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Summer Approaches ...

June 02, 2002|STEVE WASSERMAN

And with it, comes the prospect of vacation and the promise of tackling the books we had hoped to read (but never got around to) and immersing ourselves in the titles now flooding bookstores. Why this season is considered best for reading is more a Manhattan publishers' conceit than a Southern California reader's reality. After all, the sun shines on us all year, and people read everything--fiction, nonfiction, poetry--without regard to season.

Nonetheless, old habits die hard, and among the embarrassment of riches on offer this summer are a number of titles that stand out. We begin with a quartet of novels: two by promising newcomers, Nicole Krauss' "Man Walks Into a Room" and Stephen L. Carter's "The Emperor of Ocean Park," and two by veteran writers, Hortense Calisher's "Sunday Jews" and Ward Just's "The Weather in Berlin." We also have tossed in the excitements of Rolf Armstrong's pinup art and Alessandro Boffa's curiosity, "You're an Animal, Viskovitz!"

Our approach is not comprehensive. We intend only to pique your interest and to urge you to explore the numerous bookstores throughout Southern California. For many of us, that's the best vacation around.

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