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Summer Reads

6 Books by Local Authors to Add to Your Summer Reading List

The Thousand Dollar Dinner by Becky Libourel Diamond 

“Top Chef” style competitions are among the most popular cooking shows today. But did you know America’s leading restaurateurs were staging cooking challenges over 150 years ago? These culinary duels determined whether New York or Philadelphia could deliver the most decadent feast. The most prominent kicked off in 1851 at the very posh Delmonico’s in New York. The Philadelphians then countered with a twelve-hour feast at their city’s finest, James W. Parkinson’s restaurant, which became known as the “Thousand Dollar Dinner” (since it cost $1,000, or about $34,000 today). In The Thousand Dollar Dinner, Becky Diamond reveals the entire seventeen-course meal, course by course, explaining each dish and its history.

 Author Becky Libourel Diamond is a food writer, librarian and research historian. She is the author of Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School and is currently partnering with fellow epicurean Max Tucci to write Celebrations: Entertaining the Delmonico Way and Process: The History of Processed Food. She lives in Yardley, PA.

Sugar Sand Road 

A young islander named Katie is enjoying life running wild and free among salt air and seagulls, until a summer storm turns her world upside down. Forced to move to a forest town in Southern New Jersey, life starts over, but – in a way – it's just beginning for her. On a warm summer morning, she unexpectedly meets a boy named Will. Their instant friendship is a story of love, loss, and growing up, and all in a very special place called the Pine Barrens.

Author Katie Schulze-Bahn was raised in a small farming town in the Pine Barrens, very close to a little sandy island. It is the place of her heart and soul. She is a wife, and mother of 4 children and 2 rescue dogs. She's an avid gardener, loves all things flora and fauna and also enjoys sailing, kayaking, and hiking: all of which she's been relishing from a very young age.

Brilliantly Resilient 

Why do some people come through life's challenges stronger than they were before? It has nothing to do with luck, but everything to do with living the Brilliantly Resilient way! Get ready to laugh out loud as these two women share their journeys, tools, and stumbled-upon secrets, saving you a seat on their Brilliantly Resilient ride of a lifetime. Kristin and Mary Fran will guide you through life’s “sucker punches” so you too will be brilliant, not broken. As Rob Angel, the creator of Pictionary put it: "Kristin & Mary Fran are funny, approachable and completely relatable. Game changers for sure."

Newtown resident Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo are TEDx speakers, authors, virtual presenters, program creators/facilitators, media hosts and advocates in the blindness and recovery communities.  They created Brilliantly Resilient to be the resource they wish they had when dealing with their own train wrecks and sucker punches. 

Lost, Found, & Forever by Victoria Schade 
Justine Becker could not be more in love with her rescue dog, Spencer. However, when she discovers a heartbreaking social media post, she realizes that her beloved pup might actually belong to someone else. Her worst fears are realized when she and Spencer meet up with Brooklyn-based Griffin McCabe, and he wants Spencer back. The not-so-friendly competition teeters on the edge of flat-out hate, so when romantic feelings for Griffin catch Justine off guard, she needs to determine if it’s all part of his plot to win the pup back, or if the guy who was good enough for Spencer might also be good enough for her.

Author Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer and writer for over twenty years. She has worked as the lead animal wrangler for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, appeared on the Animal Planet show Faithful Friends, and has written two dog training books and several fictional books. Victoria shares her Bucks County home with her dogs Millie and Olive, and her incredibly tolerant husband, Tom.

Then there was you by Mona Shroff

Can a perfect love heal even your deepest wounds? As a helicopter medic, Daniel Bliant is a calm presence for trauma victims on the worst day of their lives. So why can’t he heal himself? When he answers an emergency call, he can’t believe who he finds: the beautiful woman he saw in his ER months ago and hasn’t been able to stop thinking about.

Annika Mehta may be reeling from a bad breakup and the terrible event that caused it, but she knows she’s resilient. What she doesn’t need is Daniel. He’s wrong for her in every way, but somehow, she can’t let him go. This tear-jerker of a romance follows two souls in need of healing—when all roads lead back to each other.

 Author Mona Shroff grew up in Bucks County, and is a graduate of Neshaminy High School. She is an optometrist turned writer who is currently working on her third novel, with a fourth following right behind it! She and her husband reside in Maryland with their rescue dog, Nala.


A Teacher Like You by Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan

Teachers impact their students’ lives every day and in so many ways, and their role in society has never been more important. From the moment a student enters a classroom, these caring and courageous professionals go beyond teaching to the curriculum, often stepping into roles to help sustain students’ physical and emotional needs. A Teacher Like You is a loving tribute to educators everywhere, thanking them for the countless ways they encourage, support, and care for their students... and assuring them their impact will be felt for years to come.

Frank Murphy’s children’s books include The Legend of the Teddy Bear, and the award winning A Boy Like You and A Girl Like You which inspire children to embrace all the things that make them unique. He has been a teacher and coach for more than 25 years. Barbara Dan loves to fill her classroom with picture books. She lives in Doylestown, PA.