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Talking Hot Summer Books
From “Hitch 22″  to “The Passage” and beyond, we’re on the hunt for great summer reads.

A reader on the beach along Lake Michigan. (AP)

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.


Our critics’ lists:

Here are the top picks from each of our guests.


1. “Three Delays” by Charlie Smith
2. “Everyday Drinking” by Kingsley Amis
3. “Hitch 22” by Christopher Hitchens
4. “The Ask” by Sam Lipsyte
5. “Alone With You: Stories” by Marisa Silver
6. “The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems” by Edward Hirsch
7. “Elegy for April” by Benjamin Black
8. “Parrot & Olivier in America” by Peter Carey


1. “Pearl Buck in China” by Hilary Spurling
2. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson
3.”The Invisible Gorilla” by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
4. “Private Life” by Jane Smiley
5. “The Lovers” by Vendela Vida
6. “The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon ” by Monte Reel
7. “Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America” by Nick Rosen
8. “No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process” by Colin Beavan
9. “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell (from 2006 but re-released in connection with art-house movie of the book)
10. “Summertime” by J.M. Coetzee
11. “Twain’s Feast: Searching for America’s Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens ” by Andrew Beahrs


1. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson
2. “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford
3. “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” by David Grann
4. “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa
5. “The Redbreast” by Joe Nesbo
6. “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery
7. “A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick
8. “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley
9. “The School of Essential Ingredients” by Erica Bauermeister
10. “That Old Cape Magic” by Richard Russo
11. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein
12. “The Financial Lives of Poets” by Jess Walter
13. “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall
14. “The Passage” by Justin Cronin

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Sasha Tormin

    I plan to buy “Hitch-22″ but I wish Hitchens would admit how wrong he was on Iraq already. His apologia becomes more and more awkward and unconvincing every time I see him live.

  • Michael

    I don’t see many science fiction or fantasy novels on those lists (or am I just not recognizing them?). Any suggestions in those genres?

  • Bill Liteplo

    I’m reading Larsson’s “The Girl Who kicked the Hornet’s Nest” now and I’m loving it! Just make sure to read the books in order!

  • Elizabeth

    My fiance and I heard Aimee Bender read from her new novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, at Newtonville Books last Tuesday. We’ve been reading it aloud to each other – and we’re hooked! Yesterday we read for three hours straight. Definitely a great read – and certainly an author worth watching. Enjoy!

  • dreamer

    “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell. I offer this book for anyone who enjoys active engagement with a novel: 6 more or less related stories folded into a delightful whole. Not a new book, but a fun read.

  • davidk

    Stieg Larsson’s “Millenium Series” are the best books I’ve read this year, my 2010 pick, and I’m only half way through The Girl Who Played With Fire. Can’t wait for the release of the first movie (the European version will be released in July in the USA).

  • Sydney

    Probably most people have read this, but if you haven’t, you’ve definitely got to. “Catcher In The Rye” by J.D. Salinger is my all-time favourite book.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Only an economist would get a novel published with 100s of photos, newspaper clips, and charts, and it costs $17.95. Bookstores complain there is no profit in special ordering it. The book is My Name was Five, by Heinz Kohler, about life in Berlin of a child under the Nazis from age 4 to about 12 (Googlemap Harzer Strasse 82), and then in Ziesar in East Germany from 12 to 18, then the great escape to Berlin (which wasn’t at that point divided, but it had a non-Communist West, see Glogauer Strasse 33 on Google) to an aunt’s house, via 80 km walk Elbe-Havel Canal and swimming the Havel River, waiting in the weeds at Peacock Island in the lake in southern Berlin, fearful when the cows come sniffing around). And finally to the USA, becoming a pilot. Well, it fills in a lot about how a family managed, some Nazis, some appalled by it. How Communism affected them. What happens when your apartment building gets bombed to smithereens, what happens when you’re 5 and the bullies are after you. Many news summaries as gleaned by small boys (updated by a researcher’s know-how).
    Oh, read this. Read it four or five times. It is a novel based in a lot of fact. A child’s eye view.

