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Michigan Notable Books Program Offers Video Interviews With Its Authors

September 16, 2020

LANSING – The Michigan Notable Books program has added a new chapter in its history in a series of videos of fascinating and insightful conversations with its celebrated authors, the Library of Michigan (LM) announced today.

Viewers of the author conversations video series can explore the backgrounds of the authors on the 2020 Michigan Notable Book list, as well as uncover their creative processes, and hear readings from book selections.

“This innovative new series makes for a great expansion of our popular annual notable books list,” State Librarian Randy Riley said. “The series gives more exposure to the books and authors on the list and helps promote literacy and learning.” 

He said the series will become a fixture of future years’ programs.

Featured 2020 author conversations titles include: The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta; Camera Hunter: George Shiras III and the Birth of Wildlife Photography by James H. McCommons; Shades: Detroit Love Stories by Esperanza Cintrón; We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels; and All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner.

The videos are available on YouTube.

Tim Gleisner from the Library of Michigan’s special collections has read all of this year’s notable book selections and interviewed several of the authors. He said some authors read passages from their works, a couple opted to give their own presentations, and State Librarian Riley enthusiastically interviewed Dean Kuipers, who wrote The Deer Camp: A Memoir of a Father, A Family, and the Land That Healed Them

“They were so engaging,” Gleisner said of the authors. “What I found so amazing was that several of them are educators from universities to high schools.” 

The series includes 12 authors now, with five more author interviews being added in the coming weeks.

Every year, the LM selects up to 20 notable books either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected titles are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date.

The celebration of the state’s literary heritage, with roots stretching back to 1991, features the Night for Notables and the annual grant-funded authors' tour of libraries statewide.

For more information on the Notable Books program, visit the Notable Books website. A press release of this year’s Notable Books announcement is available on MDE's website.