From the Civil War to Springsteen Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen shares her favorite summer books -- including a biography and a mystery series -- and her plans for this year, which include picking up Bruce Springsteen's America by Robert Coles.
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From the Civil War to Springsteen

Cover image from Geraldine Brooks' March. hide caption

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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 share their memories of summer reading and books. Today, Liane Hansen, host of Weekend Edition Sunday.

Do you read differently in the summer?

I do save books for summer. Last summer, I read Alice Hoffman's Blackbird House and loved it so much that I arranged an interview with her right after my vacation.

My all-time favorite summer reading was the Brother Cadfael mystery series, all by Ellis Peters. One Corpse Too Many, The Sanctuary Sparrow, The Leper of St. Giles — they're all good.

Another book, about a favorite poet, sticks with me — Anne Sexton: A Biography by Diane Wood Middlebrook.

As you can see, my tastes tend to run from the frivolous to the weighty. This summer, I plan to read March by Geraldine Brooks. After I heard Melissa Block's interview with her on All Things Considered, I went out and bought the book.

I also hope to read Bruce Springsteen's America by Robert Coles; Exact Revenge by Tim Green; and of course, Pretty Birds by Scott Simon.

Do you have a favorite place to read in the summer?

My favorite is at a friend's summer place on Long Pond in Plymouth, Mass. We go there for a week every year, and there is nothing like sitting by the water and reading all day.