Saturday, September 2, 2023

Sloth Goes Places - Michigan


Sloth Goes Places is a feature where I share books I have tracked from previous Literary Escapes reading challenge hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Today we are looking at books set in ....


I am currently reading a book set in Michigan, and one of my favorites last week (Tom Lake) was also set there. Interestingly enough, both Tom Lake and Famous in a Small Town feature cherry trees. I had no idea until recently that cherries are a big crop in that part of the country. 

I have never been to Michigan, but I have gathered some intel from the books I have read. They seem to get a lot of snow in the winter, and it's a great place for a lakeside vacation. A few authors I have read set multiple books there, such as Viola Shipman and Erin Hahn. When it comes to finding books set here, they are not hard to find, and it's great to be able to depend on Hahn or Shipman for a great book to fulfill the prompt. 

Beach Read
 by Emily Henry
Published by Berkley on May 19, 2020
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no-one will fall in love. Really.

I was so blown away by this book. As a fan of Henry's young adult books, I had high expectations, and she blew them out of the water. I loved the characters, the story, the setting, EVERYTHING! I especially remember being wowed by the ending. It's a great Michigan book too, taking place right on the lake. 


Amelia Unabridged
 by Ashely Schumacher
Published by Wednesday Books on February 16, 2021
Age/Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future.

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

This was another book that took me to the shores of Lake Michigan, but the star, as far as the setting is concerned, was that magnificent bookshop. It sounded like heaven on earth, and it was a place Amelia was able to mourn her friend, heal a bit, and fall in love. All books involving loss make me cry, so it shouldn't surprise you that tears were shed, but there was a lot of joy too. Notable to this book was that ending. It was one of the first times I had seen that style (which I have seen since), but it was like a newsreel spanning many years of the characters' lives, and it was amazing. 


Built to Last
 by Erin Hahn
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 18, 2022
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Erin Hahn's Built to Last is a sparkling second chance romance about owning what you’re worth and fighting for the one who got away.

Shelby Springfield has spent the last ten years trying to overcome her past, sanding it away like she does the rough spots on the vintage furniture finds she makes over. But as a former child star, it’s hard to forget a mediocre pop career, a meltdown widely documented by the paparazzi, and a huge public break with her former co-star Lyle Jessup. It’s also hard to forget her other co-star and childhood sweetheart, Cameron Riggs -- the one who got away.

Anytime Shelby has called, Cameron has come running… And then he runs right off again to chase stories around the world by making documentaries, too scared to admit what he really wants. But when Lyle stirs the pot, getting the two back in the spotlight with a home renovation show, Cameron can't help but come on board.

There's something in it for everyone -- almost. Cameron wants to come home and set down some roots. Shelby wants to prove to the world she's not the messy party girl anymore. And Lyle wants to twist the screws on his two childhood friends who had more chemistry than he could dream of with anyone. Sparks and sawdust fly as Shelby and Cameron film the pilot for "Homemade" and battle Lyle’s shenanigans at every turn.

This story incorporated two of my favorite tropes - friends-to-lovers and second chance romance. As if that wasn't enough to elicit great happiness from me, it was also fun, sweet, and entertaining. I loved getting to know about Shelby and Cameron's past while watching them fall in love all over again. The house flipping was a great plus too. 

Have you read any books set in Michigan?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I actually just finished Good For You by Camille Pagan, which was set in Michigan.

    1. I have never read her though a few of her books look interesting to me

  2. I remember Beach Read being setup in Michigan. And I loved that book!

  3. I love that all of Viola Shipman's books are set in Michigan. Living about 10 minutes to the bridge to Michigan, I love reading books set there, it is almost like they are writing about my home area. There are a of cozy mysteries set in Michigan as well.

    1. That's neat. I realize there are places really close to the border. I even did day trips to Canada when I stayed in Onchiota, NY, but I forget.

  4. I've read Beach Read and Hahn's book(s) set in Michigan. I also recently read another series, but do you think I can remember it right now? No. :(

    1. Hahn loves that MI setting for sure. I probably would forget settings if I didn't track them