Few things are better than a good book when you're relaxing at the beach, waiting in an airport, or just kicking back during a staycation. Get recommendations for the best summer reads, and share some of your own.
Browse our critics' favorite books of the season on our 2012 Summer Reading List. Let us know your summer reading picks in the comments.
Your Summer Reading Picks
From historical fiction and fantasy to memoirs and poetry, our book critics shared their top summer reading recommendations. We asked what you're reading -- or looking forward to reading -- and here's what you said.
Storified by The Kojo Nnamdi Show · Thu, Jun 14 2012 14:43:42
Summer officially starts this Wednesday. What are your summer book picks? #kojoreadsThe Kojo Nnamdi Show
@kojoshow @RonCharles Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City http://amzn.to/LX63wl by @nattyrankins #kojoreadsCrystal Nicole Davis
@ #kojoreads I just read the picture of Dorian gray for the first time. Loved it!Arrianna Nichols
Anything by Robert Crais...can't put them down.Rob Woodruff
@kojoshow redoing two- East of Eden: Steinbeck and Being A Black Man: Staff of WaPo #kojoreadsHill B
"The Lovers" by Vendela Vida is the quintessential summer read. Couldn't put it down. The ending is breathtaking. #KojoReadsV in V
Guests Ron Charles, Barbara Hoffert and Despina Kakoudaki shared their favorite reads this summer, including Nancy Gibbs' "The Presidents Club," which tells the inside story of the world's most exclusive fraternity, and "The Stories of Ray Bradbury," an author-selected anthology of 100 stories.
2012 Summer | The Kojo Nnamdi Showundefined
Bennie wrote: Kojo, Just finished reading a new 2012 book A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash..................I could not put it down until I finished. Takes place in Western North Carolina community. Each chapter is one person’s take on what happened in this small community of people that go to a specific church. Author’s first novel..........great read!
Listened to "To End All War" by Adam Hochschild. Very impressive account of the influence of World War I on English society. Will read Margaret Farley's "Just Love" as soon as the library releases the copies it's ordering for borrowing.Nicoline Smits
@kojoshow @BarbaraHoffert #kojoreads Highly recommend Bonnie Jo Campbell's "Once Upon a River". Set in rural MI, evokes Daniel Woodrells MOSarah Anderson
Patti from Olney wrote: For a vacation to Europe or the Holy Land, there’s nothing better than Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad.” It’s laugh-out-loud funny (somewhat to my embarrassment) and is available for free for e-readers through Project Gutenberg. The technology may have changed, but human nature hasn’t changed since it was written. My young adult daughter and I were in Italy last month, and she was so amused by the parts I read aloud to her that she is now reading it on her Nook.
Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift; Luminarium by Alex Shakar; The Lady in Gold (nonfiction) by Anne-Marie O'Connor #KojoReads @RonCharlesNancy H.
finally reading (and thoroughly enjoying) 'Zone One' by @colsonwhitehead Soon to be followed by 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn. #kojoreadsTayla Burney
@kojoshow Yes, Chef: A memoir #kojosreadsMonica Bhide
Ron Charles, fiction editor and weekly critic for The Washington Post Book World, joined Kojo in the studio to share his reading suggestions.
@fishbone96 So agree w you: WISH YOU WERE HERE and LUMINARIUM are fantastic, moving, demanding novels I loved, too. #kojoreadsRon Charles
Best novel I've ever read: Standing at the Scratch Line by Guy Johnson. Reads like an actionfilm: covers race, war, etc #kojoreads @kojoshowCrystal Marie
My Faves "When Tito Loved Clara" by John Michaud, "Love & Shame & Love" by Peter Orner or "These Dreams of You" by Steve Erickson #KojoReadsV in V
Barbara wrote: Hi Kojo! I read a lot...more in the summer since I'm a teacher....but only have time to read great books! 2 Colson Whitehead novels are awesome and fit your discussion... Sag Harbor---for reading about the beach. Zone One---for connecting to the hot show, The Walking Dead, a wry look at the zombie apocalypse from one ordinary survivor's point of view. He's a fantastic writer!!
@RonCharles @kojoshow crossing the borders of time: a true story of war, exile, and love reclaimed, byLeslie maitland, nonfiction, isamazingSusan Murchison
Sonja wrote: Hi Kojo: I was just listening to your show and heard you discussing books about Iraq. There is a great book called Jerusalem Spring that talks about the middle east in a fictional setting. It has a good message and a surprising twist at the end. It's an easy read with a lot of food for thought.
@kojoshow Reading "Beating Heart" - novel abt DC community organizer by Anna El-Eini. #kojoreads Excited to support local authorLaura Kumin
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong #KojoReadsnothing-in-the-house
The A Song of Ice and Fire series aka Game of Thrones MT @kojoshow Summer officially starts Wed. What are your summer book picks? #kojoreadsLS The DMV Kid
Looking for even more book suggestions? Search our archive for picks from top book editors and critics.
Reading Lists | The Kojo Nnamdi Showundefined
@kojoshow #kojoreads The Cat's Table and The Rules of Civility are at the top of my "to read" pile at the moment. Hmmm. Not very beachy.Capital Spice
@kojoshow Really enjoying The Art of Fielding. Planning to read The Invisible Bridge next. You? #kojoreadsAviva Goldfarb
@thescramble Ooooh, I see you listed The God of Small Things. So good! Always on my list of recommendations to others. #kojoreadsCapital Spice
@CapitalSpice I loved Rules of Civility and think it is beachy! Here's my list of fav books if it helps: http://bit.ly/GUmbff #kojoreadsAviva Goldfarb
@CapitalSpice I really liked A Visit From the Goon Squad but so dark. Did you read Super Sad True Love Story? Wild. #kojoreadsAviva Goldfarb
David wrote: David Williams "Searching for God in the Sixties" A lively approach to the mysticism of the 60s put into the larger context of all American religion. A heavy subject but a great read.
@kojoshow Not sure yet, but really thinking about going w/ audiobooks this summer. Hearing it read adds an neat extra layer #kojoreadsMatthew Gladney
Great #publictransit reads! MT @kojoshow: a light beach read or a hefty biography, we have the summer's best books. http://bit.ly/MNB9togoDCgo
Amy Abrams wrote:
I love local (Baltimore) author Laura Lippman for a good page turning mystery.
.@kojoshow Summer reads: Shine Shine Shine by @lostcheerio, Little Century by @AnnaKeesey, Zombie by @jrangelella #kojoreadsDavid Abrams
The Second book in The Discovery of Witches trilogy Nancy Malm Tipton
Cutting for Stone (finally) #kojoreads #summerreadingMonica Arpino
Margo French wrote:
Just recently retired I have just read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and all I can say is WOW. This book reads like a true piece of art. Understandably, some may be disgusted at its raw observations and attention to detail in human functions and intentions, but it was like looking at a sensuously created Impressionist painting. I encourage those who have not read it to take the adventure and get ready for a real mind and spiritual trip. Love you, Kojo.
@kojoshow A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks http://j.mp/LX9uW8 #kojoreads #innovationoscar perry abello
Novelist Delia Ephron says that losing her older sister Nora was like "losing an arm." But for all their collaboration and closeness, Delia writes about the complications of sisterhood in her new collection of autobiographical essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.).
Historian Maureen Ogle's new book examines the rise of our modern industrial meat system by examining its roots — all the way back to Colonial America. There's a fundamental disconnect, she argues, in our demands for both cheap, plentiful meat and an end to factory farms. Something, she says, has to give.
So many spies have reportedly targeted gamers that a central group must try to keep track of them all. That's the latest revelation from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reported by the Guardian and other outlets.
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