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Monday, November 26, 2018

Featured Book of the Last Week of November

No less a literary icon than Kathleen Stocking (my bestselling author of 2016) wrote to me this fall saying, “I distracted myself during the elections by reading HARD CIDER and loved it. I liked her novelistic explorations of the surrogacy issue.” Kathleen also appreciated Barbara’s “depictions of Northport.” So here you have it -- a taste of Northport! If you love our village, you'll love this book!

Note also that this week is the last week of the Dog Ears Books 2018 season and that we won’t be back until sometime in May, so let's exchange holiday greetings while we have the chance.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Here for the Rest of November!

Wednesday, 11/21: OPEN 11-5 (Take a bookstore break from mixing up cranberry relish and bread stuffing and baking pies.)

Friday, 11/23: OPEN 11-5 WITH BEGINNING OF HOLIDAY SALE: 20% off everything in stock!


Sunday, 11/25 CLOSED


Wednesday, 11/28: OPEN 11/5 HOLIDAY SALE CONTINUES

Friday, 11/30: OPEN 11-5 LAST DAY OF THE BOOKSTORE YEAR??? Don't miss us! Many treasures -- new books and old, fine bindings and paperbacks, classics, signed copies, history, how-to, escape, etc., etc.

Saturday, 12/1: Who knows? Not sure yet! Friday, 11/30, may be our last day of the season, so don’t wait for December 1st to do your holiday shopping at Dog Ears Books!
Then, happy winter! We'll see you again in the spring!

Friday, October 19, 2018

It Doesn't Have to be Fancy to be Exciting

This is not a fancy book at all. It doesn’t even have a dust jacket. Really, I plucked this particular hardcover story-version of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (“This narrative adaptation by Frances Frost preserves the exact dialogue of the opera”) out of a box with interest only because the illustrator, Roger Duvoisin, has been a favorite of mine since my son was little and we discovered and enjoyed his Petunia books together. Illustrations in Amahl are not as loosey-goosey as other work by Duvoisin, but the bright colors are definitely his. Anyway, a nice little Christmas book, right?

Musing over what would be a reasonable price, I turned the first leaves almost idly. Publication date was 1952. It was the half-title page, though, that stopped me in my tracks. What were all those names? Each in a different handwriting? None was Menotti’s signature or Frost’s or Duvoisin’s….

I’m not an opera aficionado. I had to look up the names. David Aiken: operatic baritone. Andrew McKinley: operatic tenor. Rosemary Kuhlman: mezzo-soprano. All three were in the original 1951 cast of Menotti’s opera, which was also (written in English) the first opera written for television, commissioned by NBC and broadcast as the first production of the television’s Hallmark Hall of Fame. First Hallmark, first television opera, original cast members — well, now I am very excited! In fact, I can hardly believe what I’m holding in my hands! Since the publication date was 1952, maybe the other names were in the cast of that year’s production? Thrills like this are part of the adventure of dealing in used books. I haven’t decided on an asking price yet. This is a one-of-a-kind item, not something with a lot of “comparables,” but I know the right buyer would be over the moon to have it. What a Christmas present it would make, eh?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Légumes: Vegetable Recipes From the Market Table

Beets! Yum!

Whether your fresh vegetables come from the farm market to your kitchen or from your own backyard garden, it never hurts to find new, inspired ways to prepare them for the table. Pascale Beale's third Market Table book offers more than 100 plant-based dishes, with mouth-watering full-color illustrations.

Légumes: Vegetable Recipes From the Market Table
by Pascale Beale
Illustrated, 256pp


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What Does It Take?

What does it take, that is, for a Leelanau near-native (her parents came to Leland when she was 12 years old) to make a living and raise a family at the same time, right here in Leelanau, rather than moving away and only returning in retirement? Michelle White is someone who knows the answer first-hand, because she has what it takes. And it makes sense, growing up where she did, that cherries were Michelle’s inspiration. 

