U.P. Notable Books Club

U.P. Notable Books Club

Each month, the U.P. Notable Books Club brings you another award-winning author Q&A from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. These writers have been awarded the U.P. Notable Books Award and host a lively discussion with a dial-in audience as moderated by Evelyn Gathu, Director of the Crystal Falls District Community Library in Crystal Falls, Michigan. read less

S3: E8: The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County by Sharon Kennedy
Jan 15 2023
S3: E8: The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County by Sharon Kennedy
Season 3: Episode 8--The UP Notable Book Club presents author Sharon Kennedy speaking about her book The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List.  For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org  www.UPNotable.com  www.authorsharonkennedy.com  SHARON M. KENNEDY resides on the land of her youth near the country town of Brimley in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She’s surrounded by childhood memories and a way of life that is no more. Instead of relying on intricate plots and schemes, her stories are driven by the characters and their interactions with each other, their teachers, and their parents. The authenticity and innocence of the kids will remind adults of days gone by. Ms. Kennedy writes a weekly newspaper column for The Sault News and the Cheboygan Tribune. She authored Life in a Tin Can, a random collection of previously published columns. Sharon's most recent book, View from the SideRoad: A Collection of Upper Peninsula Stories was just released. Her work also appears in all seven issues of the U.P. Reader. The SideRoad Kids follows a group of boys and girls as they enter the sixth grade in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during 1957 - 58. This meandering collection of loosely-connected short stories is often humorous, poignant, and sometimes mysterious. Laugh as the kids argue over Halloween treats handed out in Brimley. Recall Dorothy's Hamburgers in Sault Ste. Marie. Follow a Sugar Island snowshoe trail as the kids look for Christmas trees. Wonder what strange blue smoke at Dollar Settlement signifies. Discover the magic hidden in April snowflakes. Although told by the kids, adults will remember their own childhood as they read about Flint, Candy, Squeaky, Katie, and their friends.
S3: E7: The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi by Carole Hare
Dec 9 2022
S3: E7: The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi by Carole Hare
Season 3: Episode 7--The UP Notable Book Club presents author Carole Hare speaking about her book The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List.  For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org  www.UPNotable.com  www.carolehare.com  CAROLE HARE graduated from high school in Manistique, Michigan and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business education from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She taught school for three years in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. She later received her master’s degree in counseling from Northern Michigan University. Carole worked as a counselor for twenty-seven years, twenty-three of those as a school counselor and teacher in Marquette Area Public Schools. After retiring, she moved back to Manistique to live near her elder father. She currently is employed as a child and family counselor at the Manistique Tribal Center and spends much of her free time researching and learning more about her Native American ancestors. She has two successful adult sons, two amazing daughters-in-law, and five adorable grandchildren who reside in Seattle, Washington, and St. Petersburg, Florida. "The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi, by Carole Lynn Hare, is a retelling of the eponymous myth as passed down through generations of Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa (Ojibwe) Indian band. The author, whose Native American name is Miskwa Anang Kwe, has an intimate connection to this legend. Although packaged in a slim 24-page chapbook format, The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi tells a gripping story and includes several illustrations by Manistique-area artist Ryan Gilroy.
S3: E6: The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
Nov 11 2022
S3: E6: The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
Season 3: Episode 6--The UP Notable Book Club presents author Karen Dionne speaking about her book The Wicked Sister. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List.  For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org  www.UPNotable.com  Karen Dionne's Website  Karen Dionne’s award-winning novels set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness have been translated into dozens of languages and landed on bestseller lists around the world. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Wicked Sister “A devastating, magic realism–dusted psychological thriller... Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop,” selecting it as one of the best books of the year. She comes by her knowledge of the U.P. wilderness by dint of her having built and lived in a cabin off-the-grid near St. Ignace for three years with her husband and infant daughter. Karen has been active in the writing community for over twenty years. She co-founded the online writers community Backspace, organized the Backspace Writers Conferences in New York and the Salt Cay, Bahamas Writers Retreat, and served on the board of directors of the International Thriller Writers. Her previous book, The Marsh King’s Daughter, was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel, The Marsh King's Daughter will soon be released as a movie starring Daisey Ridley ("The Force Awakens") and Ben Mendelsohn.
