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The Journal Gazette

  • Pixabay Looking for a good summer read? Both local and national authors offer up some ideas.

  • Reusser

  • Magoon

  • McKissack

  • Hunter

  • Martone

Tuesday, June 05, 2018 1:00 am

Seasonal reading

Local authors have variety of books they can't wait to begin

TERRI RICHARDSON | The Journal Gazette

Summer is the time when author Michael Martone picks up his reading.

Not that the Fort Wayne native ever really stops, but now that the University of Alabama professor's classes are finished for the summer, he has more time to check off his reading list.

Author of such books as “Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler's List” and “Four for a Quarter,” the North Side High School graduate just released “Brooding,” a collection of essays that include references of growing up in Fort Wayne.

Martone shared by phone what he would be reading this summer, and it's only fitting that one of his recommendations is from another Fort Wayne native, B.J. Hollars.

“The Road South” is Hollars' latest in a trilogy on the Civil Rights movement. The book shares stories of surviving Freedom Riders during their 1961 bus trip throughout the South as a sign of protest and to promote racial equality. 

“It is a really good book ... really important history,” Martone says.

Another book on Martone's list is “Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in China” by Rao Pingru and Nicky Harman. Martone describes the book as a beautiful tribute to Pingru's late wife. The book was started when the author was 87 years old.

For those readers “who are interested in fantastic literature that has to do with the strangeness of Tokyo and Japan,” Martone suggests checking out “Tokyo” by Michael Mejia.

And finally, “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid, which is a book that Martone is reading for his book club.

Other area authors also shared their summer reading list:

Denise Hunter

The romance author, whose latest book, “Honeysuckle Dreams,” was released in May, says by email that she recently finished “The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers, “The Theory of Happily Ever After” by Kristin Billerbeck and “The Family Gathering” by Robyn Carr. Waiting in her to-be-read pile are “Shelter in Place” by Nora Roberts and “The Love Letter” by Rachel Hauck.

Kekla Magoon

A 1997 graduate of Northrop High School and author of nine novels, including “The Rock and the River” and “How It Went Down,” Magoon says by email that she will be reading “A Festival of Ghosts” by William Alexander, which she says is a companion to “A Properly Unhaunted Place” and another great summer read, and “A Stitch in Time” by Daphne Kalmar.

Fred McKissack

A journalist and author of such books as “Shooting Star,” McKissack will tackle “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, “I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer” by Michelle McNamara, “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty, “Behave” by Robert M. Sapolsky and re-reading Philip Roth's “The Plot Against America,” which McKissack describes as his favorite Roth novel.

Kayleen Reusser

It's no surprise that Reusser, author of “They Did It for Honor: Stories of American World War II Veterans,” says by email that she loves World War II books and is currently enjoying “Shot Down: The True Story of Pilot Howard Snyder and the Crew of the B-17 Susan Roth” by Steve Snyder.

Reusser also says she is a “huge Agatha Christie fan.” “I've read all of her books and plan to read several of her bios,” she writes. One of those is “The Getaway Guide to Agatha Christie's England” by Judith Hurdle.

trich@jg.net