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but readers can learn how one woman launched an award-winning startup here in northern Michigan — her struggles, hard work, determination and perseverance, and the lessons she learned along the way. 

On a Pit and a Prayer: How I Grew a Business, Lost a Business, and Found Faith, Family and Love
by Michelle White
Traverse City: Mission Point Press, paper 154pp.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Read about the book here. Buy it today at Dog Ears Books in Northport. 

Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World
by Maryanne Wolf
Hardcover, 247pp, $24.99

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Chickadees Are Stars Again!

Bill O. Smith’s third book starring chickadees lives up to the standard set by his first, Chickadees at Night, and second, The Chickadee Spirit. Like the earlier books, Chickadeeland once again presents the little birds we all love in rhymes that please the ear and captivate the imagination, completing a trilogy of perfect bedtime stories that all ages will enjoy. Traverse City artist Charles R. Murphy’s watercolors, too, could not be better suited to illustrating Smith’s chickadee adventure tales.

Nor will you want to overlook a fourth Bill Smith book (third in chronological order), Four a.m. December 25, illustrated by Glenn Wolff. There is also a lot going on in the pictures that isn’t told in the words in this book. Lots to look for and talk about as the author and illustrator take us around the world, through the time zones, for one hour in the dark of Christmas morning.

The author is donating his profits from Chickadeeland to the National Parks Conservation Association, Historic Sleeping Bear Preservation, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Groundworks Center, and the National Park Foundation. His profits from Four a.m. December 25th are going to the Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Warriors Courage Foundation, Our Military Kids, Inc., and the Cherryland VWF Post 2780 Relief Fund. 

Books by Bill O. Smith, all hardcover with beautifully illustrated boards:

Chickadees at Night, $18.85
The Chickadee Spirit, $18.85
Chickadeeland, $18.85

Four a.m. December 25 (somewhat larger format than chickadee books), $19.95

You will definitely want to catch the chickadee spirit yourself!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NATURE’S FRIEND Comes to Northport

There is no need to introduce anyone in northwest Michigan to Gwen Frostic. Most people have been to her charmingly quirky working studio (see above) in Benzie County, where production is still active though the artist is no longer alive. Now a new children’s book has arrived to introduce another generation to Michigan artist Gwen Frostic and her life’s work. Beautifully illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen, Lindsey McDivitt’s Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story combines biography with inspiration in a way that does honor to its subject.

Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story
By Lindsey McDivitt
Illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
Hardcover with dust jacket


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ILLEGAL: A Graphic Novel For Our Times

When it comes to graphic novels, I have lagged behind the times dreadfully, but I couldn't help being intrigued by this book from bestselling author Eoin Colfer and the team behind the Artemis Fowl graphic novels, the story of a young boy’s perilous journey from Ghana across the Sahara to Tripoli and out onto the ocean to reunite with his brother and sister. 

Eoin Colfer says, “I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas.” Andrew Donkin became interested in migration and asylum while writing the story of a man who lived on a bench in an airport for 18 years. Illustrator Giovanni Rigano, independent writer and Disney-Pixar contributor, has now adapted five of Colfer’s books into graphic novels.

Incredible team, timely topic, taut adventure. Ages 10 and up.

Illegal, by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin and illustrated by Giovanni Rigano.

Paper, $14.99

Monday, August 13, 2018

More Action WAY Up North

Whether you already know Grady Service from earlier Woods Cop novels or approach this book innocent of preconceptions, there’s no way Joseph Heywood’s Bad Optics will disappoint. All you need by way of background the author lays out for you at the beginning: Woods cop Grady Service has been suspended but is determined to go on protecting his Upper Peninsula wilderness. Grab it and go! When you reach the last page, if you haven’t read earlier Woods Cop stories, you’ll want to go back and catch up to yourself.

