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Hot off the press

June 10, 2007

SUMMER'S back, and with it, the annual ritual known as summer reading. Here, we suggest 52 books worth looking at, organized by month of publication: a trove of fiction, nonfiction and reissues guaranteed to turn up the heat.



"Bangkok Haunts" by John Burdett (Alfred A. Knopf). A Royal Thai police detective receives a snuff film whose victim is a woman he once loved.

"Cat O' Nine Tails and Other Stories" by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin's). The fifth collection by the British crime novelist, with illustrations by Ronald Searle.

"The Diana Chronicles" by Tina Brown (Doubleday). The former editor of the New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Tatler parses Princess Diana's short, tragic life.

"Divisadero" by Michael Ondaatje (Alfred A. Knopf). Violence upends the lives of a man and his children working on a Northern California farm in the 1970s.

"Endless Universe: A New History of the Cosmos" by Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok (Doubleday).Two theoretical physicists argue that the Big Bang was not the beginning of everything after all.

"F5" by Mark Levine (Miramax). A cultural history of the tornadoes that ripped across the country's midsection in 1974.

"The Gravedigger's Daughter" by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco). The daughter of a World War II German refugee embarks on an American pilgrimage.

"Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton" by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. (Little, Brown). The investigative reporters detail how the 1960s Wellesley college idealist became a polarizing politician and presidential candidate.

"The Maytrees" by Annie Dillard (HarperCollins). The marital travails of a Provincetown couple.

"Michael Tolliver Lives" by Armistead Maupin (HarperCollins). The sweet-spirited Southerner of "Tales of the City" returns, an older and wiser man.

"On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday). A newly married couple face cruel revelations.

"Peeling the Onion" by Gunter Grass (Harcourt). This memoir ranges from Grass' boyhood in Danzig through his time in the Waffen-SS and an American POW camp to his start as a novelist.

"Secret Asset" by Stella Rimington (Alfred A. Knopf). British MI5 officer Liz Carlyle hunts a mole in the intelligence agency as her compatriots try to avert a terrorist strike.

"The Shadow Catcher" by Marianne Wiggins (Simon & Schuster). The fictionalized lives of the author and Western photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis are entwined.

"The Short Bus" by Jonathan Mooney (Henry Holt). Mooney, severely dyslexic, travels the country interviewing other veterans of "special ed" and posing the question, "What is normal?"

"Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman (Pantheon). This debut novel rallies superheroes against the machinations of Dr. Impossible.

"Taste: Acquiring What Money Can't Buy" by Letitia Baldrige (Truman Talley). The arbiter of our elegance discusses good and bad taste, whom to emulate and what to avoid.

"A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton" by Carl Bernstein (Alfred A. Knopf). Her evolution from conservative Midwesterner to liberal social activist to powerful politician.



"Before" by Irini Spanidou (Alfred A. Knopf). A woman married to a talented, volatile painter fights for identity and survival in 1970s Manhattan.

"The Book of Fables" by W.S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press). The poet's enigmatic short prose from two out-of-print collections, plus several new pieces.

"The Complete Stories" by David Malouf (Pantheon). A comprehensive collection of the award-winning Australian novelist's short fiction.

"The Dark River" by John Twelve Hawks (Doubleday). Two brothers are "travelers," able to move among realms of consciousness: One becomes power-mad, the other must stop him.

"The Dud Avocado" by Elaine Dundy (New York Review Books). A new edition of the semi-autobiographical frolic of a novel in which an American ingenue storms Europe in the carefree 1950s.

"Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000-2005" by J.M. Coetzee (Viking). The South African novelist examines the work of some of the 20th century's greatest writers.

"Juicy Mangos: Erotica Collection" edited by Michelle Herrera Mulligan (Atria/Simon & Schuster). Steamy tales of sex and desire from Latina writers.

"Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America" by Eric Jay Dolin (W.W. Norton). Why Nantucket mattered.

"New England White" by Stephen L. Carter (Alfred A. Knopf). A murder in a New England university town involves a prominent black couple.

"Peony in Love" by Lisa See (Random House). See's fifth novel is set in 17th century China.

"The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington" by Robert D. Novak (Crown). The veteran political reporter reflects on a controversial career in the cross hairs of power.

"The Raj Quartet" by Paul Scott (Everyman's Library). This masterwork exploring the final days of British rule in India is reissued with an introduction by Scott biographer Hilary Spurling.

"Requiem for an Assassin" by Barry Eisler (Putnam). A rogue CIA operative kidnaps John Rain's closest friend.

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