Monday, August 29, 2011

Michigander Monday: Dr. Howard Markel

I'm very pleased this week to welcome Dr. Howard Markel to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Tell us a little about yourself.

Dr. Markel:  I was born in Michigan and have lived nearly my entire life here, with the exception of seven years in Baltimore and a year or so in New York City. After earning my Bachelor of Arts and Medical degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I was in Baltimore to complete my medical internship and residency in pediatrics and doctorate in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. As much as I loved the experience, I guess I’m a Michigander at heart, because I came back to the University of Michigan Medical School as an assistant professor in 1993, and I’ve been here ever since. Today, I’m the George E. Wantz, M.D. Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and the Director of the U-M Center for the History of Medicine. I hold additional professorships in pediatrics, history, psychiatry, and health management and policy.

As a scholar and historian I have published widely on a broad range of topics, but have especially focused on the social history of epidemic disease including the cholera pandemic of 1892-3, trachoma and typhus in the early 20th century, and the influenza pandemics of 1918 and 2009-2010. With regard to that last topic, I served as an influenza consultant to the White House in 2009, and have served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on pandemic influenza planning since 2006.

Aside from frequently publishing in medical journals, I am a regular contributor to the New York Times and contribute a monthly segment called “Science Diction” on National Public Radio’s Science Friday, where I discuss the often surprising history and evolution of scientific and medical terms. In 2008, I was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, which is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.

Debbie:  What an amazing range of research, work, and publishing!  And, of course, we want to know all about your latest book.

Dr. MarkelAn Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine is the story of two medical giants who happened to abuse cocaine.  Freud, of course, is the father of psychoanalysis, while Halsted, who is less well known to the general reader, was the father of modern surgery. Both experimented with cocaine to help others. Freud hoped it would cure a dear friend of morphine addiction, and Halsted believed cocaine was destined to be the world’s first truly effective local anesthetic. Both used themselves as guinea pigs, and were soon ‘hooked.’

Through their shared addiction, Freud and Halsted are tragic figures, but the sum of their life achievements makes them heroes. Freud never used the drug intravenously, and very likely overcame his addiction just as he started developing the therapeutic process we know as psychoanalysis. Halsted wasn’t as lucky. He used cocaine and morphine intravenously for the rest of his life, and underwent the personality changes and alienations we now associate with the addiction process. His iron will to develop new and better surgical techniques, and to teach these to students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was strong enough to insure that he confined his addictive excesses to times away from the hospital.

Debbie:  What an extraordinary book!  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Dr. Markel:  As a matter of fact, I’m now researching someone who had a huge role in Michigan’s history—John Harvey Kellogg. He was a Battle Creek physician, breakfast food inventor, and international personality. If his name sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because his brother Will Keith Kellogg founded the breakfast cereal company Kellogg’s of Battle Creek—but you’ll have to read my new book when it’s published in a few years to learn more about the Kellogg brothers and the famous doings of the Battle Creek Sanitarium.

Debbie:  Can't wait to read it!!  How about any upcoming appearances?

Dr. Markel:  I have five appearances in Michigan this fall:

September 8, 7 p.m., Nicola’s Books
Westgate Shopping Center, 2513 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor

September 12, 7 p.m., Ann Arbor District Library
Downtown Library, Multi-Purpose Room, 343 South Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor

October 12, 5:30 p.m., Author’s Forum, The University of Michigan
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery in Room 100, Ann Arbor

November 8, 7:30 p.m., JCC of Greater Ann Arbor Book Festival
2935 Birch Hollow Dr., Ann Arbor

November 13, 5 p.m., 60th Annual Jewish Book Fair of Metro Detroit
D. Dan and Betty Kahn Building
Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Jewish Community Campus
600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield

I have others scheduled around the country, and the best way to stay in touch with all my appearances is through my website and FaceBook page:

Debbie:  Favorite Michigan library or bookstore?

Dr. Markel:  My favorite bookstore is John K. King, Used and Rare Books, which is located on West Lafayette Boulevard in Detroit. Anyone who loves old books should make the trip to John King’s – it’s one of the best used/rare bookstores in the world.

