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Fun and inspiring titles for your summer reading pleasure

It’s summer here in the U.S.A., so time for many of us to head out for a vacation. Wherever you’re going, it’s a perfect time to take a stack of books or your e-reader to catch up on some reading.

For your reading pleasure, here’s my list of fun and stimulating titles.

I was totally entranced by The Rosie Project, a novel about socially challenged genetics professor, Don, who tries to turn the art of love and his search for it into a science project. An unlikely relationship develops between Don and one of the candidates who responds to his search, Rosie Jarman. The Rosie Project is quirky, funny and different than any other romantic comedy I’ve ever read.

For those of us who live for writing, you’ll be inspired by Jimmy Santiago Baca’s memoir, A Place to Stand. Baca writes about how he learned his craft and found redemption in poetry while serving time in a maximum security prison. At one point, he gets into a fight with another inmate and as he hovers over him about to plunge a blade into his heart, Baca hears in his head the words of Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda, two great Spanish poets he’d been reading.

“How can you kill and still be a poet?” he asks. Baca is torn between a prison code of survival and the beauty and inspiration of words and in the end chooses poetry — and life.

One of my favorite collections of short stories is If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black about characters who are all going through a transition in their lives.

If you’re using your vacation as a writing retreat (my kind of heaven), take Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success or Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story both by K.M. Weiland as guidebooks to mapping out your novel and then creating a winning structure.

If you have young readers in your family, and even if you don’t but like to read and write YA and children’s literature, you might like My Name Is Not Easy, a National Book Award Finalist by Debby Dahl Edwardson. I also recommend Bending Willowby Jacci Turner. I was sucked in by this book about two girls who search for their father after their grandmother and guardian dies.

I’ve given you titles of some of my favorite reads, now it’s your turn. Please share your favorites below. I love a good book recommendation!

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