EW Staff
June 10, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Being on the road so much the past few months has forced me to rely on an unlikely ally: audiobooks. I’m currently in the middle of David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which has followed me through so many airports that I am beginning to have a Pavlovian association between the word Dejima and the taste of peanuts…. Every year I reread something, and this summer I’ve lined up Stephanie Vaughn’s story collection, Sweet Talk. I’m addicted to the narrative voice that holds the whole book together, and the way she blends humor with grief…. The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, was my favorite summer read in 2006, and this year I’ll be following it up with The Swan Thieves. For me, there’s double indulgence in Kostova’s work: story, of which she has incredible command, and history, to which she is ardently committed.

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