S3: E5 Great Lakes Monsters & Mysteries by Brad Blair & Tim Ellis
Oct 14 2022
S3: E5 Great Lakes Monsters & Mysteries by Brad Blair & Tim Ellis
Season 3: Episode 5--The UP Notable Book Club presents authors Brad Blair and Tim Ellis speaking about their book Great Lakes Monsters and Mysteries. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List.  For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org  www.UPNotable.com  https://yoopernaturalhaunts.com/  eagleradio951.com/creaking-door  saultstemarie.com/events-calendar/michigan-paranormal-convention/  TIM ELLIS is a veteran paranormal investigator, who has traveled the country looking for the strange and weird, and in 1999 started the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society with Brad Blair and Steve LaPlaunt. He is the co-host of Creaking Door Paranormal Radio, former host of TAPS Family Radio, co-founder of the Michigan Paranormal Convention, and co-author of the Paranormal hit books, Yoopernatural Haunts and Great Lakes Monsters and Mysteries. He has been featured in documentaries and numerous publications, including USA Today, The Detroit Free Press, and Lake Superior Magazine.   BRAD BLAIR is the co-host of Creaking Door Paranormal Radio, veteran paranormal researcher and author. In 1999 he founded the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society with Tim Ellis and Steve LaPlaunt. Brad has investigated claims of paranormal activity across the US and other Countries, including England, and Cuba. He has contributed to numerous books and documentaries on the paranormal, has appeared in various publications, and is co-founder of the Michigan Paranormal Convention. In their latest book, Ellis and Blair expand their area of interest, stretching their paranormal research across the entire great lakes region, and enveloping more than just ghosts and cryptids. (A cryptid, for those who don’t know, is a creature for which there is no physical or scientific evidence, but still has people who believe it exists. The most popular of these being the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.) "They take an approach with this book that makes it stand out from others I’ve read in the same genre, by mixing the historical research they’ve done with seemingly unbelievable tales. I’ve lived my whole life here and never heard some of the stories, which I really appreciated. I like being able to learn a little bit about the actual history of the area while I’m trying to scare myself silly.
S3: E4 Once Upon a Twin by Raymond Luczak
Sep 12 2022
S3: E4 Once Upon a Twin by Raymond Luczak
The UP Notable Book Club presents author Raymond Luczak speaking about his book Once Upon a Twin. The Crystal Falls Community District Library in partnership with the U.P. Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) presents author events with winners of the UP Notable Book List.  Make sure to like and subscribe so you don't miss any future UP Notable Book Club speakers! For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org www.UPNotable.com www.raymondluczak.com www.youtube.com/deafwoof RAYMOND LUCZAK (pronounced with a silent "c") is perhaps best known for his books, films, and plays. He was raised in Ironwood, a small mining town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Number seven in a family of nine children, he lost much of his hearing due to double pneumonia at the age of eight months. After high school graduation, Luczak went on to Gallaudet University, in Washington, D.C., where he earned a B.A. in English, graduating magna cum laude. He learned American Sign Language (ASL) and became involved with the deaf community, and won numerous scholarships in recognition of his writing, including the Ritz-Paris Hemingway Scholarship. He took various writing courses at other schools in the area, which culminated in winning a place in the Jenny McKean Moore Fiction Workshop at the George Washington University. In 1988, he moved to New York City. In short order, his play Snooty won first place in the New York Deaf Theater’s 1990 Samuel Edwards Deaf Playwrights Competition, and his essay "Notes of a Deaf Gay Writer" won acceptance as a cover story for Christopher Street magazine. Soon after Alyson Publications asked him to edit Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay & Lesbian Reader, which, after its appearance in June 1993, eventually nabbed two Lambda Literary Award finalist nominations (Best Lesbian and Gay Anthology, and Best Small Press Book). He hasn't stopped since! In 2005, he relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he continues to write, edit, and publish.
