Making Book On Summer

Forget about those dense "required reading" lists you used to dread every summer when you were in school. John Searles, senior book editor for Cosmopolitan magazine, is a guy who knows how to put together a proper book list, balancing the profound with the wonderfully trashy.

He talked to The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith about ten books (seven hardcovers and three paperbacks) that he thinks are worth your time this summer.

Here's his list, together with his comments about each book.

Fun Trashy Fiction: "Adored" by Tilly Bagshawe. "It's about a young, beautiful woman who wants nothing more than to be famous. She drops out of college and heads to Tinseltown, where she meets a smarmy, smooth-talking producer who promises her the kind of stardom that would rival that of Julia Roberts. When she hits the big time and the two have an affair, things get very sticky. As we say in Cosmo, this book is packed with more plot twists than an episode of 'The O.C.' "

Fun Trashy -- and True! "Kiss and Tango: Looking for Love in Buenos Aires" by Marina Palmer. "This memoir is perfect for anyone who has ever fantasized about quitting their job and moving to an exotic locale. The author was a high-powered marketing exec in NYC, and she gave it all up to move to Buenes Aires and pursue her dream of professional dancing. The book gets very sexy when she has a series of steamy affairs with her dance partners."

Literary: "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. "People should not be afraid of these 600-plus pages, but what they should be afraid of is Dracula, who is alive and after a young American woman who is researching his whereabouts. This is one of the most buzzed-about literary books of the season; a cross between Ann Rice and Dan Brown."

"Until I Find You" by John Irving. "As many people know, Irving is the author of 'Cider House Rules' and 'The World According to Garp.' Like most of his books, 'Until I Find You' has a very complicated plot with lots of colorful characters, so I am not even going to try to explain what it's about. I will tell you that it hits stores on July 12th. I got a sneak peak at it, and the story is one of his best."

Mystery: "To the Power of Three" by Laura Lippman. "Three high school girls are inseparable until their senior year, when a mysterious feud begins and one of them brings a gun to school. It's a page-turning mystery, but it's also a look at the pressures teenage girls face."

Something For The Book Clubs: "Rococo" by Adriana Trigiani. "This author is known as the Queen of the Book Clubs, because book clubs across the country choose her books. In fact, she's known to walk around the house doing laundry while talking on a headset to her clubs. The author is great at dazzling readers with heartwarming stories about quirky characters. This one centers around a decorator named Bartolomeo di Crespi and his nutty sister, Toot. Anyone who likes stories about big, eccentric Italian families will eat up this book."

Hip: "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby. "Picture this: New Year's Eve. London. Four people who are all planning to kill themselves end up on the roof of the same building. Instead, they form an ad hoc support group a la the Breakfast Club. The result is a very funny and touching story."


"Skinny Dip" by Carl Hiaasen. "Carl Hiassen writes these hysterical books that are set in Florida. In this one, a woman finds out that her husband is involved with some shady business deals. She sets out to stop him, only he throws her off the deck of a luxury liner. She swims to safety, where she hatches an outlandish plot to get revenge. Laugh out loud funny."

"The Big Love" by Sarah Dunn. "This has one of the best openings. ...A woman is having a dinner party. She sends her live-in boyfriend out to get
mustard. He calls from a pay phone and says, 'I'm not coming back. I'm in love with another woman.' ... What I love about this book is that, instead of going the 'Sex and the City' route and having her cry into her flirtini, the book is a very real exploration of love, and it's very funny, to boot."

"Strange But True" by John Searles. "This is my favorite book on the list, because it's written by me. (Ha!) I was very lucky that it became a bestseller when it was out in hardcover last summer. Now, it's just out in paperback this week for anyone who missed it. Part mystery, part family story. If anyone is looking for a book to keep them up at night, I promise this is it."
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