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Sabadosa: Some good books to escape in this summer

Updated: June 20, 2013 6:17AM



The way this year is zipping by, summer will be here before we know it. If you are lucky enough to have the summer off from a job, are planning a vacation getaway or simply have your sights set on kicking back often during the hot weather, a good summer book can be the perfect complement.

I recently polled my readers and asked them to share some of their favorite books with us. I also asked them to explain the reasons for their recommendations. All I can say is, watch out Oprah!

My daughter Sara was one of the first to respond. I wasn’t surprised by her choice of books because she is a big promoter of TOMS shoes and embraces the mission statement behind the company.

Sara recommends “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie, who’s the founder of TOMS, the “One for One” shoe company.

“I read this book in two days, and I felt motivated instantly,” Sara said. “This book changed my outlook on where I should take my professional route, and it was the seed that helped sprout the TOMS Club at my school, Madonna University.”

Another uplifting book is “Hope Will Find You” by Naomi Levy. This recommendation comes from Katherine Doolittle, who is an avid reader and has worked at a bookstore for many years.

“It is a memoir,” Doolittle said. “Levy is a rabbi and a mom who learns that her young daughter has a degenerative disease. Her journey with her daughter, and what she learned from her daughter, is full of life lessons for all of us.”

Carol Conway is the pastoral associate at St. Germaine Parish in Oak Lawn and has two novels for us to consider.

“Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett is “beautifully written in the tradition of a Chaucerian frame story that assembles people of all classes who would normally never be together,” according to Conway.

She also liked “The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe. Conway reports that this story is a “moving memoir of an amazing woman, her living and dying, and the books she and her son Will shared during her last months. Every chapter is a new and wonderful book suggestion. It’s the book that keeps on giving.”

Brookfield author Matthew Bieniek has written several books based on his childhood, one of which, “Hidden Message,” is highly recommended by his mom, Bernice Bieniek. The story takes place in 1987 and involves three high school friends who get involved in a plan to hijack a local television broadcast and put their own show on the air.

Soon the TV station, police, FBI, FCC and some Soviet spies are trying to find out their identities while working to decipher a message hidden inside a disrupted TV signal.

Oak Lawn’s Bill Gaudry reminds us about Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather,” saying “Great read. Even better than the movie. Brilliant writing.”

Retired District 123 music/band teacher Wendy Miller likes “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury.

“There’s a perfect description of the feeling of summer. My copy fell apart because I reread it every year before school started,” Miller said.

“The Alchemist” by Paul Cohelo comes highly recommended by Enza Piech, whose son, Andrew, recommended it to her.

“He said it was a quick read that was extremely poignant, even powerful,” she said. “I’ve purchased 10 copies of this book and have given them as gifts. Each person I’ve given the book to has been both moved and changed in some way as a result of their reading experience.”

On the lighter side is “Seriously, I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres, which was recommended by Beata Gaudry who described it as an “awesome book. Ellen is funny, and her message in the book is to think positive. She can turn the simplest things into the funniest outcome.”

Local author Evelyn Cullet suggests one of her novels, “Masterpiece of Murder,” for your consideration. She said it’s a romantic suspense novel that’s a “great beach or poolside read. I’d like to invite readers to come along on this fast-paced, madcap adventure to the beautiful, and often perilous, resort city of Bariloche, Argentina, to uncover a case of deceit, art forgery and murder.”

So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot and dig in to these interesting summer reads. Enjoy!

News from our neighbors

There’s an upcoming charity event, “One Skate at a Time,” organized and presented by Jordan Moeller, who is an accomplished figure skater at the national and international levels and a senior at Richards High School in Oak Lawn.

“One Skate at a Time” will be an evening of great skating by national competitors, local skaters and special guests. It’s from 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 25 at the Southwest Ice Arena, 5505 W. 127th St., Crestwood.

Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event. Adults are $20, children ages 6-12 are $12 and kids 5 and under are free. All proceeds will go to Children’s Oncology Services, which is a camp for kids with cancer.



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