Books, Music & Video

2014 Michigan Notable Books

20 books celebrating Michigan people, places, and events

The Library of Michigan has announced their list of Michigan Notable Books for 2014. “The Michigan Notable Books Program helps to show what is ‘great’ about the Great Lakes State,” said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. “It is amazing to see the quality of books that are written focusing on Michigan year after year,” added Robertson.

Annually, the Michigan Notable Books Program (MNB) began in 1991 as part of the Michigan Week celebration. The annual list features 20 books published in the previous calendar year that are about Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. Selections include nonfiction and fiction books that appeal to a variety of audiences and cover a range of topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents.

For more information about the MNB program call 517 373-1300, visit or email

2012 Michigan Notable Books

The Library of Michigan released the list of 2012 Michigan Notable Books - 20 books published in 2011 that highlight Michigan people, places and events.

“This year’s selections prove that persevering through economic and personal hardship is nothing new for Michiganians, and that this enduring and independent spirit has a long, rich history in the Great Lakes State,” said State Superintendent of Public Education Mike Flanagan.

A collection of Michigan ghost stories; a biography of one of the most recognized women in the Republican Party; a history of the role Jacobson’s department stores played in Michigan communities; fiction by nationally-recognized authors; and three children’s books that range from topics covering race relations, “what is art?” and teachers from Mars are among this year’s most notable Michigan books.

“This year’s Michigan Notable Books bring to life the Michigan experience through vivid storytelling that creates portraits of the people and places that make Michigan great,” State Librarian Nancy Robertson said. “Addressing Michigan’s natural beauty, its innovative leaders or the faith of its people, these books celebrate Michigan as a place and a people that even in the most trying of times find transformation.”

Each year, the Michigan Notable Books list features 20 books published during the previous calendar year that are about, or set in, Michigan or the Great Lakes region or are written by a native or resident of Michigan. You can see the list of 2012 winners (which includes works by Michigan poet & author Jim Harrison and Michael Moore) and also read the bios of authors. Below is a video from the recent “Night of Notables” celebration at the Library of Michigan.

The Daily Michigan: Mother’s Day Music from Earthwork

Today on The Daily Michigan we continue our Mother’s Day giveaways with a $30 Digital Download certificate from our good friends at Earthwork Music, another of our featured partners. 

While you can use the certificate for any three download discs they offer, we’re going to suggest that you select Mother Moon by May Erlewine (aka Daisy May). In addition to the beautiful title track, the album includes a very fitting song for mothers everywhere, Big Mama Brown.

Check out the video below and here’s wishing all the luck and fortune in the world for Michigan’s many mothers.

Click here to sign up

Flat, black & circular: a Michigan original

Flat, Black & Circular by Eridony
Flat, Black & Circular by Eridony

Saturday was Record Store Day, a national celebration of independently owned record stores and the art of music. Pitchfork Magazine, one of the premier independent music publications, posted their list of favorite used record stores in the country. Michigan got two shoutouts, Encore Records in Ann Arbor and Flat, Black & Circular in East Lansing. This particular review was written by Pitchfork editor-in-chief Mark Richardson who begins:

This is the first record shop I ever walked into. Flat, Black, and Circular, or FBC as it’s known to the locals in East Lansing, opened in 1977, and I was in there for the first time around 1980. I didn’t buy a record there for a few years, but this is where I discovered how fun it could be to poke around amongst obsessives. FBC’s most striking feature is an archway that frames the entrance, which is built from 45s. It’s in a nondescript sort of mall-like building that also houses offices and an assortment of retail shops– in the early 80s, a place opened across the hall called the CD Emporium, back when CDs were a major curiosity.

But FBC has outlasted them all. They have a glass display that features rare records assembled around a single theme. Many of these are local. These guys are collectors, and yet, somehow, they’ve managed to remain on top of things. I remember walking in after having been away from East Lansing for a number of years and being shocked at the collection of electronic and experimental vinyl.

FBC has a timeline that takes you from when FBC founder Dave Bernath called co-founder Dick Rosemont’s Audio Aftermath program on WKAR-FM to the opening of Flat, Black & Circular Recycled Sound in the Campus Town Mall on September 26, 1977 with such innovations as two extra turntables with headphones to audition albums while sitting on living room furniture and beyond.

Record Store Day had a special Michigan tie this year – it was also the birthday of their 2012 ambassador Iggy Pop.

Here’s a great interview with Dick & Dave on the occasion of their 30th year in business.

The Daily Michigan: Digital Downloads from Earthwork Music

Today on The Daily Michigan we have an offering from our good friends at Earthwork Music, another of our featured partners. They are offering 3 digital discs via Digital Download in their online store.

Earthwork Music believes in the power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and works to encourage original music in Michigan and beyond. Earthwork artists have been a driving force behind a lot of grass-roots efforts including The Water Festival and Guitars for Youth. With almost 30 artists in their stable, they are also one of Michigan’s most dynamic labels. At The Jammies music awards in Grand Rapids in February, Earthwork musicians took home several awards including Best Roots Album for The Red Sea Pedestrians (“The Electromagnetic Escape”), Best Americana album for Joshua Davis (Magnolia Belles) and the Listeners Choice Best New Artist for Laurel Premo & Michael Beauchamp who form the duo Red Tail Ring. Check them out in this great video from Michigan Music Monthly!