The Hatcher Graduate Library here at the University of Michigan is my favorite library. I spent a lot of time at Hatcher over my eight years as an undergraduate and medical student. During that period of my life, it seems as if I was always either studying or reading in the stacks.

Debbie:  From my U-M days, I fondly remember the Grad Library!  Terrific library facility.  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Dr. Markel:  Would it surprise you if I answered Ann Arbor? I’ve spent much of my youth and adult life here, and I am still finding new and fun things to do, and intellectual experiences to appreciate. I think it’s the most culturally interesting city in the state, and it sets a certain rhythm to life that I find very satisfactory. That being said, Mackinac Island is appealing to me for its wonderful historical venues.

Debbie:  Both wonderful places!  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Dr. Markel:  My favorite event was here in Ann Arbor, the University Musical Society’s May Festival but sadly the last one was held in 1995. This multi-day festival started in 1894 and, sooner or later, most world-class orchestras and soloists performed for the festival. By the 1990s, times had changed and it was hard for both orchestras and ticketholders to commit to four performances in four days. I can’t think of any event or happening in Michigan that’s been able to replace it for sheer talent and memorable performances.

I’m a Detroit Tigers fan, so I can’t pass up the opportunity to attend as many home games as I can.  Among the most memorable have been the 2006 playoffs (both the Yankees and the Oakland series) and the World Series (in which we were decimated by the Cardinals).  Back when I was in medical school, I even slept outside the old Tiger Stadium to get tickets for the last two games of the 1984 World Series, in which we decimated San Diego!

Debbie:  That's dedication to your team!  How about something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Dr. Markel:  Come and visit. We won’t bite!

Debbie:  Very true!  Finally...  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander or "Michiganian?

Dr. Markel:  When I need to identify where I am from, the first term that comes to mind is “Detroiter”.  I was born in Detroit—at Harper Hospital—and grew up in suburban Oak Park and Southfield.  During medical school, I lived for a year on the campus of the Henry Ford Hospital.   I have a lot of affection for Detroit and its environs. Detroit and its cultural zeitgeist shaped my world view. If this isn’t an old saying, it ought to be: You can take the boy out of Detroit, but you can’t take Detroit out of the boy!

Debbie:  Detroiter it is!  Thank you, Dr. Markel, for being here today for Michigander Monday!

To learn more about Dr. Howard Markel and his books, stop by his web site.  And be sure to attend one of his upcoming appearances, listed above.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Michigander Monday: Camille Noe Pagán

I'm very pleased to welcome Camille Noe Pagán to Michigander Monday!!  I had the pleasure of briefly meeting her at one of her recent book signings, and not only is she a talented writer, she's a friendly and delightful person.  Great to have her here with us today!

Debbie:  Camille, tell us a little about yourself.

Camille:  I was raised in Dearborn, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan (on accident, really; they offered me a full scholarship and that ended my thoughts on getting out of town). When I graduated, I attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course, which is a six-week boot-camp for publishing hopefuls (now offered at Columbia in NYC), then moved to New York and found work at a magazine. I worked for an editor for several years, then made the leap to freelance writer in 2004, and haven't looked back since. I write for consumer magazines like Parade, SELF and O, primarily about nutrition and health, and in 2009 I sold my first novel, The Art of Forgetting, to Dutton; it was published this June. I moved from Brooklyn to Ann Arbor last summer so I could raise my two children closer to my family.

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your book!

CamilleThe Art of Forgetting is about two long-time friends—who grew up in Michigan and moved to New York City to start their adult lives—and how their friendship is upended after one of them suffers a brain injury that affects her memory and personality. The Chicago Tribune says "Pagan writes with both a subtle sense of humor and great wisdom about the power of friendship and the importance of forgiveness in her quietly compelling literary debut."

Debbie:  Other books and projects on the horizon?

Camille:  I'm hard at work on my second novel! I'm also taking on regular journalism stories and writing for, a site I co-founded in 2009 with my friend and colleague Sara Reistad-Long.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Camille:  None, thank goodness! I have a seven-month-old and a three year and just finished my mini book tour. I'm exhausted and really looking forward to digging into my next book.

