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The Books of Summer 2002
Critics, Writers and Readers List Their Favorites

Summertime, and the reading is easy. So is finding the right book, thanks to recommendations from NPR critics, writers, listeners and member stations.

What the Notables Are Reading
Phil Jackson From Weekend Edition Sunday, September 1
Throughout the summer, well-known people from various professions will talk about their reading lives and their reading lists. What are they reading now? Now featured: literary critic Harold Bloom. Those previously interviewed include Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson (left), author/psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, comic and playwright Amy Sedaris, and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute Francis Collins.

Summer Reading Picks
Evette Porter From The Tavis Smiley Show, July 19
On The Tavis Smiley Show, correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates talks with Evette Porter (left), executive editor of the Black Issues Book Review, about books written by and about African-Americans. Porter also offers her summer reading picks, including Eric Jerome Dickey's Thieves' Paradise and Omar Tyree's Leslie. And Tavis listeners and staff suggest their favorites.

NPR Listeners and Book Critics Share Their Favorites
From Talk of the Nation, May 23
NPR's annual discussion of the best summer reading includes recommendations from David Kipen, book critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, Laura Miller, editorial director for and Elizabeth Taylor, literary editor for The Chicago Tribune, along with listeners' suggestions.

Hearing About The Art of Seeing
The Art of Seeing From member station WFCR, Amherst, MA, July 11
WFCR's Bob Paquette interviews Amherst, Massachusetts native Cammie McGovern. Her recently published first novel, The Art of Seeing, is a fictionalized account of her relationship with her movie-actress sister, Elizabeth McGovern, that explores sisterhood and independence.

Traveling and Staying Home
Eric Schoeck From member station KUSP, Santa Cruz, Aug. 26
Radiogram host Eric Schoeck (left) talks with journalist David Hajdu about his book, Positively Front Street: The Life and Times of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina. Also Robert Pollie interviews James Gleick about his collection of essays, What Just Happened: A Chronicle from the Information Frontier. Gleick's writing has been an invaluable guide to recent developments in science & technology, and his latest book tracks developments and upheavals in technology over the last 10 years.

Bad Boy Books: New Guy Thrillers
Without Fail From Morning Edition, July 2
Morning Edition's Linda Wertheimer loves mystery novels. But this summer, she's found a few with a new twist: a different attitude towards women. The heroes of these thrillers, Lee Child's Without Fail, Walter Mosley's Bad Boy Brawly Brown and John Sandford's Mortal Prey, are bad boys with a difference, says Wertheimer: They "can be considerate, respectful, romantic, even vulnerable, in between cracking heads."

Alan Cheuse's Annual Summer Reading List
The Emperor of Ocean Park From All Things Considered, June 17
A long hot summer and a big fat novel -- the two things just go together, says All Things Considered book reviewer Alan Cheuse. Every year about this time, Cheuse offers his recommendations for the summer reading season. And this year, says Cheuse, "I'm going to recommend some big books that make entire worlds come to life -- books that make time, as it goes by, stand still."

Girl, Interrupted
Leonard Lopate From member station WNYC, July 29
While missing girls have broken hearts in the headlines, author Alice Sebold has written The Lovely Bones, a warm and haunting novel about a murdered girl who watches her family life unfold from heaven. Hear Ms. Sebold discuss her book in an interview with guest-host Tom Vitale, on the Leonard Lopate show (left).

Classical Music on a Page
KBAQ Classical MusicFrom member station KBAQ, Phoenix, July
Randy Kinkel, KBAQ afternoon announcer and host of The Mozart Buffet, also has some book recommendations. Every month, he selects a book with a classical music or fine arts theme. This month, Randy reviews No Vivaldi in the Garage, by Sheldon Morgenstern, the memoir of a man who has spent his life making music, and has some very definite ideas about promoting classical music.
The KBAQ site also has additional book reviews and audio features.