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Load up with summer reading suggestions from the Independent staff

So summer isn’t technically here for another 10 days, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning ahead. Whether you’re aiming to sunbathe by the pool on a fabulous getaway vacation or you’re simply looking for a way to while away the lazy days of summer, we’ve got you covered.

Every year, I go around our office and ask employees what they’ve been reading and what they would recommend to our readers. The following is a glimpse of some of that, sans the groans and puzzled expressions (“Books? Reading??What’s that?”). Whether you’re into science fiction, historical fiction or something to read with the kids?(or grandkids), we have something anyone will love.

First off, my recommendations. I’ve been really into audiobooks recently, and the most recent one that I’ve listened to is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. It’s hard for me to get into a book when I?don’t care for the main characters, but this one, which is about a woman who disappears on her five-year wedding anniversary, is an emotional roller coaster that keeps you guessing. It’s not emotional in that it’s upsetting, but just in the way it toys with your sympathies. If you can get past the foul language, this would be an intriguing read, for sure.

A very different kind of book that I loved is “These is My Words”?by Nancy Turner, which is set up like a diary of a pioneer woman traveling west. Apart from some of the grammar and poor punctuation — which, I know, helped make it seem authentic — I really enjoyed this book. It makes you laugh, cry and marvel at the trials of the pioneers. It’s easy to read and hard to put down.

For lighter and more family-friendly fare, Phil Hawkins, our sports reporter, recommends “Adventures of Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel. He says, “It stands the test of time with its morals about friendship and cooperation without being too preachy. I read it when I was younger and I’m reading it now to my own son. What I?like about it is it straddles the line of picture books and chapter books. It’s a good transition.”

Reporter Tyler Francke also recommends a classic: “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov. He says, “A classic anthology by one of 20th-century literature’s most prolific and enduring writers, ‘I, Robot’ is — unlike the 2004 dystopian sci-fi Will Smith film of the same name — a collection of wildly creative, interlinked short stories that explores the complex relationship between man and machine. Though published over 60 years ago, it remains as relevant today as it ever was, and is well worth revisiting for any fans of science fiction or good, provocative writing in general.”

Publisher Nikki DeBuse has been finding quick reads on her Kindle, and she recommends historical fiction novels by Nancy Horan, particularly “Under the Wide and Starry Sky”?and “Loving Frank.” The first is a fiction piece about the rocky relationship between writer Robert Louis Stevenson and an artist. Nikki says, “It’s interesting because they travel around the world and the author obviously did a lot of research.” The other book, which is loosely based on the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Nikki says is a little slower but is also engaging. “They both have strong female characters that were not looked at very kindly during that time period,” she said.

What are you waiting for??This summer will fly by, but it’ll be even more enjoyable if you have a good book. So, let the summer reading commence!



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