Escape With Some New England Summer Reading

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It's finally August; mid-summer and definitely time for a summer break. And for many of us, that means an-all-too-rare opportunity to read — a chance to stretch out and lose ourselves in a good book.

Maybe it's a classic. Maybe it's the latest offering from the best-seller list. Maybe it's a history, or maybe it's a bit of escapist trash about a hot summer romance.

Whatever it is, we're looking at summer reading with a New England theme. We're discussing great books — new and old — set in New England, and possibly written by New England authors.

Maybe it's Dennis Lehane, who grew up in Dorchester, and wrote the gritty crime mystery, "Mystic River." Maybe it's "The House of Sand and Fog," by Andre Dubus, who just published a terrific memoir about growing up in the mill towns north of Boston. Or maybe you favor the classics, in which case you can choose from names like Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau or Melville.

So for now, forget about the debt ceiling impasse and all the tedious news out of Washington, and escape with us into the world of summer reading.

What are you reading this summer, and who's your favorite New England author — new or old? What books are you packing in the beach cooler?


  • Carole Horne, general manager, the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge
  • Paul Harding, Pultizer Prize-winning author of "Tinkers"

Carole Horne's Suggestions (See her full list, PDF)

  • "Sixkill" and others, Robert B. Parker

Literary Fiction

  • "Caleb's Crossing," Geraldine Brooks


  • "Let's Take The Long Way Home," Gail Caldwell
  • "Townie," Andre Dubus III


  • "The Late George Apley," John Marquand

Anthony's Suggestions

  • "That Old Cape Magic" and "Empire Falls," Richard Russo

Short Stories

  • "You Think That's Bad," Jim Shephard


  • "The Last Hurrah," Ed O'Connor

This segment aired on August 1, 2011.


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