Torch Lake Leisure – Northern Michigan Reading

Woman lying in a hammock maybe near Torch Lake and enjoying a book reading

While kids whine about having to read an assigned book over the summer, many adults relish their time sunning on the deck, lounging on the dock, or undulating on the water, since they offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good book. What constitutes a good read, however, is not always easy to discern. But since we are enjoying time in Northern Michigan, why not investigate Northern Michigan authors?

A recent discovery of mine was Traverse City’s Mardi Jo Link, former journalist and police general assignment reporter turned super sleuth. Her early works are considered creative nonfiction and examine murders that took place in Northern Michigan including When Evil Came to Good Hart ’08 and Isadore’s Secret ’09. I recommend Wicked Takes the Witness Stand, set in Gaylord, as your introduction to Link’s investigative style. Readers will never see the court system the same way again. While I also enjoyed her memoir, Bootstrapper, it has not received strong reviews from everyone. Her most recent work, another memoir The Drummond Girls, was released July 14th and celebrates friendship and loyalty.

For more masculine appeal, Doug Stanton, another Traverse City local, has received accolades for his non-fiction works. In Harms Way (01), offers the account of a Navy cruiser sunk by Japan in 1945, throwing hundreds of survivors into shark infested waters. Then, although Horse Soldiers sounds like a Civil War story, it is actually a little known tale of a special forces mission in Afghanistan. This acclaimed work found its way to a 3 month stint on the New York Times Best Seller’s List. If those are agreeable, you might also try The Good Soldier, released in 09 by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter David Finkel, who brilliantly chronicles modern combat in Iraq.

Of course, there are many other local author’s you may want to explore including Paul Flower, The Redeeming Power of Brain Surgery; Alison DeCamp, My Near-Death Adventures; Richard Alan Hall, Remarkable and its sequel Seldom as They Seem. Flower, born in Lansing, offers suspense, DeCamp hails from the UP and offers humor, Hall, a critical care nurse who grew up on a Long Lake farm offers mystery. In addition, we have not examined essays, short stories, poetry, classics, children and teen literature, or other endless possibilities. I guess that means the discussion isn’t over as there is no limit to what the practice of reading offers.

In fact, according to, reading offers:
Mental Stimulation
Stress Reduction
Vocabulary Expansion
Memory Improvement
Stronger Analytical Skills
Improved Focus & Concentration
Improved Writing Skills
Free Entertainment

So, don’t let those whining children stop you. Pick up a good book, and while you are at it, pick one up for them as well. The benefits are undeniable and Northern Michigan is the perfect setting to read a good book.

Written by: Lin Opgenorth

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