  • Marian Lanouette

    Three authors I just discovered that made for a great beach read were, Thea Devine’s Sex, Lies and Secret Lives. Kristan Higgins’ Next Best Thing and Toni Andrews’ Cry Mercy. Enjoy.

  • Kelley

    Summer wouldn’t be complete without the Twilight saga. Great romance and action. My guilty pleasure.

  • J. Shumake

    As a lifelong voracious reader, I have never understood why summer reading is different from reading any other time of year.
    As for time to read, longer winter evenings certainly provide a great deal more time to settle in with good books.
    However, book discussions ANY time are most welcome.
    Thanks, J.

  • Alexis

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a fantastic trilogy, incorporating political commentary, reality television, and fast-paced adventure. For those who enjoyed Harry Potter, this is the type of young adult fiction that adults can really get into. I love reading books with (perhaps unrealistically) resourceful, strong heroines!

  • Carolyn Montie

    The book I’m recommending to everyone this summer is “the Blind Pig” by first-time author, Elizabeth Doughtery. It’s a futurist story about food, health, the environment and the roles of government and private industry in influencing public policy and people’s personal perceptions about what they consume. It takes place in post-climate-change Boston, and its premonitions make it feel like a modern-day Orwellian tale. As someone who has followed Michael Pollan’s writing, has listened with interest to discussions of nanotechnology and advances in the the field of genetics, and who has a passion for growing and cooking for myself, I thought this was a wonderful book that raised lots of questions. A good, light, timely read! It’s self-published, but I bought a copy on Amazon.

  • sydney

    I’d also like to recommend a really entertaining book called “Good Omens”, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s a sort of sequel to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and is a hilarious account of Armageddon.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Just to add, for survivalists, in My Name was Five, what happens after the Germans go kaput, the 13-year-old is the breadwinner, and he collects the cigarette butts the Americans strew all over the roads. “They never smoke them to the end” (something like that), and you collect all the tobacco, and re-roll that into new cigarettes, and sell those. All sorts of deals are made.

  • Jemimah

    “What the Dickens” by Gregory Maguire, is a great book for parents to read with/to their younger children during a summer vacation at the beach!

  • Mary Mahar

    One of my alltime favorites is ‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’ by David Wrobleski. I was transported to this wonderful world of intelligent dogs, mute boy, evil uncle, and remember it very fondly. One of the books that when finished, you feel sorry you can’t read it again for the first time.

  • Dee Kieft

    A good beach read is called Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey. It’s an older book, but he has an entire series based on Serge, a eccentric Florida serial killer. Just brilliant. You’ll learn loads about Florida history. Tim Dorsey was once the night Editor of the Tampa Tribune.You’ll laugh out loud, as Serge only kills really awful/bad people.

  • Matt

    David Mitchell actually has a new novel coming out next week: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. That would be one of my picks.

    For (other) new fantasy and science fiction:

    The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer is a good one, steampunk mixed with Shakespeare’s The Tempest; another is Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven, an alternate history/fantasy of Tang dynasty China, which just got a rave review in The Washington Post by Michael Dirda; the Library of America has just released their volume on Shirley Jackson; I’ll echo the Aimee Bender suggestion; and next month China Mieville’s Kraken will be released. Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, a magical realist tale set in a future Africa, might be too heavy for a fun beach read, but also looks very interesting. And late in the summer will be a new novel from Scarlett Thomas.

  • mavis miller

    Must reads: Carlos ruiz zafon. The shadow of the wind & the angels game

  • http://OnPoint Deborah St. James

    I have been going back to some “retro-reading” this summer. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.”

  • Judie Blair

    Just read Dog Boy by Eva Hornung. It’s the story of an abandoned child raised by a pack of dogs in post-Soviet Moscow. A haunting tale that challenges the superiority of humans.

  • Alice

    I recommend Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh.
    Greatsaga set in India. A little bit of everything, history, adventure, romance, etc.

