WBUR's Summer Reading List


These lazy days of summer are a perfect time to read, whether on the beach, on the back porch or on your lunch break. If you are turning the pages or flicking your index finger on a screen this summer, there are a lot of options. Luckily, we have a lot of suggestions.

-- On Point: Hot Summer Reads For 2011

Publisher’s Weekly’s Charlotte Abbott, the Houston Chronicle book editor Maggie Galehouse, Books on the Nightstand blogger Michael Kindness and Jamil Zaidi of Elliott Bay Book Company give their page-turning picks for this summer.

-- "A Dance with Dragons"

The medieval fantasy author behind HBO's "Game of Thrones," George R. R. Martin, is out with his fifth installment in his tale of kings and queens and flawed humanity.

-- "Sisterhood Everlasting"

“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” author Ann Brashares is back with more sisterhood. In her fifth installment in the series, “Sisterhood Everlasting,” the sisterhood grows up.

-- "The Last Werewolf"

Werewolves, zombies and the old fantasies are pouring into new fiction this season. Glen Duncan's “The Last Werewolf" is one recommendation of the Wall Street Journal arts and culture reporter Alexandra Alter.

-- "Bright's Passage"
Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter breaks out as singer-novelist with hs new book, “Bright’s Passage,” set in West Virginia and The Great War.

-- Radio Boston: Top Picks For The Summer

Escape With Some New England Summer Reading
From Robert B. Parker to Frank O'Connor, Radio Boston explores summer books by New England authors or about the region.

-- "The Story of Charlotte’s Web: EB White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic"
Michael Sims' new book describes E.B. White's life in Maine and how she achieved that peculiar state of grace so singular to childhood: a restless curiosity about the natural world and a frank acceptance that perhaps it cannot be fully understood.

-- "The Whore's Child"
Richard Russo's "The Whore's Child," which tells the story of a aging nun who’s reflecting back on her difficult life, is this year's One City, One Story book for Boston.

-- "Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home"
At the height of the recession in 2009, NPR contributor Caitlin Shetterly produced a series of emotional radio diaries documenting the financial devastation her family faced in Los Angeles after deciding to pack up and leave their home state of Maine. Now, she’s turned those diaries, and the story of how they rebuilt their lives, into a new book.

-- "The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kids Needs It"

Boston-based psychologist Dr. Larry Cohen's and physician Dr. Anthony DeBenedet's book on the benefits of roughhousing make an ambitious argument in an age where parenting has moved from “safety first” to “safety only.”

-- "Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way"

“Season to Taste” is newcomer Molly Birnbaum’s memoir about her sensory loss and her quest to understand it — and to get her sense of smell back.

-- “Caleb’s Crossing”

Caleb Cheeshahteamauk was the second member of her tribe to receive an undergraduate degree from Harvard. The only other member of the Wampanoag Indians to graduate from Harvard graduated in 1665. He is the subject of Pulitzer Prize winning writer Geraldine Brooks’ new novel, “Caleb’s Crossing.”

-- Here & Now: Summer Reviews

--"The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting"
Each year, shoplifters cost American retailers about $12 billion. But what leads someone to shoplift– is it poverty, mental illness or the search for a thrill? In her new book, “The Steal,” author Rachel Shteir traces shoplifting through the ages.

-- "Maine: A Novel"
In her new book “Maine,” J. Courtney Sullivan draws on her childhood in a Boston-Irish family. Sullivan tells the story of the Kellehers, a Boston-Irish Catholic family who bring their family issues with them on a summer vacation at their Maine beachfront property.
-- "Generation Freedom: The Middle East Uprisings and the Remaking of the Modern World"

Bruce Feiler's new book links the Arab Spring to the same sources of inspiration that drove the Puritans so many years ago, including the story of Moses.

-- "El Sicario: The Autobiography Of A Mexican Assassin"

This new book puts a human face on the drug-related violence in Mexico, telling the story of a 20-year drug cartel hit-man who speaks candidly about his violent life, his crimes and finally his repentance.

-- Only A Game: Sporty Summer Reads

--"The Swinger: A Novel"
Tiger Woods has been under tremendous scrutiny ever since his sexual indiscretions were exposed in 2009. In their book, "The Swinger," authors Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck, both of Sports Illustrated, write of a fictional character that leads a life eerily similar to Tiger’s.

-- "Home and Away: One Writer's Inspiring Experience at the Homeless World Cup"
Dave Bidini tells the story of the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. Through his firsthand account of the unconventional tournament, Bidini shares what he learned about the homeless presence around the world.

-- "Cuban Star: How One Negro-League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball"
Adrian Burgos Jr. tells Alex Pompez’ story, and highlights the tremendous strides Pompez made for the Negro League Baseball, and that he can be credited for much of the diversity that exists in Major League Baseball today.

-- "Crazy Basketball: A Life In and Out of Bounds"

Charley Rosen’s basketball career was filled with 45 years of playing time, coaching positions and hilarious stories that cannot be matched. In his new book, "Crazy Basketball," Rosen shares the ups and downs of his wacky career.

-- "Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen"

Four years ago, Jimmy Batista and former NBA ref Tim Donaghy were convicted of illegal gambling and conspiracy. "Gaming the Game" looks into how the men who were involved in this scandal were able to fool an entire industry of owners, players and fans.

-- NPR's Summer Books 2011: The Complete List

(Chris Silas Neal/NPR)
(Chris Silas Neal/NPR)

Summer's Biggest, Juiciest Nonfiction Adventures

Three Critics Pick The Best Books For Summer

Spotting Summer's High Fliers

Crime Fiction Picks Serve Up Summertime Suspense

Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Books For A Fantastical Summer

Back To Basics: 2011's Simple, Summery Cookbooks

This program aired on July 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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