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? A favorite Michigan library?

Camille:  The Borders in downtown Ann Arbor has always been a favorite; I've been going there as long as I can remember and I'm so sad that the company went out of business. As for libraries, the Dearborn Public Library system made me a reader (I went to all of the branches regularly as a child and later as a young adult) and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Camille:  My family goes up to a little town in the Upper Peninsula called Curtis. It's almost impossible to get an internet connection and there's nothing going on up there—it's beautiful and remote.

Debbie:  Sounds wonderful!  Camille, do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Camille:  The Ann Arbor Art Fair! I was so bummed that I wasn't able to attend it this year.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Camille:  We live in a fantastic neighborhood in Ann Arbor called Lower Burns Park, and our one-block street is very close—we have regular Friday night potlucks. At one of these get-togethers, my husband mentioned that he'd picked up this little physics book in Spanish when we were in Argentina a few years back. The neighbors who live directly across from us looked shocked and asked the name of the book. Low and behold, the husband of the two - Alberto Rojo - had written it! We hadn't made the connection, and we still can't believe what a crazy coincidence it was. As it turns out, in addition to being a physics whiz, Alberto is also an amazing guitarist, and his CD is worth checking out.

Debbie:  Definitely a CD worth giving a listen to!  How about something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?

Camille:  The best Lebanese food in the entire country can be had in Wayne County, Michigan. My favorites are Sheesh ( in Ann Arbor and Al-Ameer ( in Dearborn Heights.

Debbie:  Sounds delicious!  Finally, some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Camille:  I'm a Michigander, always. :)

Debbie:  Michigander it is!  Thank you, Camille, for joining us today for Michigander Monday!

To learn more about Camille Noe Pagán and her debut novel The Art of Forgetting, visit her web site.  And be sure to check out her Svelte Gourmand site as well!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Michigander Monday: Howard Binkow

I'm pleased to welcome Howard Binkow to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Howard, tell us a little about yourself and your books.

Howard:  I was born in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan. I started writing and publishing late in life. I am now the CEO of the We Do Listen Non Profit Foundation and devoting my life to help children.  A group of us have created the Howard B. Wigglebottom series of picture books and songs. They are helping young children become better listeners, learn important life lessons and feel good about themselves. Lessons like anger management, telling the truth, moderation, dealing with divorce, peer pressure, bully issues, learning disorders and the power of giving. Our next book, Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship: Winning Isn’t Everything will be available later this year.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Howard:  It’s important for me to have direct contact with our readers. I travel around the country and visit elementary schools to spend quality time with the children.  Schools interested in a free author visit should contact me at

Debbie:  Favorite things about Michigan?

Howard:  The best thing about Michigan is the people. Most of my close friends are Michiganders (or is it Michigoosers?).  I know I am painting this with a large brush but us hicks from the Midwest have some values I really like. My theory is that because there aren’t as many things to do as other places, those of us from Michigan have more time to think about the benefits of being truthful.

I remain a loyal Michigan football fan even when they experiment with new coaches. My favorite bookstore was the Borders in Ann Arbor. My favorite place in Michigan is Harbor Springs. My favorite event is the Fourth of July parade in Harbor Springs. My two all-time favorite Michigan restaurants are Julierettes in Harbor Springs and Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit.

We love to hear from children, their parents and teachers. I can be contacted through our website,

Debbie:  Howard, thank you so much for being with us today for Michigander Monday!

To learn more about Howard Binkow, his books, and his school programs, visit the We Do Listen web site.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Michigander Monday: Doc Fletcher

I'm pleased to welcome Doc Fletcher to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Doc, tell us a little about yourself.

Doc:  I was born in Detroit, graduated H.S. in Temperance MI, and earned my Bachelor's in Business Administration at EMU. Maggie and I were married along the banks of the Huron River where it flows through Riverside Park in Ypsilanti (you can see that my affinity for rivers has been around for awhile).

DebbieAnd, of course, we want to know all about your books!

