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Small Talk: Catching up on summer reading

June is half gone and the sun has finally come out with confidence. School is very nearly out, and suddenly my schedule has a few delightful gaps. Well, gaps may be too generous a word, but at least there is no wake-up call.

That’s right. It’s time to stay up late and read. To make up my reading list, I call several friends who are never without a book and query them. Then I scour the school library and bring home some fourth- to sixth-grade novels I’ve wanted to read for months. Among the best of my past are the autobiographies, “My Life In Dog Years” and “Guts” by Gary Paulsen, and “Boy” and “Going Solo” by Roald Dahl.

This year, I want to recommend “The Murderer’s Ape” by Jakob Wegelius and “The Girl from by Everywhere” by Heidi Heilig. They both have such unusual subjects and plots.

If you like period pieces (medieval times) and fantasy/fable, consider “The Perilous Gard” by Elizabeth Marie Pope, a Newberry Award nominee. It blends historical fiction with legends of old with amazing detail. I also enjoyed Ken Follett’s “The Evening and the Morning,” a prequel to “Pillars of the Earth.”

I’m the most excited that I just stumbled onto some science fiction that really held my interest. It has been a long time since I had a book I didn’t want to put down, but kudos to Andrew Mayne and Douglas E. Richards.

Mayne has some action-packed and funny sci-fi that I am loving, starting with “Station Breaker” and “The Girl Beneath the Sea.” He has written a lot of books, including mysteries, that I am looking forward to. I started with Richard’s “The Enigma Cube,” and followed it with “Split Second,” both with delightfully convoluted plots.

My wish for us all is plenty of long, warm afternoons and cool evenings to indulge in our favorite reads – right after you’ve finished the newspaper, of course.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who knows she can always read, rain or shine. Contact her at [email protected]

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