Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Books · Summer‘s best beach reads
. . . .

Summer‘s best beach reads

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli - June 15th, 2009
Summer’s Best Beach Reads

By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/15/09

A soft, summer day; a comfortable chaise lounge; a cold drink beside you, and a good book in your hands. It’s the stuff of winter dreams, but nothing can bring a bigger letdown than the wrong book; or one not perfect for a summer mood.
When I asked people about favorite beach reads, or when I spoke to Lois Orth at Horizon Books, or Deb Bull at the Kalkaska County Library, everyone felt strongly about their picks. Still, it is a matter of personal taste—some people want to be instructed, some want to catch up on books they’ve heard about all winter, some want to wallow in things they don’t usually read, and some want to simply slide into a book the way they might a warm pool on a sun-ridden day. The following books are among the most entertaining, memorable, or just plain fun, that have come out in the last couple of years.

1. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross. In the comfort of her Brooklyn basement bra shop, Sima Goldner teaches women to appreciate their bodies while feeling betrayed by her own. After giving up on happiness, Sima surrendered to a bitter marriage. Yet, through a well endowed young seamstress, Sima learns to waken to adventure and romance.
2. Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead. “A warm and funny novel. Benji Cooper, a black student at an elite prep school in Manhattan messes up his reputation at school but finds relief in Sag Harbor where he is tested by state-of-the-art profanity and a bad haircut. This is a very funny, coming-of-age novel which probes the nature of identity.
3. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (a Maisie Dobbs novel), a Depression era mystery which begins on Christmas Eve, 1931. Set in London, “Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. She eventually gets involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict death and destruction on the people of London.” A good page-turner.
4. Borderline by Nevada Barr. Anna Pigeon, Park Service Ranger, is at it again. Each of Barr’s mysteries is set in a different national park. This time it is Big Bend National Park where Anna goes rafting on the Rio Grande after a devastating time on Michigan’s Isle Royale. While getting lost in the rapids, Anna makes the grisly discovery of an almost dead woman caught in swirling water. The mystery goes from the river to the Mexican desert to the steps of the governor’s mansion in Austin.
5. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. This poignant novel confronts the ever-present question: What constitutes a valuable life? When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe have a baby girl, the expectation is she will be healthy, like all other babies. She isn’t. Then begins the soul-searching of a family ‘bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love.’ Jodi Picoult offers an unforgettable story ‘about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.’
6. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith. Another in the popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels. In this one, the proprietor of a local football team enlists the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to help explain its dreadful losing streak. “It can’t just be a case of unskilled players.” As usual, a wonderful cast of characters solve cases by dint of knowing others.
7. Bright Hair About the Bone by Barbara Cleverly. “In Burgundy, France, in 1926, a famed archeologist dies a terrible death in a country not his own . . .” thus begins this new mystery. Soon an aspiring archeologist will find herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy centuries in the making.
8. Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda; a Jade del Cameron mystery set in 1919, after the First World War. The dying request of Jade’s ambulance driver fiancé sends her to British East Africa where she becomes involved in a murder. A compelling series.
9. The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith. Based on a real event that Gorbachev acknowledged in 2007, this was the first courageous step away from Stalin’s brutal totalitarian reign. An excellent Soviet historical police procedural.
10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This novel, written in letters, takes place in 1946, just after the war had ended. The woman, a Londoner, writes to a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey. He is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, born as a spur-of-the moment alibi when members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying the island. Lois Orth calls this a charming book with a funny and deeply human cast of characters: from pig farmers to phrenologists—literature lovers all.
11. Assegai by Wilbur Smith. This long-time writer of the Courtney 3 Series, puts Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional big game hunter in Africa, firmly in the eye of trouble when he becomes a British spy during the build up to World War I. It is a novel of betrayal and conspiracy.
12. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. The story follows August Renoir on the day he begins to paint one of the most famous of his paintings. The novel tells the story behind the story, delving into the minds of the Impressionists around Renoir, of Paris, and the people of the times.
13. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. A coming of age book, it is set during World War II, giving a glimpse of the collateral damage caused by war—the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. It is about a Chinese/American boy in war-time Seattle, who falls in love with a Japanese/American girl destined for the internment camps. Called an emotional and satisfying book.
14. Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. Kirkus Reviews called it ‘a remarkably vivid account of a woman’s accidental witness to history as she encounters Churchill and T. E. Lawrence in Cairo, where in 1921, they redrew the map of the Middle East.’ An inspired fictional study of a political folly, Lois Orth, says of it “This is a special book. One that will stay with you.”
15. (A plug for my own mystery novels:) Dead Dancing Women and Dead Floating Lovers (out July 1). Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Northern Michigan mysteries involving Emily Kincaid, a newly divorced, failed writer from Ann Arbor trying to make it alone in the Michigan woods, and Deputy Dolly Wakowski, a member of the two-person Leetsville Police Department, who get drawn into murders that tangle their lives into webs they can’t escape until the murderers are caught.

16. The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis. The Living Great Lakes has been called “the most complete book ever written about the history, nature, and science of these remarkable lakes at the heart of North America.” A personal journey, this is the story of a six-week voyage as a crew member on a tall masted schooner.
17. George by Peter Golenbock. About George Steinbrenner, “The poor little rich boy who built the Yankee empire amid the swirl of scandals, feuds, firings, banishments, bad trades, and even a felony conviction. He revived baseball’s most storied franchise, won ten pennants, and six World Series.”
18. Paul Newman: A Life by Sharon Levy. If you’re still a sucker for those blue eyes of his, Newman’s biography is a must read. One of the few super-stars who cared about the art of acting, Newman went on to work for political causes, including Civil rights and anti nuclear proliferation. He founded a food company, raising $250 million for charity, and raced cars. In this behind the scenes look we see his romance with Joanne Woodward, and the loss of a son from a drug overdose.
19. Horse Soldiers by Traverse City’s Doug Stanton. A within the scenes look at American Special Forces going into Afghanistan on horseback, over steep mountain roads, to get to Taliban strongholds and root them out. A fascinating look at the men and the maneuvers. Already on the New York Times Best Seller List, “Horse Soldiers” has been lauded from Traverse City to New York, and around the world.
20. When Evil Came to Good Hart by Mardi Link. A well-researched investigation into the murders of the Robinson family at Good Hart, an old Michigan cold case. Link is a good investigative journalist. Her story sticks to the murders and the one who was probably responsible.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5