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What to put on your summer reading list

(MoneyWatch) Each year, I publish a list of books I've read in the course of the year, along with my personal ratings. With the Fourth of July holiday and summer having arrived, I thought you might be looking for a good read. So here's a brief list of the best books I've read so far this year:

  • "The Company" by Robert Littell -- in short, the best spy novel I've ever read
  • "The Success Equation" by Michael Mauboussin -- a fascinating look at the problem of differentiating skill from luck
  • "The Physics of Wall Street" by James Owen Weatherall -- how physicists have changed Wall Street, for better and worse
  • "Moloka'i" by Alan Brennert -- beautiful story of lepers and the colony on Moloka'i
  • "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick -- amazing tale about life (if you can call it that) in North Korea

There were other good reads from some of my favorite authors. In most cases I've read everything they've written. So if you liked their prior books, you'll like these as well. And if you haven't discovered them yet, you should.

  • "Live by Night" by Dennis Lehane -- Lehane is a great storyteller
  • "The Panther" by Nelson DeMille -- DeMille is the best writer of dialogue around
  • "The Black Box" by Michael Connelly -- characters don't get any better than detective Harry Bosch

If you're a fan of Mary Higgins Clark (who writes perfect beach books), "I'll Walk Alone" won't disappoint. The same can be said about Sue Grafton's "V is for Vengeance" and Robert Crais' "Suspect." (To be honest, "Suspect" isn't Crais' best book. It's not about Joe Pike and Elvis Cole, and those books are great.)

And finally, I can also recommend "Killing Kennedy" and "Killing Lincoln," both by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. They're both fast reads, well researched and better than I expected.

Image courtesy of Flickr user katerha.