Great Summer Reads

From “50 Shades of Grey” to “Canada.” We’ll take a look at the best books for the summer.

Beach reads (aafromaa/Flickr)

Beach reads (aafromaa/Flickr)

There’s a particular state of bliss you may know.  Lazy summer afternoon.  Porch swing.  Beach.  Hammock.  A good book.  A glass of lemonade.  And nothing to do but read.  All it takes is the time, and that book.  The one that sweeps you away.  Takes over.  Takes off.

If you want that state of bliss, you’ve got to have it.  Maybe it was Moneyball once for you.  Or Sea Biscuit.  Or Somerset Maugham.  This summer it’s risky business.  Handcuffs in Fifty Shades of Grey.  Beheadings in Bring up the Bodies.  And much more.

This hour, On Point:  Great summer reads, 2012.

-Tom Ashbrook


Maggie Galehouse, book critic for the Houston Chronicle.

David Ulin, book critic for the Los Angeles Times.

Jessilynn Norcross, owner of the McLean & Eakin bookstore in Petoskey, Michigan.

From Tom’s Reading Lists

Check out the list of best summer books. Publisher’s Weekly has their list here. Good Housekeeping keeps their list here. The Independent has an interesting list here.  As does the Daily Beast and the LA Times. And the New York Times. The Boston Globe compiles a list for younger readers.

Check out our guest list of top summer reads

Jessilynn Norcross
1. “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio (Pub: 2/14/12)
2. “Imperfect Passage” by Michael Cosgrove (non-fiction) (Pub: 6/5/2012)
3. “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline (fiction, new in paperback on 6/5/2012)
4. “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett (fiction, new in paperback on 5/8/2012)
5. “The Cove” by Ron Rash (fiction) (Pub: 4/10/2012)
6. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (fiction) (Pub: 6/5/2012)
7. “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey (fiction) (Pub: 6/5/2012)
8. “The Expats” by Chris Pavone (fiction) (Pub: 3/6/2012)
9. “Heading Out to Wonderful” by Robert Goolrick (fiction) (Pub: 6/12/12)
10. “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter (fiction) (Pub: 6/12/12)
11. “Lost in Shangri La” by Mitchell Zuckoff (paperback non-fiction) (Pub: 4/24/12)
12. “The Last Policeman” by Ben H. Winters (fiction – due out July 10)
13. “The Prisoner of Heaven” by Carlos Ruiz Zafron (fiction – due out July 1)

Maggie Galehouse
1. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed (Pub: 6/1/2012)
2. “Cronkite” by Douglas Brinkley. (5/29/2012)
3. “Home,” by Toni Morrison. (Pub: 5/8/2012)
4. “Between the Lines,” by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer. (Pub: 4/30/2012)
5. “Carry the One,” by Carol Anshaw. (Pub: 3/6/2012)
6. “Thrall,” poems by Natasha Trethewey. (Due on 9/11/2012)
7. “The Mighty Miss Malone,” by Christopher Paul Curtis. (Pub: 1/10/2012)
8. “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America,” by Gustavo Arellano (Pub: 4/10/2012)
9. “Almost Invisible,” by Mark Strand. (Pub: 3/13/2012)
10. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” by Jenny Lawson. (Pub: 4/17/2012)

David Ulin

1. “The Twenty-Year Death” by Ariel Winter (Pub: 8/7/2012)
2. “Journalism” by Joe Sacco (Pub: 6/19/2012)
3. “The Way the World Works” a collection of essays by Nicholson Baker (8/7/2012)
4. “Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse” by Denis Johnson (6/5/2012)
5. “The Drowned World: 50th Anniversary Edition” by J.G. Ballard (7/23/2012)
6. “Diaries” by George Orwell (8/20/2012)
7. “Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson (6/19/2012)
8. “Winter Journal” by Paul Auster (8/21/2012)
9. “Why Does the World Exist?” by Jim Holt (7/16/2012)
10. “The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire” by Ted Gioia (7/6/2012)

Caller Picks
Game of Thrones
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Red Plenty
The Gilder
The Sun Also Rises
Vladimir’s Moustache
Harry Potter 
Night Circus
50 Shades of Grey
Rain of Gold
Congo Jack
A Man with Ants in His Eyes 
The Metamorphosis
Ready Player One
The Healing
A Covert Affair
Pride and Prejudice
Nothing Daunted
They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?
There’s a Porcupine In My Outhouse
The Loved One
Loving Frank 
Hope: A Tragedy
Laundry Series
Touching the Void
Sand County Almanac
Ringing Cedars
Brand New Human Being

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