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Three books with medals stand on a podium. (Harriet Russell)

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Jun 17, 2012 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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It's an election year, and that may be good news for those of us who like our summer reading: Laura Miller of Salon.com says a lot of publishing companies don't want to release all their best books in the fall because they'll have to compete with all that presidential campaign news. And that means more great books to choose from when the weather is hot.

Miller has picked out a couple of juicy crime novels and some "narrative nonfiction" for her lazy, hazy summer days. David Ulin of the L.A. Times likes to read "outside the box" in the summertime, so he has an eclectic list, from "graphic nonfiction" to the letters of a well-known writer whose work has haunted us since the middle of last century. And Ron Charles of The Washington Post is delving into a couple of literary novels — one from a major American writer. He says both offer great writing, a good story and a lot to think about. So sit back, relax and dig into this potpourri of pleasure from our critics.

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