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Summer Reading List 2001

Juan Williams, Host, Talk of the Nation
David Kipen, Book Critic of The San Francisco Chronicle
Laura Miller, Books Editor of Salon. Com
Elizabeth Taylor, Literary Editor for The Chicago Tribune and President of the National Book Critics Circle

Listen to the program in RealAudio 14.4 | 28.8

Want to comment on your favorite book? Go to our discussion board.

Book Recommendations:


David Kipen - BEL CANTO by Anne Patchett (a love story set during a hostage situation)

Laura Miller - JOHN HENRY DAYS by Colson Whitehead (a jazzy, fun, smart contemporary book about a cynical African-American pop-culture journalist)

Elizabeth Taylor - BEL CANTO by Anne Patchett AND - AMERCIAN PLACES: ENCOUNTERS WITH HISTORY by William E. Leuchtenburg (Editor) (Leading American Historians talk about sites where the past comes alive for them.)


David Kipen - (for young aduts)

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA by Jules Verne (and anything by Jules Verne)

Laura Miller

- KILLING PABLO: THE HUNT FOR THE WORLD'S GREATEST OUTLAW by Mark Bowden (a real-life account of the manhunt for drug lord Pablo Escobar in Columbia)

- SHOOTING THE MOON: THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMERICAN MANHUNT UNLIKE ANY OTHER, EVER by David Harris (about building the case against General Manuel Noriega of Panama)

- PASSAGE by Connie Willis (about near-death experiences)

- THE COLD 6000 by James Ellroy (poses possible scenarios on the assasinations of JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King)

- GHOST SOLDIERS: THE FORGOTTEN EPIC STORY OF WORLD WAR II'S MOST DRAMATIC MISSION by Hampton Sides (about the rescue of American Soldiers who were captives of the Bataan Death March)

(for young adults) - LORD OF THE RINGS (Trilogy) by JRR Tolkein

Elizabeth Taylor

- SNOW MOUNTAIN PASSAGE by James D. Houston (a novel about the Donner party)

- FACING THE WIND: A TRUE STORY OF TRAGEDY AND RECONCILATION by Julie Salamon (about a Brooklyn lawyer who kills his wife and 3 children)

- SEABISCUIT: AN AMERICAN LEGEND by Laura Hillenbrand (about a 1930's race horse sports star)

(for young adults) - HOLES by Louis Sachar (about a boy wrongly accused of a crime and sent to a nightmarish camp)

-MAN O'WAR by Walter Farley (biography of the famous race horse)

- JOURNEY TO TOPAZ by Yoshiko Uchida (about the experience of the Japanese internment camps)


Sally in San Diego, CA - GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier and GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE by Susan Vreeland (both books deal with the dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer in 1660's Holland)

Halie in Sharon, MA (12yrs old) - FIRST TEST (PROTECTOR OF THE SMALL) by Tamora Pierce (about a girl who wants to be a knight: part of a series)

Jevin in Stanfield, NC (10 yrs old) - HATCHET by Gary Paulsen (about a boy named Brian who has to survive in the wilderness after a plane crash)

- PATRIOT OF THE UNDERGROUND by Robin Mcknown (about boys in France who find an underground hideout used by the Germans in WWI)

Steve in Shawnee Mission, KS - CONTENTED COWS GIVE BETTER MILK by Bill Catlette, Richard Hadden (described as one of the most fun and practical business books the reader has read in a long time)

Jane in Corner Catch, DE - RAPTOR by Dorsey Fiske (a detective story about a serial rapist with a female police artist as protagonist)

Anne in Albany, OR - DRIVING OVER LEMONS: AN OPTIMIST IN SPAIN by Chris Stewart (about a sheep shearing couple from England move to southern spain)

Michelle in Denver, CO - ENTERING TENEBREA: BOOK ONE by Roxann Dawson, Daniel Graham (first book of a science fiction trilogy written by an actress on Star Trek: Voyager)

Joanee in Phoenix, AR - INTERPRETER OF MALADIES: STORIES by Jhumpa Lahiri (a collection of short stories, winner of the pulitzer)
A recommendation from her 9 year old son: BROKEN SKY by Chris Wooding (book series for young adults)

Hunter in Seattle, WA - PEARL HARBOR GHOSTS: THE LEGACY OF DECEMBER 7, 1941 by Thurston Clarke (social history on the legacy and impact of Pearl Harbor attack on the nation)

Charlene in Los Altos, CA - WOLF TRAILS by Nik Sawe (a book for young adults about a wolf pack that's used for experiments by a cruel scientist)

What was recommended in previous years? Check out the 2000, 1999 and 1998 lists as well.

And add your comments on the reading list, as well as your suggestions of additional titles to our Summer Reading Lists discussion.