Tell Us Your Summer Reading Picks

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'The Language of the Birds' by Brian Goggan features lighted books in a flying formation hovering over the North Beach area of San Francisco. (iStock)

It's summer in the Bay Area, which means it’s time to cozy up by the fire and read some books about tropical islands, deserts and other warm places. We’ll gather a panel of Bay Area booksellers and bookworms to discuss summer reading trends and the best books coming out this summer. They’ll take your questions on what to stick in your bag for that campervan trip, whether you’re looking to dive into a weighty historical biography or plow through a pile of pulpy fun. And we’ll want to hear your picks: what book are you recommending to all your friends this summer?

Books Mentioned On Air:

By Listeners:

  • Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles” and “Circe”
  • Kazu Kibuishi’s “Amulet” series
  • From Marcus Books in Oakland: Clint Smith’s “How the Word is Passed” and Tracy Deonn’s “Legendborn”
  • Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust: A History of Walking” and “The Art of Getting Lost”
  • Kaitlyn Greenwich’s “Libertie”
  • Fredrik Backman’s “Anxious People”
  • Frederick Douglass' autobiographies
  • Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series
  • Tyson Yunkaporta’s “Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World”
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass”
  • Neil MacGregor’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects”
  • William Grimes’ “Life of William Grimes, The Runaway Slave”
  • Laverne Hillis McLeod’s “Corn Hollow: A Journey Of Sorrow And Triumph”
  • Frances Wilbur’s “The Dog with Golden Eyes” and “A Horse Called Holiday”
  • Marilyn Hilton’s “Full Cicada Moon”
  • Joan Lindsay’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock”
  • Aiden Thomas’ “Cemetery Boys”

By Christin Evans:

  • Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library”
  • V. E. Schwab’s “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue”
  • Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”
  • Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an AntiRacist”
  • Mikki Kendall’s “Hood Feminism”
  • Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”
  • Andrew Sean Greer’s “The Confessions of Max Tivoli,” “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells” and “The Story of a Marriage”
  • Jonathan Franzen’s “Crossroads”

By Oscar Villalon:

  • Gabriela Garcia’s “Of Women and Salt”
  • Bruno Lloret’s “Nancy”
  • William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “The Five Wounds”
  • Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker” and “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”
  • ZYZZYVA’s “The Technology Issue: Stories, Dreams, & Nightmares”
  • John Markoff’s forthcoming biography on Stewart Brand
  • Lizzie Johnson's “Paradise: One Town's Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire”
  • Jaime Cortez's "Gordo"
  • Ashley Nelson Levy’s “Immediate Family”

By Robert Fisher:

  • Albert Camus’ “The Plague”
  • Francesco Sedita and Prescott Seraydarian’s “The Curse of the Crystal Cavern”
  • Elizabeth Lim’s “Six Crimson Cranes”
  • Louise Erdrich's “The Night Watchmen”
  • David Zucchino’s “Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy”
  • Les and Tamara Payne’s “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X”
  • Natalie Diaz’s “Postcolonial Love Poem”
  • Ash Davidson’s “Damnation Spring”
  • Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Three Californias Trilogy”
  • Josh Mitchell’s “The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe”

By Alexis Madrigal:

  • Camilla Townsend’s “The Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs”
  • Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49”
  • Kiku Hughes’ “Displacement”
  • Robert Macfarlane’s “The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot”
  • Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel’s “An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination”
  • Taina Bucher’s “Facebook"


Christin Evans, owner, Booksmith in San Francisco; buyer, Kepler's in Menlo Park

Oscar Villalon , managing editor, Zyzzyva, a San Francisco based literary journal

Robert Fisher, sales manager, Walden Pond Books in Oakland