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Central Standard

The Best Books About Summer


Summer can be defined by so many things: weekends spent lounging at the lake, barbecues and fireworks on the Fourth of July, the all-night chirps of cicadas and quick bursts of light from fireflies. 

Feelings of summer nostalgia have inspired authors to write profound literature on the subject. On KCUR's Central Standard, Gina Kaufmann discussed the best books about summertime with our book critics Jeffrey Ann Goudie, Mark Luce and Kaite Stover. Below are their picks for best books about summer, along with some picks from KCUR staffers.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance journalist and book critic: 

  • The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
  • Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

Kaite Stover, readers' service representative, Kansas City Public Library

  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
  • The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  • Foolscap by Michael Malone (adult)
  • City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (adult, coming October 2015)

Mark Luce, teacher, Barstow School:

  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Fences by August Wilson
  • August Osage County by Tracy Letts. 

KCUR Staff Picks:

Dan Margolies, editor of Heartland Health Monitor:

  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Danie Alexander, producer of Up to Date: 

  • Summer of ‘42 by Herman Raucher

Alyson Raletz, social media editor: 

  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett


Central Standard Bookssummer