The big summer book show: What to read in 2018

Reading on the beach
A woman reads a book on the beach in Biarritz, France on April 15, 2015.
IIroz Gaizka| AFP/Getty Images

As usual, when MPR News host Kerri Miller asked listeners to share their favorite summer reads, the phone lines lit up with eager callers.

Miller talked with two experts in all things literary: Dara Beevas, the co-founder and chief strategic officer of Wise Ink Creative Publishing based in Minneapolis and Carlos Lozada, the non-fiction book critic for the Washington Post. They shared all the books they can't put down with MPR News Host Kerri Miller.

Here are all the books that are inspiring and challenging MPR News listeners:


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"Tagged" by Diane C. Mullen

"Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi

"There There" by Tommy Orange

"Kudos: A Novel" by Rachel Cusk

"Refugee" by Alan Gratz

"A Cemetery of Forgotten Books" series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

"Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach

"The Spy: A Novel of Mata Hari" by Paulo Coelho

"An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones

"Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh

"The Matter of Desire" by Edmundo Paz Soldán

"Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi

"The Radius of Us" by Marie Marquardt

Children's Literature

"The Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald

"Watership Down" by Richard Adams

"Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh

"The Long Secret" by Louise Fitzhugh

Science Fiction

"Kindred" by Octavia Butler

"The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula K.Le Guin

"American War" by Omar El Akkad


"Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

"Goodbye, Columbus" by Philip Roth

"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

Non Fiction

"Women Who Soar: Stories of Challenging the Status Quo and Breaking the Global Patriarchy" by Labelle Nambangi

"A History of Aircraft" by Magoun F. Alexander

"Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front" by Jocelyn Green and Karen H. Whiting

"The Professor and the Madmen: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary" by Simon Winchester

"Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny" by Kate Mann

"Barracoon" by Zora Neale Hurston


"Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship" by Michelle Kuo

"Lone Rider" by Elspeth Beard

"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" Cheryl Strayed

"Potato in a Rice Bowl" by Peggy Keener

"Wondahful Mammories" by Peggy Keener

"The Family Nobody Wanted" by Helen Doos

"Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover

"Ordinary Light: A Memoir" by Tracy K. Smith

"Not That Bad" by Roxane Gay


"Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall

"The Line Becomes A River" by Francisco Cantu


"The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity" by Nadine Burke Harris

"The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters" by Priya Parker

Science and Nature

"A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold

"I Contain Multitudes: Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" by Ed Wong

Use the audio player above to listen to their conversation.

Correction (July 5, 2018): An earlier version of this story misspelled Carlos Lozada's name. The story has been updated.