the winning titles can be found in the library's collection, and the others can be delivered to the library via MeLCat interlibrary loan. From fiction to nonfiction, the list offers a variety of choices.

Bootstrapper: from broke to badass on a northern Michigan farm by Mardi Jo Link — The Friends of the Canton, Plymouth, Northville and Novi Libraries' selection for their Book & Author Luncheon on Thursday, May 8, this memoir about survival and self-discovery documents the summer of 2005 when debt, doubt and divorce forced the author to refocus.

Something that feels like truth: stories by Donald Lystra — In 16 compelling stories, award-winning author Donald Lystra takes us on a page-turning journey through the cities and countryside of the Great Lakes heartland to as far away as Paris.

Bluffton: my summers with Buster by Matt Phelan — In Muskegon, Michigan, 1908, a visiting troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing since baseball. They're summering in nearby Bluffton, so Henry has a few months to ogle the elephant and the zebra, the tightrope walkers and a slapstick actor his own age named Buster Keaton.

The river swimmer: novellas by Jim Harrison — As one of America's most recognized and critically acclaimed authors, Harrison's new collection of novellas make Michigan's natural environment central to each tale.

In the house upon the dirt between the lake and the woods by Matt Bell — In this debut novel, a newly-wed couple escapes the busy confusion of their homeland for a distant and almost-uninhabited lakeshore.

I invented the modern age: the rise of Henry Ford by Richard Snow — Scene by scene, Richard Snow vividly shows Ford using his innate mechanical abilities, hard work, and radical imagination as he transformed American industry.

November's fury: the deadly Great Lakes hurricane of 1913 by Michael Schumacher — Set in the infancy of weather forecasting, November's Fury recounts the dramatic events that unfolded over those four days in 1913, as captains eager—or at times forced—to finish the season tried to outrun the massive storm that sank, stranded, or demolished dozens of boats.

Detroit: an American autopsy by Charlie LeDuff — Veteran writer LeDuff set out to uncover what lead his city into decline. He embedded with a local fire brigade, investigated politicians of all stripes, and interviewed: union bosses, homeless squatters, powerful businessmen, struggling homeowners, and ordinary people holding the city together.

Sweetie-licious pies: eat pie, love life by Linda Hundt ; photography by Kalman & Pabst Photo Group, Clarissa Westmeyer — In this sweet cookbook, the author, a 16-time national pie-baking champion, shares the heartwarming stories behind 52 of the signature pies sold at her Dewitt, MI bakery.

The Bird: the life and legacy of Mark Fidrych by Doug Wilson — The first biography of 70s pop icon and Detroit Tigers pitcher, Mark Fidrych. As a rookie he stormed the baseball world by his antics of "talking" to the baseball and along the way became one of the most popular Tigers in history.

Beyond Pontiac's shadow: Michilimackinac and the Anglo- Indian War of 1763 by Keith R. Widder — On June 2, 1763, the Ojibwa captured Michigan's Fort Michilimackinac from their British allies. Widder examines the circumstances leading up to the attack and the course of events in the aftermath that resulted in the re-garrisoning of the fort and the restoration of the fur trade.

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