TRAVERSE CITY — Summer reading is often light — and mystery and romance authors are among those who will visit Traverse City this summer as part of the National Writers Series. But the beefed-up season lineup also includes authors whose books range in subject from national politics to human struggles with tragedy.
“It’s a lot more events than we usually do in the summer,” said National Writers Series Executive Director Anne Stanton. “It will be a lot of fun. The conversation is always enlightening.”
Stanton announced the first author in April — New York Times bestseller Daniel H. Pink — but just released the complete summer lineup.
Pink talks about his book “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” with guest host Angie Morgan, a leadership consultant, on June 26.
“It’s a very useful book,” Stanton said. “He knows how to motivate people and always come up with big surprises.”
Crime novelist Steve Hamilton and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bryan Gruley interview each other on June 27. Gruley's newest Michigan-based mystery is titled “Bleak Harbor.” Stanton said the format is a first for the series.
Douglas Brinkley takes the stage with host John U. Bacon in mid-July to discuss “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” Stanton said she is particularly interested in the conversation the book’s topic sparks.
“It celebrates the first man to walk on the moon,” she said of the 1969 event. “It was a big deal for me. I think I was 11.”
Two additional authors will appear toward summer’s end: Karl Marlantes and Tanya Anne Crosby. Marlantes debuts his novel, “Deep River,” a saga about Finnish immigrants in the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the 20th century. Stanton said the author was one of the earliest to visit, first appearing on the series in 2010.
Leelanau County resident Rose Hollander said she has already read Crosby’s women's fiction novel, “Everyday Lies,” but plans to reread it at a slower pace to prepare for her conversation with the author.
“Tanya recommended me,” Hollander said of her upcoming debut as a guest host. “She and I are good friends and neighbors. We share an interest in food. We connect over food and gardening.”
She said she is looking forward to the event and is glad to interview a local author.
“It will be like sitting in the living room together talking,” she said. “There’s a lot of questions I still have for Tanya. I’ll be learning as much as everyone else in the audience.”
Hollander is also a book club aficionado. She started a group 29 years ago when she moved to Suttons Bay and members still meet monthly to discuss “the greater things in the world besides work and our families.”
Stanton said that idea is behind the series’ Aug. 29 event: the “Summer Book Club Social” — the third the National Writer Series has hosted. The evening features an announcement of the fall 2019 lineup, a book exchange and refreshments.
“It’s really to celebrate book lovers,” Stanton said. “It’s a more social event.”
The National Writers Series hosts its summer events from June 26 through Aug. 29 at City Opera House. Tickets are available online or by calling the City Opera House box office at 231-941-8082.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct an editor's error. Tanya Anne Crosby’s “Everyday Lies” is a women’s fiction novel. — June 17, 2019