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13 READS: Michigan Library recommends books about Michigan for 2023

The Library of Michigan announced 20 books to explore the history and culture of Michigan and its cities.
Credit: Omnibus Press / University of Michigan Press / Spuyten Duyvil

MICHIGAN, USA — The Library of Michigan announced its list of notable books that focus on stories of Michigan's history and culture in 2023.

The library shared 20 titles in its 2023 Michigan Notable Book list that celebrate the entire Great Lakes basin from the UP, to Detroit, to the lakeshore.

Every year the library releases their list of notable books that were published in the year prior. The books revolve around Michigan, either being set in the state or written by a Michigan author.

This year the stories focus on historic architecture throughout the state, celebrate Arab American communities, examine struggles with self-identity and family, commemorate influential Michigan musicians and more.

"The MNB selections clearly demonstrate the diverse tapestry of subject matter that Michigan offers to inspire writers,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Everyone will find something of interest that speaks to their lives or experiences in our great state.”

“The diversity of these books reflects much of the diversity of our state. People, especially children, need to experience through reading the lives and contributions of people like themselves in addition to others about whom they are not familiar. Books should be mirrors that reflect our own lives, as well as windows for us to see others,” said Michigan’s State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.

2023 Michigan Notable Books

  • As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book by Anne-Marie Oomen
  • Blood and Fire: The Unbelievable Real-Life Story of Wrestling’s Original Sheik by Brian R. Solomon
  • Chevy in the Hole: A Novel by Kelsey Ronan
  • Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm by Dan Charnas
  • Ferne: a Detroit Story by Barbara Henning
  • Guardians of Michigan: Architectural Sculpture of the Pleasant Peninsulas by Jeff Morrison
  • Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging edited by Ghassan Zeineddine, Nabeel Abraham, and Sally Howell
  • I'll Be There: My Life with the Four Tops by Duke Fakir with Kathleen McGhee-Anderson
  • It’s Hard Being You: A Primer on Being Happy Anyway by Sharon Emery
  • Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
  • Magic Season: A Son’s Story by Wade Rouse
  • The Peacekeeper: A Novel by B.L. Blanchard
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community by Micheline Maynard
  • Scarlet in Blue: A Novel by Jennifer Murphy
  • Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey by Katie Yamasaki 
  • The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson
  • The Turtle of Michigan: A Novel by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Uphill: A Memoir by Jemele Hill
  • We Kept Our Towns Going: The Gossard Girls of Michigan's Upper Peninsula by Phyllis Michael Wong 
  • What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel by Kai Harris

The Library of Michigan first issued its Michigan Notable Books list in 1991 as part of the Michigan Week celebration. 

You can read more about the Michigan Notable Books list from this year and previous years here.

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