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

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