Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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July 4, 2014

BLOG: Sheila's summer reading list

Frequently, books land on my desk or in my Kindle for review.

I like to read and review authors’ works, whether they are an established writer like Wanda Brunstetter or a new author like my old friend Gary Kauffman.

I have a list of 17 books for review right now. Wanda Brunstetter’s newest book, “Woman of Courage,” about a Quaker woman forced to face the American wilderness and new people while still holding fast to her Quaker ways, is the next one up. Brunstetter fans will enjoy it.

That list of 17 is just local authors or authors with some ties to the Goshen area. I read those in my spare time and write a review of the ones I think people will enjoy.

You would think I’d be tired of reading after editing copy all day and then reading books for review.

Nope.

My Kindle also has another 216 books waiting and calling out for me to read them — books that are just for fun.

And no, they are not all highbrow, nor are all of them on the New York Times best sellers list.

So here’s my summer reading list. And if you want to chat about any of them, follow me on Facebook at Sheila Selman Journalist or on Twitter at @sselman_TGN.

• First and foremost: “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon.

This one is currently No. 5 on the NYT best sellers list for combined print and e-book fiction.

If you’ve never read Gabaldon’s Outlander series you are missing out on some fine historical fiction based in the mid-1700s revolving around a woman from the 1940s who falls back through time in Scotland.

Gabaldon takes serious pains with being historically accurate and I love her for that. But be warned, it is not G-rated.

Starz is filming a series version of it that debuts Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander

Go Clan Fraser!

• “Top Secret Twenty-One” by Janet Evanovich.

It’s one of those situations where I’ve read all of the other books and am starting to get a little bored by the same antics over and over again. BUT ... maybe since it’s sitting at the No. 1 spot on the NYT best sellers list for combined print and e-book editions, Evanovich will surprise me. Besides, once I start a series I like to finish it.

• “Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America’s First Spy” by M. William Phelps and Gregg Olsen.

Yes, history is one of my favorite subjects. I could get lost for days in history research. And what’s not fascinating about Nathan Hale?!

Since we are celebrating America’s birthday this weekend, maybe I should move this up to the number one spot.

• “The Prague Cemetery” by Umberto Eco.

I’ve had it downloaded on my Kindle for a while (it published in 2011). I don’t think Eco has ever written a bad book, which is why I haven’t read it yet. I want to take my time and savor it.

If you’ve never read Eco, try “The Name of the Rose” or “Foucault’s Pendulum.”

• “Zero History” and “Neuromancer” by William Gibson.

Even though I’ve known about Gibson’s work for a long time and follow him on Twitter @GreatDismal, I’ve actually never read anything by him. “Neuromancer” put Gibson on the map, so that’s a definite must read.

• “The Bronze Horseman” by Paullina Simons.

It’s downloaded and ready to go.

Yes, it’s another historical piece. This one is set in 1941 Russia as the German armies arrive.

It’s on the reading list for my Goodreads discussion group, Saucy Wenches. Go ahead, laugh. But these ladies really know their books and have great online discussions.

That’s it for my top books to read this summer. I’m hoping to plow through a few more. If any of you have suggestions, feel free to recommend them on my Facebook page “Sheila Selman Journalist” or on Twitter @sselman_TGN.

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.