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Summer Books Season

USA Today posts its lengthy interactive list of summer fiction and non-fiction. You can sort by title, author or release date, and look at all the books at once or only fiction or non-. Excerpts available for some. [22 May]

Politics and Prose Bookstore’s Summer Favorites 2008, with separate lists for hardcover fiction, paperback fiction, pb mystery, airplane reading, and non-fiction lists: memoir/bio, things to do this summer, nature/environment, travel/history, audiobooks, and catching up (books you’ve meant to read all year). Sumptuous descriptions. Cover images.

The Telegraph’s 50 Best Ever Summer Holiday Books. These are not “the flash-in-the-pans of this summer, but the great reads of any summer: the books with the strongest narratives, most magnetic characters and most involving worlds. Books that will not let you down.” Mostly fiction. [20 June]

Debra Linn at Reading Groups Guides offers a list of ‘Great Books Out this Summer’ and a shorter one of  ‘Great Summer Books Out this Summer.’ About 10 in all. [24 July]

The NY Observer’s list offers “10 enticing summer books — highbrow and low-, fiction and non-, literary and, well, almost trash (in a good way!).” [1 July]

Library Journal offers two lists: Testosterone-Fueled Fiction: Ten Action-Packed Summer Reads for Guys and Summer Getaways for Chicks: Eleven Hot Staycation Reads. [15 June]

The Wall Street Journal’s summer reading list includes non-fiction, world/contemporary titles, historical fiction, and short stories. (Click on link at bottom of article for annotated, interactive list.) [23 May]

Salon is listing its recommendations week by week. First came 5 Killer Thrillers: “From an art-world conspiracy to a campus murder to the gripping tale of a missing child, these recommendations will add suspense to your beach book list.” Then it was 3 novels for chicks, “from a black-humored romantic romp to the tale of a single woman flirting her way around the world.” This week it’s memoirs. [May and June]

The National Catholic Reporter posts an 8-page insert of reviews of books due out this summer, including Robert Ellsberg’s The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day and Abraham’s Curse: The Roots of Violence in Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Bruce Chilton. [2 May]

What Would Jesus Read? at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune lists about 15 hot summer reads (fiction and non-) recommended by local religious bookstores, including Quiet Strength by Indianapolis Colt’s coach Tony Dungy, Finding the Monk Within by Edward C. Sellner, and unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity … And Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. [7 July]

Real Simple magazine asks 10 authors to suggest books for summer 2008, including ‘one day reads,’ books for a long weekend, books to savor all summer, and books to dip into and out of. [June]

NPR offers 4 summer fiction picks by book critic Maureen Corrigan (audio). The whole summer books shebang recommends cookbooks, offers excerpts, and includes lists of “Nine First Books that Make a Lasting Impression,” Summer’s Best Nonfiction, and “Booksellers’ Selections for Summer Afternoons.” Alan Cheuse recommends literary fiction for summer reading. The whole suggested list from NPR is here. [May]

The New York Post’s summer books lists, each with 10 suggested books, are all separate:

  • Guilty Pleasures: Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada); the latest in Meg Cabbot’s ‘Babble’ series; Devil May Care, the James Bond novel written by Sebastian Faulks …
  • Politics : Scott McClellan’s book about the current White House administration, George Lakoff’s Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain, Barbara Ehrenreich’s Reports from a Divided Nation …
  • True Tales of Wonder: Waiter Rant’s Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter; Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running about preparing to run the NYC Marathon; David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed in Flames; a book about life among cannibals …
  • Novels : literary fiction by David Guterson, Joyce Carol Oates, Ma Jian … [25 May]

The LA Times Summer Reading list offers a short paragraph for “more than 50 titles in fiction and nonfiction, organized according to the months when they’ll be published.” Includes titles by Andre Dubus III, Richard Liebmann-Smith (The James Boys: A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers, which asks, “What if the younger brothers of psychologist William and novelist Henry were the outlaws Frank and Jesse?“), Barbara Ehrenreich, Gore Vidal (essays), Alan Furst, Larry McMurtry (a memoir), Robert Crais, Stefan Fatsis, Stephen L. Carter, Tom Vanderbilt (Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do), Haruki Murakami (running memoir), Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Paul Auster, et al. [8 June]

Under the Radar at Reader’s Advisor Online offers a list of ‘beach reads for Jane Austen fans.’ [15 June]

The Contra Costa Times polled coastal bookstore owners for their list of Beach Reads: Suggestions from Beach Towns. [15 June]

Oprah’s Books of Summer from the July 2008 O magazine include titles in these categories: Truly American Tales, A Classic in the Making, Unputdownables, What We Do for Love, An Elegant Cancer Memoir, Not Your Typical Murder Mysteries, Living Legends, True Stories, and Our Pick for Pure Pleasure.

