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Librarian Nancy Pearl Picks 'Under The Radar' Reads()  

Illustration: Mouse below street reads book as man's shoes walk above.

August 3, 2010 As a librarian and a reader, Nancy Pearl scours the shelves in search of hidden treasures — titles you may have missed. Her findings include two chilling thrillers, one exquisite 1960s memoir, a lively biography of George Orwell, an example of historical fiction at its very best, and much more fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

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Summer Books That Make The Critics' Cut()  

Illustration: A woman reads on top of a stack of books.

June 19, 2010 Just what is a summer book, anyway? Does it have to be a big, fat, juicy page turner to earn the right to be packed away in the luggage (or downloaded on the e-reader)? We put that question to several book reviewers to find out what they like to take along on summer getaways.

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Fiction, Long And Short, For Summertime Escapes()  

Illustration: Books on top of a car.

June 14, 2010 Whether you're vacationing for a week or a weekend, Alan Cheuse has a fiction recommendation to fit. Novels from Jennifer Egan and Laurence Gonzales for your weeklong escapes; a novella from Ann Beattie for those three-day getaways; and stories from Robert Stone for all you day-trippers.

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Fun In The Sun: Laugh-Out-Loud Summer Books()  

Comedy

July 21, 2010 Read these books at the beach, and people two towels over will wonder why you're chortling. There are plenty of books that will make you laugh, but critic Heller McAlpin separates the mere giggles from the all-out gut-busters.

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Top Reads: Summer Heat Sparks Rise In Crime Novels()  

Illustration: Book behind crime scene tape.

June 17, 2010 It's no mystery that the Swedes know how to write really good ones. But among the authors with the gift to spin out superior thrillers is a trio of American women and, oddly, the guy who gave us Mr. Magoo. Now, the suspense is over: Mystery fiction aficionado Maureen Corrigan relishes the best of the whodunits.

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One Nightstand, Six Affairs: Novels Of Illicit Love()  

Illustration: Books, wine and a toppled high heel.

July 28, 2010 Hotels, pools, beaches, airplanes: all good places to ignite a summer fling — or read about one. Here are six recent titles that will let you explore, from the safety of your deck chair, our human capacity for ecstasy and pain.

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Best Of The Bestsellers: Wisdom Of The Crowds()  

Illustration: People running to a book

June 29, 2010 Bestsellerdom doesn't necessarily bring with it a promise of quality, so we've hand-selected five titles from the NPR Bestseller List: an acutely observed first novel with satiric punch, three works of fiction from established authors at the top of their game, and a startlingly powerful science thriller from a nonfiction newcomer.

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Back To Reality: Nonfiction For The Summer's End()  

Illustration: Man reading book.

August 18, 2010 The days are getting shorter, and it's hard to breeze though pages like you did on vacation just a few short weeks ago. Critic Cord Jefferson offers five nonfiction titles — true stories that will gently ease you out of the summer months, and back into the routines of fall.

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Cookbooks & Recipes

To Market, To Market: 10 Top Summer Cookbooks()  

Illustration: Books in a sandwich

June 20, 2010 This year has yielded a bumper crop of cookbooks for the farmers market regular. Food writer T. Susan Chang has sorted through this bounty to come up with an armload of recommendations — as well as a score of great summer recipes — for the locavore in your life.

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Zombies And Giant Squid: Summer's Monster Hits!()  

Illustration: A squid swims along, holding books in his tentacles.

July 8, 2010 Tired of vampires? Here are five freaky summer reads featuring gods, monsters, aliens, mutants, pulsating brains, sword-canes, dirigibles and derring-do. Each one, says critic Glen Weldon, is enlivened by wit and wordplay — not weepy, bloodsucking introspection.

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Historical Fiction: The Ultimate Summer Getaway()  

Illustration: A Viking reads a book.

June 7, 2010 2010's best century-hopping novels will transport you from Europe of a millennium ago to '60s-era San Francisco, with stops in Spain and Berlin, and raucous encounters with Moors and Romantic poets, along the way. What more do you need except a sturdy sand chair?

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Literary Destinations: Five Books To Help You Escape()  

Illustration: Camp scene with book as tent.

August 12, 2010 In these stories — three novels and two works of nonfiction — a history teacher, a wry angst-filled teen, a budding celebrity chef, an intrepid spice hunter, and Ernest Hemingway himself whisk you to vacation spots around the world.

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Beakers To Beaches: Summer's Best Science Books()  

Illustration: Books in beakers

July 14, 2010 You don't need a background in science to enjoy these research-fueled reads. From the mysteries of the male brain to the logistics of having a clone to the problem of mortality, these books straightforwardly tackle present and future scientific puzzles.

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Summer Titles That Will Take You Back In Time()  

Young Romantics

June 3, 2010 Maureen Corrigan has booked an armchair getaway this summer with four books that will send her traveling through time. From turn-of-the-last-century New York tenements, to the 1939 World's Fair, to literary romance on the shores of Lake Geneva, these books will take you to places even the most luxurious vacations can't go.

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