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Cool summer reads

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Paperbacks
The Kitchen’s God’s Wife
Amy Tan
An upscale saga, Tan’s new best-seller is a richer, darker work than her wildly successful The Joy Luck Club. A

Maximum Bob
Elmore Leonard
Leonard, in his mystery-writing prime, examines the dastardly conspiracies surrounding a 27-year-old probation cop, a murderous parolee, and a redneck judge. A-

The M.D.: A Horror Story
Thomas M. Disch
Six-year-old Billy Michaels finds a caduceus — the symbol of the medical profession — that gives him the power to charm or curse. As Billy’s pranks with it turn to evil, The M.D. brilliantly earns its subtitle: a horror story. A

A Home At The End Of The World
Michael Cunningham
The story of three refugees from broken homes who briefly find a kind of comfort together. When the time comes for people to remember the age of AIDS, they can open this book. A+

Hardcovers
The Impersonator
Diana Hammond
Hammond’s story of an attractive social and sexual chameleon twists its plot often enough to make it a quintessential beach read. A

Jazz
Toni Morrison
Jazz isn’t called Jazz because it’s about music, but because its prose is the verbal equivalent. The springboard for Morrison’s music is the murder by a 50-year-old cosmetics salesman of his teenage mistress. A

Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884-1933
Blanche Wiesen Cook
It has always been easier to think of Eleanor Roosevelt as more a monument than a woman. Cook’s biography gives the most impressive American woman of our century flesh. B+

Clockers
Richard Price
A gritty, darkly funny novel about the New Jersey drug trade. Price clearly knows his stuff. B+

Den Of Thieves
James B. Stewart
The business book of the year, this eminently readable tome chronicles the rise and fall of the junk- bond and leveraged-buyout empires. A

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