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Heidi Shaffer, Published February 21 2013

5 Things Friday: 5 books to kick back with on vacation

Editor’s note: “5 Things Friday” is a weekly feature in SheSays that will run on – you guessed it – Fridays. It will focus on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five. If you have a “5 Things Friday” suggestion, contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

FARGO – This month I’ve sent and received flurries of messages to and from friends: “What are you reading?”

It seems everyone is looking for the perfect tale to take on their vacation out of this ice hole. Or maybe we’re just looking for something to distract ourselves from below-zero temperatures and weekly blizzards.

Here are five of my recent reads I recommend:

“Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. This novel weaves together themes of socioeconomic inequality, climate change and personal discovery in a great story that will leave you thinking about the message long after you finish the last page. The 448-page book took a while to suck me in, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

“Roundhouse” by Louise Erdrich. This book earned a National Book Award for Erdrich, a North Dakota native, and for good reason. Her stunning prose and captivatingly sad, haunting story set on a North Dakota Indian reservation deserves every piece of praise it’s received.

“Roundhouse” by Louise Erdrich. This book earned a National Book Award for Erdrich, a North Dakota native, and for good reason. Her stunning prose and captivatingly sad, haunting story set on a North Dakota Indian reservation deserves every piece of praise it’s received.

“The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker. When I initially read the synopsis of this novel, its hints of science fiction didn’t appeal to me. But inevitably I fell in love with the apocalyptic coming-of-age story of a young teen dealing with everyday life as the end of the world approaches.

“Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach. Roach became a favorite of mine in 2004 with her candid –and sometimes comical –look at the death and dying in “Stiff.” “Packing for Mars,” a 2010 release, takes the same approach on a different subject: space travel. After all, there’s no better getaway than the moon.

Readers can reach Forum business editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511.