Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) announces the 3rd Annual U.P. Notable Books List this week. UPPAA board member Mikel Classen (Sault Ste. Marie) initiated the effort as a response to the lack of representation of U.P. writers in other Michigan state literary circles. Classen said, “Traditionally, recognition of Michigan books has been dominated by the university presses downstate and we would like to take this opportunity to highlight literature that focuses closer to home for us.”
Evelyn Gathu, Director of the Crystal Falls District Community Library, will continue the library’s alliance with UPPAA to co-sponsor the U.P. Notable Book Club. The club is available to any U.P. resident and features monthly Zoom meetups with national bestselling U.P. Notable authors including Karen Dionne (The Wicked Sister). Members borrow the books from their local libraries or purchase at local stores prior to discussions. Presentations include author readings, a conversation on the making of the book, and a live Q&A with the audience. The next meeting is January 13th where In the Night of Memory will be discussed with author Linda LeGarde Grover.
To build this third annual list, UPPAA consulted with Upper Michigan booksellers, book reviewers, writers, and publishers to winnow down the notable books to a bare ten titles. You can find reviews of many of these books on the UP Book Review. It must be emphasized that the list is unranked, each title deserves equal merit as U.P. Notable Book. These ten books have been deemed essential reading for every U.P. lover and we highly recommend you ask your local librarian or booksellers for them today!
- Firekeeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley (Henry Holt & Co., 2021)
- Great Lakes Monsters and Mysteries – Brad Blair & Tim Ellis (Visionary Living, 2021)
- Tin Camp Road – Ellen Airgood (Riverhead Books, 2021)
- The Wicked Sister – Karen Dionne (G.P. Putnam, 2021)
- The Sideroad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County – Sharon Kennedy (Modern History Press, 2021)
- U.P. Colony: The Story of Resource Exploitation in Upper Michigan – Phil Belfy (Ziibi Press, 2021)
- Woodburnings: Highlights from the First Five Years – Joanna Walitalo (Modern History Press, 2021)
- The Home Wind by Terri Martin (Gnarly Woods Pub, 2021)
- Once Upon a Twin: Poems – Raymond Luczak (Gallaudet University Press, 2021)
- Legend of Kitch-iti-kipii by Carole Hare (self-published, 2021)
New Feature for 2022 – U.P. Notable Classics
The U.P. Notable Books Committee is proud to announce a new initiative called U.P. Notable Classics that highlights significant U.P. themed literature that has remained essential for at least 10 years. It is the committee’s hope that these books can bring enjoyment to a new generation of readers.
- Danny and the Boys: Being Some Legends of Hungry Hollow – Robert Traver (a.k.a. John Voelker) (World Pub, 1951)
- You Wouldn’t Like it Here: A Guide to the Real Upper Peninsula of Michigan – Lon & Lynn Emerick (Avery, 2007)
The U.P. Notable Books List will appear in the upcoming 6th volume of U.P. Reader, UPPAA’s own annual literary anthology featuring short stories, poetry and essays by its members. This successful publication helps spread the word about the organization, raise money for educational programming and encourages people in the Upper Peninsula and beyond to read U.P. writers. Complimentary copies of the U.P. Reader are available to all U.P. educators and media for the asking. The on-sale date is scheduled for April 15th. Consult your local bookseller for availability or purchase at Amazon. For more information, visit www.UPReader.org.
Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at www.uppaa.org. UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing and publishing books.