Nancy Pearl On NPR — Summer Reading

Nancy Pearl picks “under-the-radar” titles (e.g., you have a crack at finding copies on the shelf to recommend) for summer reading, on today’s NPR Morning Edition:

UnderstoriesUnderstories, Tim Horvath, (Bellevue Literary Press, 2012) — Nancy calls this her “favorite collection of short stories.” She cracks up host Steve Inskeep by reading from one of them in which a group of people are “trying to teach animals the concept of extinction because they are ‘tired of having to bail out endangered species. It’s high time they learned individual responsibility!'”

AstoriaAstoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival, Peter Stark, (HarperCollins/Ecco; March, 2014) — about the little-known story of expeditions sent by John Jacob Astor in an effort to establish a colony in the Pacific Northwest. Nancy says it’s great to read because it’s a “a period of history a lot of people are unfamiliar with, but more importantly… it’s really good reading.”

T.S. SpivetThe Selected Works Of T. S. Spivet, Reif Larsen, (Penguin Press, 2009) — Nancy often calls books “fabulous,” but she goes beyond that in describing this novel, calling it a “fabulous, fabulous novel.”

It was not under the radar when it was published in 2009. Reportedly acquired by the publisher for $900,000, it was heavily promoted and was an NPR summer pick that year.

A film adaptation by French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), renamed The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Spivet’s mother, was released earlier this month in the U.K., but as yet has no U.S. release date, even though distribution rights were acquired last year by the Weinstein Co.

The Glass SentenceNancy recommends additional titles on the NPR Web Site, including the Y.A. title, The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove (Penguin/Viking Juvenile), saying it is “so wonderful. It has pirates, it has a chocolate-maker, it has a very brave girl, it has an evil woman who might not really be as evil as she seems. This author’s imagination is just amazing.”

You can meet that author next month during our Penguin Young Readers live online chat, moderated by Lisa Von Drasek.

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