Summer School

Picking a summer read: Susan Taylor

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Summer reads from The Book House.

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

Susan Taylor reads about 200 books a year. So if you need a recommendation, she's your woman.

Susan has been a bookseller since 1982, and has worked at The Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza, the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, as a publishers' sales rep in New England, and a a book buyer at the Wellesley Booksmith. She returned to the Capital District -- and The Book House -- in 2006.

After the jump, her suggestions on picking a the perfect summer book, and her 2012 summer reading list.

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A great (inexpensive) day at the track: Crystal Capritta

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A fun (and affordable) day at the track with Crystal and Mike.

By Crystal Capritta

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

Mention Saratoga Race Track and many people think fancy clothes and spending a lot of money. But you can have a lot of fun at the track without spending a ton of cash.

My husband has gone to the track every summer of his life, and I've been right along with him since the first summer we met. Over the years I've won a few of the bets I've placed, and my husband has been known to hit a rare trifecta.

Here are some of our insider tips to having a good time at the track on the cheap.

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Making a fabulous summer cocktail: Nick Ferrandino

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Yes, it's as good as it looks.

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

One of our favorite ways to enjoy summer is with a cool cocktail out on the patio/deck/porch/stoop. So we checked in with New World Bistro Bar bartender Nick Ferrandino for help on making something delicious, but a little bit different. A Mayflower -- made a bit like a mojito, but with different ingredients.

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Camping with kids: Katie Beltramo

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Camping with Katie

By Katie Beltramo

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

Today, Katie has some ideas on how to make camping with kids easier and more fun. (Many of these tips could apply to first-time campers of all ages -- because you know you want your own flashlight.)

Every year I ask my kids what they want to do over the summer, and the overwhelming, number one, far-ahead-of-everything-else choice is camping.

I was not "raised" a camper. I camped once, as a Brownie, in someone's backyard. Still, come to think of it, I remember that camp-out vividly. So I guess I loved it, too.

These days, no doubt because I'm a far kinder and more indulgent parent than my own parents were, I do quite a bit of camping. And it's pretty fun, actually.

So wanna make some memories with the kiddos? I'll help you get started.

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Buying a bicycle: Carl Johnson

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Carl in Troy

By Carl Johnson

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

In most people's minds, summer is the time for biking.

But maybe you haven't ridden for years, and you find all the new bicycle styles and technology more than a bit daunting. Don't let that keep you from getting back on a bike and enjoying the absolutely amazing riding that the Capital District offers.

Here are some tips on how to buy a new bike.

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Hosting a great barbecue: Christian Noe

Christian Noe Summer Barbecue

Grill master Christian Noe from Nighthawks Kitchen

AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!

Christian Noe is a guy who knows what to do with a grill. The proprietor of Nighthawk's Kitchen at the Troy Farmer's Market teaches popular cooking classes on things like grilling, sausage making, and award-winning mac 'n cheese at The Arts Center of the Capital Region.

Noe shared some delicious tips with us on how to create a festive backyard barbecue that you can actually have time to enjoy with your guests. He also settles the charcoal vs. propane debate. Sort of.

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