Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads Julia Green of Front Street Books recommends Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig, City of Women by David R. Gillham and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.
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Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads

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Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads

Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Can you smell change in the air? Has a surprisingly cool breeze in the morning reminded you that summer is almost over and you're still making it through your summer book list? Well keep reading. Pick your favorite spot, and Pack These Pages.

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SIEGEL: This summer we asked booksellers all over the country what should be on our summer reading lists. Our final stop is Front Street Books in Alpine, Texas.

JULIA GREEN: The owner is Jean Pittman. She purchased the bookstore when it was a tiny, little house on a little side street in our town back in 1996.

SIEGEL: That's the store manager, Julia Green. You'll know you're there when you see a door decorated with an illustration of a man wearing a cowboy hat leaning back in a chair as he reads, his boots resting on a stack of books. Julia Green's first recommendation is a memoir called "Moonlight On Linoleum" by Terry Helwig.

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GREEN: You know, there are a million memoirs about terrible childhoods, and Terry Helwig does a very good job of capturing that kind of seemingly hopelessness, but it's not hopeless. Throughout the story, listening to this child's life and her voice, you get the sense that even if you didn't know that, OK, she's writing this 40 years later so obviously things turned out OK, you get the sense that she's going to survive this, that this is such a strong child, that she's going to be a strong, amazing woman.

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GREEN: So the next one's "City Of Women" by David Gillham, which takes place during World War II. It's in Berlin, and all of the age-appropriate men have been shipped off to either the Western front of the Eastern Front. And all that's left basically are the women and the older men and the young boys. And Berlin is now a city of women.

And so these women are struggling. They're trying to feed what's left of their families. They're trying to feed themselves. They're trying to hold onto what few jobs there are. And of course the main character is trying to come to grips with the fact that this man that she loves is in the SS. So that's a fascinating book.

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GREEN: So I have one left, which is "The Evolution Of Calpurnia Tate" by Jacqueline Kelly. This is a Newbery Honor book, takes place in 1899 in very, very, very hot Texas. (Laughter) And this is about a young girl being exposed to science and natural history for the first time and her growing relationship with her grandfather.

He's been a natural historian for - or interested in natural history for quite a long time since the Civil War, and he hasn't really had anybody to share that with. This is the two of them sharing their knowledge and their interests and love for the natural world.

SIEGEL: Julia Green, the manager of Front Street Books in Alpine, Texas. And as you get ready to switch from ice tea to hot chocolate, go to npr.org for more books from our series Pack These Pages.

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