S3: E3: U.P. Colony by Phil Bellfy
Aug 16 2022
S3: E3: U.P. Colony by Phil Bellfy
The UP Notable Book Club presents author Phil Bellfy speaking about his book "U.P. Colony". PHIL BELLFY, PhD, is the Editor and Publisher of the Ziibi Press, Enrolled Member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Indigenous Border Issues (CSIBI), and Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies, Michigan State University. He has been involved in environmental issues, at the Tribal, international, national, state, and local levels for over 45 years. He is also a Lay Advocate, qualified and admitted to practice Tribal Law in the Courts of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Bellfy is also the author of Indians and Other Misnomers: A Cross-Reference Dictionary of the People, Persons, and Places of Native North America, Three Fires Unity: The Anishnaabeg of the Lake Huron Borderlands, and the editor of Honor the Earth: Indigenous Response to Environmental Degradation in the Great Lakes, 2nd Ed. You'll be joined by readers from around the Upper Peninsula in a lively question and answer session with the author. " Beginning in the 1600s, French, then British, and finally American John Jacob Astor, made millions shipping out furs without returning the tiniest fraction to the areas from which those furs came (and taking full advantage of the Native American population in the process). Once Michigan became a state, “downstate” interests dominated the Upper Peninsula. While many small companies began the copper and iron booms, they were eventually bought out (or died of themselves), creating monopolies controlled by out-of-area boards of directors who invested the money they “earned” in the U.P. in other operations elsewhere, then left when copper, iron, and timber played out, leaving the U.P. destitute. Bellfy demonstrates the same pattern in one city, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and shows how the lack of other industries brought to the area do develop its resources affected the process. The author also shows how the pattern of exploitation continues today in a 2021 updated conclusion to his original thesis". Read the complete review by Deborah K. Frontiera at U.P. Book Review. For more information please visit the links below www.UPPAA.org  www.UPNotable.com  www.modernhistorypress.com/store/Phil-Bellfy-c125290277
S3: E2: Woodburnings: The First Five Years by Joanna Walitalo
Jul 19 2022
S3: E2: Woodburnings: The First Five Years by Joanna Walitalo
The UP Notable Book Club presents author Joanna Walitalo speaking about her book Woodburnings: The first Five Years.  Note: This epesode talks about images that were shown durning the presentation. To see these pictures please visit the UPPAA Youtube channel or visit Joanna Walitalo's website to see more. https://jwalitalowoodburning.com/  https://youtu.be/DixKE7do3pM  JOANNA WALITALO grew up in Oil City, Michigan where she took art classes at Bullock Creek Schools taught by Mr. Matherne and Mr. Myers; both very talented artists, and teachers with endless patience. She earned a BS degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Central Michigan University, and took art classes at the Midland Center for the Arts, where she had the opportunity to study under Armin Mersmann. While studying at CMU, she took art classes form Dietmar Krumrey II and Michael Volker. From there, she moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she earned a Master of Forestry at Michigan Technological University. A strong love of the outdoors, and wild places, has led her to incorporate her passion for art with her professional education in order to bring the beauty of wildlife and wild places closer to the general public through scientifically accurate artwork. By far, the artist that influenced Joanna the most throughout her life has been her mom, Barb Rogers, who taught art at Coleman Middle School, MI, for many years, and always encouraged and guided Joanna to incorporate art into all her endeavors. Today, Joanna continues to live with her loving husband James, and son Little James, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, working as an artist and illustrator. "The art book is divided into chapters of Early Work, Wildlife (birds, trees and flowers, other wildlife, fish) Portraits and people, Pets (often commissioned and more dogs than cats), Puzzles, Mystic, as well as “spotlights” on people who influenced the art. One quickly sees that this artist has a wonderful style that she applies to a wide variety of topics. Her realism and attention to detail lets us see moods and personality in the eyes of her subjects—human or otherwise. While she may do several variations of one subject or theme, each is unique in terms of details and the type of wood used.
S3: E1: Tin Camp Road by Ellen Airgood
Jun 10 2022
S3: E1: Tin Camp Road by Ellen Airgood
The UP Notable Book Club presents author Ellen Airgood speaking about her book "Tin Camp Road". Ellen Airgood grew up on a farm in Michigan’s thumb, where her favorite things to do were read books, ride horses, swing in her tire swing, and write stories. She almost left the University of Michigan after her first year to go back home and farm, but did return to school after her parents offered to cosign the loan for the new fencing she’d need to raise beef cattle on their eighty acres, the only crop they considered feasible. (She was a vegetarian at the time.) She graduated with a Bachelor’s Science from the School of Natural Resources and Environment and now lives on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, where she writes and owns a diner along with her husband. She is the author of three novels published by Penguin Books, including Michigan Notable Book and Midwest Bestseller, South of Superior the award-winning Prarie Evers, a Bank Street Best Book for middle-grade readers. Her work also appears in The Way North: New Upper Peninsula Writings, Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the upcoming Bob Seger's House. Learn more at https://www.ellenairgood.com/ TIN CAMP ROAD: Set against the wide open beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a wise, big hearted novel in which a young single mother and her ten-year-old daughter stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive. Laurel Hill and her precocious daughter Skye have always been each other’s everything. The pair live on Lake Superior, where the local school has classes of just four children, and the nearest hospital is a helicopter ride away. Though they live frugally, eking out a living with Laurel’s patchwork of jobs, their deep love for each other feels like it can warm them even on the coldest of nights. What more do they need?
