Open Phones: What Should Brian Read or Listen to on Vacation?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Brian's off for his annual summer vacation starting tomorrow. As we do every year, we ask: What should Brian listen to or read on his trip? And please limit your suggestions to recent releases - we'll compile them below!

 Listen below to a mix of some of your picks - we'll add more as they come in.

Summer Vacation Picks from blshow on 8tracks.

Comments [43]

Tina from New York

Another vote for Israeli Chamber Project. Their debut recording, Opus One, is fantastic. Gorgeous music-making, inventive programming - definitely worth hearing, repeatedly.

Aug. 03 2012 11:09 AM

Brian, and everyone else at NPR/NYC, should read Economics in One Lesson:

Online version:

PDF version:

Aug. 02 2012 04:56 PM

For truly thrilling music-making, I recommend listening to the Israeli Chamber Project's just released debut CD, Opus 1. This extraordinary group has generated rave reviews from New York to Tel Aviv, and the selections on this disc, including Debussy, Bartok, Saint-Saens and Martinu show why. Included is a world premiere recording of Matan Porat's Night Horses, written especially for this sensational chamber group.

Aug. 02 2012 03:15 PM

The album "Dive" by Tycho. A great, mellow record for the summer - especially if by the sea.

Aug. 02 2012 01:44 PM
Aubrey Fox from Cleveland, OH

Elliott Ingersoll does this crazy "free thought folk" music that really funny and intelligent. I just discovered it recently and love it.

Aug. 02 2012 01:36 PM

Financing the American Dream by Lendol Calder

Aug. 02 2012 01:31 PM
Eleanor Stein from NYC

Nico Muhly's amazing new EP "Drones & Piano"

Aug. 02 2012 01:15 PM
Sharon from Manhattan

You might be sick of the heavy-rotation hit "Somebody that I Used to Know," but that entire album by Gotye, "Making Mirrors," is really great. Perfect for a summer vacation--great beats, varied styles. As for a book, this English teacher is a big believer in starting off vacation with a light, easy read. Mysteries are always my choice, but if you haven't yet read Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad," that would be a great option (if you're looking for fiction). The theme of aging is good for our age group (wink), but also the motifs of time and art are handled in a very interesting way.
Whatever you read and hear, enjoy!

Aug. 02 2012 12:34 PM
Nina from NYC

Music: a wonderful blend of the new and the well loved older is the new song 'Who' from a to-be-released album 'Love This Giant' in September. I came across the free single on the album's website. It's upbeat and so very David Byrne. Terrific!

Aug. 02 2012 12:11 PM
Georgia from Ramsey, N.J.

Yes it's corny, but the Beach Boys new CD is really good and nostalgic even for someone your age! Lister to track #2 "That's Why God Made the Radio."

Aug. 02 2012 12:01 PM

Oh, and Sunny Afternoon, by the Kinks. Klassic summer song!

Aug. 02 2012 12:00 PM
Bob from Pelham, NY

I recommend "Drift" by Rachel Maddow if you haven't already read it, and "Driving Mr. Yogi" by Ron Guidry, as well as R.A. Dickey's memoir.

Aug. 02 2012 12:00 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

A book on post 9/11 New York, Cricket, a myterious murder, and immigrant alienation, "Netherland" by Joeseph O'Neill

Aug. 02 2012 11:59 AM

Jim is right. Listen to him.

But before I saw Jim's comment, I was going to recommend Griftopia by Matt Taibbi.

Aug. 02 2012 11:59 AM

I love Rhythm and Repose - Glen Hansard's 1st solo album. Also love Lana del rey

Perennial fave is Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Aug. 02 2012 11:58 AM
leanne from manhatta

The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Fantastic summer reading!

Aug. 02 2012 11:58 AM
Kris Weber

The most recent Paul Weller record Sonik Kicks is a great summer listen. Adult topics of love, aging, and passage of time

Aug. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Erica Miles

I recommend my new novel, DAZZLED BY DARKNESS. Erica Miles’ unique voice captivates the reader with its exploration of a culturally-clashing romance set in 1960’s Brooklyn. Imaginative and richly detailed, the novel deftly portrays two singular protagonists caught up in a time of racial, sexual, and artistic revolution. recommend my new novel, DAZZLED BY DARKNESS/Seeing Things in Brooklyn. This will be available on beginning in mid-August.

Aug. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Larry from Williamsburg

I recommend "The third reich" by Roberto Bolano

Aug. 02 2012 11:56 AM
ELAINE from Baltimore

The Prime Ministers" by Yehuda Avner. He was the "fly on the wall" for 4 Israeli prime ministers. An inside view of history in the making. Gripping book!

Aug. 02 2012 11:55 AM
Jess from White Plains

I'd recommend for music: Thom Yorke (of Radiohead)'s solo album _The Eraser_. I've been addicted all summer. For reading: _The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century_ by Alex Ross (ok, so that's also music centered). Have a great trip!

