Wednesday, 27 June 2018 15:25

Required Reading: Your local summer book list

Written by  Kelly Brown
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It’s summer and time to dust off that stack of books next to your bed and get reading. We all know summer is the perfect time to lay outside while getting lost in a good book. It’s picking what book to read that’s the hard part.

Eat Local

Local book expert Dann Boyles of Rebel Reclaimed suggests a few summer-themed cookbooks (all available at the store) to get you in the kitchen, cooking with fresh, local ingredients. The One-Bottle Cocktail by Maggie Hoffman brings fancy drinking to the masses by making cocktails approachable from any bar. Organized by spirit, each chapter offers fresh eye-opening cocktails blended with creative ingredients like green tomato, chai tea and balsamic vinegar, to name a few.

Or try, Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas by Fany Gerson. Just the name has our mouthwatering. This engaging and delicious guide through Mexico’s classic (but sometimes not-so-traditional) frozen treats includes staple ingredients like blackberry and pineapple alongside unexpected combinations of sour cream, cherry and tequila. This beautiful cookbook showcases favorite recipes for hot summer days.

And, if you like camping and cooking outdoors, Feast by Firelight by Emma Frisch should be your new go-to. This simple cookbook offers solution-oriented recipes that make cooking outdoors effortless and fun. This book is a first of its kind in the outdoor-cooking niche. Take it along on your next camping trip to wow your friends with one of the 70 accessible recipes. Feast by Firelight, Paletas and One-Bottle Cocktail are all available for purchase at Rebel Reclaimed (1555 Wealthy St. SE) in Grand Rapids.

Shop Local

Skip the box stores and Amazon and support local when it comes to your next book shopping trip! Books and Mortar (955 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids) is a go-to for Grand Rapidians. The cute bookstore features a wide variety of books and a large kid-only section. On the lakeshore, Readers World in Holland is a local favorite. And it wouldn’t be a bookstore article without mention Schuler Books — the West Michigan Barnes and Noble. Their extensive collection which includes music, movies and magazines, holds something for just about any reader.

Read Local

Shopping local is one thing…reading books that support local writers is another. Consider “reading local” the next time you’re looking for a good book. Z.G Tomaszewski’s chapbook Mineral Whisper explores the Ireland landscape through his poems. The Lake and the Lost Girl by Jacquelyn Vincenta of Kalamazoo tells the riveting story of secrets from the past unraveling a family from the inside out, and two women, separated by 60 years of history, determined to pursue their own dreams. For a more informative read, check out local poets W. Todd Kaneko and Amorek Huey’s Poetry: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology. This book is a complete introduction to the craft of poetry. Kaneko and Huey map out the key elements of poetry, including image, lyric, point of view, metaphor and movement, and how to use these elements as starting points for discussion and writing prompts. Before you know it, you’ll be the author of your own summer read.

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