The grills are fired up, sunscreen is our constant companion and sand is showing up where we least expect it. It’s summer! And that means finding some great new books. Like last year, we turned to the avid readers in the GBH Newsroom for their recommendations and they sure delivered. From hard-hitting nonfiction to spirited fantasy to thrilling mystery and everything in between, there’s a page-turner here for you. So while the weather is warm, take a scroll through this list to find your next favorite read.
Lee Hill, Executive Editor, GBH News
Homecoming by Dr. Thema Bryant is a great read for anyone on a journey of healing and awareness to become a better version of themselves. It also guides readers on a discovery to find what brings them joy. And we all could use more joy, right?!
Callie Crossley, Host, Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and Basic Black and Commentator, GBH's Morning Edition
It’s always a struggle to pick just one. Here's two, depending on your mood: The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb - I’ve already predicted this fascinating who-stole-it story will be the beach read of the season. Just as compelling, but grounded in real American history, is Horse by Geraldine Brooks.
Jared Bowen, Executive Arts Editor & Host, Open Studio with Jared Bowen
I’ve grown incredibly fond of The Mount in Lenox — novelist Edith Wharton’s onetime home and gardens turned literary hub. It’s become a summer ritual for me to dive into Wharton’s world where, as with so many great writers, past is prologue. This summer it’ll be her novel The Reef (and hopefully Hermione Lee’s biography Edith Wharton).
Paris Alston, Co-Host, GBH’s Morning Edition
I recently have read and thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, All About Love: New Vision by bell hooks and Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin.
Side note: In true morning host fashion, Paris sent over her recommendations at 4:33 am. Talk about rise and shine!
Paul Singer, Investigations Editor, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting
A Black construction worker suggested I read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. I am finding it very accessible and thought provoking — a reminder that I have work to do, everyday, to be closer to the person I want to be.
Jeremy Siegel, Co-Host, GBH’s Morning Edition
Moon Witch, Spider King is the second in Jamaican author Marlon James' Dark Star trilogy, and it's one of the rare instances where the sequel is better than the first. These books are fantasy, but you don't have to be a fantasy head to love them (I'm not). The writing is raw and poetic. The language and grammar can be tough to follow at times, but it's worth it. A totally singular read, unlike anything else I've picked up. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down!
Tori Bedford, Reporter, GBH News’ Dorchester Bureau
I am reading Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler. Great beach read, realistic fiction full of great tips for future generations.
Edgar B Herwick III, Host, The Curiosity Desk
Cruciverbalists unite! For my money, there’s no better way to procrastinate/fight off a bout of writer’s block/ feel productive even when you aren’t really being productive/kill a little time than doing a crossword puzzle. I almost always have one with me (even if I am just as frequently without a pencil). Thankfully, I find them just as enjoyable to do on my phone as on paper! There’s even a long-running, ongoing competition among a few of us in the GBH newsroom to snag the fastest time in the New York Times Daily Mini. Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them by Adrienne Raphel is the book I never realized I always needed. It’s part crossword and cultural history, part anatomy of a puzzle, part peek behind the curtain of the world of contemporary crosswording. It’s a quick and delightful summer read that might just inspire you to try your own hand at constructing a puzzle.
Phillip Martin, Sr. Investigative Reporter, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting
I desperately need more fiction in my life, but at the moment I am reading How Democracies Die by Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky and Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat. And if I have time, I have on my list, The Future is History by Masha Gessen.
Looking for more literary fun?
Here’s some more recommendations from Boston Public Radio and Under the Radar!
See what other GBH staff are reading here.
Join the GBH book club at the next event: Beyond the Page: Liane Moriarty