S2: E3: Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey by William Sproule
Dec 17 2021
S2: E3: Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey by William Sproule
If you’ve got a taste for hockey nostalgia, the local history of the Copper Country, or you just enjoy one of Michigan’s most popular winter pastimes, you will enjoy William J. Sproule’s Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey for the humanity it brings to the players and their cold winter sagas of the early 1900s. Dr. William Sproule, a recently retired professor of civil and environmental engineering from Michigan Tech University, wrote the new book Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey with the hopes of cementing the Keewenaw’s crucial role in the development of this sport. Specifically, he tells the story of how a Canadian-born dentist and Houghton entrepreneur changed hockey by openly paying players to come to the Copper Country to play hockey. In 1900, Jack “Doc” Gibson moved from Canada, established his dental practice, and joined the Portage Lake YMCA hockey team. Gibson was already considered one of Canada’s finest players and led his newly joined team to win the Upper Peninsula Championship before going on to beat a Chicago team and hence be declared the “Champions of the West”. By 1903, Gibson had teamed up with local businessman James Dee had hatched a plan to recruit the best players from Canada and openly pay them to pay for the Portage Lake hockey team—thus making them the first-ever professional hockey team. The team’s home ice was the newly built Amphidrome arena which replaced the previous Palace Ice Rink down on the Houghton waterfront. The team did so well that they won the United States Championship in 1903 and 1904 seasons by defeating the Pittsburgh Bankers and Montreal Wanderers respectively. Truly the Copper Country had become a hotbed of professional hockey prowess in this early period. Sproule’s book concentrates on this period from 1900 to 1906 where the U.P. in general and Houghton in particular dominated the early seasons of professional hockey on this continent. He includes full reprints of contemporary sports news stories, photographs of venues, players, and their jerseys and equipment. Sproule does a deep dive into game statistics so you can learn the players’ names and how well they did game-by-game. By now you’re surely wondering, how and why did this happen in Houghton, as opposed to Minneapolis, Detroit, or even Montreal? Given that hockey was already the national pastime in Canada, why wouldn’t they have the first professional hockey teams? It turns out that the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) dominated the sport and their insistence on amateur teams eventually created the economic opportunity for Houghton. The town was ideally situated with rail links, courtesy of the copper mining industry, to move players from Canada into the US and from that vantage being able to field a team to challenge American teams as far away as Pennsylvania. The OHA’s amateur-only ethic was purely intended to keep working-class riff-raff off the ice so hockey could remain a gentleman’s sport. Of course team managers in Ontario were always trying to find a way around the no-pay-for-play rules and ended up awarding gold watches, diamond rings, and five-star hotel stays to the players—virtually anything and everything except cold cash was paid out. Even so, many top-tier Canadian players were eventually suspended for taking pay thanks to the cold-hearted John Ross Robertson, leader of OHA and prominent Toronto businessman. In one case, an entire team was suspended for accepting $10 gold coins as a reward for victory. It didn’t take long before Canada’s best players headed south of the border where they could sign on with American teams as far away as Pittsburgh and earn some kind of a living at it. William Sproule, author of Houghton – The Birthplace of Professional Hockey Sproule’s book excels in detail in the second half of the book where he dissects every game of those early seasons 1904, 1905, and 1906 where Copper Country teams ruled the professional leagues. Statistics for all the International Hockey League teams are provided, including teams from Calumet, Portage Lake, Michigan Soo, Canadian Soo, and Pittsburgh. Player-level detail shows Top Goal Scorers, Top Goalies, and even Penalty-Minute Leaders. A detailed biographical section provides player portraits and bios of all Portage Lake players and Hockey Hall of Famers. A complete IHL player roster provides career details that you won’t find all together in any other book about early hockey history. Sproule also provides archival quality pictures of all the local area hockey venues including the evolution of Houghton’s Amphidrome, the Calumet Glaciadom, and Calumet Colosseum. Last, but not least, a history of the Stanley Cup and McNaughton Cups provide historical backgrounds for these unique hockey award traditions. Sproule even covers rulebooks and rule changes from the original one-pager to more sophisticated rules which evolved surprisingly quickly.
