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Pinning Down a Few Good Books

Toccara Montgomery
Toccara Montgomery

In this week's installment of our summer reading series, we hear from one of the world's top female wrestlers. Toccara Montgomery will compete in Athens in the 72-kilogram weight division. Here's a list of what she's recommending for reading this summer:

'The Coldest Winter Ever,' by Sister Souljah

One of Montgomery's friends lent her this novel by rap star and political activist Sister Souljah. The book chronicles the life of Winter Santiaga, a 17-year-old Brooklyn girl whose drug-dealing father moves the family to Long Island.

'Milk in My Coffee,' by Eric Jerome Dickey

Another of Montgomery's favorite authors is Eric Jerome Dickey. She likes how Dickey uses fiction to address human foibles and real-life relationships. Her favorite book by Dickey is Milk in My Coffee, about the romance that develops between a black engineer and a white artist.

The 'Goosebumps' Series, by R.L. Stine

Montgomery says her father has been the greatest literary influence in her life. Some of the first books he gave her were from R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series. These stories feature monsters and the children that do battle with them.

'Curious George'

Montgomery is an education major at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. In her classes, Montgomery has also been reading children's books.

"I think back to when I was that young," Montgomery says, "how I was trying to figure out the world and it oftentimes got me in trouble. So, I've always recommended Curious George books."

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.