Bad Optics: A Woods Cop Mystery
by Joseph Heywood
Hardcover, 300pp, $$27.95

Friday, August 3, 2018

An Important Book for Our Times

The Far Away Brothers, by Lauren Markham, isn’t a Michigan book, but it’s one I have chosen to stock and promote this season. The subtitle of the book is Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. I read about it the New York Review of Books and was surprised and pleased to learn that it is already available in paperback. 

Ernesto and Raul (not their real names) are twins from El Salvador. At age 17, threatened by gang violence, they fled their country for the United States, having borrowed $14,000, which compounding interest had boosted to $16,000 by the time the boys reached their older brother in Los Angeles. Recovering from the horrors of a treacherous trip through Mexico, earning a new language, and working to pay down their debt, the boys must also navigate the U.S. law courts to establish legal residency.

Author Lauren Markham, while keeping her focus on the personal story of Ernesto and Raul, manages to weave in statistics on immigration and historical background of American involvement with El Salvador. 

This would be an excellent choice for book clubs this fall, 
so here are few suggested discussion questions to get your group talking after they read the book:

Do you believe the death threat against Ernesto endangered the life of his identical twin brother Raul, or did Raul simply not want to be left behind? What other factors might have influenced Raul’s decision?

Do young people fleeing gang violence in other countries bring increased violence to the U.S.? Explain.

Did you have any idea what what traumatic event Ernesto had experienced on his way north? Did learning what it was surprise you? What did it help explain?

If you have ever lived in a house with unrelated residents in addition to family, what was the situation, and why were you part of it? How were disputes resolved?

What aspects of poverty experienced by the Flores family, both in El Salvador and in the U.S., similar to poverty in general? What aspects were unique to their situations?

Did this book help you gain clarity on what a reasonable solution to immigration, legal and illegal, might look like? Having read the book, in what ways is your perspective now more or less clear, and how has your view changed — or does it remain unchanged? What other books, if any, have you read on the subject of immigration, and how does this book’s coverage of the subject compare to that of others? Would you recommend this book to others interested in the subject?

If you were a parent in a town like La Colonia, El Salvador, would you try to keep your children “down on the farm” or send them “north”? How would you make decisions for their future? How could the family life be different? What is within their power and what beyond their control?

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life
by Lauren Markham
NY: Broadway Books, 2017

Paper, 298pp w/ index, $16

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Some News Not "New"

Our bookshop opened in July of 1993 with only used books. We added new books to the mix a few years later and have gradually increased that inventory, offering not only new books but also personal appearances by authors, this year a dozen round dozen of them in eleven Thursday Evening Author events (see sidebar). A curated collection of used, rare, and out-of-print books is still, however, the backbone of our business, and in that spirit I offer today the following:

SILENT SEASONS: TWENTY-ONE FISHING STORIES BY THOMAS McGUANE, WILLIAM HJORTSBERG, JACK CURTIS, HARMON HENKIN, CHARLES WATERMAN, JIM HARRISON & RUSSELL CHATHAM, edited and illustrated by Russell Chatham. Book design by Russell Chatham, Anne Garner, & Jamie Harrison Potenberg. 215pp. Livingston, MT: Clark City Press, 1988, 1st printing, Oct 1988.  Softcover with dust jacket. Illegible inscription on half-title page. Jim Harrison signed on title page next to his name (his the only author signature on this page). Near fine condition. $150

 IN OUR TIME, by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s Second Book: A Facsimile of the 1924 Paris Edition Which Was Limited to 170 Copies. The 1977 facsimile edition was published with the permission of the Hemingway Estate and limited to 1700 copies. Lightest of wear to spine ends; dust jacket pristine. $400

Monday, July 16, 2018

Clear Your Head and Lighten Your Heart

You have probably heard Karen Anderson on Interlochen Public Radio, and maybe you remember her column in the Traverse City Record-Eagle, too. Now we have a collection of 155 of Karen’s short essays in book form. 

Casual dipping into Gradual Clearing: Weather Reports From the Heart is irresistible, as no piece in it is more than a page in length, and themes are simple and generally positive in tone — but never sappy. The author’s light offerings feel important without feeling heavy. We are grateful for her reminders and insights. 

