Michigan Notable 2016

Every year, the Library of Michigan selects up to twenty of the most notable books, either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected books are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date. Each selected title speaks to our state’s rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage and proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories are found in the Great Lakes State.

Michigan is rich in good writers and the Library of Michigan is proud to honor and celebrate this wonderful literary heritage each year with the Night for Notables and with the annual grant-funded authors’ tour to libraries throughout the state.

Michigan Notable Books is an annual program with roots stretching back to Michigan Week 1991. In 2004, the name changed from Read Michigan to Michigan Notable Books. In 2002, The Michigan Department of History, Arts, and Libraries took over Read Michigan and Michigan Week. In October 2009, The Library of Michigan went to The Michigan Department of Education, bringing the Michigan Notable Books program with it.

-The Library of Michigan

Here are some of the 2016 winners from our catalog! Take a look at the 2016 page to see more titles.

drfkidDiego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit
Rosenthal, Mark
From April 1932 through March 1933, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent time in Detroit while Rivera created his Detroit Industry murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Kahlo, meanwhile, developed her own artistic identity. For this catalogue, featuring more than 100 color illustrations, Mark Rosenthal and a team of scholars have written essays that examine the artists, the city of Detroit in this period, and the commissioning of the murals by Edsel Ford, and William Valentiner, then director of the Detroit Institute.
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m-trainM Train
Smith, Patti
An odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.” From Greenwich Village to Mexico to Berlin to New York’s Far Rockaway, she weaves reflections on the writer’s craft, on artistic creation and her personal life.
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mtydMothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories
Campbell, Bonnie Jo
A new story collection of fearless and darkly funny tales about women and those they love. The strong but flawed women of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters must negotiate a sexually charged atmosphere as they love, honor, and betray one another against the backdrop of all the men in their world. Relationships can be lifelines, anchors, or they can sink a woman like a stone. In "My Dog Roscoe," a new bride becomes obsessed with the notion that her dead ex-boyfriend has returned to her in the form of a mongrel. In "Blood Work, 1999," a phlebotomist's desire to give away everything to the needy awakens her own sensuality. In "Home to Die," an abused woman takes revenge on her bedridden husband.
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mndeMy Near-Death Adventures (99% True!)
DeCamp, Alison
This is a story about a boy on a mission to find his long-lost father in the logging camps of Michigan. Armed with his stupendous scrapbook, full of black-and-white 19th-century advertisements and photos, 11-year-old Stan’s attempt to locate his long-lost hero/cowboy/outlaw dad is a near-death adventure fraught with pesky relatives, killer lumberjacks, and poisonous pies! His tale will leave readers in stitches, but not the kind that require medical attention.
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oiagcOnce in a Great City: A Detroit Story
Maraniss, David
As David Maraniss captures it Detroit summed up America’s path to music and prosperity that was already past history. In 1963 Detroit’s leaders are among the most visionary in America: Grandson of the first Ford; Henry Ford II; influential labor leader Walter Reuther; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the amazing Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; super car salesman Lee Iacocca; Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, a Kennedy acolyte; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. Yet at its peak, Detroit was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.
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tplThe People's Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation's Longest-Serving Attorney General, Frank J. Kelley
Lessenberry, Jack
Frank J. Kelley was unexpectedly appointed Michigan’s attorney general at the end of 1961. He never suspected that he would continue to serve until 1999, a national record. He worked with everyone from John and Bobby Kennedy to Bill Clinton and jump-started the careers of dozens of politicians and public figures. In The People’s Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation’s Longest-Serving Attorney General, Kelley and co-author Jack Lessenberry chronicle Kelley’s early life as the son of second-generation Irish immigrants, and how he became a respected Democratic Party leader.
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rwobRose Water and Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen
Abood, Maureen
Maureen Abood's childhood, growing up as a Lebanese-American in Michigan, inspired her to launch her blog, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms. In her book of the same name, she revisits the recipes she was reared on, exploring her heritage through its most-beloved foods and chronicling her versions of traditional cuisine. Taking an ingredient-focused approach that makes the most of every season’s bounty, Maureen presents more than 100 irresistible recipes that will delight readers with their evocative flavors. Woven throughout are the stories of Maureen’s Michigan upbringing, the path that led her to culinary school and to launch her blog, and life in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
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scrapperScrapper
Bell, Matt
Scrapper, a novel, is a devastating reimagining of one of America’s greatest cities, its beautiful architecture, its lost houses, shuttered factories, boxing gyms, and storefront churches. Detroit has descended into ruin. A scrap metal thief finds a kidnapped boy, is celebrated as a hero and becomes his erstwhile avenger, forcing him into a confrontation with his own past and long-buried traumas.
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turnerThe Turner House
Flourney, Angela
Flournoy’s debut novel follows the Turner family of Detroit’s east side. The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated American brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled Detroit, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs.
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x-a-novelX: A Novel
Shabazz, Ilyasah & Magoon, Kekla
Featuring the award winning writer Kekla Magoon and co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, this riveting and revealing tween novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world. X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.
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yamasaki-detroitYamasaki in Detroit: A Search for Serenity
Gallagher, John
Best-known for the World Trade Center in New York City, Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986) worked to create moments of surprise, serenity, and delight in distinctive buildings around the world. In his adopted home of Detroit, Yamasaki produced many important designs that range from public buildings to offices and private residences. In Yamasaki in Detroit: A Search for Serenity, author John Gallagher presents both a biography of Yamasaki and surveys select projects spanning from the late 1940s to the end of Yamasaki's life.
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