Click here to sign up (and to learn how you can win)

  • Mick-Morris-and-the-Ghost-Board-Posse
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    The Daily Michigan: Mick Morris and Ghost Board Posse books and more!

The Daily Michigan: Mick Morris and Ghost Board Posse books and more!

Today on The Daily Michigan we’re giving away a whole slew of items for the younger crowd courtesy of Mick Morris, Myth Solver and the Ghost Board Posse.

The Mick Morris Myth Solver Books are exciting adventure books for kids aged 7-12, and the winner will get books #1-5. The Myth Solvers go through daring adventures to see if the likes of aliens, Bigfoot and other scary myth creatures really exist, and every book has 5 different endings to choose from.

You’ll also get the Ghost Board Posse books #1 & 2 that take you along on the adventures of 5 extreme boarders on an international boarding tour who get mixed up with the paranormal and find one scary thrill after another. To round out the package there’s 2 stretchy aliens, 1 poster and the Sketch the Myths sketchbook – a fun lesson on how to draw fantastic myth creatures, step-by-step and in different styles.

That’s 8 books, 2 stretchy aliens and 1 poster! Get more on these creative and cool items for kids at the link above and don’t miss the video below.

Click here to sign up

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    The Daily Michigan: Michigan Fruit coloring book and a West Bay Gift Box

The Daily Michigan: Michigan Fruit coloring book and a West Bay Gift Box

Today on The Daily Michigan we have a bushel of cherry items to close out National Cherry Month on Absolute Michigan.

The first is the book Michigan Fruit by Susan Briggs with illustrations by Kristin Hurlin. Climate, soil and the moderating effects of the Great Lakes have made Michigan an ideal place to grow all kinds of fruit, so it’s no surprise that fruit plays an important role in the history, agriculture and economy of Michigan. This book takes you on a fruitful journey through the Michigan fruit growing season with history, lore, recipes and beautiful pictures to color!

Because man (and women and children) do not live by coloring alone, we have paired the book with the West Bay Gift Box from the Cherry Stop in downtown Traverse City. The Cherry Stop takes great pride in producing quality products using Michigan-grown fruits, and this box includes their Medium Cherry Salsa, Cherry Honey Mustard and Dried Red Tart Cherries! They have all kinds of cherry products in their store including clothing and items for the home and they carry over 260 wines from 22 local wineries in their Uncorked Wine Bar.

Click here to sign up (and to learn how you can win)

The Daily Michigan: As If We Were Prey by Michael Delp

“In understated prose that remarkably says more in one sentence that many writers do in a paragraph, Delp takes us inside the head and hearts of his male characters, all of whom share a certain melancholy, both eerie and familiar, all in a style reminiscent of another up-north renowned author, Jim Harrison.”
—Detroit News
Today on The Daily Michigan we’re giving away two books from Michigan author Michael Delp. Michael is a writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction whose works have appeared in numerous national publications. He also teaches creative writing at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

As If We Were Prey is a series of short stories set mostly in small-town northern Michigan. Delp follows boys and full-grown men who know how to fight, fish, and hunt, but struggle to use those skills to overcome the emptiness and dysfunction of their day-to-day lives. The book is one of Wayne State University’s Made in Michigan Writers Series and was a 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award medal-winner in the category of Fiction-Short Stories.

Michael is also including his book The Coast of Nowhere: Meditations on Rivers, Lakes, and Streams. It’s a collection of short prose meditations and poetry that embrace the motion and rhythm of moving water.

Click here to sign up

Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Michigan Way

Here’s a whole ton of Valentine’s Day ideas. YOU probably have some other ideas – share them in the comments or right here or on our Facebook!

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. - Confucius by Church of One
Wheresoever you go,
go with all your heart. – Confucius
by Church of One

Next Tuesday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day – a day for lovers, sweethearts, paramours … and chocoholics. Like it, love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is an annual tradition that will see over one billion valentines will be given out worldwide, 85% of those by women. However you choose to celebrate the holiday, consider making it a little more special with something from Michigan.

There’s plenty of delicious Valentine’s Day recipes from Pure Michigan at The Food Network also offers up some culinary advice for Valentine’s Day complete with a full Valentine’s menu. Lansing’s WLNS CBS channel 6 website has a complete Valentine Day section on their website where you can learn all kinds of useful information including (who knew?) that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. The folks at the Grand Rapids Press and have some tips for Valentine’s Day cooking with kids.

We have to remind you that February is National Cherry Month and cherries make a great and healthy way to bring the distinctive Valentine red into your celebrations. An affordable and tasty non-alcoholic beverage are cherry sparklers made with Michigan cherry juice and sparkling water.