DocI've had 3 books published by Arbutus Press (1) Weekend Canoeing in Michigan, (2) Michigan Rivers Less Paddled, and (3) Canoeing and Kayaking Wisconsin. These 3 books are based on 62 river trips that I've taken in MI and WI between 2007 - 2010.

Each river gets its own chapter which consists of 3 parts: (1) the outline of a day trip down the river, usually 2-4 hours; I assign a degree of difficulty to the day trip based on the experience level required to paddle the river; the trip is measured in minutes and miles from starting point to end point; minutes and miles are also noted from start to various landmarks along the way to let you know how you're progressing against the trip's total time, (2) history of a nearby riverside town; in the case of the two MI books, the "Town" section begins by telling you where to turn the dial to find the local Detroit Tiger radio affiliate so that you can listen to the Boys of Summer while paddling rivers far from home and (3) each chapter concludes by directing you to an old time tavern in the town, a place where you can relax with food and drink after your day on the water.

My books are available at bookstores across MI and WI, from small town independents to chain stores, as well as at dotcoms including my website

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

DocSo Many Michigan Rivers, So Little Paddling Time will be released in December of this year with the same rivers-towns-taverns format as the first 3 books.

DebbieUpcoming appearances?

Doc:  Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7PM at the Woodmere Library in Traverse City

Thursday, September 29, 7PM at the Alpena County Library in Alpena MI

Tuesday, October 18, noon at the Mott Community College Library in Flint MI

Tuesday, November 1, 6PM at the Hackley Library in Muskegon MI

New dates are added to my website "Calendar" section as they are scheduled.

At each of these appearances (free to attendees) I present an hour-long photographic journey down selected rivers from my books, kind of a virtual tour on dry land. Afterward, we hold a drawing (entering is free) where one winner receives a canoe/kayak livery gift certificate good for a day trip down a Michigan river. For those interested, I sign and sell copies of my books.

DebbieFavorite Michigan bookstore? Favorite Michigan library?

Doc:  Among many great bookstores, my current favorite is Black River Books in South Haven.

My favorite library is the Sandburg Library in Livonia run by a dear friend, Ms. Toni LaPorte.

DebbieHow about a favorite place in Michigan?

DocMy Northville home 'cause that's where Maggie is.

Debbie:  That's probably the sweetest answer ever to that question!  :)  How about a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Doc:  Paddling rivers in the high water speed of Spring or during the gorgeous color season of Fall is always special....

Crossing the Big Mac into the U.P. is good for the soul each and every time it happens...

The Quiet Water Symposium, held each year the first Saturday of March, is a wonderful opportunity each year to connect with fellow passionate paddlers and get your mind into the rivers...

and, of course, the Opening Day of the Detroit Tigers, our fantastic harbinger of Spring.

DebbieA few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

DocGloria Miller is an 85-year young kayaker and conservationist, President of Friends of the Looking Glass, a gorgeous river near Lansing. Gloria paddled all 225 miles of the 13-day "Grand Expedition" in 2010, an amazing person and an inspiration to all who meet her.  [Ed. Note:  Articles about Gloria Miller available here and here.)

Debbie:  She sounds like a remarkable woman!

Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

DocRead one of John Voelker's, aka Robert Traver's, books and fall in love with Northern MI, especially the U.P.  Take the time to paddle the Fox, the Pere Marquette, the Carp, or canoe the Two Hearted River right into Lake Superior, and you will come back again and again to this beautiful state.

Debbie:  Final question:  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Doc:  I use both names, but Michigander more often.

Debbie:  We'll add you to the "Mostly Michigander" column!  Doc Fletcher, thank you so much for being here today!

To learn more about Doc Fletcher and his books, visit his web site.  And then jump in your canoe and enjoy one of Michigan's many wonderful rivers!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Babble Book List

Melissa Taylor, of Imagination Soup, has a "100 Best Children's Books" list over on Babble.  She was kind enough to include The Pout-Pout Fish.  It's in the Toddler Books category.  Thanks, Melissa!