  • Suzanne Miller

    Top 10 Picks for Summer 2010
    1. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
    The story of a female correspondent in Vietnam during mid- war years through the fall of Saigon, and the relationships she forms. Very powerful, wonderfully well-written.

    2. The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
    A tale of two individuals, a Korean national and a US Army soldier, whose relationship has consequences that come back to visit them in their future lives in a very emotionally interesting way.

    3. The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young – Stone
    A remembrance of the son of a lightning strike victim, and interesting tale of relationships and the power of love. Not at all what I expected – and I ended up enjoying it very much!

    4. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
    A “proper” former British officer and widower finds a new view of the “right way ” of things through his developing relationship with a local shop owning woman of Pakistani lineage. A delight.

    5. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
    Beautifully told story of a woman painter, her illicit love affair with her husband’s uncle, and their shared careers as painters, told through the eyes and experiences of a professor/artist who has a breakdown, the result of an attack on a painting, and his treatment, as developed by a psychiatrist who also paints, who researches what has occurred in the man’s life that could have caused his breakdown. Fascinating, and very readable.

    6. The Night Counter by Alia Yunis
    A lovely tale of a Lebanese woman, told through “stories” told by the woman to her night visitor, Scherezade, during nights 994 through 1001 of their “visits”. We learn much of the woman’s life and her children through the shared stories. Fun.

    7. Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
    Interesting tale of a group who seeks angels, and their various “types” through history. Told through a family of angelologists, with lots of interesting twists and turns.

    8. The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
    An interesting twist on a love affair, and its implications, following the death of one of the lovers’ and that individual’s respective spouse.

    9. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
    A wonderfully told tale of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the impact of the young man and his family when he becomes accused of murdering the young woman who his mother has engaged to help him with his social skills.

    10. Bel- Ami by Guy de Maupassant
    The tale of a social climbing cad, Georges duRoy, and the women he uses in his climb to the social vortex, in 1890s Paris. A must read for any older TWILIGHT SAGA fans, as Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen in the TWILIGHT SAGA) will play duRoy in a movie version.

    I listen to the show every day, and enjoy the discourse tremendously. Thanks for this opportunity to add “my 5 cents”.

  • Scott in Nashville

    Sh*t My Dad Says is such a funny book and will make you laugh out loud.

  • http://none naomi voit.

    where is alan furst on these lists? he has a new book out. don’t write AF off as ‘just another espionage hack.’ moral issues, rich prose,lots of history, fascinating stories well-researched. this author has put it all together; the reader lives the book.

  • Stephanie

    Anyone who loves the classics will LOVE this new historical fiction book by a Michigan author. Aeneas, Last King of Troy is full of drama, romance and historical facts that will keep you riveted through the last page. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Gotta add, the book I’ve been touting is really a new genre, and the caller with memory makes me think to point this out. Kohler’s My Name was Five can be read a chapter at a time. Any chapter. This may be because the author is a writer of textbooks, gripping textbooks, to the extent economics textbooks can be. And he loves to do charts and diagrams. If one chapter does not appeal, skip it.
    That said, the writing reminds me of Proust (not that I’ve read so much Proust). It’s extremely sensuous. It has the child’s memory of the feelings, the sensations. The crucial specifics that frame a life.
    So I declare it a new genre.
    And by the way, a lot of us can’t devote 3-hour stretches very often, and the length of a poem is about the length of a segment (illustrated) in this new genre.

  • http://www.nocturnethenovel.com BosJim

    I recently read “Nocturne” by Harrison Slater. This is an interesting and cerebral story of lost love and intruige set amidst the backdrop of Chopin’s Paris. This is Slater’s second novel after “Night Music”, based on Mozart, and is accompanied by a CD of Chopin’s music integrated with the story and played by the author. This is an independent book so you might not find it in stores. If not, it is available on Amazon or at http://www.nocturnethenovel.com

  • Emily

    I have to second the recommendation for The Passage. It’s about vampires, yes, but to lump the book in with Twilight does it a big disservice. I devoured the book and am looking forward to following the characters through the next two books.

