Summer Reading List

CHG’s Summer Reading List: For Adults

Summer has arrived! CHG has put together a list of recommended readings. Whether you’re looking to learn about shipwrecks in Lake Michigan, read a fictional novel, or discover new talent, we’ve got recommendations for everyone. And bonus – all books featured on our summer reading list were printed at Color House Graphics.

Wildlife 911: On Patrol by John Borkovich

Ride along on “armchair” patrol with John Borkovich as he outsmarts deer poachers, thwarts fish thieves, and foils outlaws and felons. John’s encounters with illegal immigrants, strange religious cults, and ordinary burglars put his life in danger as he protects Michigan’s natural resources. John’s collection of true stories is action-packed, suspenseful, and often humorous.

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The Surface of Water: A Novel by Cynthia Beach

The only person who can uncover his secret has arrived.

It’s 2006, and Calvary Community Church of Chicago needs a new administrative assistant. Pastor Matthew Goodman examines possible new hire, 25-year-old Trish Card. Her sad eyes, beautiful and lake-clear, watch him. What he doesn’t know about Trish and her valid reason for appearing will dismantle his world irrevocably.

The Surface of Water is a story about Matthew, whose fame and isolation grew beyond his control, and about Trish, a young woman trying to understand her mother’s complicated life and her own.

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Creative Juices: A Splash of Story Craft, Process, and Creative Soul Care by Cynthia Beach

This supplemental book will energize writers who want to deepen their story craft and improve their writing process. In Creative Juices for Writers, fiction and nonfiction writers find practical how-tos for habits and skills packaged in snackable content. Longtime creative writing professor, writer, and coach Cynthia Beach show how to: care for creativity and creative wounds, manage an effective writing game plan, and master showing and craft tools. Brief explanations, examples, and exercises offer strategic support for improving writing.

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Fatal Crossing by V.O. Van Heest

As a furious squall swept down Lake Michigan on June 23, 1950, a DC-4 with 58 souls on board flew from New York toward Minnesota. After midnight, Captain Robert Lind requested a lower altitude as he began crossing the lake, but Air Traffic Control could not comply. That was the last communication with Northwest Airlines Flight 2501. Shredded human remains washing up on the beaches of West Michigan served as evidence of the country’s worst commercial aviation disaster. The Navy and Coast Guard never located the wreck, rendering it impossible to determine a cause for this tragic accident.

Over a half-century later, nationally acclaimed author and explorer Clive Cussler of the National Underwater Marine Agency teamed up with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association to pick up the search where the government left off and attempt to solve the mystery of the plane’s disappearance.

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Lost & Found: Legendary Lake Michigan Shipwrecks by Valerie Van Heese

Titanic sank in 1912, and the stories of amazing survival and tragic loss made the ocean liner famous. Titanic’s discovery in 1985—and the images captured of the grand staircase, the pilothouse, and the dripping reticles—made Titanic legendary.

Likewise, the many shipwrecks presented in Lost and Found became even more famous after their discoveries than at the time of their losses, gaining notoriety as historic attractions, archaeological sites, and in some cases, over bold salvage attempts or precedent-setting legal battles. Through riveting narrative, the award-winning author and explorer take the readers back in time to experience these ships’ careers and tragic sinking’s, then beneath the lake to participate in the triumphant discovery and exciting exploration of their remains and the circumstances that led to their status as legendary shipwrecks.

The vessels in this comprehensive publication span the age of sail, steam, and diesel on the Great Lakes, from the earliest schooners to the sidewheel steamers, propellers, car ferries, self-unloaders, and yachts. They include ships lost in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan waters that were discovered by some of the lake’s most prolific wreck hunters, including the author’s organization—Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates—in partnerships with legendary wreck hunters David Trotter, Ralph Wilbanks, and nationally acclaimed author Clive Cussler. Presented chronologically based on the date discovered, these shipwrecks provide an overview of evolving diver attitudes and conduct and the laws affecting exploration and documentation.

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Shaping Chicago: James S. Dunham’s Crusade for the River by Thomas J. Lutz

Chicago would not be the world-class city it is today if not for the tireless efforts of a ship captain, business owner, and politician James Sears Dunham, whose life during the 1800s—a century dependent on the water—is the embodiment of everything that is and was Chicago maritime. This recounting of his life’s story reveals how the maritime community in Chicago shaped not only the city’s waterfront but also the very image the city presents to the world today.

Among his peers, Dunham served as the Chicago River’s greatest advocate understanding its significance in developing the city into one of the world’s great ports, a role woefully misunderstood to this day. He battled politicians, business rivals, and the railroads to do what he felt best for the good of all. A review of his accomplishments provides insight into how Chicago’s lakefront, “The Loop,” and its bridges developed into familiar icons, offers new revelations about the river’s famous reversal, explains why the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was so needlessly tragic and examines the staging of the 1893 World’s Fair far south of the city.

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God, Make Me Big by Ladonna Graber

LaDonna survived trauma no child should have to endure. Feeling too small to cope, she prayed, “God, make me big.” He did. It’s hard to imagine the childhood LaDonna endured. Her life is a fantastic testimony to the redemptive power of our loving and faithful God. She has lived her life serving Him and others with joy! Her purpose in writing this book is to help others find the same peace and healing she has received.

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The Save Five Series by Janet Vormittag

The Save Five Series is a collection of fictional books that explore today’s relevant animal issues such as factory farming, medical and cosmetic research, dog fighting, animal hoarding, and captive hunting preserves.

If you have compassion for animals and love to read, you’ll appreciate Janet Vormittag’s heroic tales of Alison Cavera as she fights for animals who share this planet with us.

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How to Make a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt by Andrea Funk

You can make your own Too Cool® Style T-shirt quilt with these complete directions. Andrea Funk will guide you through each step of making a T-shirt quilt.

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