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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stories from a True Leelanau Local

Keewaydinoquay Peschel lived from 1918 to 1999. Born in Leelanau County, she learned traditional herbal healing practices from an early age, lived and taught in the public school in Leland, Michigan, received her doctorate in ethnobotany from the University of Michigan, and conducted plant research for many years on Garden Island. She was also, all her life, a storyteller, and her stories connect generations and communities – of all kinds -- throughout the universe.

Keewaydinoquay: Stories From My Youth tells of her childhood and growing up, her family and early teachers. The story of her life is continued in the volume entitled Cedar Songs.

Keewaydinoquay: Stories From My Youth, by Keewaydinoquay Peschel, edited by Lee Boisvert. University of Michigan Press, paper, 168pp. $22.95

Cedar Songs, by Keewaydinoquay Peschel, edited by WeTahn Lee Boisvert. Trafford Publishing, paper, 275pp. $18.95

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Jim's Only Children's Book

Jim Harrison wrote only one book for children, and he wrote it for his grandson, but anyone who wants to understand this outstanding Michigan poet’s background and inspiration will learn a lot from The Boy Who Ran to the Woods.

At the age of seven, a fight with a little girl put Jimmy in the hospital for a month. He was tied to the bed at night. Both eyes were bandaged for a full week, but the sight in his injured eye could not be saved.
It took months for the blind eye to heal and by the time he entered second grade he was sure that all the other boys and girls were staring at him. His father bought him a young dog and Jimmy would hide in the thickets with his dog for days at a time. He became a wild and unruly boy....

He does not want to learn to read – does not want to be in school at all -- but finally, thanks to a father's understanding, a love for the birds and other wildlife he encounters in nature begin to cure the boy’s unhappiness and give him a hunger for learning.

The Boy Who Ran to the Woods,
by Jim Harrison; illustrated by Jim Pohrt
Harcover with dust jacket, $18.95

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How Brave Are You?

It takes courage to face old age and death, but growing old and nearing the end can also be times of reflection and gratitude, even joy. Consider these two books:

Accenting the rewards of maturity, Joan Chittister in The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully might help you find the courage you wish you had. Sooner or later, after all, we will need it. Paper, $13.95

And then there are the even more difficult end-of-life decisions. To help prepare or to find answers you need right now, Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End offers a thoughtful physician’s perspective. Paper, $16