On the adult beverage front, a whopping 95% of wine drinkers agree that wine makes a perfect gift, and you can’t go wrong with a  Michigan wine or  Michigan beer! The folks at MyNorth offer a listing of Northern Michigan sparkling wines to set the tone for your celebration. While bubbles are big, beers can also be appreciated. Dianna at Promote Michigan has let us in on her Love Affair with Michigan Beer, which features all kinds of special and regular brews from Michigan’s brewmasters. You can stay awake Ann Arbor Brewing’s Espresso Love featuring coffee, cozy up to the Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale from Atwater Brewing or go a little lighter with Dragonmead’s Redwing Raspberry Wheat. This is a great feature so definitely check it out!

Ginny, You Are My Shining Star by docksidepress
Ginny, You Are My Shining Star by docksidepress

If you’re left scratching your head over what to buy him or her, check out the ‘Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Guide‘ from  Don’t forget the furry friends in your life either! You can be a homeless pets Valentine when WXYZ-TV 7 in Detroit hosts their Annual Valentine’s Day Telethon to support the Michigan Humane Society. Tune in or donate online with the Michigan Humane Society!

If that’s not enough and you really want to get your Valentine on, check out Absolute Michigan keyword Valentine for food & gift ideas.

For a little eye candy, you should check out the Valentine slideshow from the Absolute Michigan flickr pool!

We also have a large number of Michigan web sites to check out (though if we’re missing one, be sure to add a link to it).

Flowers & Florists - say it with flowers

Chocolate - there’s also candy companies

Candles - lighting the way for romance for thousands of years

Jewelry -silver & gold, platinum and bronze, pick your favorite.

Wow, you actually made it to the end of this post – don’t forget to buy yourself a little something for Valentines Day!

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    Discover Michigan Wines at Regional Wine and Food Tasting Events

Discover Michigan Wines at Regional Wine and Food Tasting Events

Delicious Michigan is a regular column by Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis, authors of the award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries and The History of Michigan Wines. Learn more and get autographed books at and read some of their past articles on Absolute Michigan at Michigan Uncorked!

Michigan’s wine industry is booming, and the impressive skills of Michigan’s winemakers are proven repeatedly at national and international wine competitions. Wines throughout Michigan are earning medals and stomping the competition. Under icy, windy, cloudy, steamy hot, and, rarely perfect conditions, Michigan winemakers harvest and then craft delicious wines reflective of our unique region.

As we are celebrating Michigan’s 175th birthday all week, the state of Michigan will celebrate nearly 90 wineries in 2012! One of the best ways to discover Michigan wines is to attend a wine tasting tour. Lucky for you, two regional events are just around the corner AND Absolute Michigan has a pair of tickets to give away for each!

February 4-5 / Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association’s Taste the Passion

2010 Taste the Passion by KatSwinehart
2010 Taste the Passion by KatSwinehart

Warm up with a two-mile snowshoe or cross-country trek in Silver Leaf’s vineyard, orchard and woodsy trail. Afterward, dive into Silver Leaf’s featured chocolate almond and cherry clusters paired with gold medal Chafia Cherry. With 14 wineries participating, there is a lot of territory to explore. We suggest touring the northern peninsula wineries on one day and the southern peninsula wineries on another day. Get all the details on the Taste the Passion page at A few more delicious wine and food pairings follow to whet your appetite:

  • Chateau Fontaine of Lake Leelanau: Greek-inspired chocolate chili dogs, topped with cheddar cheese paired with Big Paw Red.
  • Gills Pier, just north of Leland: Mini chocolate/honey mousse cups with sea salt and cocoa nibs paired with Whitewater, a semi-sweet white wine made with Vignoles grapes.
  • Verterra Winery of Leland: The Bluebird’s Vol au Vent baked French brie with Verterra jam (preserves made from wine grapes), plus Granny Smith matchstick apples paired with Verterra’s Pinot Gris.

February 18 / Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula’s Romancing the Riesling

Enjoy a showcased Riesling and food pairing at each winery. Enjoy ten percent off all Riesling purchases during the event. Order tickets by calling (231) 223-7355. More details at A delicious sampling to tempt you from Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery is a peach tart in a mini phyllo shell topped with whipped cream paired with 2010 Riesling!

Two Great Michigan Wine Books!

Food and wine events are a wonderful way to explore Michigan’s food-friendly wines, but another great way is through yet another offering in our Birthday Bash – a pair of books about the history of the wine industry in Michigan by Lorri & Sharon. Both books are available through their Delicious Michigan website.

  • The History of Michigan Wines documents Michigan’s dynamic 150-year wine history! Meet passionate winemakers starting with Joseph M. Sterling who ignites the state’s first viable wine industry in the 1800s along Lake Erie and follow the growth and challenges of the wine industry up to the present day!
  • From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries is a 192 page, hard-cover book that celebrates Michigan wine country, wines and winemakers with intriguing behind-the-scene stories, beautiful photographs and interesting side features.

You still have time to wine through our Birthday Bash by joining our email list below (which also enters you for our regular giveaways of Michigan products, services and event tickets!

Absolute Michigan is committed to helping our readers get more out of Michigan. Sign up for regular giveaways. It's free, fun and all you have to do to be eligible is to be on our email list - sign up using the form below. We guarantee that we will not share your email address with anyone!
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