The Guardian’s ‘Friends for faraway places’ is an annotated list of books to bring along as literary companions for your summer holidays, suggested by writers. Locales include Sicily, France, Los Angeles, Chicago, the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean, South America, Uruguay, Egypt, Turkey, India, China, and Japan. [14 June]

WBUR’s ‘On Point’ radio show talks with “three book mavens about their top picks for summer ‘08,” ranging from “New Jersey to Mumbai, taking you to the ends of the earth and the edge of science. There’s also a white tiger, fear and yoga, black flies, a black dove, Gandhi, Churchill, and 1434.” [2 June]

The London Review Bookshop offers a selection of “interesting and surprising titles selected by our booksellers to represent the very best in summer reading on a wide variety of subjects, from fiction to history, biography to food and drink.” Separate sections for travel (13 titles), art and architecture (7), poetry (3), politics (9), history (9), biography (9), literary criticism (10), and fiction, as well as other topics.

“Not Your Average Beach Books” at SouthCoastToday (MA) offers a list of “substantive books that both girls and guys can enjoy this summer,” suggested by a local bookseller and a local librarian. The list includes Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest collection, Unaccustomed Earth, The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone’s political correspondent, The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor (it’s on the list of 1,001 books you must read before you die), By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho, etc. [30 May]

Summer Book Flings at the St. Petersburg Times, offers an annotated list of “half a dozen new and upcoming novels by first-time authors” that make for good summer reading. The bonus is that for each book, there’s a short list of similar authors, TV shows, geographic locations … For example, Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton “reminds us of: Val McDermid meets Patricia Cornwell on the North Sea.” Sounds good to me! (and it was good!) [1 June]

Summer Books for Eating, Thinking and Loving at Chelmsford (MA) Public Library’s blog, The Reading Room, suggested some books last summer for reading about eating and loving, and for contemplating the meaning of life, including Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver; Julie and Julia by blogger Julie Powell (she “resolves to cook her way through 524 recipes in Julia Child’s tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in her NYC apartment); The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner; and classic and contemporary love stories, including Little Children by Tom Perrotta.’s beach blanket books are those that “you can eat in 15-minute bites” and that are interruptible. Suggests about 20 fiction, science-fiction, and non-fiction titles, including fiction titles Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian and Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons; memoirs The Downhill Lie: A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport Carl Hiaasen (a funny golf memoir) and Barbara Walters’ Audition; and science-fiction title The Host by Stephenie Meyer, her first ‘adult’ novel, “a romantic variation on The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’ [1 June]

The Rutland Herald ‘Vermont Sunday Magazine’ asks thirteen local librarians and booksellers which old favorite and which as-yet-unread (but not necessarily new) book they’d take to the beach with them this summer. Among them: Zugzwang by Ronan Bennett, “a literary thriller set in 1914 St. Petersburg amidst an international chess tournament and a series of unsolved murders;” Steampunk, an anthology of stories in this sub-genre, which combines high-tech fantasy and Victorian settings; and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, “a memoir of a 12-year-old boy in Sierra Leone who is caught up in one of the most brutal and violent civil wars during the 1990s.” [1 June]

The St. Cloud Times has summer book suggestions if you’re looking for an easy mystery, thrillers, a Harry Potter replacement, books with vivid imagery, books to enjoy with the kids, etc. [5 June]

EarlyWord the new “publisher|librarian connection blog,” offers a mash-up of the summer books recommendations. What books are on almost every list and which are listed only on one? [10 June]

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  1. [...] is now here. [...]

  2. Worth Reading » Additions | 11 June 2008 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    [...] Reminder: More content added daily to the recommended lists of summer books! [...]

  3. The Books of Summer « Newton Reads | 19 July 2008 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    [...] And a great list of lists (including some of the above) from the Worth Reading blog. [...]