Sunday, September 14, 2008

Books to read while camping

My son just returned from a weekend of very rainy camping with the Boy Scouts at Warren Dunes State Park. As we are experiencing the remains of Hurricane Ike here in Ann Arbor, I am packing to camp tomorrow with my daughter's 7th grade class in the Irish Hills. Camping isn't much fun in the rain, but at least I'll be in a cabin tomorrow. I am hoping the rain will stop. If faced with a rainy camping trip, the best thing you can do is to make sure you've got a deck of cards, lots of good books to read, and plenty of whiskey. But not if you are on a scout or a 7th grade trip, of course. On scout camp trips or 7th grade camping trips, you have to rely on lots of hot coffee instead.

Here's some good books to read while camping:

"Anatomy of a Murder" by Robert Traver, aka John Voelker. This week, Northern Michigan University is sponsoring a retrospective on Voelker's writing. This book is a classic, albeit a little sexist. Cut it some slack as it was written in 1958. I love the descriptions of the U.P. in this book.

"The Shining" by Steven King. Yes, I know you've seen the movie, but the book is a million times better, even though Jack Nicholson is great in the movie. I recommend this book to read when you are holed up in a lodge somewhere and the snow's coming down. Ski trip? Winter camping? I read it my freshman year at Michigan Tech, when it seemed like it would never stop snowing and we'd all go insane. Perfect setting for reading about a guy who goes insane because it won't stop snowing. REDRUM!

Fresh Water: Women's Writing on the Great Lakes edited by the appropriately named Alison Swan. This is a collection of nonfiction women writers.

One I'd like to read is Crooked Tree by Robert C. Wilson. Robert C. Wilson was a 29 year old Wayne County prosecutor when he wrote “Crooked Tree” a terrifying horror tale that borrowed from an ancient Ottawa Indian legend about bears exacting revenge against human interlopers. It's long been out of print, but recently reprinted.

I came across an excellent blog that features Michigan writers called Mittenlit. Check it out! I love reading Michigan books while camping. Meanwhile, if you have some books I should add to my camp reading list, please let me know.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oy,... not the Shining! That book gave me nightmares for years and years and... well, you get it.

Brilliant book, so-so movie. The movie just didn't even begin to touch the book.

BTW... I have been very disorganized but fully plan to enjoy your touching post on 9/11 - tomorrow.

Edward Vielmetti said...

There's more Robert Traver books that would be a good 2d read - any of his fishing books would be good if camping includes fishing, and I remember reading "Laughing Whitefish" and liking it.