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Beaver Island Books
Mary Blocksma

     For the past four years, Mary Blocksma, author of several books, has been running Beaver Island's only bookstore, at the Episcopal Church end of the Back Highway.  During that time, word of mouth has spread, and she is surprisingly busy on most summer days. Not only does she stock her favorite books, and order anything a customer might want, but she also sells a number of works of art --especially her own posters and cards (Native American, contemporary southwest, and nature scenes.) This past winter, she lived near Saugatuck, where she could see lake Michigan from her window. Amazed at the nuances it offered from day to day, she painted a large number of the amazingly variegated views, and then, when she returned to Beaver Island, put thirty of them together as a limited edition print, and had others reproduced as postcards.
     Mary discovered, and fell in love with, Beaver Island during the writing of her twentieth book, The Fourth Coast.  Five years ago she set out in her van, following the Great Lakes shoreline on a journey of exploration and self-discovery.  She recorded her experiences in a journal, which became this very successful meditation and travel memoir --although it hasn't yet reached the 100,000 plateau of her best-selling children's book, Yoo Hoo Moon. 
     Mary grew up in Grand Rapids, went off to college (she earned three degrees), served a stint in the Peace Corps, and then became the director of the Laramie, Wyoming library system.  After six years and a divorce, she decided to give her writing top priority.  It was a risky decision, and involved an immense amount of sacrifice and work, but it ultimately paid off.  Now she's one of Beaver Island's summer attractions, with fans coming from all over to buy and/or have her sign their favorite of her many works.

For more, visit Mary Blocksma's web site.

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