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About this Episode

Summertime and the reading is easy. As work slows and people flock to the beach, lakes and pools, a great beach read is right beside sunscreen and a cocktail on the list of essentials. On our season finale episode we’re bringing together editors, authors and bookstore owners to talk about what you should be reading next and how to pick the perfect book to put your mind at ease and let it wander. 

In this Episode

Diane McKinney-Whetstone

“I think that [summer reads are] what we think about when we think about the beach . .  a departure from the routine, from the workday, from the whole home life, from whatever art normal is . . . I just want to be transported. I want to be away from my normal daily reading.”

Patrik Henry Bass

“As publishing evolves, as we evolve . . . We now have more African-American beach reads, you know, both hardcover and trade paperback. [The advice I give] on making characters is . . . to make them as flesh and blood as possible, to really make the reader care about the characters. And that’s where the talent of the author comes in.”

Sharon Pugh


“For me personally, I’m looking for something that’s going to . . . get me away from all the angst and strife and hate. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s going to be a fantasy, science fiction, an adventure story, a memoir or a mystery, just something that will replenish my soul and lift my spirits.”

Tia Williams

“To me, nothing’s more romantic than books and paper and the smell of bookstores . . . that in of itself is romantic. The way [writers] can make the most mundane, you know, incident so beautiful. That’s what books do. That’s what authors do. And I feel like, too, writers in love lends itself to high romance.”