S2: E1: I Spy...Isle Royale by Susanna Ausema
Nov 17 2021
S2: E1: I Spy...Isle Royale by Susanna Ausema
Author Susanna Ausema talks with the U.P. Notable Books Book Club about her award winning picture book "I Spy...Isle Royale" SUSAN AUSEMA spent her childhood summers on Isle Royale. Her father was a park ranger and her mother was a park volunteer for many years. After moving away in her teens, she returned to work at Isle Royale as a seasonal ranger during her college years. There she met her husband, Mike, also a ranger, in 1998. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, Susanna earned a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point, then worked as a permanent park ranger focusing on educational outreach at Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Redwood National Park. When her son, Jasper, was born, Susanna became a stay-at-home mom. When he was two years old, the family moved back to Isle Royale and Jasper began to explore the park as if it were his big backyard. Jasper loves books and Susanna loves to write, so she felt inspired to write a story for him about Isle Royale. After the text was complete, she looked around her pool of talented friends for someone who could illustrate it. None had the time to take on the (pro-bono) project, so Susanna picked up a paintbrush and started experimenting with watercolors. Jasper has helped her judge which styles and techniques are most interesting to a young audience, and together, they’ve created this book. Susanna’s husband is the park’s East District Ranger, so they spend their summer days exploring and adventuring on Isle Royale and reveling in the autumn colors and abundant snow in the Keweenaw Peninsula during the rest of the year. Susanna resumed her work on behalf of national parks in 2015 as the membership outreach manager for the nonprofit Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association. All proceeds from the sale of this book support these parks.
S1: E6: Go Find! by Susan Purvis
Nov 16 2021
S1: E6: Go Find! by Susan Purvis
Author Susan Purvis talks with the U.P. Notable Books Book Club about her award winning book Go Find! SUSAN PURVIS‘ love for adventure and medicine has taken her to the hottest, coldest, and highest places on earth: Ethiopia, Antarctica, and Nepal. As a wilderness medicine expert and extraordinary speaker, Susan has worked on film sets for National Geographic Channel, truTV, appeared on the science documentary, The Hottest Place on Earth, aired on the BBC and Discovery. She’s been featured or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, on CNN, television, numerous magazines, and newspaper articles. Since 1998, Susan has owned and operated Crested Butte Outdoors International, based in Whitefish, Montana. Her mission is to teach students how to think critically in unconventional settings. An explorer by passion, Susan combines wilderness medicine, desert survival, exploration geology, and K-9 search and rescue to land jobs on all seven continents. She teaches high-altitude medicine for the local Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest Guides. Susan has served as a medic at a remote field camp and ice breaker in Antarctica, explored for gold in the Dominican Republic and produced a documentary in the Amazon jungle. Susan also spent a decade working at an urgent care ski clinic in Crested Butte where she also worked as a professional ski patroller, guide, K-9 avalanche expert and SAR member. Susan was named a brand Ambassador for Marmot and received Congressional Recognition for her role in avalanche search and rescue.
S1: E3: Murder on Sugar Island by Michael Carrier
Nov 15 2021
S1: E3: Murder on Sugar Island by Michael Carrier
Author Michael Carrier talks with the U.P. Notable Books Book Club about his award winning book Murder on Sugar Island. MICHAEL CARRIER has published fourteen books of fiction, all centered on his main character, Jack Handler, a retired Chicago homicide detective. His books have been featured throughout the Midwest, mainly centering in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Michael Carrier never had a doubt that he would become a writer of fiction. When, as a journalism student in college, his professor asked him what he would like to do with his life, he told him that when he turned fifty years of age he would begin writing fiction. The professor was not pleased that Michael wanted to delay his career, and so challenged the rationale. Michael simply told him that he would not start writing novels until he had accumulated an appropriate inventory of life experiences. However, his professor, who happened to be the editor of a national weekly magazine, gave Michael a job writing for him. At various times in his life, Michael has driven truck throughout the US, hustled pool and gambled poker from Texas to Montana, traveled the country hitchhiking, spent five years in New York’s East Greenwich Village, delivered diamonds for a New York wholesaler (he disguised himself as a down-and-outer), tended bar at a New York nightclub, climbed dozens of water towers throughout the US, panned gold, skydived, and worked for over nearly three decades in private security.