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Under the Radar Michigan & Tom Daldin

under the radar

When the auto industry crashed in 2010, filmmaker Tom Daldin – who produced automotive videos – was out of a job. So he and his buddy Jim Edelman came up with “Under the Radar Michigan,”  which finds them on the road, discovering Michigan’s hidden gems. “We talk to real people and tell real Michigan success stories,” Daldin has said.

tom daldin

Tom Daldin

Under the Radar Michigan is now an Emmy award winning PBS television series that features the cool people, places and things that make Michigan an awesome place to live, work and play. If you’re looking for great Michigan places to explore, vacation, eat, live, start a business or just relax, this book is for you. Chapter by chapter, we take you along on our first fifty episodes and discover great Michigan cities, interesting people, incredible restaurants, romantic spaces and great places to vacation with the whole family. You’ll speed through Michigan’s Everglades; go to santa school; eat awesome food; hike giant dunes; meet inspired people; explore great wilderness; fly through the air on skis; sail the Great Lakes; tour great museums and even swim at a secret beach. You won’t believe what’s right in your own back yard.

Meet Tom in our Main Tent at 11 a.m.

Don’t miss this year’s children’s line-up!

This year our Children’s Tent is packed with activity. We kick off the day at 11 with our beloved Mother Goose, the favorite of the very littlest bookfest visitors.

mother g

Mother Goose

At 11:45 author Shanda Trent will join us to read her new picture book, Giddy-Up Buckaroos.

giddy up

At 12:15 we have husband and wife Matt Faulkner & Kristen Remenar. Kristen wrote the charming Groundhog’s Dilemma, and Matt supplied the gorgeous illustrations. They’ll be reading the book.


1t 1 p.m. you won’t want to miss the talented Kelly DiPucchio, who will be sharing How to Potty Train your Monster. 

potty train

From 2 p.m. on the tent is filled with returning favorites! At 2 p.m. storyteller and librarians Laura Pershin Raynor and Kayla Coughlin present fall stories, along with an autumn craft for cruising through the festival.  This is appropriate for younger kids.

laura raynor

Laura Pershin Raynor

And to cap off our day at 3:30, Ruth McNally Barshaw, the creator of the inimitable Ellie McDoodle, joins us for a drawing workshop where she’ll teach everyone How to Make a Lion from a 5.  All ages are welcome at this presentation.

ellie mcdoodle

Ellie McDoodle

Traveling the Lakes

“. . . Oh! you won’t know why and you can’t say how
Such a change upon you came,
But once you have slept on an island,
You’ll never be quite the same.” — Rachel Lyman Field


Isle Royale

This year’s theme, “Travels with Books”, is truly personified by writers Loreen Niewenhuis and Maureen Dunphy, who have traveled quite literally almost everywhere on our beautiful Great Lakes. They’ll be discussing their favorite islands at 2:45 in the Concert House.

IslandWalkCover (2)

Loreen, by training a scientist and by passion a writer, has written both fiction and non fiction but has always felt drawn to Lake Michigan – so she decided to walk around it. She also took a 1,000 mile walk where she touched ALL of the Great Lakes, and most recently, she’decided to explore the islands of the Great Lakes. These journeys have all resulted in books.



Maureen Dunphy

Maureen also shares a passion for the lakes, and in one year made a total of 27 trips to 136 Great Lakes Basin Islands. These were all of the islands she could find, accessible by ferry or bridge, in the Basin–which includes the connecting rivers/straits as well as the five Great Lakes themselves. On each of these island trips, she was accompanied by a woman friend or relative, who provided another pair of eyes through which to filter the island experience.

Through words and images, these women will share their passion for our beautiful Lakes as well as for  their favorite islands.

Meet Ava Chin

Ava Chin, the author of Eating Wildly, joins us in the Concert House at 1:30. She’ll be interviewed by Crazy Wisdom manager Rachel Pastiva.

ava chin

Ava Chin

Along with an impressive array of writing credits – she’s written articles for Marie Claire, the Village Voice, The Los Angeles Time Sunday Magazine and SPIN, she’s also the former urban forager columnist for the New York Times.

Eating Wildly reveals how foraging and the DIY-food movement helped Chin to heal up from the wound of an absent father and taught her important lessons in self-reliance. After a romantic break-up and the loss of a beloved family member, she immerses herself in places like Prospect and Central Parks, discovering the city’s best mushrooms, mulberries, and even a swarm of wild honeybees slated for extermination on Staten Island, meeting fellow foragers and mycologists along the way. As the seasons turn, she starts to see the world as a place of abundance and beauty, where everything is interconnected and interdependent—and timing is key.


“Foraging is not associated with Dumpster diving,” laughs Ava, addressing a common misconception. “Yes, is it a kind of ‘freeganism,’ but no, I do not eat roadkill. Foraging is a way of learning about the edible plants that are all around us, whether in a city, a suburban yard, or a state park.”

Nowhere near the wilderness? Ava wants you to know that the “concrete jungle” actually hides many wild edibles. “You can find a variety and abundance of wild foods in a city or in the suburbs.”

Ava forages for treasures in the city all the time. Check out a few.


I love the lemony kick of wood sorrel in salads. Note the heart-shaped leaves and the clover formation. No wonder it’s also called “shamrocks.”



One of the choicest mushrooms in North America, yellow morels can only be gathered from the wild. Note the honey-comb pattern, and — unlike the “false morel” — Morchella esculenta is hollow inside.

Donate to Food Gatherers at the BookFest!

FG logo FinalC

This year we’ve partnered with Food Gatherers and they’ll have a booth at the BookFest. They’ll be accepting donations of both non-perishables and whole produce to help promote healthy eating. Donations can be dropped off at the Food Gatherers booth.

Food Gatherers guiding principle: We believe that in a land of plenty, no one should go hungry!

As the food rescue and food bank program serving Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community. Help support this goal the day of the BookFest while also enjoying the books & authors.NicolasBooks Logo

Nicola’s Books will also be partnering with Food Gatherers. They’ll be selling copies of Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. For every case of books sold, Workman publishing will donate a case to Food Gatherers.good-and-cheap

You’ll be able to find these two booths near each other in the Farmer’s Market the day of the book fest. Happy, healthy eating to all!