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Best Fiction For Every Kind Of Summer Day

by Glen Weldon
May 26, 2009

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'Cecil and Jordan in New York' 'Genesis' 'The Manual of Detection' 'Woodsburner'

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In the popular imagination, summer means "vacation" in much the same way that fall means foliage, winter means snow, and spring means Administrative Professionals' Day. But let's not kid ourselves: There's more to summer than sun, sand and cocoa butter. Many of us, in fact, will manage to squeeze in only a few days of quality lazing by pool, lake or sea. Any responsible list of suggested summer reading must acknowledge this grim truth.

Here, then, is a list of books for the whole of your summer. Although this selection includes books that are nominally classified in various genres (mystery, science fiction, humor, graphic novel), these are not frothy, forgettable reads. You'll find suggestions for days that are lazy, hazy and/or crazy, as well as for Days that are, respectively, Memorial, Father's, Independence and Labor.

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For Father's Day: A Novel Good Enough To Make You Care About Rich New York Lawyers

The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 305 pages, List Price: $25

For Labor Day: Wry Tales Of Love And Loss For Summer's Bittersweet End

Check out a graphic-novel excerpt of Cecil and Jordan in New York.

For Your Beach Vacation: Whee! A Post-Apocalyptic Dialectic On Human Consciousness!

Genesis, by Bernard Beckett, Hardcover, 150 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, List Price: $20

For Memorial Day: From The Case Files Of Franz Kafka, Private Dick

The Manual of Detection, by Jedediah Berry, Penguin Press, Hardcover, 278 pages, List Price: $25.95

For Independence Day: A Story Of The Fireworks That Changed American Thought

Woodsburner, by John Pipkin, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Hardcover, 370 pages, List Price: $24.95

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