What I’m Reading – And You?

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Ever notice how “summer” and “reading” seem to go hand-in-hand? Kinda like “whine and cheese.” “Peanut butter and jelly.” “Presidential debates and you’re kidding, right?”

Like most writers, I’m also a voracious reader.  Here’s what’s on my plate at present:

You may already know that Richard Paul Evans is a long-time favorite. I snap up everything this guy cranks out. Usually within a nano-second of publication. He’s that good. I’m reading through his Michael Vey series right now. Just polished off Book 4, Hunt for Jade Dragon. Fresh and engaging with a dose of gentle humor, this series is just plain fun. Highly recommended if you have a kiddo who’s a “reluctant reader.”

Dogsong – You can almost taste the snow and feel the cold in this terrific outdoor story by Gary Paulsen.  Being a dog lover helps.

Renegade – The Silver Blackthorn Trilogy Kerry Wilkinson’s novel about 11 teenage “Offerings” on the lam from King Victor and the Kingsmen is vaguely reminiscent of The Hunger Games. But there are enough intrigues and surprises to keep you turning pages. Fast. Set in a dystopian kingdom where just about everyone is a fief, a vassal, or enslaved to a sadistic, mad monarch. Bonus points: the author is British. The text is marinated with enough British-isms like “lift” (elevator) and “bonnet” (think car) to keep your average Yank guessing. Lots of fun!

Lie in Plain Sight  Maggie Barbieri’s multi-faceted “who dunnit?” *starring* baker and amateur sleuth Maeve Conlon. I don’t typically gravitate toward “who dunnits.” But this one is fun. Realistic dialogue and three-dimensional characters, with lots of unexpected twists and turns.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Word or Less. I grabbed this one off a library shelf on a lark. It was one of those “swoop in, swoop out” expeditions. This remarkable true-life story by Terry Ryan doesn’t disappoint. Sensitive, crisp and briskly paced, this memoir is as “catchy” as the author’s mother’s “25 words or less” contest entries that keep the family afloat during the 1950s.  There’s plenty of subtle humor and rapier wit in this lively read. I loved it!

The book was made into a 2005 movie with Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore and Laura Dern.

Any favorite titles or authors to recommend?  Chime in!

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