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11 excellent novels for summer reading

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2. "Jamrach’s Menagerie," by Carol Birch

(Doubleday, 304 pp.) This unusual tale of a Victorian child laborer rescued by a tiger and then hired by an importer of exotic animals spins off to the high seas in search of a dragon. The story may be quirky, but acclaimed British author Carol Birch is a literary original who writes with real assurance. (June)

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