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The Best Summer Reading Books

Reading is my favorite sport.

If I were the last person on the planet, but I had a book in one hand and a Caribou Coffee latte in the other, I'd be good to go.

So every year, around the April / May time period, I send out some feelers to my fellow Merry Mothers, asking for their favorite stories.

This year the response was inspiring. So many great recommendations...so little time! (Dang that baby!)

Because long lists make my eyes water, I had to do some editing. I'm sad I couldn't include all the books...but that's what Amazon is for, right?

If the thought of having time to read sends you into maniacal bouts of laughter, this message is for you.

This stage of chaos does change. Eventually. The concept of reading may seem mythological to you now, I understand. But persevere with patience. Your time's a-comin'.

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The Classical Novel

There's a reason the classic is called that. Everyone knows about it, everyone loves it. Here are the top nine recommendations for classical books, and there were a LOT more. Every contest entrant had at least one classic to share.

I was thrilled (and a little abashed) to learn from Merry Mother Liana B. that Charles Dickens had two books I had never even heard of! Thanks Liana! I'm very excited to add Bleak House and Little Dorrit to my list!

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The Romance Novel

The good romance novel is a beach staple. Several of the top six recommendations I had read (Time Traveler's Wife, Outlander, The Note Book), and several authors I had never heard of.

Amanda B., Katie MacAlister is an unfamiliar author I'm looking forward to exploring!

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The Fantasy and Science-Fiction Novel

I will unabashedly share that this is one of my favorite genres. My husband and I started reading the Harry Potter series out loud while taking a long road trip for our honeymoon.

Seeing whole worlds come to life, based on nothing but the pure descriptive skill of the author is an awe-inspiring thing.

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The Non-Fiction History

A well-told nonfiction story always leaves me thoughtfully pensive, yet inspired. Non-fiction takes some effort for me, but I rarely don't feel at the end of reading one that it wasn't worth the cost.

I was especially intrigued by Kristen S. recommendation of River Town and Candice T.'s suggestion of Left to Tell. Both look like incredible stories worth devouring.

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Life Stories: Biographies and Auto-Biographies

I love reading about the triumphs and struggles of those who have walked before us. It really puts my life into perspective, you know?

I'm currently pounding my way through a biography of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who stood against the Nazi's, even participating in an assassination attempt on Hitler, and who was excuted only two short weeks before Allies stormed through his concentration camp.

In the light of such a shining life of enduring joy (yes, he was peacefully joyful), what do I have to complain about?

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