Selected Works

Judging Noa: a Biblical Woman's Journey. When her father is murdered by religious fanatics, Noa must win inheri-tance rights for herself and her sisters or face bondage. Noa's quest for justice is set against the drama of the Exodus.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park was once home to pioneer farmers, poets, and moonshiners. Travel historic trails and hear the tales of their lives.

Journey from the ruby-colored Eilat Mountains to the Jordan River and evergreen Mount Carmel. See the lands Abraham, Moses, and Jesus walked. Meet travelers from around the world.

Experience the real Florida. Roseate spoonbills rising from the Everglades, manatees lolling in turquoise waters, 'gators hiding in orchid-hung swamps.

Luminous views of the Midwest's sweeping prairies, dune-edged Great Lakes, and deep boreal forests.


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Judging Noa: a Biblical Woman's Journey
Noa, at 16, sets out with the 12 tribes of the Exodus, dreaming of a life of freedom. When religious fanatics kill her father, Noa and her four sisters are threatened with bondage. Vowing to win inheritance rights, Noa pleads their case before ever higher ranks of judges. One accuses her of poisoning, which she cannot deny. Noa gains strength and complexity advancing toward her goal: the ear of Moses.

Judging Noa bursts with richly drawn characters whose troubles often parallel our own. From bloody battles and frankincense cartels to humor and food--Judging Noa explores the feast of life. At its center is Noa's quest for justice, a journey with as much meaning today as then.

History Hikes of the Smokies

In the early 1900s, more than 5,000 people lived on the land that would become the largest national park in the East—and the most visited in the country. They owned homes, barns, orchards, country stores, and more. Schools and churches dotted the valleys. Timber companies owned hundreds of miles of railway, sprawling lumber mills, and “company towns” with barbershops, pool halls, and movie theaters.

These communities are the focus of History Hikes of the Smokies: in-depth narratives of 20 historically significant trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The narratives reveal a wealth of anecdotes as well as the historical importance of each route as they wind around ridges and traverse narrow valleys, passing remnants of farms and hamlets. Quotations, poetry, and tall tales of colorful characters bring long-gone mountain families and communities to life.

Discovering Natural Israel

Learn the land of the Bible on your feet, by camel, or from an easy chair. Discovering Natural Israel offers travel writing that introduces not only startlingly diverse wildlife and nature areas, but also fascinating people. Nature guides from Morocco mingle with birders from England, botanists from Germany, Tel Aviv vacationers, and spirited travelers from across the U.S.

Discovering Natural Israel is the only book that comprehensively covers natural Israel. It divides the country into eleven chapters, one for each geographic region, from the vast Negev Desert to the forests of northern Galilee. Each chapter reveals the best natural areas, provides maps and color photographs, and tells of adventures along the trail. Natural history is woven with human history, from prophets to Josephus to Mark Twain's travels in the Holy Land. Includes a host of contact information as well as plant and animal species lists.

Florida State Parks

Florida's State Park System is renowned for its palm-shaded beaches, exotic tropical forests, crystalline springs, and wildlife seen no where else in America. Florida State Parks: a Complete Recreation Guide is the best guide to all 150 parks in this award-winning park system and provides everything you need to know: contact and camping information, hours, facilities, recreation possibilities, maps, and photographs, and special events. Vivid descriptions explain natural and human history, as well as hiking, canoeing and biking trails.

Highlights include:
* Myakka's vast palmetto prairies and bird-bedecked lakes
* Shells and sugar-sand beaches at secluded Cayo Costa
* Panthers, orchids, and alligators in the swamps of Fakahatchee

Places of Grace

From soaring pine forests and golden sand dunes to freshwater marshes and endless prairies, Places of Grace celebrates the natural landscapes of the American Midwest. Photographer Gary Irving and and writer Michal Strutin had teamed up on Smithsonian Guides to Natural America: Great Lakes, but wanted to paint a broader, richer picture of the land that shaped them.

Places of Grace won the Great Lakes Booksellers Association Award, and the association said of the book: "Gary Irving's extraordinary photographs and Michal Strutin's elegant prose combine to create a penetrating and vivid sense of place in Places of Grace. This collection of photographs covering a ten-state region that makes up America's heartland reveals the mystery and beauty of a part of the country that is 'hidden in plain view.' Presenting a counterpoint of vast expanse and luminous detail, this sumptous volume makes you want to venture out into the land and return to the book."

Earlier Books

A Guide to Contemporary Plains Indians
(Southwest Parks & Monuments Association, 1999) Provides an overview of the cultural history of Northern Plains tribes, from pre-Columbian times to reservation life, and introduces visitors to specific sites, from reservation powwows and tribal cultural centers to museums and national park interpretive exhibits. With full-color photographs. A Guide to Contemporary Plains Indians won an Award of Excellence at the National Park Service Cooperating Association’s 1999-2000 publications competition.

Smithsonian Guides to Natural America
(Vol. 15 Southeast, 1997; Vol. 11 Great Lakes, 1996; Random House & Smithsonian Books) These books focus on each region's natural history and best natural areas; describe lands and wildlife and how they fit together; and convey a sense of place. With full-color photographs.

Chaco: a Cultural Legacy
(Southwest Parks & Monuments Association, 1995) Focusing on Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, the book takes a comprehensive look at the ancient Anasazi Indians of the Southwest, their achievements and their history; then traces their "disappearance." With full-color photographs. Chaco: a Cultural Legacy won a National Park Service Cooperating Association publications award.

Selected Articles

The Charm of Florida's Cedar Key (Los Angeles Times)
"Vast, wild marshlands and an island of indolence prove to be fine nesting grounds for waterfowl and artists -- and tourists who appreciate both."

Red Sea Holiday (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles)
"Unwinding in the Port City of Eilat"

The First Frontier (New York Times)
"In the Blue Ridge Mountains, a culture Daniel Boone helped start continues to flourish."

Information Science
Michal Strutin in librarian mode, at the intersection of information and technology.