Books, Summer 2004

Books, Summer 2004

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
by David Sedaris
Sedaris can turn the most mundane events—going to the movies, visiting his sister in Boston—into laugh-out-loud comedy. (Little, Brown, $24.95)

Now Is the Time To Open Your Heart
by Alice Walker
The first novel in six years from the author of The Color Purple follows a woman's spiritual quest through the American West. (Random House, $24.95)

The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms
No matter where you are, you'll find a story or poem to bridge the gap in this clever compendium by the likes of Michael Chabon and Philip Larkin. (Picador, $15)

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination
by Helen Fielding
By day, Olivia Joules is a British fashion writer. By night, she's a glamorous secret agent on the trail of an international terrorist. Or is she?(Viking, $24.95)

Scribbling the Cat
by Alexandra Fuller
The author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight rides shotgun with K, a battle-weary soldier, on an often terrifying trek through war-torn areas of Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Penguin Press, $24.95)

The Narrows
by Michael Connelly
Retired Los Angeles police detective Harry Bosch travels to Las Vegas to track down The Poet, a cunning serial killer who leaves gruesome clues in verse, in this chilling page-turner. (Little, Brown, $25.95)

Just a few pages into The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Penguin Press, $24.95), you'll understand why this novel—a literary mystery with the noir soul of a detective potboiler—spent more than a year on the best-seller lists in the author's native Spain.

The Art of the Steal: Inside the Sotheby's-Christie's Auction House Scandal, by Christopher Mason (Putnam, $26.95), uncovers the greed and under-the-table deals that brought down the heads of the world's top auction houses.

Kent Haruf returns to fictional Holt, Colorado, in Eventide (Knopf, $24.95), the follow-up to his National Book Award-nominated Plainsong. No pyrotechnics here, just the stories of everyday people in small-town America, told with rugged grace and remarkable characterization.

Satirist Jonathan Ames spoofs P. G. Wodehouse in Wake Up, Sir! (Scribner, $23), the darkly comic tale of Alan Blair, a sad-sack writer from suburban Montclair, New Jersey, and his plummy personal assistant named Jeeves.

He may no longer be president, but Bill Clinton is still one hot commodity. His long-awaited memoir, My Life (Knopf, $35), weighs in at a whopping 900 pages—not exactly beach-bag friendly—but the juicy revelations into Slick Willie's private life make it a must-read for the summer cocktail party circuit.
—H. Scott Jolley

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