I'm starting to think about beach and hammock reading these days, so here's another of my periodic lists of great Midwest reads:
- So, one day when I was getting my hair cut, I heard a stylist near me regaling his customer with the tale of his grandmother who ran afoul of local authorities when they discovered that she kept two chickens in her backyard, and (horror of horrors!) hung her clothes on a line behind her home. The guy's grandma had broken not just one, but two, municipal laws or statues, so grandma had to lose her clothesline and send her chickens, which included the memorably named Doctor Pecker, packing. Lame laws? Stupid statues? There seem to be plenty of them on the books, and Indiana mom and blogger Ann Sattley unearths some real gems in her book, Technically, That's Illegal.
- Regular readers of Midwest Guest know about Jessie Voigts' travels with her family through a number guest posts here at Midwest Guest. Jessie stresses making a special effort to include various multicultural activities part of her daughter's everyday life and teams up with daughter Lillie to share their family's experiences in Bringing the World Home: A Resource Guide to Raising Intercultural Kids. The pair packs plenty of practical advice and an extensive list of kid-friendly activities into this short e-book.
- Are you heading for Ohio and looking for things to do with the younger travelers in your family? Check out Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent's Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with your Kids by Laura Hoevener and Terri Weeks. These adventurous moms checked out 80 kid-tested destinations within a 2-hour drive of the Queen City (including a number of places in Dayton, Ohio) and pass on their findings and tips to help other parents encourage the spirit of adventurous traveling with their own families. Want more family-friendly travel tips? Check out Terri's blog, Travel 50 States with Kids.
- I read Jessie Voigts' favorable review of South of Superior by Ellen Airgood at A Traveler's Library last month and put it on my reading list. Jessie liked this story of a woman who moved from Chicago to a remote area of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and she seemed to especially appreciate the author's knowledge and appreciation of the UP's unique character and culture. I'm looking forward to reading it later this summer. (You can also check out Jessie's blog, Wandering Educators)
- Tim enjoyed reading the courtroom based novel, Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver, years ago. Traver was the nom de plume of well known Michigan attorney and judge John D. Voelker, and the novel originally came out in the 1950s and became a popular Otto Preminger-directed film starring James Stewart as a lawyer in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula at the end of that decade.
- Tim's latest read is a recently reissued novel by Robert Traver called Laughing Whitefish. This is another story set in the Upper Peninsula and based on an actual case during the late 1800s that had the daughter of a Native guide who sues a large mining company for the money coming from the interest in the mine originally promised to her father. Tim says the book is especially intriguing for those who know a bit, or want to learn a bit, about the history of Michigan and the issues surrounding Native Americans and later settlers in the state.
- We seem to spend a lot of time in cemeteries when we travel. Some of our most interesting geocache finds seem to be in graveyards, but we even found ourselves stopping at graveyards in our pre-geocaching days because of the history, gardens, art and unusual architecture we found in many cemeteries. That makes Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story by Dennis McCann a read I'll need to check out before our next trip to Wisconsin.
Any more great Midwest reads I should check out?
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