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Stay warm this weekend and curl up with one of our recommended Michigan reads


The bad news? A big winter storm is forecasted to bring a mix of freezing rain, snow, and flooding this weekend. The good news? It's the perfect weekend to stay in your pajamas and curl up with a good book.

If you're looking for recommendations with a Michigan connection, poet and writer Keith Taylor has got you covered. We asked him to give us book recommendations perfect for winter hibernating.

Credit Wayne State University Press
Wayne State University Press

The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait Book by Linda Solomon

“Solomon was a columnist with the Detroit News, and Aretha was famously cautious around reporters,” Taylor said. “I think Aretha might have also felt Solomon’s discretion. And she’s very discrete. For instance, in this book, Aretha never looks bad. The photographs aren’t fancied up, they're not filtered, they’re not Photoshopped. They’re candids, but she’s always well-dressed.”


Credit Michigan State University Press
Michigan State University Press

RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music Edited by Jim Daniels and M.L. Liebler

“It’s the history of music in Detroit. Certainly goes back, at least touches into, the early 20th century with some blues,” he said. “In this book, you’ve got lyrics by some of the great songwriters: Fats Dominos, Billy Bragg, Robbie Robertson, Gordon Lightfoot, Jack White, Eminem, and a bunch of others. Then there’s some poems of the great dead poets of Detroit: Robert Hayden, Philip Levine. Then there are poets of great national reputations who are either from Detroit or came through here and spent time here: Nikki Giovanni, Toi Derricotte, Edward Hirsch. And then there’s a bunch of the rest of us who just sort of hang out here, including me.”

Credit Little, Brown and Company
Little, Brown and Company

The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks

“It’s a re-creation of a very troubled life,” Taylor said. “[Erik Satie] would compose these exquisite little pieces… little very simple piano pieces that just have a few notes, but are so evocative. If people don’t put the name on that music, if they listen to the music, I suspect they’d recognize it.”

We want to hear what Michigan books you're reading! Drop us a note at stateside@umich.edu., drop them on our Facebook page, or tweet us @StatesideRadio.

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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