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What your favorite authors are reading this summer

Meg Wolitzer's books include "The Female Persuasion."

Meg Wolitzer's books include "The Female Persuasion."  Credit: Nina Subin

It's a perennial — or, more precisely, a seasonal — question: What should I read this summer? For a little help, we asked some popular authors what they plan to read and why.

Meg Wolitzer, author, most recently, of "The Female Persuasion." This summer I hope to read a blend of old and new, as I usually do, including Lauren Groff's short-story collection "Florida," Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness" (which I haven't read since college but have been thinking about again since Le Guin's recent death), and two debut novels: "There There," by Tommy Orange, about urban Native Americans, and "Laura & Emma," by Kate Greathead, which apparently has a "Mrs. Bridge"-like quality, so count me in. Also, I would like to make time this summer for Charlotte Brontë's "Villette," a book I love.

Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for CNN and author of "The Hellfire Club." For thrills, "Spymaster," by Brad Thor; for smiles, "You Think It, I'll Say It," by Curtis Sittenfeld; for emotional honesty, "Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces," by Michael Chabon; for an adventure to somewhere I've never been, "Welcome to Lagos," by Chibundu Onuzo.

Kristin Hannah, whose books include "The Nightingale" and, most recently, "The Great Alone." This year, a national book tour took me to both coasts and demanded lots of publicity, so I have been hoarding more books than usual. I can't wait to sit on a beach and read, preferably with a mai tai. I love discovering new authors, so top of the list is Emily Ruskovich's buzzed-about novel "Idaho." Next up will be Luis Alberto Urrea's "The House of Broken Angels," because he is a masterful, beautiful storyteller. I'll also choose "The Outsider," because Stephen King never lets me down. Then I will finally settle down with Hillary Clinton and find out "What Happened."

Tayari Jones has written four novels, including "Silver Sparrow" and "An American Marriage." "The Overstory," by Richard Powers. I like to take the wide open days of summer to take on books that wrestle with big ideas. If there is one writer who could create characters of trees, compelling us to open our hearts to the earth that sustains us, it's Richard Powers. This book is the wake-up call we so desperately need.

A.J. Finn, author of "The Woman in the Window." I'm looking forward mightily to Caitlin Moran's "How to be Famous," the follow-up to her raucous, 100-percent-winning debut novel, "How to Build a Girl." That book — much like Moran's brand of feminism — was warm, fierce and inclusive; this new one, a comic chronicle of a young woman's adventures in '90s London, sounds just as appealing. Timely, too, in an age when women's rights and roles are at the fore. Elsewhere, I want to read "The Royal Art of Poison," Eleanor Herman's history of poisons. Were I to commit murder, poison would be my weapon of choice. Please note that I do not intend to murder anyone.

Celeste Ng, author of the novels "Everything I Never Told You" and "Little Fires Everywhere." This summer, I'm looking forward to reading Laura van den Berg's new novel "The Third Hotel" — she's one of my favorite authors. . . . And I'd like to (finally!) get to "Bunk," by Kevin Young, which looks fascinating: The history of hoaxes seems like a useful thing to know about in the era of fake news.

Ruth Ware, author of "The Woman in Cabin 10," and, most recently, "The Death of Mrs. Westaway." For me, summer is a chance to put aside crime and read something completely different. I've had multiple recommendations for A.J. Pearce's debut novel, "Dear Mrs. Bird," and it looks like it will fit the bill admirably. However, if I need something a bit darker, I've just ordered "Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades," by Caitlin Davies, which is a history of Holloway women's prison, and has enough crimes and mysteries in it to count as research.

Kwame Alexander, who oversees the imprint Versify, is the author of 25 books, including "Solo" and "Rebound." In my beach and pool time, I'm reading Elizabeth Acevedo's "The Poet X," and trying to finish Nelson Demille's "The Cuban Affair," which I don't want to end because he's such a thriller master, so I'm prolonging it. Oh, and I'm hopeful my friend Jackie Woodson will read this and send me an advance reading copy of her long-awaited middle-grade novel.

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