Aug. 02 2012 11:55 AM
elenyNYC from NYC

Music: The New No. Two: "Make It Home"

Book: Rips Meltzer, BILLY'S BLUES

Aug. 02 2012 11:54 AM
Allison Schlegel

Not a book, but read the Junot Diaz short story "A Cheater's Guide To Love" that was recently published in The New Yorker was a great read

Aug. 02 2012 11:54 AM
Deborah from Bedford Corners, NY

THE LOWER RIVER by Paul Theroux

In one word...mesmerizing!

Aug. 02 2012 11:54 AM
Aaron from Brooklyn

The Ethics of Liberty

by Murray N. Rothbard

The bible of modern Libertarian philosophy. If you want to know where all the hardcore individualist/anti-government radicals are coming from, this is it.

Aug. 02 2012 11:53 AM
Ron Mwangaguhunga from Williamsburg

Listen to: Hollywood Forever Cemetery by father john misty

absolutely lovely, smart, a bit dark but crisp and summery

Aug. 02 2012 11:53 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Book: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (4 book trilogy)

Music: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Aug. 02 2012 11:52 AM
george from astoria

he should read


a post apocalyptic tale about a group of people that live in an underground silo because the environment has been destroyed.

Aug. 02 2012 11:42 AM
Ben from Manhattan

Two baseball-themed picks: Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, and the music of the The Baseball Project (track highlights include the metaphoric "Pastime" or "Chin Music," the historic "Harvey Haddix," the now-topical "Ichiro Goes to the Moon," and the annual renewal of "All Future and No Past").

If the Lopate Book Club selection is too familiar, then one of these books about drought-stricken America - Your bumper music is the Sons of the Pioneers' "Cool Water."

Aug. 02 2012 11:28 AM
George from Brooklyn

How about "Damn Yankees; Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (And Hated) Team" by Rob Fleder?

Aug. 02 2012 11:22 AM
Pablo Alto from da Bronx

On music...

Listen with fresh ears to:
"As" by Stevie Wonder (original studio version, preferably with headphones and no distractions);
"Johnny B. Goode" - Peter Tosh Captured Live;
Soro (the entire album) - Salif Keita

On reading:

"The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" - Walter Mosley
"A Song Called Youth" John Shirley

Aug. 02 2012 11:11 AM

Summer's not summer without Pete Seeger's _Indian Summer._ It has only recently been made digitally available by the Smithsonian.

Also, Mark Leyner has recently published his first novel in 14 years: _The Sugar Frosted Nutsack._

Aug. 02 2012 11:07 AM
Leigh from Westchester

Brian! You should definitely read "Kosher Chinese, Living, Teaching, and Eating With China's Other Billion" by Michael Levy. It is a laugh out story of a young Jewish guy who, after 9/11, decides he has to do something--but who is reminded by his Mother that splinters and hangnails make him squeemish so he joins the Peace Corp and he ends up in China. It is a fast easy read and it is informative and empathetic. The best part is that Mr. Levy lives in Brooklyn so if you want to interview him for your show you can!
It's a great book, so funny, so interesting. Read it, you won't regret it.

Aug. 02 2012 11:07 AM
Freddy Jenkins

To read: Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov or Big Questions, a graphic novel by Anders Nilsen
Music: Chuck Berry

Aug. 02 2012 11:05 AM
Becca from bed sty

Hot Chip's "Look at Where We Are" on their new album In Our Hands
its a stand out track and maybe something Brian wouldn't normally listen to.

Aug. 02 2012 11:04 AM
fuva from harlemworld

My bad -- Gregory Porter's latest release is "BE Good".

Aug. 02 2012 10:40 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Brian, folks, for some refreshing Jazz/Soul vocals, check out Gregory Porter. The brother is a revelation. Latest release is "Do Good".

Aug. 02 2012 10:38 AM

Open up your mind-brain with the weird-pop sounds of Micachu + the Shapes —

Aug. 02 2012 10:13 AM
Ed from Larchmont

But seriously, the book:

Gregory, Brad 'The unintended Reformation : how a religious revolution secularized society' Harvard, 2012,

is the best history of the modern West I've ever seen.

Aug. 02 2012 10:06 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

The first (A) section of the Wall Street Journal EVERY day this month.
You need to spend some time with you head outside this suffocating left wing bubble.
Your gleeful (and off-topic) gloating about the "gaffes" during the first segment yesterday was WAY too obvious and beneath you, as one other poster ("Glork") noted after the show.
I listen to NPR, you should attempt the same balance.

Aug. 02 2012 10:02 AM
from somewhere

assuming Brian is going to be in the wild, he should listen to fleet foxes' self titled album. not terribly current, but good for the setting nonetheless.

Aug. 02 2012 09:39 AM

Nothing. Engage your surroundings.

Aug. 02 2012 08:27 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Brian Lehrer should read:

'The meaning of marriage : family, state, market, and morals'

edited by Robert George from Princeton. It shows the sociological evidence that by far the best situation for children is one man and one woman in the committed relationship of marriage.

He should also read:

Gregory, Brad 'The unintended Reformation : how a religious revolution secularized society' Harvard, 2012,

which shows the roots of the secularized society he so much supports.

Aug. 02 2012 05:57 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.