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Karen’s Good Book Recommendations

Karen’s Good Book Recommendations for Summer Reading

Besides weeding this summer, and picking strawberries, gooseberries, and blueberries from our garden, I read a few books. I’ll share the titles with you and a bit about them.

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar. If you want to know what it’s like to be the dark-complected, American-born first generation from Middle-Eastern immigrants, this is the book for you. This book also shares some of what it was for his parents and their generation. Not much of it was pretty or showed those of us who are white in a good light.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I swear Andy Weir writes approachable science fiction so that junior high and high school students decide to become scientists. The main character in this novel has so much chemistry and physics stored in his brain, stuff I’ll never comprehend, but Weir makes it easier to understand. I love that he was only a junior high teacher but got chosen to save the world. I also love the friend he makes in outer space and the decision he makes, as well.

Castle Shade by Laurie King. When King began writing about the wife of late-in-life Sherlock Holmes, I began reading them and highly anticipating the next one. This one takes place in Transylvania, so you know what it’s about! Together, both of the Holmes’ solve mysteries. King’s characters in her other series are equally provocative.

An Irish Wife by Deborah Lincoln (from the Neskowin area). This is a sequel to Lincoln’s first historical fiction novel, Agnes Canon’s War, both based on her actual family history. The evils of coal mining after the Civil War prompts the action in this novel. Vivid descriptions abound.

Dying To Win by Patricia Brown (from the Tillamook area). I really enjoy Brown’s mystery series because the characters are my age with my concerns and yet are able to solve murders by their collected knowledge. Serious problems plaguing people of this age are also discussed, which makes the action very real. The characters are just like people I know and what they say and do often makes me laugh. This series should be a TV series or a movie, for sure.

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. This little book is just precious. Woven in with the writer’s life situations are wondrous presentations of Nature. I didn’t want to put this down and I loved learning about each animal, plant, bird, etc. As students, it would be so much easier for us to learn and remember if we had a story attached to each thing we studied. This book proves that.

Finding The Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard. I read this book in small snippets because it is so rich and full of scientific study. Again, this British Columbian author wove her personal story in amongst the field studies she did in forestry. She showed how difficult it was to gain respect from a mostly male-based profession over the years from the 80’s on. Simard asked the right questions and kept asking them and finding answers, building her body of work. No one can doubt her findings now, and other authors and scientists are borrowing from her work to produce their own.

I hope reading this inspires you to pick up one of these books or another one entirely and exercise your eyeballs on someone else’s thoughts and discoveries!

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