Great Bookstores: McLean & Eakin
I visited my favorite Independent bookstore in Northern Michigan. It’s called McLean & Eakin and was named so after the owner’s grandmothers. It’s currently being managed by the second generation, Matt Norcross and his wife, Jessilyn.
I took a picture of the sign that greets you at the back door, which honors their Excellence in Bookselling.
As I stepped across the threshold, I was greeted by the person behind the counter where special orders take place. This area is a riot of books and magazines and other items that just make you feel as if this store is really productive with lots going on.
After wandering around in the downstairs where journals, travelogues, cookbooks and cooking books share space with mysteries, vinyl and graphic novels, I went upstairs where I was greeted by several different staff members. Each them asked if I was searching for a good read or just needed help finding what I was looking for.
Upstairs is the children’s section, Michigan local books, and new releases plus staff picks. There was an entire floor to ceiling shelf of just book club books that were currently active and a large table of books associated with author events.
This bookstore has so much good energy and the staff are so friendly and helpful, even going that special step of, “Oh, if you like that, have you seen this?”
And putting a book in my hand. The book that was put in my hand was Never Flirt with Puppy Killers: and Other Better Book Titles by Dan Wilbur. I have to admit, I flipped through it on the spot and laughed out loud right there in the aisle. It’s a series of book covers from popular or famous books that you would recognize from just the cover. The first page I happened to open was the popular Dr. Seuss book that I immediately knew, but the title was “Last Minute Graduation Present” (obviously a spoof off Oh, The Places You’ll Go).
I really enjoyed browsing through the staff picks table, noting several books I had already read and 2 I am now interested in reading: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff and The Tilted World by Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) and Beth Ann Fennelly (Great with Child), a husband and wife author team. The first because of its write up by the staff which is slipped into books to promote it, and the second because Jessilyn Norcross was the one to recommend it and I trust her advice. The book that caught my eye on the book club picks was Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that there was an “Ethics” book club that met monthly and the variety of choices ranged from Bill McKibben’s Eaarth to Us and Them: The Science of Identity by David Berreby.
Each year as I journey to my Mom’s place in Northern Michigan, a stop at McLean & Eakin is always a must as it adds to my breadth of knowledge of good books and good Bookselling!