Karen Anderson will be our TEA guest at Dog Ears Books on August 9, 7 p.m. This week’s guests (July 19) are Lynne Rae Perkins, Anne-Marie Oomen, and Linda Nemec-Foster, with Dennis Turner on July 26 and Virginia Johnson on August 2.

Gradual Clearing: Weather Reports From the Heart
Traverse City: Arbutus Press, 2018
Paper, 160pp., $16.95

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Book You've Been Asking For

With maps and charts, as well as inspiringly lovely photographs of inland lakes and Lake Michigan, this new book from Mission Point Press definitely fills a long-felt need. Whether for yourself, your children, the whole family, or only for the seasonal guests that everyone Up North attracts, you’ll want this book in your home library for years to come. It occurs to me that you could also use much of it as a reference to plan canoe trips. Why not?

Leelanau by Kayak: Day Trips, Pics, Tips and Stories of a Beautiful Michigan Peninsula
by Jon R. Constant, with Larry Burns
Softcover, 132pp, $21.95

Sunday, July 1, 2018

You Are Most Welcome Here

A new book from Sleeping Bear Press just has 4th of July all over it, in this bookseller's opinion. W is for Welcome: A Celebration of America's Diversity is a timely reminder about where Americans -- even Native Americans, the continent's oldest residents -- started out. An alphabet book, a history book, and an introduction for young readers to key concepts in our nation's story, the pages are also illustrated by numerous talented artists. Celebrate Independence Day with a heart of welcome. You are certainly most welcome at Dog Ears Books.

Hardcover, 32 pp, 11" x 9"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

At Last, the Belgian Sisters Are Here

The book I reviewed last winter about the courageous Belgian nuns in World War II is in stock at Dog Ears Books now, and author Dennis Turner will be my TEA guest on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. Plan to be with us then (and for as many Thursday Evening Authors events you can manage). I know you will be fascinated by his story. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mr. Rochester Came Back!

Not that he ever left Northport or Dog Ears Books since our big launch in May of 2017, but Sarah Shoemaker’s novel, Mr. Rochester, my bestseller of 2017, is now out in paperback. And I have signed copies available! So attention book clubs: Read both Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre and double your discussion fun!

Here I must digress to share a story someone told me in the bookstore last week. A customer browsing the dog books read aloud the title, Bad Dogs Have More Fun, and I couldn’t let it pass without a remark. I said I was skeptical. After all, there aren’t many places you can expect a welcome for a badly behaved dog, while a well-behaved dog can enjoy many more aspects of life with its resident human beings. The woman agreed. Then she told me that her family had once had such a bad dog that they spoke of the dog to each other as — not, I think, its given name — Mrs. Rochester. “Because,” she went on to explain, “whenever we had company, we had to lock her upstairs.” 

Sarah Shoemaker, what do you think of that?

Mr. Rochester
by Sarah Shoemaker

Paper, $14.99

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Fun Is Coming!

You needn’t be a newcomer to the area to reap benefits from Kim Schneider’s new book, 100 Things to Do in Traverse City Before You Die, for a couple of reasons. First, even if you’ve lived here all your life, new things to do pop up every year, and it’s unlikely you’ve done them all. Then there is the question of summer visitors. When you don’t have time to guide your company personally through every hour of their Up North vacation, or if they are independent enough to venture off on their own, handing them this book will make life easier and breezier for all concerned. Kim’s ideas go beyond the city limits, reaching into Benzie and Leelanau counties. Relevant addresses, websites, and phone numbers are included. 

Kim Schneider will be my Thursday Evening Authors guest on July 5, starting at 7 p.m. Come hang out with us! Kim is FUN!

(Psst! If you can't wait until July 5, I have a few signed copies on hand now, so stop in today!)