    I also recommend anything by Terry Pratchett. His Disceorld novels are the best mix of fantasy and astute observations in the human condition.

  • Marisa Coutts

    I’m promoting GARCIA’S HEART by Liam Durcan When wartime torture continues to be an issue & concern, comes this “timely novel to ask the question: How is it that good people are complicit in evil causes? GARCIA’S HEART is an astounding psychological thriller about moral responsibility and the human capacity for both denial & forgiveness.” … “Patrick Lazerenko, a doctor & groundbreaking neuroscience researcher, has parlayed his life’s work into a multimillion-dollar consulting firm. And yet, on the cusp of a new marketing campaign for his largest client, he heads to the Hague to attend the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan Garcia, a former doctor implicated in a campaign of torture & interrogation in Honduras.” Durcan is a neurologist and professor at McGill University in Montreal,in Canada. He wrote GARCIA’S HEART in 9 months.

  • Patricia

    For the person who requested a good book of short stories: Elizabeth Berg’s “The Day I ate anything I wanted” is fantastic. I don’t ordinarily like short stories, but these were all so beautifully done. I hope you enjoy it.

  • http://www.onpointradio.com bill camp

    somebody recommended a comedy book about Jesus from the lamb’s perspective. who was the author?

  • http://onpointradio.org bill camp

    my request for the author of the comedy book about jesus from the lamb’s perspective was heard on the june 21,2010 broadcast

  • Gail C.

    Lots of great books for summer. Some of my favorites for those of you looking for a little romance are: When Marrying a Scoundrel by Kathryn Smith, All I Wanted (due out in August) by Kristan Higgins, Any of the NightKeeper series by Jessica Andersen (current release Demon Keepers), Cry Mercy by Toni Andrews, Somewhere in North Africa by Lindsay Downs and Marrying the Marquis by Patricia Grasso. Happy reading!

  • Claudia F. Providence

    Dan Ariely’s ” The Upside of Irrationalityl ” follow up to ” Predictabley Irrational “. Both excellent reads.

  • Bev Wiberg

    My husband and I just finished Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill. It’s about a girl who is taken from her African village into slavery and eventually through her intelligence and courage works for the British during the American Revolution relocating free slaves to Nova Scotia. It’s an inspiring story, but also shows what inhumanity the people taken into slavery had to indure.

  • Randie Harmon

    Just finished reading “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” and “That Old Cape Magic”. These are the types of books for the summer-you were describing dark, grey winter day’s books-all great but let’s get a little lighter. Try “Nothing to See Here” by David L. Post if you want a good summer psychological thriller that you cannot put down.

  • Drew Proctor

    In answer to the request for the author of the comedy book about jesus from the lamb’s perspective: that would be Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. I haven’t read it but I have read some of Moore’s other work and it was hilarious.

  • Nick Black

    The book I’m dying to get my hands on is KINGS OF THE EARTH. It’s the number one pick on Oprah’s Summer Reading List, and the second book by Jon Clinch, author of FINN. Comes out on July 6. I’ll be in line.

  • Laurie

    Did anyone get the name of the book from the caller who drives a long haul truck – something like “The Lovely Cheyenne” – a story told by 3 narrators representing 3 time periods of the characters lives? It sounds like it is not current fiction but worth reading – a modern classic? This same caller recommended “To Kill A Mockingbird”

  • JJWnKC

    Hitch-22 (very good) led me to some of the author’s favorites: Orwell and Martin Amis. Just about to get into those.
    But I liked the Dragon Tattoo, also.
    Just cracked The Imperfectionists, and so far so good.
    This weekend for kicks read The Killer Inside Me. Pretty cool.

  • Deborah Adams

    Concur wholeheartedly with the recommendation of “Private Life” by Jane Smiley and to a great extent with that of “That Old Cape Magic,” because Richard Russo is better than the vast majority of novelists, though you may wish he’d given this story the longer, richer treatment of his other novels. Smiley’s portrait of a marriage builds slowly but movingly and with increasing tension, and is more intimate than Russo’s.

