Ah, summer. There's time to settle into a beach chair, slather on the sunscreen and crack open a book. Bodice-rippers. Techno-thrillers. Proust. Anything goes when the mercury soars. What pages are local notables turning on these long days and hot nights? Read on . . .
editor of City Paper
To stay cool, I'm reading Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale." To get hot, I'm joining Anka Radakovich's "The Wild Girls Club: Tales From Below the Belt." For an informational read, I'm dipping into New York magazine media critic Edwin Diamond's "Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times."
Where: Southport, Maine.
Senator Barbara Mikulski
"F is for Fugitive" by Sue Grafton, "The Bridges of Madison County" by Robert James Waller and "Without Remorse" by Tom Clancy. I chose these books because I like mystery, excitement and romance.
Where: I read books anywhere I can. I also listen to books on tape while driving.
Jon Miller, Orioles announcer
"The Chamber" by John Grisham. I've gone through all the Scott Turow novels and really enjoyed them, so I started looking for other courtroom dramas.
Where: Last week I was on vacation in Oregon with my family. Now I read on road trips.
Bob Parker, author and publisher of "The Wine Advocate"
just finished "The Agenda" by Bob Woodward. We have the same publisher, Simon & Schuster. One of the perks is you get their books for free. And a book I just finished that I wouldn't think too many other people would be interested in is "Agriculture" by Rudolf Steiner. It's the classic treatise on organic farming based on a series of lectures he gave in the 1920s. The technique is being used in vineyards in Italy and France today. It was a long, hard book to get through.
Where: El Conquistador, a beach resort on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico.
Singer Aleta Greene
Right now I'm reading a book that was a Christmas gift. It's called "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years." These women are 103 and 105 years old. They must have a lot to say, and they remind me of two elderly relatives.
Where: I'm having knee surgery in two weeks, so I'll be reading while I'm recovering.
Arnold Lehman, director
of the Baltimore Museum of Art
spend a lot of time catching up on art journals that I don't get time to read during the course of the year. I've gotten Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s "Colored People." I worked with him on a program about multiculturalism in American museums and thought he was brilliant. I also have Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" (We just got back from Provence.) and Frederick Forsyth's "Fist of God." Plus, a couple of fabulous new cookbooks.
Where: We spend a couple of weeks in our summer home in the northwestern corner of Maine.
Steve Rouse, host of Rouse & Co. morning show on WQSR-FM
Kinky Friedman's "Elvis, Jesus & Coca-Cola." It's a mystery deal, whodunit thing. He was a country singer, and he's hilarious.
Where: We're doing the typical down-the-ocean trip in August.
Eva Brann, dean of St. John's College in Annapolis
"A Suitable Boy." It's a seemingly endless novel set in India by Vikram Seth. It's perfect summer reading -- leisurely and expansive. He holds this vast spanning panorama together beautifully. I also reread Jane Austen. It's like revisiting an old friend.
Where: I read in my garden at home in Annapolis. I had a board meeting in Santa Fe recently and took some books along.
Avril Haines, owner of Adrian's Book Cafe in Fells Point
"The English Patient," by Michael Ondaatje. It's about an Italian villa at the end of World War II. It's lovely, and the characters are intricate and romantic. I'm a former physics graduate student so I'm drawn to "Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes," by Michio Kaku. It's about how physicists are looking at time warps.
Where: I read two or three books every week in between lunch and dinner while working in the cafe.
Carla Hayden, director of Enoch Pratt Free Library
"W. E. B. DuBois: Biography of a Race." The author, David Levering Lewis, came here to speak in January. It was fascinating. I had him autograph my book. It's a solid piece of scholarship. It's 708 pages, so it's not your typical vacation reading.
Where: I'm going home to Chicago in August for two weeks. If I can't finish it then, I can at least make a dent in it.
Ed Hale, chairman of the board, Bank of Baltimore
"The Chamber" by John Grisham.
Where: A family vacation spot near Boston.
Jeff Pressman, co-owner
of Henry's & Jeff's restaurant
in Mount Vernon
I just finished "Jian," by Eric Van Lustbader. It's somewhat embarrassing, but that's the truth. It's like the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of books. It's a spy novel. All in all, it wasn't that great, but it was diverting. I'm also planning to start E. Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News" soon.
Where: On a seven-hour plane trip to Paris. Once I got there, there wasn't much time for reading.
Stephen Dixon, fiction writer and professor at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University
"Heart of the Matter" by Graham Greene. A lot of people have told me it's the best Graham Greene. It's about an English police officer in western Africa. It's a complex book, but it falls apart halfway through. I'm also reading "Home at Last" by Jean McGarry. I think it's her best collection of short stories. And the other book is John Barth's "Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera." I'm also reading Saul Bellow's newest book of essays, "It All Adds Up." He has a great mind, and he's a gifted writer. It's an essential book for fiction writers.
Where: Sedgwick, Maine. We rent an old farmhouse along the northern coast for July and August.
+ David Lockington, associate
conductor of the Baltimore
I read to my kids, who are 9, 6, 3. Right now, we're working on "Heidi" by Johanna Spryi and "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For myself, I'm reading "The Erotic Silence of the American Wife" by Dalma Heyn. My wife bought it and hadn't gotten around to reading it yet, so I picked it up. I'm interested in feminism. I found it fascinating. It builds up a picture of how American culture shapes women's sexuality.
Where: I usually read when I get into bed, but we're going camping in Ohio at the end of the summer.
Steve Ziger, principal, Ziger/Snead architectural firm
I'm finishing up Karen Armstrong's "A History of God: The 4,000 Year Conquest of Judaism, Christianity & Islam." It's a history of monotheism through time. It's really heavy for summer reading. I'm hoping to finish it soon so I can get to guidebooks and architectural books of Italy in preparation for a trip I'm taking in the fall.
Where: I haven't taken a vacation yet this summer. I read at home at night.