Summertime, and the Reading is Easy

A Librarian Suggests Some Escapist Fare

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Cover of P.F. Kluge's 'Biggest Elvis'

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Detail from the cover of 'Gossip Hound'

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For librarian Nancy Pearl, a good summer book has to be light enough to hold above your head when you're lying on the beach. "You have to be careful in the summer — you don't want to get into these 900-page tomes," Pearl tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. At that point, it just becomes exercise.

Web Extra: More Book Excerpts and Discussions from Pearl

Listen 'Persuader' by Lee Child

Listen 'The Easy Way Out' by Stephen McCauley

Listen 'Monkeewrench' by P.J. Tracy

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Pearl shares six of her favorite light reads for the summer:

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan: In this imaginative science fiction novel, Morgan creates a world set in the 25th century, where mankind has finally achieved a way to avoid death — digitally.

Biggest Elvis by P.F. Kluge: Set in a seedy district near a U.S. naval base in the Philippines, Biggest Elvis is a highly entertaining novel and a dark commentary on American imperialism.

The Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley: One of Pearl's top-ten favorite books, The Easy Way Out is a tender and humorous novel about dysfunctional lovers and families.

Gossip Hound by Wendy Holden: Holden's latest book is a satirical, behind-the-scenes look at the London publishing business. Clever writing and outlandish characters make this a good "chick-lit" pick.

Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy: A mother-daughter writing team — under one pseudonym — has written a riveting debut thriller. Set in the Twin Cities, Monkeewrench follows a series of grisly murders that mimic a serial-killer computer game.

Persuader by Lee Child: Child's thrillers remind Pearl of the classic John D. MacDonald series featuring Travis McGee. "Reading Lee Child's novels, my heart just pumps uncontrollably," she says.



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