The chill is in the air and cider is around the corner so itâ€™s time to load up that Kindle (who said that?) for fall reading. Reading is one of the most personal activities you can do despite what best sellers lists tell us. So here are 10 books from my fall reading list. Only a few of these will ever show up on a â€œbest sellers listâ€, but I figure most can find their own â€œEat Pray Loveâ€; Stieg Larsson, Janet Evanovich; or “Hunger Games”. Some of these books are not out yet so you have to watch for them.
1. â€œZeitounâ€ by Dave Eggers is a must read on the 5th Anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina. Eggers matter of factly follows Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun New Orleans residents who find themselves in a human maelstrom when Abdulrahman refuses to leave the city and ends up in jail despite his heroic efforts to save those who were left behind. Eggers forces readers to confront xenophobia and the lingering racism of a post 9-11 world. The book has become even more timely as we confront the Ground Zero Mosque debacle. The incoming MSU Freshmen class is reading the book as part of the One Book, One Community Program. The Zeitouns will visit MSU on September 19 and Eggers will kick of the program August 29-30 with two events open to the public. All these events are free.
2.â€Threatened Speciesâ€ by Michigan author Jeff Vande Zande â€“ Itâ€™s a glorious Michigan rendition of â€œA River Through Itâ€ by Norman Maclean. VandeZande will put you in the north woods and knee deep in its streams and rivers in this story about a father and son who areÂ being split up and theirÂ last trip north.
3. â€œBad Bloodâ€ by John Sanford is not a sleeper, but Sandford will be at Schuler Books & Music Okemos September 29. â€œBad Bloodâ€ is a Virgil Flowersâ€™ book and it takes you deep into a chilling murder in the Sanford tradition.
4. â€œThe Etiquette of Freedomâ€ by Jim Harrison and Gary Snyder. Harrison â€œwalksâ€ beat poet Snyder through his long career as a writer. Read a short summary on Mittenlit.com
5. â€œRich Boyâ€ by Sharon Pomerantz from Ann Arbor Michigan is written in the tradition of Tom Wolfe and its strong narrative style is captivating. Pomerantz follows a young manâ€™s quest for success into adulthood that spans three decades.
6. Tom McGuaneâ€™s newest book â€œDriving on the Rimâ€ is a dark comedy set in his adopted state of Montana. His protagonist, Dr. I.B. Pickett, get himself in and out (mostly) out of numerous jams as he confronts life, death and small town nosiness with lust thrown in for good measure.
7. â€œDetroit Disassembledâ€ with an essay by Pulitzer poet Philip Levine and photos by Andrew Moore is a coffee table book which tells the story of a city on the rocks through photos of abandoned buildings and other decaying scenery. Â
8. â€œCharlie Chan: The Life and Times of a Chinese Detectiveâ€ seems like a great companion to â€œZeitounâ€.Â The author Yunte Huang, a Chinese American who was active atÂ Tiananmen Square and forced to leave his country, is inspired by a Charlie Chan paperback he finds at a rummage sale. He delves into racial stereotyping and the Asian American cultural experience from the perspective of how Charlie Chan is seen by different groups.
9. â€œBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe ofÂ Super Athletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seenâ€ by Christopher McDougall is one strange story of a runner looking for greatness and his search for the secrets of the Terahumara Indians of Mexico who hold the answers. Long known as the worldâ€™s best ultrarunners, the Terahumara look at running as a pleasurable experience and the author wants to know how they do it. Â
10. â€œThe Michigan Murdersâ€ by Edward Keyes has been reprinted with a new prologue and epilogue by two Michigan True Crime writers. The book comes on the anniversary of the conviction of James Norman Collins who was responsible for the murder of at least six women in the late 1960s in the Ann Arbor area. The book set new direction on True Crime writing and the book will be released at the Kerrytown BookFest September 19 in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Depending on how things go other books which are likely to make it on this list are: â€œthe Whole Earth Newsâ€; â€œThe Confederacy of Duncesâ€; and Vince Flynnâ€™s â€œAmerican Assassinâ€.