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Escape the heat with these summer 2023 book picks

Summer reading often entails stories of romance, brightly-colored drinks and exotic locales.

But for The Show's next guest, summer books offer something different.

Mark Athitakis is a freelance book critic in Chandler. He spoke with The Show about what he’s excited about this summer — and what he’s seeing, in terms of the kinds of books that are coming out as the temperatures climb.

Here are Mark’s picks:

“Good Night, Irene,” by Luis Alberto Urrea
“There's combat. There's a lot of anxiety, a lot of PTSD, a lot of witnessing of some of the worst of World War II. So it combines a lot of those things that you find in really good historical fiction, good romantic fiction, war. It just hits a lot of those pleasure points.”

“All the Sinners Bleed,” by S.A. Cosby
“[Cosby is] an African American author who is writing about the rural South, and writing in a very noirish, Gothic kind of mode ... a very gritty, very intense, very visceral writer. So maybe not for the squeamish.”

“King: A Life,” by Jonathan Eig
“There's something very determined about this book to address the way that [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]’s life has been oversimplified. One line that he has in the book is that ‘in hallowing King, we have hollowed him.’”

“Crook Manifesto,” by Colson Whitehead
“Colson Whitehead has done pretty much everything. He’s written about zombies. He’s written about elevator inspectors. He’s written about the Underground Railroad and slavery. But one thing he hasn’t done is written a sequel. So the idea that he is actually consistently focused on writing about this particular neighborhood in Manhattan across three novels in interesting, and I’ll be curious to see how it plays out.”

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.