Barrie Hardymon

Barrie Hardymon began her career studying viola at Juilliard. She has since worked as a cocktail waitress, a shop girl in a string of high-end lingerie boutiques and a cashier at New York's Strand bookstore. At the Strand, she distinguished herself by hollering "Next!" at a decibel level completely out of proportion to her size and by recommending John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman — a novel that changed her life — to patrons wandering the Self-Help section. Inexplicably, the book remains in stock. Currently, she is a associate editor at NPR's Talk of the Nation and one of the loudest voices (still) on Blog of the Nation, the show's companion blog.

My summer reading preferences are so particular they have, at times, stopped me from reading at all. I need a romance for a train trip — for obvious reasons. When it's hot, I prefer something with no climate congruence at all; I've never enjoyed Anna Karenina so much as I did on the beach (that romance is a train exception — er ... for obvious reasons). When I'm on a plane trip, I like a passel of good young-adult novels, filled with cliffhangers, reversals and quick emotion. It's a mood makeover in flight.