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For an encyclopedic grasp of the world of the pirates, try Pirates, Predators of the Seas: An Illustrated History by Angus Konstam and Roger Michael Kean. This lively text offers colorful maps to help relate the history of pirates around the world, including the little-known story of two renowned female pirates.
– By Marjorie Kehe

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Great Outdoor Reads

Looking for an excellent outdoor-adventure book for your summer reading? Ron Watters, editor of the anthology "The Outdoor Experience," lists some of his favorites, including:

Scrambles Among the Alps in the Years 1860-69 by Edward Whymper

Steep Trails by John Muir

To Build a Fire by Jack London

The Singing Wilderness by Sigurd F. Olson

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powells and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner

For more titles, see Watters' website at

Readers' picks

Seventy-five pages into Wallace Stegner's Pulitzer-winning Angle of Repose, I'm fully engaged. The artful merging of the narrator's voice as a wheelchair-bound historian writing from his home in Grass Valley, Calif., with the touching story of his grandmother's journey west 100 years earlier is heartbreakingly beautiful.
– Bob Clark, Clearwater, Fla.

Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World by Alan Weisman tells of the development of a self-sustaining village in the isolated savanna of eastern Colombia by a group of visionaries, engineers and technicians, artisans, peasants, and natives to prove they could survive in the most brutal environment imaginable. This is one of the most exciting books I have read in ages.
– Deanna Young, Seattle

Katharine Graham's memoir Personal History tells the dual stories of her development into the powerful woman publisher of The Washington Post newspaper, against the historical backdrop of JFK, LBJ, the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. And those are only two of the fascinating elements of this book.
– Art Scott, Flagstaff, Ariz.

I lived through the time depicted in March to a Promised Land, The Civil Rights Files of a White Reporter, 1952-1968, but was still unprepared for the stunning writing found in this book by former UPI journalist Al Kuettner. At the end, I felt I had been part of the march!
– Radine Trees Nehring, Gravette, Ark.

At roughly 700 pages, Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man seemed daunting, but thanks to Dale Petersons deft hand at storytelling I was fully engaged all the way through. This is one I'll read again.
– Gina Hanzsek, Snohomish, Wash..

What are you reading? Write and tell us at Marjorie Kehe.