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2003 Read Michigan Selections

Committee members include Kim Laird, Kris Rzepczynski, and Randy Riley, all of the Library of Michigan and George Weeks, Detroit News.

The American Auto Factory, by Byron Olsen and Joseph Cabadas.  Motorbooks International.

Emphasizing Michigan's critical role, this book illustrates the history and development of the automotive manufacturing plant from its birth to the present day, including the contributions of Henry Ford, Ransom E. Olds, Walter P. Chrysler and Alfred P. Sloan.

Black Eden: The Idlewild Community, by Lewis Walker and Benjamin C. Wilson. Michigan State University Press.

Incorporating oral interviews and photographs, the authors study the African-American resort community in Lake County, its important role as a gathering place and source of cultural identity in a segregated society, and its decline and revitalization.

Detroit Free Press Time Frames: Our Lives in 2001, Our City at 300, Our Legacy in Pictures, edited by Nancy Andrews, Peter Gavrilovich, and Mauricio Gutierrez. Detroit Free Press.

Using vivid images from the Detroit Free Press, this oversize book captures the essence of Detroit and its environs at the city's 300th anniversary.

The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations That Shaped the World, by Russ Banham. Artisan.

Incorporating numerous photographs and archival images, this book celebrates the Ford Motor Company's centennial and explores such important achievements as the assembly line, the famed Model T and the "Arsenal of Democracy" during World War II.

A good boat speaks for itself : Isle Royale fishermen and their boats, by Timothy Cochrane and Hawk Tolson.  University of Minnesota Press.

Interviews with commercial fishermen and detailed studies of their fishing boats highlight this rich study of Isle Royale's maritime past.

Hamtramck: The Driven City, by Greg Kowalski. Making of America (series). Arcadia Publishing.

A history of the tiny ethnic community, complete with a discussion of the city's namesake, its Polish heritage, the closing of the Dodge Main plant and the recent influx of new immigrants.  The ongoing Making of America series also examines other Michigan communities, including Detroit and Northville.

John Engler: The Man, the Leader, and the Legacy, by Gleaves Whitney. Sleeping Bear Press.

Incorporating remarks from both supporters and critics, this biography of Michigan's 46th governor examines his family life, legislative career, gubernatorial achievements and setbacks, and his historical legacy.

Lake Michigan Passenger Steamers, by George W. Hilton.  Stanford University Press.

This well-illustrated book examines the development, rise and decline of the passenger steamer industry on Lake Michigan and contains detailed corporate histories of the ten major operators, including the Goodrich Transit Company and the Northern Michigan Transportation Company.

Last Year's Jesus: A Novella and Nine Stories, by Ellen Slezak.  Theia.

The author's Detroit upbringing resonates throughout this debut collection of vivid short stories.

The Log Cabin Church, by Ellen Howard. Illustrated by Ronald Himler. Holiday House.

In this children's book set on the Michigan frontier, settlers discuss building a church, as a young girl slowly realizes its importance to the community.

Off to the Side: A Memoir, by Jim Harrison. Atlantic Monthly Press.

One of Michigan's most acclaimed authors writes candidly and poignantly about his rugged Michigan childhood, coming-of-age, literary influences, personal struggles and his passion for hunting and trout fishing.

Open the Door: The Life and Music of Betty Carter, by William R. Bauer. University of Michigan Press.

Drawn from interviews with the Detroit-born jazz performer, this book studies her life as a singer and businesswoman, her musical contributions and her influence on jazz today.

Preserve, Protect and Defend: An Illustrated History of the Michigan State Police in the Twentieth Century, by Phillip D. Schertzing.  Turner Publishing Company.

Incorporating archival photographs and personal recollections, this history studies the State Police's officers and activities from its origins and development up to the present day.

Public Gardens of Michigan, by Miriam Easton Rutz.  Michigan State University Press.

This colorful book highlights the beauty and architectural design found in the public gardens across Michigan, including the Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids and the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor.

A Smile as Big as the Moon: A Teacher, His Class, and Their Unforgettable Journey, by Michael Kersjes with Joe Layden.  St. Martin's Press.

This remarkable story tells of the author's successful efforts to bring his Forest Hills Northern special education class to NASA's Space Camp.

Vintage Views of Leelanau County, by M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson.  Sleeping Bear Press.

The historical photographs, postcards and tourist advertisements in this book help capture a distinctive era of Leelanau's past on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Wanigan: A Life on the River, by Gloria Whelan. Illustrated by Emily Martindale.  Alfred A. Knopf.

As her family and a team of lumberjacks journey downriver, a nineteenth-century young girl experiences Michigan's timber country.

West to Far Michigan: Settling the Lower Peninsula, 1815-1860, by Kenneth E. Lewis.  Michigan State University Press.  This book studies how the initial settlement and agricultural development of the mid-nineteenth-century frontier helped shape Michigan's expansion and growth into a modern industrial state.

White Hurricane: A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster, by David G. Brown. International Marine.  Complete with harrowing personal recollections and local newspaper accounts, this book examines the autumn gales of November 1913, when more than forty Great Lakes ships were lost or stranded.

Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors, by Ivan H. Walton with Joe Grimm.  Wayne State University Press.

Shedding light on the daily life of a Great Lakes sailor, this book contains music, lyrics and brief histories of dozens of chanteys and songs on sailing, lumbering and lake disasters.

Updated 07/01/2010