    Check Amazon reader reviews on “A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick and you’ll find as many hate it as love it. Put me in the former category for this yawner that starts out promisingly. The plot is predictable when it isn’t full of holes, the style is pretentious and often silly, and the characters are either inexplicable or they are stereotypes.

  • David Pulliam

    “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. I brilliant and colorful fantasy of a boy lost at sea.

  • Jon

    Great Travel Read:

    Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World
    Seth Stevenson

  • Doug

    ‘Aeneas, Last King of Troy’ – a great summer read for historical fiction buffs. Based on Virgil’s classic, ‘The Aeneid’, this exciting adaptation probes the events of the fall of Troy and the character of Aeneas, brother of Hector, who is compelled by an ancient Oracle to lead the survivors of Troy across the world in search of a lost homeland – and a destiny that will change the fate of the world for a thousand years.

    An epic adventure, a passionate love story, full of courage, treachery, betrayal, and hope. Great characters in Aeneas, the unsung hero of Troy; Queen Dido of Tyre, exiled from her home by a madman; and King Yarbas of Africa, a strong and cunning leader who vies with Aeneas for Dido’s heart.

    Check either Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com

  • Kathy from Davis Kidd

    Our in-store book club had its highest attendance of the year (26) to discuss A Reliable Wife. Overwhelmingly, people liked or loved it. They enjoyed the twists and turns, and most found it rather unpredictible. The heroine resembled Kathy from East of Eden, and also Serena, from Serena by Ron Rash,both women beautiful, evil, driven and totally selfish.

  • Lorraine Breithaupt

    Laurie, The name of the book I think you’re looking for is “Leaving Cheyenne” by Larry McMurty.

  • moe

    Almost finished with The Ask by Sam Lipsyte. As Mark said, hilarious. Had called in today to suggest it, but he scooped me!

    I got dumped in my late 20s by a would-be artist like Milo, the protagonist, and who (like Jay Gatsby) was “dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny.”

    I hope ex doesn’t feel as worthless as Milo, but I am grateful not to be there anymore.

    Not to say I don’t cringe at some of the descriptions of fellow Gen-Xers. Delicious, vicious snark.

  • Debra

    My all-time favorite book…Red Azalea by Anchee Min. Allowed me to feel the Cultural Revolution; not just read about it. But bottom-line, it’s a good story that captured my interest & my heart & I was sad when I was done reading it. In fact, I’ve read it over & over.

  • Gina

    Did anyone catch the name of the Carl Hiassen book that was recommended on air? I read one of his books years ago, and it was laugh-out-loud`funny.

  • Ofelia

    The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen is one I keep coming back to and re-read, or at least parts of it. A trek in the Himalayas in search of elusive animals as metaphor for a deeper search.

    My Dream of You by Nuala O’Faolain is a can’t-put-down complex tale of love, loss and Irish history. Written by a journalist with a real gift for literature.

  • Jenny

    I just read The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. This book came out in 2003 but I just picked it up…and couldn’t put it down. It is the perfect summer read: light, fun, engaging. The author has a wonderful ability to describe simple human interactions that is both hysterical and touching. A great read!

  • Jim Walters

    Let me second the recommendation of “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. It’s also available as an audio book and is as good a book to have read to you as it is to read. A fantasy and adventure tale with wonderful observations of humanity and the human condition.

  • Connie Lewis

    I have just discovered the stories of Lydia Davis (“Samuel Johnson Would Be Indignant” is the collection I started with), and I recommend them highly. “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis” came out last year, and I am now enjoying other Davis stories.

    All of the stories I have read are quirky in one way or another. Most are funny (many laugh out loud funny). Many of stories are very, very short (at least one is only a title with a colon at the end). I think the blurbs by Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, Joyce Carol Oates, and Rick Moody on the back of the collected stories are accurate (often, I think blurbs are generic praise without much substance).

  • Beverly Schwabe

    The Carl Hiassen book is “Star Island”, but I think they said it was coming out soon.
    Christopher Moore also has a series of vampire books,”You Suck” and “Bite Me” and another–not your usual sories but very fun as are all his books.