Be sure to head over to Babble and check out the rest of the list.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nancy Shaw and Shutta Crum reading and signing

If you're in the Northville area tomorrow, you can catch two of my favorite children's book authors at a reading and signing.

Nancy Shaw and Shutta Crum will be doing a short reading and a book signing at the Next Chapter Bookstore and Bistro, as part of the Buy Michigan Now Festival.

They will start at 10:30 for 30 minutes or so of stories and talk.  Then they'll be signing books until noon.

Hope you go -- Shutta and Nancy are not only totally talented, they're also wonderfully nice.  You should go see them!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Michigander Monday: Sharon Kegerreis and Lorri Hathaway

I'm pleased this week to welcome Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis to Michigander Monday.  Today marks the first Michigander Monday Q&A to include a wine recommendation.  I'm thinking of adding it to my standard Qs!

DebbieTell us a little about yourselves.

LorriGrowing up on Leelanau Peninsula gave me the appreciation for Michigan and all it has to offer. (OK, so it wasn’t until I was adult that I really appreciated it, but I got to this point nonetheless!) After getting a business degree from Central Michigan University, I became a commercial real estate broker, a position I greatly enjoyed until I became a mom. I decided to chuck the corporate world to stay home with my babies and began to focus on writing and photography. Before kids, I had traveled to Europe several times and saw amazing landscapes and realized that Michigan has that, too. I also began to explore the wines and foods here and was amazed that Michigan was producing great wines and growing great agriculture. Today, I live in East Lansing with my husband and four kids and continue to write and take photographs, mostly inspired by our Great Lakes state. I also travel the state with Sharon giving presentations on Exploring Michigan Wineries, the History of Michigan Wines and Michigan Agricultural Experiences.

Sharon:  I enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Charlevoix on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. Throughout my youth, my parents instilled in me a love of adventure and travel. After earning a communications degree from Central Michigan University, I moved to Colorado to start my public relations career and ski. After two years working in radio and television, I moved to California and worked in PR in the high-tech industry for five years. Travel experiences in the U.S., Latin American and overseas reinforced my love for travel – and a new appreciation for Michigan’s four seasons, fresh water lakes, rivers, rolling hills and beauty to which I returned in 1997. I love travel, local wines (Michigan wines and wines from whichever region I am visiting), real maple syrup, fresh blueberries and grilled whitefish, and am an aspiring gardener, outdoor enthusiast, writer and photographer. I live in charming Chelsea with my husband and two girls.

DebbieAnd, of course, we want to know all about your books!

Lorri and SharonFrom the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries is a full-color, hardcover book that takes you to wine country before you visit, introducing you to many of the winemakers and more than 50 agricultural destinations. It is divided into four wine trails and beyond, making it easy to plan your route to visiting a handful of tasting rooms at a time. Many readers take the book along to the tasting room and collect winemaker signatures on the various pages. It’s great for first-time tasters to wine enthusiasts, travelers and anyone passionate about Michigan. This was our first book, and we were so excited when it won the 2008 Michigan Notable Book award.

The History of Michigan Wines: 150 Years of Winemaking along the Great Lakes provides insight into Michigan’s rich wine history, which ignited in 1863 along Lake Erie with the state’s first commercial tasting room. Highlighted are the rollicking era of Prohibition and a raid on red wine in the Upper Peninsula that garnered national headlines, and the surprising wine industry boom of the 1930s in Detroit, following Michigan’s repeal of Prohibition. The book takes you through the decades to present day, showcasing both historic and modern photographs.

DebbieOther books or projects on the horizon?

Sharon and LorriYes, we are currently working on a book about Michigan agriculture called Delicious Michigan. We’re very passionate Michiganders and love supporting “all things Michigan.” We’re excited for its release in the spring so that we can share info about all the exciting things grown in our Great Lakes state.

Debbie:  Sounds like a great book - can't wait to see that!  How about any upcoming appearances?

Lorri and SharonYes, we are presenting at:

Saturday, August 6, 2011
TawasUncork'd and Untap'd
Tawas, Michigan
12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Celebrity wine pouring and book signing

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Bronson Place
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2:00 p.m.
Presentation and book signing

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Pentwater, Michigan
2:00 p.m.
Presentation and book signing

Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26
The Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Presentations and book signing

Debbie:  Favorite Michigan library or bookstore?

