NPR has been pushing these books, so perhaps I am confusing interest with being brain-washed, but the list sounds great. I will include the NPR book list below, but incase it expires, I'll briefly list their choices (copy/pasted from NPR):
- "UNDER HEAVEN," By Guy Gavriel Kay, hardcover, 592 pages, Roc Hardcover, list price: $26.95
Miller calls this epic adventure story "completely transporting." It is set in an imaginary country based on China during the Tang Dynasty, complete with a culture full of poetry, art and plenty of palace intrigue. The hero, a general's son, is given a gift of 250 perfect horses by a foreign princess. It's a gift with consequences as he gets caught up in the schemes of the emperor's favorite concubine, a legendary and cunning beauty. Miller says the book combines the best of historical and fantasy novels to create a great read where "you don't know what could happen next."
- "THE GOOD SON - A NOVEL," By Michael Gruber, hardcover, 400 pages, Henry Holt and Co., list price: $26
No summer reading list would be complete without an international thriller that takes you to exotic places. And this one, says Miller, combines a great plot with such wonderful writing that you don't feel like you "just ate a bag of potato chips" when you are finished. It's a smart thriller about a U.S. special forces solider raised in Pakistan whose mother gets kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan. He devises a way to trick the Army into rescuing her while she desperately bargains with her captors for the lives of her fellow hostages. Miller says the novel has lots of action and suspense but is also thought-provoking in its examination of the differences between modern Western culture and a tribal way of life.
- "PARROT AND OLIVIER IN AMERICA" By Peter Carey, hardcover, 400 pages, Knopf, list price: $26.95
This historical novel is based on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville, famous for his 19th century study of American society, "Democracy in America." In Carey's fictional account, Olivier, the character based on de Tocqueville, comes to America with his companion, Parrot, a young English printer who has been in and out of prison. The story is told in both voices, and because they come from such different backgrounds they have very different impressions of America and its young democracy. As the two hit the road, argue and fall in love, they develop something of a "bro-mance." And though the novel is sophisticated and beautifully written, Freeman says it is also a page turner and quite simply "one of the best novels I've read in the last few years."
...continuing in new post