From Congress to the Red Planet


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Whether it's the indulgent hours or lighter genres, summer reading is characterized by its reverie. In My Summer Books, NPR hosts and reporters talk about their summer reading. Today, Congressional reporter Andrea Seabrook.

What makes a good summer read for you?

Light, airy and fun are important qualities for a summer book, but I also look for a story deep enough to hold me for hours at a time. When I was a kid that meant The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (which I recently re-read, and it is still great!), the Laura Ingalls Wilder classics of Little House on the Prairie, and the like.

I also have to admit that summer is also the season when I can get all geeked-out! It started on a family vacation during high school when I devoured the entire Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.

Since then, I've read (and re-read!) the visionary and exhilarating Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, and the fantastic books about colonizing the red planet Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.

This summer I'm looking forward to the next installment in the Harry Potter series — and I don't have any kids! It's all for me!

Do you read differently during the rest of the year or are these indulgences really standard fare?

I find it essential to maintaining my sanity to read fiction throughout the year — and not just serious literature, but books for young adults, a lot of science fiction, and mysteries as well. When you spend your day covering Capitol Hill as I do, with its dense legalese and its engrained lingo, it is such a relief and a joy to transport yourself to a different place at night, on the weekends, and especially on summer vacation!



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