Tom Powers / Michigan in Books Review of U.P. Reader #4

Review by Tom Powers, Michigan in Books

U. P. Reader, 4th Volume
Mikel B.Classen, editor

U.P. Reader Volume #4 released April 2020

This fourth annual showcase of the best short works by U. P. writers once again entertains, enlightens, and most importantly raises the awareness of the literary talent to be found north of Big Mac. The 45 pieces included here include U.P. history, poetry, short stories, reportage, humor, biographical essays, a U.P. notable booklist, and section of award-winning essays by young people.

I was delighted to see Larry Buege has once again climbed aboard his literary hobby horse and describes a homeowner’s confrontation with an infestation of the Amorous Spotted Slug (A.S.S.). Larry has been writing about A.S.S. in earlier U. P. Readers in a noble but fruitless effort to make these gastropod mollusks Michigan’s state slug. I would also like to encourage Buege to write about the whale sightings in Lake Superior and take up the equally important cause of naming a Michigan state whale.

There is a transcript of a talk by Karen Dionne, author of the “Marsh King’s Daughter,” in which she recounts her journey from being a moderately successful author of two environmental thrillers to the wildly popular author of the above book. Her talk also gives tips to would-be novelists and what she learned about writing that led to being a bestselling author. The Whiteout by Rich Hill tells the dramatic story of his friend Allen who went ice fishing on the great lake and couldn’t find his way to shore when a whiteout struck and died.

A most unexpected and fascinating piece by Deborah K. Frontiera tells the story of the formation of U. P. sandstone, most of which is told from the stone’s point of view. Over the course of a million years and tons of pressure, the deposited sand became sandstone. In the 1800s it was mined and shipped to Calumet where the stone was used to build St. Anne’s church. The sandstone has seen the church sold and turned into an antique shop. A few years later the building was bought with donations and with a state grant was beautifully restored and became the Keweenaw Heritage Center. Other works describe shipwrecks and heroic rescues, a tribute to a father, the descent of a mother into dementia, and the story of a U.P. deer camp.

There is a lot to enjoy in this fine collection of short works by a surprising abundance of very good writers found north of the Straits of Mackinac.

U.P. Reader: Bringing Upper Michigan Literature to the World, 4th Volume, Mikel B Classen editor. Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, 2020, $16.95 pb.

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Points North

SKU 978-1-61599-490-8
$27.95
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Featuring more than 150 color photos of the U.P.'s most beautiful, historic, and natural locations!

I've spent many years exploring the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.), and one thing has become apparent: no matter what part in which you find yourself, fascinating sights are around every corner. There are parks, wilderness areas and museums. There are ghost towns and places named after legends. There are trails to be walked and waterways to be paddled. In the U.P., life is meant to be lived to the fullest. In this book, I've listed 40 destinations from every corner of the U.P. that have places of interest. Some reflect rich history, while others highlight the natural wonders that abound. So, join in the adventures. The Upper Peninsula is an open book--the one that's in your hand.

"Without a doubt, Mikel Classen's Points North needs to be in every library, gift shop and quality bookstore throughout the country--particularly those located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Not only does Classen bring alive the U.P. through his polished words, his masterful use of color photography also makes this book absolutely beautiful. Points North will long stand as a tremendous tribute to one of the most remarkable parts of our country."
--Michael Carrier, author, Murder on Sugar Island

"Mikel Classen's love for Michigan's Upper Peninsula shines from every page in Points North, a fascinating insider's guidebook to the exceptional beauty and history of Michigan's far north. Whether you're still in the planning stages of your trip, or you're looking back fondly on the memories you created--even if you wish merely to enjoy a virtual tour of the Upper Peninsula's natural wonders from the comfort of your armchair, you need this book."
--Karen Dionne, author of the international bestseller, The Marsh King's Daughter

"Many of the places in Points North may sound familiar, but Classen has spent time exploring them all, finding out the wonders others drive by and miss. And some of them may baffle you as much as they did me: the UP has a WWII glider museum? Classen has scoured every inch of the UP, visiting every campground, ghost town, lighthouse, waterfall, and beach that you may have never heard of. This book is full of surprises for even the most knowledgeable visitors to the UP. And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself marking up the pages, making notes of places you have to visit next time you’re up north."
--Steve Lehto, author of Death's Door: The Truth Behind the Strike of 1913 and the Italian Hall Disaster and Michigan's Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton

"Until I read this book, I had not realized the large number of hidden treasures that the U.P. has. More than just an interesting history, this book is a descriptive roadmap to these treasures. Points North can be used as a guide to an adventure you would never have known about on your own. The pictures and place descriptions here are fantastic! These hidden locations have suddenly become easy to find with this book. I recommend it highly."
--Bob Hruska, author of Humorous Hunting, Fishing, and Camping in the U.P. and Canada

Learn more at www.PointsNorthBooks.com

From Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com

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