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Summertime, and the Reading is Easy

Cover of P.F. Kluge's 'Biggest Elvis'
Cover of P.F. Kluge's 'Biggest Elvis'

For librarian Nancy Pearl, a good summer book has to be light enough to hold above your head when you're lying on the beach. "You have to be careful in the summer -- you don't want to get into these 900-page tomes," Pearl tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. At that point, it just becomes exercise.

Pearl shares six of her favorite light reads for the summer:

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan: In this imaginative science fiction novel, Morgan creates a world set in the 25th century, where mankind has finally achieved a way to avoid death -- digitally.

Biggest Elvis by P.F. Kluge: Set in a seedy district near a U.S. naval base in the Philippines, Biggest Elvis is a highly entertaining novel and a dark commentary on American imperialism.

The Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley: One of Pearl's top-ten favorite books, The Easy Way Out is a tender and humorous novel about dysfunctional lovers and families.

Gossip Hound by Wendy Holden: Holden's latest book is a satirical, behind-the-scenes look at the London publishing business. Clever writing and outlandish characters make this a good "chick-lit" pick.

Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy: A mother-daughter writing team -- under one pseudonym -- has written a riveting debut thriller. Set in the Twin Cities, Monkeewrench follows a series of grisly murders that mimic a serial-killer computer game.

Persuader by Lee Child: Child's thrillers remind Pearl of the classic John D. MacDonald series featuring Travis McGee. "Reading Lee Child's novels, my heart just pumps uncontrollably," she says.

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Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Nancy Pearl
Nancy Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.