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Local authors, ideas keep you U.P. on your reading

December 3, 2011
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Searching for that perfect gift for the book lover on your Christmas list?

Here are some new titles that have an Upper Peninsula connection, either through author, by subject or both:

n "Autobiography of a Cat," a family fiction in which a cat shares his life story, was written by Laura Novotny, a lifelong resident of Sands in Marquette County. It's her first book and is designed to be read aloud to children, but also enjoyed by adults. Especially cat lovers who will be enthralled by the cat's adventures.

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The book is published by Natural Light Publishing and can be found locally at Snowbound Books and the Marquette General gift shop or online at myvioletbooks. com.

n "Mine Games" is set in the Copper Country and is a murder-mystery centered on the acquistion of a copper-sliver alloy mine. Written by Negaunee native Mel Laurila - who has been involved in the mining industry for more than 30 years - the book incorporates mining history with romance and intrigue.

Now a Kentucky resident most of the year, Laurila will be signing books from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at Snowbound Books in Marquette.

Fact Box

On the Web:

Most of these books are available from local booksellers, so check there first. Online, more information/ordering for the books:

"Autobiography of a Cat":

"Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now":

"The Prisoner's Prayer Book":

"Mine Games":

"Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont" and "The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes":

"Uncle Ed Said": Available though both and

n "Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont" is the fictionalized version of events on Mackinac Island in 1822 when a young trapper was accidently shot. His life is saved by U.S. Army Assistant Surgeon William Beaumont. The wound in the young man's stomach becomes a window into the mysteries of the human digestion system, leading to a courtroom case.

Written by Jason Karlawish, the book is look at a fascinating chapter in American history and in medicine.

n "The Prisoner's Prayer Book" describes Marquette resident Louise Reichert's experiences with prison ministry. Reichert wrote one- and two-page prayers after visiting within the prison, finding men who were hungry for a human connection.

Making the book even more unique are the illustrations that accompany it, illustrations done by prisoners themselves.

"Having someone listen to them was so important," Reichert said.

The book is available locally and through

n "Uncle Ed Said" is set in Ontonagon, telling the struggles of immigrant families trying to make a home and raise a family in a new land. Its author, Ed Davidson, relates stories told by his Uncle Ed, who was born in 1928 and grew up a Firesteel Road in Ontonagon.

Davidson shares tales told by his Uncle Ed of cutting lumber, trapping and living with snow measured not by the inch but by the foot.

"Uncle Ed Said" is available locally at several bookstores or through amazon. com.

n "Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now" is an anthology of creative works representing the contemporary American Indian experience in Michigan. It includes poetry, short stories, essays, photographs and artwork. It also includes a glossary of Anishinaabe terms and contributor biographies. More than 200 pieces were submitted for consideration and a committee of campus scholars, along with a community elder and author, selected the 88 that are included in the book.

"Voice on the Water" is available at the NMU Bookstore and online at www.nmubookstore. com.

n "The Windward Shore: A Winter on the Great Lakes" paints a portrait of life along the Great Lakes during the toughest time of year.

Author Jerry Dennis has written about sailing on the big lakes but when a knee injury slows him down, he stays at a variety of houses along the lakes' shores, everything from a log cabin to a $20 million mansion.

From the introduction: "I wanted to present a true picture of complex region, part of my continuing project to learn at least one place on earth reasonably well, and trusted that it would appear gradually and accumulatively - not as a conventional portrait, but as a mosaic that included the sounds and scents and textures of the place and some of the plants, animals and its inhabitants."

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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