LorriThe East Lansing Public Library has wonderful children’s programs. And, a huge bonus for us is that my daughters’ former preschool teacher, Mrs. Thode, works there, making it an extra special visit.

SharonMy favorite bookstore is Round Lake Bookstore in Charlevoix for its quaint, small town appeal, diverse fiction and nonfiction book selection and personable owner. I have two favorite libraries: the Charlevoix Public Library, which is in my old middle school that has been renovated and adapted to its new use. The library features a charming section for children and lovely outdoor garden. I also love the Chelsea District Library for its friendly staff and creative programs for children, teens and adults. Both libraries feature stunning outdoor artwork, connecting art and nature with literature.

DebbieHow about a favorite place in Michigan?

LorriI love the Empire Bluffs. The views are just as amazing as anywhere in the world, and the lake breeze is so refreshing. Glen Lake is my favorite lake. I also love having dinner in Detroit’s Greektown.

SharonI can easily spend hours walking along the dunes and flora of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, particularly along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, along Lake Michigan in Charlevoix and at the Grand Sable Dunes in Grand Marais along Lake Superior. I also enjoy experiences in Detroit’s sports arenas and theaters, and Grand Rapids’ vibrant downtown.

DebbieDo you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Lorri:  I rarely miss the Leland Wine Fest on the second Saturday in June. The fest itself is great, but I mostly enjoy sitting on the deck next to the waterfall at Ric’s Cafe and having dinner at The Bluebird. Art’s Bar in Glen Arbor at midnight on New Year’s Eve is another annual tradition.

Sharon:  Growing up fifty miles south of the Mackinac Bridge, I enjoyed jaunts to Mackinac Island nearly every summer as a child. A tradition my family now enjoys is our annual trek to the island, which consists of riding around the 9-mile island on our bikes and rewarding ourselves with several slabs of fudge. It’s the one time of the year we wholeheartedly embrace our inner Fudgies. Favorite festivals include Charlevoix’s Venetian Festival for the lighted boat parade and fireworks extravaganza and Chelsea’s Sounds & Sights Festival – three nights of music and dancing under the big tent.

DebbieSomething you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

LorriMichigan doesn’t get enough credit for how beautiful it is with its gorgeous coastline of massive freshwater lakes surrounding two peninsulas. We are also the second most agriculturally diverse state, and wine is one of our top commodities. With a rising trend for agricultural experiences, Michigan is one of the best places to achieve that.

SharonMichigan offers abundant world-class culinary and agricultural destinations and diverse recreational options. It’s easy to unwind here thanks to the lake breezes, sandy beaches, bucolic scenery, award-winning wines and creative food artisans. Water and hills abound for kayaking, fishing, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing.

Debbie:  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you "Michiganders or "Michiganians?

Lorri:  Oh, no question at all on that one! I’m definitely a Michigander! I’m not really sure what a Michiganian is.

SharonMichiganian-who? I am a proud Michigander.

Debbie:  I'll add you both to the Michigander column!  Finally, a bonus question:  I’m not knowledgeable about wines, but I do very much enjoy red wines that are dry and a bit murky. Any particular wine you’d recommend for me to give a try to?

LorriHmm....  I’m not sure I should refer to anyone’s wine as “murky,” but certainly for some dry, deep wines, try any at Brys Estate. They make delicious reds. Many other wineries do as well. The best way to taste wines is at a wine tasting where you can try small sips to find something you love.

SharonIn addition to Brys red wines, try Domaine Berrien Cellar’s Crown of Cabernet or Syrah.

Debbie:  Thank you for the recommendations!  (And I promise not to use the word "murky" anymore to describe a wine...)  It's been a pleasure to have you both here for Michigander Monday - thank you!

To learn more about Lorri and Sharon and their books, visit their web site Michigan Vine / Delicious Michigan.  Their site also includes a schedule of appearances.  And you can find them on FaceBook.