Editor's note: This article was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's July 2021 issue. Pick up a free copy at area hotels, visitor's centers, chambers of commerce or at the Record-Eagle building on Front Street. Click here to read GT Scene in its entirety online.

The Trails of M22: 48 of the Most Beautiful Paths Along Michigan’s Most Beautiful Highway, 2nd Edition

by Jim DuFresne

M-22, the 116-mile state highway that wraps around Michigan’s little pinky like a glove, is quintessential Northern Michigan, a spectacular landscape of dunes and beaches, orchards and vineyards surrounded by a freshwater sea and dotted with small towns and harbors.

The Trails of M-22 is the first guidebook dedicated to leading you away from the pavement and into the dunes, forests and wetlands seen along 48 of Michigan’s most beautiful trails, including all the mainland trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The paths reward the adventurous with remote beaches, shoreline shipwrecks, outstanding birding opportunities and panoramic views that make you feel like you’re on the edge of the world.

The second edition of The Trails of M-22 is a guidebook blended with digital content. Trail maps in this book are accompanied by a QR code linking you to a larger and more detailed version on the MichiganTrailMaps.com website. Those maps can be downloaded onto a mobile device or printed and then used on the trail.

Our Michigan!: We Love the Seasons by Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen

For anyone who has ever dipped a toe in one of its Great Lakes, walked through one of its golden forests, or stood atop one of its sandy dunes, the natural beauty of Michigan is etched in the mind. From north to south and east to west, the state offers bountiful opportunities for outdoor enjoyment.

Written as a read-aloud for families to share, Our Michigan! We Love the Seasons is a nature walk through the state. Child-friendly text follows the four seasons, offering readers “you-are-there” armchair vacations through stunning visual postcard-like scenes. Arts and crafts activities using natural elements are featured in the back matter. Illustrated by acclaimed Michigan wildlife artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (The Legend of Sleeping Bear), Our Michigan! We Love the Seasons is a love letter to the state, celebrating its natural splendors, as well as an invitation to readers of all ages to head outdoors.

The Clover Girls

by Viola Shipman

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls—inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom—until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror.

Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time, to spend a week together revisiting the dreams they’d put aside and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever …

HOMES

by Moheb Soliman

Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior: HOMES. Moheb Soliman traces the coasts of the Great Lakes region with poems, exploring the nature of belonging in relation to land and the formation of identity along borders.

Moheb Soliman’s HOMES maps the shoreline of the Great Lakes from the rocky cliffs of Duluth, Minnesota, to the spray of Niagara Falls and back again. This poetic travelogue offers an intimate perspective on an immigrant experience as Soliman drives his Corolla past exquisite vistas and abandoned mines, through tourist towns and midwestern suburbs, searching for a place to claim as home. Against the backdrop of environmental destruction and a history of colonial oppression, the vitality of Soliman’s language brings a bold ecopoetic lens to bear on the relationship between transience and belonging in the world’s largest, most porous borderland.

Music, Lakes and Blue Corduroy: A Memoir of Interlochen

by Cindy Glovinsky

Music, Lakes, and Blue Corduroy: A Memoir of Interlochen traces the development of a young musician during the Cold War era, complete with the emotional issues faced by a gifted adolescent musician. This is a book for anyone who would like to know what it feels like to play in a symphony; to survive bouts of performance anxiety, a tyrannical genius conductor, and a ruthlessly competitive “challenge” system for orchestra chairs; to develop lifelong friendships and a love of Michigan lakes; and to fall under the spell of a magical place that continues to affect one’s life story long after one has moved on.

Gangsters Up North Mobsters, Mafia, and Racketeers in Michigan’s Vacationlands

by Robert Knapp

Gangsters play an important and colorful role in Michigan history. But what were they doing in Michigan’s vacationlands? Gangsters Up North provides the fascinating account of truth and myth. Al Capone, the Purple Gang, Fred “Killer” Burke, additional Public Enemies and many other hoodlums found their way Up North in fact or fiction. Some came for gambling, bootlegging, kidnapping, and murder. Others just wanted some rest and relaxation. For the first time, the whole colorful story can be told.

I Have Something to Tell You: A Memoir

by Chasten Buttigieg

Teacher Chasten Buttigieg has emerged on the national stage, having left his classroom in South Bend, Indiana, to travel cross-country in support of his husband, former mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Pete’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Through Chasten’s joyful, witty social media posts, the public gained a behind-the-scenes look at his life with Pete on the trail—moments that might have ranged from the mundane to the surprising, but that were always heartfelt.

Chasten has overcome a multitude of obstacles to get here. In this moving, uplifting memoir, he recounts his journey to finding acceptance as a gay man. He recalls his upbringing in Traverse City, Michigan, where he knew he was different. He recounts his coming out and how he’s healed from revealing his secret to his family, friends, community, and the world. With unflinching honesty, unflappable courage, and great warmth, Chasten relays his experience of growing up in America and embracing his true self, while inspiring others to do the same.

A Dog’s Courage: A Dog’s Way Home Novel

by W. Bruce Cameron

Bella was once a lost dog, but now she lives happily with her people, Lucas and Olivia, only occasionally recalling the hardships in her past. Then a weekend camping trip turns into a harrowing struggle for survival when the Rocky Mountains are engulfed by the biggest wildfire in American history.

The raging inferno separates Bella from her people and she is lost once more.

Alone in the wilderness, Bella unexpectedly finds herself responsible for the safety of two defenseless mountain lion cubs. Now she’s torn between two equally urgent goals.

More than anything, she wants to find her way home to Lucas and Olivia, but not if it means abandoning her new family to danger. And danger abounds, from predators hunting them to the flames threatening at every turn.

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