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Best Summer Books

What’s on your summer reading list? Settle into your beach chair or hammock with one of these top-notch books.

First Impressions

Four Fabulous First Lines
True, you can’t always judge a book by its beginning. But these new offerings, with great starts, will keep you hooked to the end. And for more great summer reads, click here.

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31 Books to Read This Summer

Notable authors share their favorite beach reads.
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50 Great Books That Will Change Your Life

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

31 Reader-Recommended Summer Books

We polled our Facebook fans to find out what they're excited to read this summer. Here are their 31 top picks.
Photo: Hallie Burton

17 Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

You won’t be at a loss for your next great read with this summer reading list.
Photo: Andrew McCaul
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Beach chair on the sand
Adirondack chair with a book and a drink on a side table

Book Smarts

Book labeled with return address label sticker

New Uses for Books
Can a book come in handy for keeping the kids entertained? Find the answer—and many more innovative ways to use everyday items with the family.

Books on a shelf

The Best Way to Store Books
What's the best way to store books?

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7 Steps to Starting a Book Club

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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