Best Summer Books
What’s on your summer reading list? Settle into your beach chair or hammock with one of these top-notch books.
Notable authors share their favorite beach reads.
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Real Simple asked renowned authors from every genre in the bookstore to name the title that moved them most. Here are the works they passionately recommended—from classic to obscure, wisecracking to wistful—and the discoveries that they found inside.
Photo: Andrew McCaul
We polled our Facebook fans to find out what they're excited to read this summer. Here are their 31 top picks.
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Join the easiest book club ever: no pressure, no obligation.
Photo: Paul Whicheloe
Everything you need to know about starting a reading group.
- Decide on the tone and theme of the club. Are you a die-hard mystery buff? A shameless Anglophile? Or an equal-opportunity bookworm? Decide whether you would prefer to focus on one genre or have an Amazon.com free-for-all, and set the tone, too: a scholarly meeting of the minds, a reason for a get-together, or something in-between.
- Spread the word. Alert friends, family, and coworkers that you’re starting a club; be sure to mention your expectations. Start collecting e-mail addresses. Your goal should be between 5 and 15 people, so everyone gets a chance to speak. New to the area? Post a flyer on the community board at your local bookstore or library, or check out Craigslist.org and ReadersCircle.org.
- Figure out the best time for everyone to meet. Coordinating busy schedules can be the toughest part of this process, but finding a good slot will boost attendance down the line. (After dinner, when younger kids have gone to bed, is a popular choice.) Something to consider: Will the time of the gathering warrant a meal (hello, potluck!), snack, or just refreshments?
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