Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ray's Reviews: Michigan Books!

 It’s summer and a great time to be a tourist in your own home state – if
only you had some good ideas on where to visit.

        While there many people who would be glad to tell you where to go, two
recent authors have put it in writing, offering a wide selection of
interesting possibilities.

        “3 Day Getaways - Michigan’s Back Roads” by Ron Rademacher (Back Roads,
$12.95) offers 28 different places in Michigan to visit, presented in a
very usable, folksy format.

        The author provides insights into local communities, focusing on a
variety of attractions, including scenic views, historic landmarks,
unusual sites, local businesses and intriguing places to eat and stay.

        He suggests numerous events, including an assortment of festivals and
reminds the traveler not to forget our state’s wonderful park system.

        The locations across the state include many shoreline destinations and
those in the Upper Peninsula, but only one small section is devoted to
southeastern or central Michigan.

        A general state map outlining relevant areas is at the rear of the book;
there’s also an excellent selection of useful getaway websites.

        Rademacher isn’t a rookie to the subject; he has been involved with four
earlier paperbacks in the “Michigan Back Roads” series.

        “Ride Michigan” by Bill Murphy (Arbutus Press, $18.95) is intended for a
more specific audience: savvy motorcyclists who like to travel.

        The 240-page guide is divided into four sections, Southern Sojourns,
Northern Delights, Waterfront Wanderings and Great Lakes Circle Tours.

Additional pages focus on Fun and Interesting Local Rides.

        There’s also an informative introduction, a chapter on Desirable
Destinations and Events and a section offering Suggested Tips for Safe

        Although many people will use a computer to figure out where they want to
go, the author includes a map for every destination, outlining the paved
roadways that make travel easier.

        The well-designed paperback is liberally sprinkled with clear
black-and-white photographs, including images of “Da Yoopers Tourist Trap
Museum” in Ishpeming and Leg’s Inn in Cross Village.

        While it helps to be a motorcyclist to appreciate all of the sites, it’s
exceptionally useful for other travelers.

        Murphy has also written “Motorcycling Across Michigan”, “Grace and Grit”,
about pioneering women motorcyclists and “Souvenirs of War” about his
Marine Corps experiences in Vietnam.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed
Michigan books and crime novels regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on June 7, 2015.

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