  • http://deeply-rooted.org Shahara LeFay

    Who is the author of the “Ay, Caramba” book a listener loved? She could not remember herself, and searching, I only find children’s books. Also, how about a book with “Demon …” in the title, a caller who was in charge of a Romance Writers group. (Sorry, I was busy in the gardening listening on the transister). Thank you!

  • Maggie Green

    “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett – a great book.

  • http://idon'thaveawebsite bruce hoch


    i believe the long-hauler was talking about
    Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry.
    something i would recommend is the (probably current issue of Alaska Quarterly Review. i mean the issue with the collection of new fiction (new, and sometimes representing the author’s first publication) of new short stories chosen by Amy Hempel.
    in addition, also in AQR, is this phenomenally interesting manual,
    How to Write a Good Sentence*

    the now late Mr. Salinger’s, Twelve Stories, is still wonderful…
    and still available, all over the place. on Ipad?

    * as is evident: i haven’t finished the manual on
    good sentences.
    the stories chosen by Amy H remind me in a way,
    of the refrain in Butler Yeats’s Stolen Child:
    Come away, O human child
    To the waters and the wild,
    With a faery, hand in hand.
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you
    can understand.

  • L Bowes

    Would love it if you could distinguish between fiction and nonfiction.

  • Maureen Richards

    Two astonishing books published in 2010:
    “Tinkers” by Paul Harding
    “Ilustrado” by Miguel Syjuco

    These are books which caused this reader to forego planned meals, abandon daily exercise, and ignore voice mail.
    Neither ia a “quick read.”
    Both require attention and reward it.

    After reading library copies, I had to purchase my own so that I could reread and underline.

  • Izzy Bean

    I also recommend “Life Of Pi.” I had resisted reading it for a long time because I thought it sounded stupid. But it was an absolutely wonderful book and it moved me.

    One of my all-time favorite books is “Peace Like A River” by Leif Enger. Its narrator is an 11-year-old boy and it’s got the remarkable eye, wit and soul of Huck Finn and Scout Finch. It takes place in 1962. It’s a book I want to reread and reread again and again.

  • Jane Coe

    I think I am being frustrated by your new website. At any rate when I hear a program I am interested in but need to go to later to get information from, such as your summer book discussion, I only want to see the script from which I can get the book names recommended or a list of the books discussed. I just printed out the stuff above and discovered that it really is a blog, and 20 pages came out of my printer. Whatever happened to your archive list from which I can get, by reading, just the information I want? I am an older woman and I do not do blogs or facebook or anything else that seems to be popular. I want to see what I hear on the radio, nothing more unless I search for it. In short, your website does not work as it used to and I do not know how to use it to get what I want. Maybe I need an instruction book.

  • http://www.anniesghosts.com Margrette Mondillo

    Steve Luxenberg is a longtime editor and reporter for the Washington Post; “Annie’s Ghosts” is the story of how he used his investigative skills to unlock a family mystery. In the course of learning that his late mother had a sister he never knew about, Steve assembles a dazzling historical tapestry encompassing issues of mental illness and its treatment, genealogy, the immigrant experience in the early 20th Century, and the Holocaust, among other things. As Steve’s Post colleague, noted journalist and investigative reporter Bob Woodward puts it, “ ‘Annie’s Ghosts’ is perhaps the most honest, and one of the most remarkable books I have ever read… From mental institutions to the Holocaust, mother, father, childhood, its mysteries, sadness and joy—­it is one emotional ride.” I highly recommend it!

Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

Sep 15, 2014
This Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. (AP/Carson Walker)

Uproar over development plans for the Grand Canyon. We go to the Navajo Nation and the Canyon floor to see what’s at stake.

Sep 15, 2014
In this Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 photo, Middle Eastern leaders stand together during a family photo with of the Gulf Cooperation Council and regional partners at King Abdulaziz International Airport’s Royal Terminal in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

President Obama says he will build a coalition of partners in the Middle East to combat ISIS. We’ll do a reality check on who’s really stepping up for what.

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