100 Things To Do in Traverse City Before You Die
by Kim Schneider
Reedy Press, paper, 146pp.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bookstore Plans as Summer Gets Underway

June Days and Hours

Dog Ears Books will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the month of June. (In July we will go to our 7-day-a-week schedule.) Beginning on June 21, we will also be open Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m. See below for more about Thursday evenings at Dog Ears.

Our Summer Plan

Dog Ears Books will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer of 2018 with a special guest series called Thursday Evening Authors. Our first scheduled guest in the series is Rachel May, on June 21, to be followed by Fleda Brown on June 28. All TEA guest appearances will begin at 7 p.m. 

Rachel May is the author of An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery. Presently on the faculty of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, May will be making her first visit to Dog Ears Books in June, and we look forward to introducing her to our Northport and visiting bookstore customers. Her research into the background of a 200-year-old quilt took her deep inside the history of the United States (and beyond) and challenged some of her own long-held assumptions about roles played by the North and South in the slave trade. If you are at all interested in American history, fascinated by quilts, or just love people's life stories, you won’t want to miss Rachel May’s appearance on June 21.

Fleda Brown of Traverse City, former poet laureate of Delaware, is an accomplished essayist as well as a brilliant poet, and we are honored to have her once more as a guest at Dog Ears Books. Fleda’s latest book of poetry, The Woods Are On Fire, is a collection of some new poems and others from her previously published works. If you are a listener to Interlochen Public Radio or a reader of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, it’s very likely you have encountered Fleda Brown’s voice and recognize her own poetry as direct and striking. On the other hand, if you are new to Brown’s work — even if you’re a little afraid of poetry or “don’t understand” it — this is an opportunity for you to make a very memorable acquaintance, so please join us on June 28.

Guests for Thursday Evening Authors in July and August will be announced here as the schedule grows and will be announced on my blogs, “Books in Northport and “Northport Bookstore News,” as well. For further information, you may call Dog Ears Books, 231-386-7209.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Books of Waters Salty and Fresh

Two beautiful and exciting new books this season for readers from ‘tweens through adult in age (and heart) come from northern Michigan writers. 

Newbery author Lynne-Rae Perkins, with her characteristic gentle but offbeat humor, introduces her young characters and readers to the ocean in Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, capturing once again the wonder of first-time experience, as she does so well. Secret Sisters is a “chapter book” that also includes charming black-and-white illustrations by the author.

Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen, for their part, decided that freshwater should have mermaids as well as saltwater, adding illustrator Meredith Ridl to their team, with most delightful results. The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems offers a complex story in compelling verse and images and a wonderful souvenir of Up North vacation.

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, by Lynne-Rae Perkins. Greenwillow Books, hardcover with dust jacket, $16.99

The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems, by Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen. Wayne State University Press, hardcover with illustrated boards, $16.99

Postscript 6/2: Lynne-Rae and Anne-Marie will both be Thursday Evening Author guests on July 19 at 7 p.m.! WOW!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Introducing TEA at Dog Ears Books

First TEA guest - June 21

As we celebrate our 25th bookstore anniversary this summer, Dog Ears Books will offer a new feature called Thursday Evening Authors, or TEA. Our "tea" will probably be iced and served from a punch bowl, or it may be punch, and we’re not planning china-cup formality in other ways, either, but we hope that holding TEA as a regular weekly event will make it easier for our friends to remember. 

Each Thursday, beginning on June 21, the bookstore will be open from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with each evening’s author scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Presentation format will probably vary from simple conversation and book signings to prepared talks. If we have a Thursday in July or August with no author scheduled, we’ll still be open from 6:30 to 9. So remember -- 

TEA stands for -- 
Thursday Evening Authors 
at Dog Ears Books,
106 Waukazoo Street 
Northport, Michigan
beginning June 21, 2018

First TEA guest, on Thursday, June 21, will be Rachel May, author of An American Quilt. That's from 7 - 9 p.m.
An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery, by Rachel May. New York: Pegasus Books, hardcover release May 2018, $27.95

More about this book and the Marquette, Michigan, author soon!