June 19, 2010
Just what is a summer book, anyway? Does it have to be a big, fat, juicy page turner to earn the right to be packed away in the luggage (or downloaded on the e-reader) and taken along on vacation? We put that question to several book reviewers. After all, they make make their living reading books, so what do they take with them when they go on a road trip, fly overseas, or hunker down in the country?
John Freeman, editor of the literary magazine Granta, thinks our collective idea of summer reading may be too narrow. He likes to read all kinds of things when the weather gets warm. Big novels are great on the beach, but later, when sitting on the porch or settling down for the night, he'll pull out a more slender volume: essays perhaps, or even poetry. Salon book reviewer Laura Miller also reads essays in the summer, but she really loves a novel that carries her away to a far off place where she can get lost, even when she's not on vacation. And Slate reviewer Troy Patterson, who says he's more of a hammock reader than a beach reader, likes the extra time summer allows to linger over a book, reveling in the language as well as the plot. So here are a few of the books these three reviewers say will make for some good "summer reading" this year.
Talking Hot Summer Books
From “Hitch 22″ to “The Passage” and beyond, we’re on the hunt for great summer reads.
Whether it’s by Kindle, or iPad, or good old-fashioned book with paper pages and a cover to get soaked, summer is reading season.
Time to get lost in the music of a good book. When “good” means swept away.
This summer, plenty of ways to go. We’ve got tribes and lovers and dragon tattoos.
Pearl Buck is back. And Jane Smiley with “Private Lives.” Christopher Hitchens. And debut miracles.
This Hour, On Point: Reading lists and recommendations from around the country for summer, 2010.
Mark Sarvas, host of the literary weblog “The Elegant Variation” and author of Harry Revised.
Jane Henderson, book editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Read her “Book Blog.”
Chris O’Harra, owner of Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, Washington.
School’s out for summer. No more homework. Time to kick back and relax–and read for the fun of it.
There’s a big world of new children’s literature out there–ready to take to the beach, to camp, and the backyard.
Rick Riordan’s back with the “Red Pyramid.” “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins comes out in August. And there’s so much more.
Pop-up picture books for toddlers. Graphic novels for young adults. Teenage angst page-turners.
We’ve got the list that even your kids will want to read twice.
This hour On Point: Summer reads for kids
- Jane Clayson