Unlike a lot of people I know, my summer reading doesn't differ significantly from the reading I do the rest of the year. I'm always looking for new authors, older titles I might have missed, books I want to reread, and a nice mixture of fiction and nonfiction. While I understand the concept of beach reading, for me it doesn't mean light reading, but rather choosing books whose ultimate destruction by sand and water won't concern me overly much because I know that I can easily replace them. (For example, I've now bought — over the years — four copies of Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan, because I take it with me each summer to reread and it always ends up too grit-stained to take home.)
So here's a diverse selection of books I've enjoyed recently, including two mysteries; a reprint of a book long out of print; a beautifully written, emotionally resonant memoir; and a moving and important novel about a group of American soldiers, survivors of a firefight in Iraq, back in the United States for a victory tour. I hope you'll find at least one that sounds good to you.