Summer is always a time to catch up on reading, with colleges sending out book lists and long days at the beach or in the hammock to peruse magazines.

Miller School Principal Julia Levensaler recently sent home a newsletter, asking parents to help maintain students’ skills by reading to, and with, their children this summer.

“Read, read, read!” wrote Levensaler. “It doesn’t matter what you read but if you’d like some suggestions about what to read please contact your child’s teacher or the school library for ideas.”

Like many of our readers, we at The Herald Gazette try to fit reading into our busy lives. Here are a few from our recommended and to-read list.

“The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War,” by Bernard Cornwell

Suggested by Patricia Janczura, human resource manager

This historical novel tells the story of about 1,000 members of the Scottish infantry sailing into Penobscot Bay in 1779 with three sloops-of-war. Massachusetts (which Maine was, then) sent 40 vessels and 1,000 infantrymen to meet the invaders. The Penobscot Expedition became a land and sea battle that was the worst naval disaster in American history prior to Pearl Harbor.

“Someplace to be Flying,” by Charles deLint

Suggested by Shlomit Auciello, reporter

As its name suggests, this beautifully written novel carries the reader far from the everyday into an invented reality full of magical beings.

“The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Suggested by Kipp Wright, vice president and chief technical officer

“It’s my third attempt,” said Kipp, about this classic Russian novel. “I need to muscle through. This time I might get past page 100. I figure it has to be as enjoyable as ‘Crime and Punishment’ was for me.”

“Parable of the Sower,” by Octavia Butler

Suggested by Kim Lincoln, copy manager and reporter

It’s about a dystopian United States of walled cities, disease, fires and chaos. The main character suffers from a disease where she feels the pain of others. “For something a little lighter, a book good for reading on the beach is ElinHilderbrand’s ‘Barefoot,’ about three women who spend the summer on Nantucket, all trying to escape from their lives,” Kim said.

“At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson

Suggested by Richard Anderson, chief executive officer

“A friend recently gave me Bryson’s ‘The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir,’ wrote Anderson. “Bryson grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and I am an Iowa native. Bryson is a belly shaker. His descriptions of everyday life are incredible. I am embarrassed that this is my first Bryson book. It seems everyone knows and loves his work. I look forward to sitting in Pulpit Harbor enjoying ‘At Home,’ my second Bryson and not my last.”

“Bossypants,” by Tina Fey

Suggested by Christine Dunkle, production manager

An off-kilter memoir of sorts by the television comedy writer and actress from “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock.” Smart and hilarious.

The Alex Cross series by James Patterson

Suggested by Linda Hall-Stone, office manager and editorial assistant

“I’m reading fluff,” wrote Hall-Stone. She is alternating the Cross series with Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series. “They’re all library books from the Camden Library,” she said.

“Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” by Jim Miller

Suggested by Mark Haskell, associate sports director

For someone who has watched ESPN his whole life, it’s interesting to see not only what happens behind the scenes at “The Mothership”, but also how it came to be and the huge risk many took to change the way we now all look at sports.

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Suggested by Andrew Benore, copy manager

Benore is reading on a Sony ebook reader, and has just finished “A Game of Thrones” and beginning “A Clash of Kings.” The epic fantasy series is told in the third person from the viewpoints of characters such as Tyrion Lannister, Bran, Daenerys Targaryen and the Baratheon brothers. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

“Birds and Blooms” magazine

Suggested by Jody Mckee, dvertising representative

“I enjoy this magazine because, I love the outdoors, birds, butterflies and gardening,” McKee said in her review. “From reading this magazine, I learn what flowers plant to bring butterflies and birds to my yard, and about birdhouses and feeders. I have a family of chickadees living in one of my houses. Feeding them is a joy. I also make my own homemade nectar for hummingbirds. If you like nature, get a subscription and enjoy your morning coffee on your deck…Very relaxing.”

“The Autobiography of MarkTwain,” by Mark Twain

Suggested by Lynda Clancy, editor

Lynda said she has a stack of New Yorker magazines about two feet tall, and hopes to get to them this summer, as well as Twain’s autobiography. We wish her luck. “OK, it’s 500,000 words long….,” she said. “I may have to dip and skim a little. But embargoed for 100 years, and the history in it! He dictated it all to a stenographer in 1910, before he died. I want to read what was going through his head.”

“How Sex Works” by Dr. Sharon Moalen

Suggested by Dagney Ernest, Arts & Entertainment editor

I just finished this fast read and it’s fascinating, a popular science analysis of all the latest research that surprises and delights. For example, “Who knew that a woman turned on by a man’s smell may actually be enjoying the alluring scent of his human leukocyte antigen?” I didn’t!

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

Suggested by Daniel Dunkle, Associate Editor

This is the story of a young boy surviving a ship sinking in the Pacific as he shares a life boat with a tiger. I was looking for a simple adventure story, but found that Martel was able to elevate it to a spiritual journey.


In her newsletter, Levensaler told Waldoboro parents they were welcome to join her and other Miller staff on the school’s front lawn, where they will read during breaks from work.

“Call the office to find out when we’ll be out there,” she wrote. “Bring a chair or blanket and a favorite book.”

Readers looking for something that is not on our reading list can find a wide variety of books at book stores, libraries and the many book sales taking place in the Midcoast this weekend, and all summer long.

Read, read, read!