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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Summer Book Show

Still making your summer reading list? We've got a ton of suggestions from Josie Leavitt of Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne and Stan Hynds of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester.

For some people, summer is full of hectic, busy days spent running from one event to the next. Others like to enjoy summer at half speed: on a picnic blanket with a glass of lemonade and a good book. If summer for you is synonymous with "summer reading," then you'll appreciate our summer book show.

We talk to Josie Leavitt, co-owner of Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, and Stan Hynds, book buyer for Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, about what makes a good summer read. And we get some of their suggestions for what books we should throw in our picnic baskets.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, June 10 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Josie Leavitt's picks

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta

Koryta's book is "face-paced, very on the seat of your pants," says Leavitt. "It's just terrifying, but it's so gripping."

The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear

How About Never? Is Never Good For You? by Bob Mankoff

Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

"I like cartoons, and I especially like New Yorker collections," Leavitt says. The memoir, told in cartoons, depicts Chast's life with her aging parents. "You can dip-in and dip-out, so they're perfect for the summer. They're just delightful."

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

The Curiosityby Stephen Kiernan*

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian*

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Stan Hynds' picks

The Painter by Peter Heller

"It's great book about art, about the West," Hynds says. The book is about a painter who becomes a person of interest in an unnatural death. "The thing is going, as you know, to some ultimate confrontation. It's a fantastic, page-turning novel that happens to be about art as well. If you're going to read one novel about a violent, fly-fishing painter this summer, I can't recommend it enough."

A Constellation of Vital Phenomenaby Anthony Marra

The book is "the kind of fiction that describes a reality as well as any nonfiction could," Hynds says. "It's the best book I've read in a couple years … If you're looking for a piece of serious literature to really immerse yourself in, this is the book I would recommend. If I were going to reread a book, and I don't do that, this would be the book I'd reread."

The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Heads of Basketball's Best Players by Idan Ravin

Listener picks

The Kept by James Scott

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Big Ole Striped Silas by Grannie Snow*

The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley*

The Lord Came At Twilight by Daniel Mills*

Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton

The King Raven Triology by Stephen R. Lawhead

Indefensible by Lee Goodman*

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Son by Philipp Meyer

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (forthcoming)

Eternal Sky fantasy trilogy by Elizabeth Bear

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Sherman Quartet by Donald P.H. Eaton

When I First Held You by Brian Gresko

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton 

*Denotes a Vermont author

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Sage Van Wing was a Vermont Edition producer.
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