The Corner

Summer Reading List

Summertime is here and so, as usual, I’m hoping to read a bunch of novels, many of them light. I finished North of Nowhere by Steve Hamilton a couple of weeks ago; it’s his latest paperback and his best book since his debut. Falls in the private-eye genre. What I like most is the setting, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior. Started reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding the other day and should knock it off soon; haven’t read it in 15 years and am enjoying once again. The difference now is that I have my own children, which makes the story more poignant. Teachers often assign Lord of the Flies in school because they think kids will relate to the characters, but it’s really a book for grown-ups. Next year is the 50th anniversary of its publication. I’d like to get to a pair of other Golding novels, The Inheritors and The Spire. Also on my list is Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. If I like it, I may go for his new one, Shutter Island, which is winning rave reviews. I plan to be one of the first people to read the next novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Still Life with Crows. I’ve made reading Preston-Child books a summer-vacation ritual, as I explained last year on NRO. Finally, I hope to read a book Derb once recommended as a great war novel: The Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monsarrat. I picked up a secondhand copy a while back and the thing glares at me daily from the shelf.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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