A summer reading list

Recent books praised by Salon's critics.

By Salon Staff

Published August 2, 2003 7:00PM (EDT)

What to read this summer
A contagious Bangkok murder mystery, a real-life Alabama gang war, the plight of the modern American male from a master of fantasy, and more in the summer's best fiction.
Reviewed by Salon's critics

"A blink of an eye, and a million killed"
Author Aidan Hartley talks about his new book, "The Zanzibar Chest," the horrors of Somalia and Rwanda, and when you know war has become genocide.
Reviewed by Suzy Hansen

Latter-day sinners?
Three new books -- including Jon Krakauer's latest -- take a look at some dark moments in the history of Mormonism and the violent effects of sexually rooted religious hysteria.
Reviewed by Laura Miller

Our man in tights
In "Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography," author Stephen Knight explains why the 700-year-old prince of thieves is still our hero.
Reviewed by Allen Barra

"Charlie Wilson's War"
In George Crile's thrilling tale of good intentions gone wrong, one boozing congressman convinces the U.S. to support the Afghan mujahedin -- many of whom 20 years later want to see us dead.
Reviewed by Charles Taylor

"Last man standing"
I finally got the kick-ass girl action movie I've been waiting for my whole life. Too bad it's a comic book -- and stars a guy.
Reviewed by Sheerly Avni

Woman of the year
A. Scott Berg's entertaining biography of Katharine Hepburn is intimate, thoughtful and considerate. But rushing it out two weeks after her death feels ghoulish.
Reviewed by Stephanie Zacharek

Shaken and stirred
Memoirist and reformed alcoholic Augusten Burroughs talks about his $63,000 bar bill, why it's hard to be a drunk when you're allergic to alcohol, and how hard it is to have sex when you're sober.
Reviewed by Kera Bolonik

The future was so bright
Wired's techno-idealism jolted America before it flamed out. Gary Wolf's new book vividly recalls the magazine's wild and woolly saga, but leaves the big question hanging: Was it right?
Reviewed by Andrew Leonard

The natural
The rerelease of Kevin Baker's 1993 novel "Sometimes You See It Coming" puts the best baseball novel ever written back in play.
Reviewed by Allen Barra

Geek reads
Growing up, all the kids -- black and white -- exiled me for being an obsessive reader. This year, I finally found three books that capture the black nerd experience.
Reviewed by Adrienne Crew

The logic of illogic
In "Stasiland," writer Anna Funder talks to former members of the Stasi -- the communist East German security apparatus -- and to the people whose lives they destroyed.
Reviewed by Charles Taylor

Harry Potter, teen rebel
No, Hogwarts isn't a hotbed of drugs, smoking and sex (at least not yet). But J.K. Rowling's rich and huge new installment unmistakably brings our bespectacled hero into adolescence.
Reviewed by Laura Miller

A mind of their own
In his compelling book "Nature via Nurture," Matt Ridley explains how genes don't serve as blueprints for behavior, but instead interact with the environment to create who we are.
Reviewed by Kurt Kleiner

Want ad
Sure, there's lots of sex in Jane Juska's "A Round-Heeled Woman," but what's truly enchanting is the way this 70-year-old teacher writes about plain desire.
Reviewed by Stephanie Zacharek

What to read
The latest from Margaret Atwood and Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, a comic portrait of male narcissism and more in the month's best fiction.
Reviewed by Salon's critics

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