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Best New Reads of Summer 2011

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LOST IN SHANGRI-LA
Mitchell Zuckoff
Nonfiction
If your taste for tales of WWII survival was whetted by the best-selling Unbroken, you should love Zuckoff’s true story of three Americans who crash-landed in the jungles of Dutch New Guinea and had to brave the elements, injuries, and violent local tribes. You’ll enjoy the adventure, but you’ll appreciate even more that you’re safe at home.

ALICE BLISS
Laura Harrington
Novel
Alice’s father has been deployed to Iraq, and now she must learn to live with his absence. Harrington creates nothing less than a fully realized vision of a young, complicated girl.

ATTACHMENTS
Rainbow Rowell
Novel
A charming, witty story about both office HR and real human relations, Rowell’s debut novel follows two employees at a newspaper and the man tasked with monitoring the company’s emails.

EMBASSYTOWN
China Miéville
Novel
Miéville is a master of genres, delighting in twisting the conventions of fiction to his own weird, fantastical imaginings. His latest is a typically inspired foray into science fiction, about a group of human colonists in an alien civilization.

FIRE AND RAIN
David Browne
Nonfiction
The year 1970 saw the release of iconic albums from the Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Simon & Garfunkel, and James Taylor. In his examination of this transitional year, former EW music critic Browne delves into behind-the-scenes stories about both the albums and the artists.

MISS NEW INDIA
Bharati Mukherjee
Novel
Mukherjee attempts to capture India’s identity struggle as it enters the 21st century with the story of a young girl’s efforts to reinvent herself against the backdrop of Bangalore and the ”Americanized” employees of an outsourced call center.

THE PREACHER
Camilla Läckberg
Novel
A master of suspense and plotting, this Swedish crime writer shouldn’t be overshadowed by her countrymen Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell. Her new novel (the second to be translated into English) is as good — and then some.

SUMMER AND THE CITY
Candace Bushnell
Novel
Carrie Bradshaw is back with another prequel to Sex and the City that shows us how Carrie first met Samantha and Miranda. Years before they were taking offensively luxurious vacations, these girls just wanted to have fun.

THE WILDER LIFE
Wendy McClure
Memoir
After her mother’s death, McClure found comfort in her childhood obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder. She embarked on an Ingalls family road trip, visiting the places the family lived and learning everything she could about pioneer life, from churning butter to baking sourdough bread.

THE YEAR WE LEFT HOME
Jean Thompson
Novel
Thompson injects some life into the oft-visited genre of the Great American Family Novel with this searing, beautifully observed book about a Midwestern family that drifts apart and comes back together over the course of nearly four decades. It belongs on everyone’s summer reading list.

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