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Don't Be Afraid to Veer Off the Beaten Path


Favorites from Kurt Kuban, Editor of the Canton Observer and a Canton Public Library patron.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

The Short Stories

by Ernest Hemingway
1025057.jpg The book contains the classic 'Nick Adams' talesthe short stories Hemingway wrote about northern Michigan, where he spent many days of his youth. "The Big Two-Hearted River" is particular favorite of mine. I have fished the Two Hearted River in the Upper Peninsula, as well as the nearby Fox River, which most historians believe is the river Hemingway describes in the story. The book also includes "Up in Michigan," which is the first short story Hemingway wrote at the age of 22. He is really a master of the short story.

Youth and Young Manhood

by Kings of Leon
1281704.jpg This title is from the rock quartet Kings of Leon, which includes three brothers and a cousin. With southern roots, they mix together different styles of music and put out a sound that is unique. They have been compared to the early Stones. There is nothing "pop" about them. They really rock. Also recommended is their CD Aha Shake Heartbreak.

Fish Michigan: 50 Rivers

by Tom Huggler
1124084.jpg In addition to being the editor of the Canton Observer, I am also the editor of Michigan's Streamside Journala publication I started in 2003 with Jeff Counts. It was really a way that I could write about some of my favorite subjectsthe outdoors and fishing. I particularly enjoy stream fishing, because the solitude it usually offers soothes my soul and helps me get away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Fortunately, our state boasts thousands of miles of streams, and his books do a fine job of helping anglers like myself find the best for fishing. Huggler, who is a fine writer, includes famous rivers like the Au Sable and Manistee, to the obscure like the Ocqueoc River. It includes maps and access points, and describes what species can be caught in which rivers, as well as countless other details. I never go Up North without this book and its sequel, Fish Michigan: 50 More Rivers.

The Black Robe

1335151.jpg This movie gives a great portrayal of New France, of which Detroit was part, during the colonial age in North America. It also conveys the major cultural differences between Native Americans and the French, who tried to convert them to Christianity. The film takes place in the Canadian wilderness during the early 17th century, and follows a young Jesuit priest who travels with an Algonquin tribe on his way to a mission in the country of the Hurons. I studied the history of New France in Ottawa, Canada, and found this movie to be the best portrayal of that era, and the peoples who populated our region at the time.

Travels With Charley: In Search of America

by John Steinbeck
1211329.jpg Steinbeck details his quest across America, from Maine to California, with his French poodle, Charlie. If you love a good road tripthe open road, meeting unusual but interesting people, perhaps discovering details about yourselfyou will enjoy this book. Driving his pick-up truck/camper, Steinbeck visits places including Yellowstone and San Francisco. Along the way, he reflects on the American character. Even though the book was published in the early 1960s, Steinbeck's observations still hold up.