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We'll be adding new lists from our critics throughout the summer.

Summer Books 2013

Nancy Pearl Scours The Shelves For Books You Might Have Missed()  

Illustration: Nancy Pearl with a book

June 21, 2013 NPR's go-to librarian recommends five "under the radar" books she thinks you should read this summer. They range from a Jane Austenesque love story to a real life, intellectual detective tale.


On Morning EditionPlaylist

Start Storing Up: Indie Booksellers Pick Summer's Best Reads()  

Illustration: Independent bookstore and bike.

June 4, 2013 NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three of our go-to independent booksellers to help fill our beach bags with good books. The result is a reading list that's all about youth and ritual.


On Morning EditionPlaylist

Hidden Gems: 5 Summer Books That Deserve More Fanfare()  

Illustration: Hidden Gems

July 22, 2013 There is just so much to read! Every year many good books get lost under a tide of prose. Reviewer Meg Wolitzer celebrates five books that might have slipped under the radar.


On All Things ConsideredPlaylist

Secrets Of The Universe: 5 Great SF And Fantasy Summer Reads()  

SF Roundup

June 14, 2013 Looking for a good summer sci-fi or fantasy read? Annalee Newitz of io9 picks her five favorites, from the tale of a time-traveling serial killer, to a cryogenics company that produces "bridesicles," and a compilation of supposedly lost Wikipedia entries.


Love's Better In Books: 5 Romantic Summer Reads()  


July 5, 2013 Romance author Eloisa James picks five sweet summer reads that turn trauma into romantic triumph. Whether you've been jilted at the altar, humiliated in the school paper or just plain rejected, James says you'll find these books "as healing as ice cream."


School's Out: 5 Great Summer Reads For Teens()  

An illustration of a young woman reading a book

June 11, 2013 NPR Books is replete with readers of grown-up books, but editor Petra Mayer prefers a good YA novel any day. She picks five (well, really six) of her favorite summer YA reads, from first love in 1980s Omaha to far-future Brazil and beyond.


Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting ()  

Illustration: sculpture of a book on a pedestal.

July 16, 2013 It's a tragedy, perhaps, but books do go out of print. Reviewer and editor Parul Sehgal recommends five that have come back to life.


On All Things ConsideredPlaylist

Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore ()  

Illustration: A trophy sits on a pile of books.

July 9, 2013 Have you ever found yourself in the library or a bookstore, about to go on vacation, with no idea what books to bring? NPR's Lynn Neary talks to three book critics about the best reads of the summer.


On All Things ConsideredPlaylist

Female Perspectives: Five Novels That Bring Outsiders In()  

Five Novels By Women Bring Outsiders In

June 6, 2013 For readers in search of tales that step outside familiar viewpoints, these authors unravel conflict, religion, race and love — from new and different angles. In these novels, a child from the slums, an executed zealot, a reluctant immigrant, a guilty survivor and a suffering mother take center stage.


Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring()  

Illustration: A little boy in a boat reads a book as the boat is picked up by an octopus.

May 31, 2013 Children's librarian Mara Alpert recommends 10 titles that will send youngsters off on brand-new adventures. In these books, kids will learn what baby animals do on their first day of life, what baseball games are like in Japan, and what happens when you read a poem from bottom to top.


On Morning EditionPlaylist

Summer Adventure: 5 Thrilling, Chilling, Far-Ranging Reads()  


June 27, 2013 Book reviewer Alan Cheuse picks five exciting summer reads, ranging from short stories of grim Irish mayhem to a North Carolina lynching and a corpse in an iceberg, to Southern California cocaine capers and a pure-trash adventure starring U.S. special forces and a world-threatening comet.


On All Things ConsideredPlaylist

The Funny (Touching, Fascinating) Pages: 5 Comics For Summer()  

Graphic Novels

June 18, 2013 When's the last time you read a comic book? Here are five for summer, covering everything from tiny Finnish critters to Viennese punk rockers and musings on Anna Wintour. Writer Myla Goldberg says they represent a golden age in comic art.


Moments Of Truth: 6 Memoirs Written With Heart()  

Illustration: A heart writing a book

May 30, 2013 Vacations are where we do some of our most serious thinking, but when it comes to summer reading, we often reach for mindless reads. This year, beautifully written memoirs — about unspeakable loss, motherhood and the process of healing — offer substantial stories that tear at the heart.


Making Art From Art: 5 Nonfiction Reads For Summer()  


June 25, 2013 No fiction? No problem! Annalisa Quinn shares five summer reads that look at art in a few stranger-than-fiction ways. Classic mythology and Spider-Man? An antlered hat with feathers? Have your Dutch minimalist-inspired cake and eat it too!


Fact Behind The Fiction: 5 Great Historicals For Summer()  

Historical fiction

July 25, 2013 Author Jean Zimmerman chooses five books that "pick up where history leaves off," shedding new light on often forgotten corners of history, from the unruly Florida frontier of the 18th century to the real-life little dancer who inspired Edgar Degas' famous sculpture.


City Slickers: 5 Books About The Urban Experience()  

Illustration: Books As Cities

July 30, 2013 Millions of people worldwide are leaving rural areas for urban ones. NPR Cities Project editor Franklyn Cater highlights five books that examine and celebrate 21st century life in the metropolis.


5 Books Of Poetry To Get You Through The Summer()  

Illustration: A vase of flowers on top of a book.

June 7, 2013 Critic Alan Cheuse believes that summer — with its long, hot, drowsy days — may be the best season for reading poetry. His recommendations include works by Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky and W.S. Merwin, and a novel in verse by the late essayist David Rakoff.


Sneak Preview: 5 Books To Look Forward To This Summer()  

Illustration: Books on a stage framed by red curtains.

June 10, 2013 NPR's Barrie Hardymon has been scanning the catalogs all year, searching for the summer's best books. Her five favorites range from young-adult fiction to a memoir about cheese.


Summer Books 2013: The Complete List()  

Illustration of a cloud reading a book.

May 29, 2013 Cool reads for hot days. Get all of NPR's summer book recommendations in one place!


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