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Our Favorite Summer Reads

By: Emiko Tamagawa

(Wouter de Bruijn/Flickr)

When I was at the gym the other day one of my locker room buddies asked me for a book recommendation.

Off the top of my head I suggested Jess Walter’s “Beautiful Ruins” because of Robin’s recent conversation and because it’s such a fun read. But then several other really good books we’ve featured on the show over the years came to mind which she hadn’t heard about.

And the more I started thinking about it, the more books I remembered. So here’s a list, if you missed them when they were published you might want to check some of them out for your summer reading pleasure.

Fiction

Non-Fiction

What are your recommendations for summer reads? Leave them in the comments.


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  • Pointpanic

    Mr. elephant’s Birthday party by Jack Kent.  A deep metaphysical story of esoteric thinking dusguised as a children’s tale.

  • Barbara Alfond

    The Great Fire by Shirkey Hazzard
    The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin
    Anything–and everything–by Wallace Stegner, including his non-fiction
    The Raj Quartet

  • Dr. Grace

    The Hunger Games Trilogy is absolutely brilliant. Now I’m going back into history for an exciting read – The Colditz Story by P.R. Reid -  which I’ll follow with Colditz, the German Story.  These are the true stories of escapes and escape attempts from the Nazi POW camp Colditz Castle during WWII.

    • PeterFarran

      i just read the german story and some crucial pages were printed blank at the back on my old copy!  Arghh.  Great read, though.  Check out the 70s tv series from the bbc now on dvd:  “Colditz”.

  • http://twitter.com/Tejanarusa Tejanarusa

    Barbara…I know how easy it is to mix up an author’s name when thinking off the cuff, but I have to point out that the author of The Raj Quartet (as in, The Jewel in the Crown) was written by Brit Paul Scott, not the quintessential writer of the modern American west, Wallace Stegner.  Both good choices, just different.

  • B Alfond

    Hello, Tejanarusa:
    Thanks for you comment! I re-read my post, which was a list composed of phrases, not of complete sentences. I can see why you thought I had confused my two favorite authors, but, in fact, I did not.
    In any regard, Scott and Stegner are enduring stars of any stripe.

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