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9 Hot Beach Reads

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1 Close To Shore: A True Story Of Terror in an Age of Innocence, Michael Capuzzo
Though Jaws capitalized on the series of 1916 shark attacks described in this book, Capuzzo's graceful, painstakingly researched account is even more compelling. (Broadway Books; in stores now.)

2 The Dying Animal, Philip Roth
Fans have undoubtedly breezed through Roth's latest already -- gleefully greeting the return of skirt-chasing sophisticate David Kepesh. But the author's masterly paeans to sex make this novella ideal for Roth skeptics who like their beach pleasures guilty. (Houghton Mifflin; in stores now.)

3 The Fourth Hand, John Irving
Lasse Hallström has already gotten his paws on the rights to Irving's latest, a novel that begins with a TV reporter's onscreen mauling by a lion and only gets more bizarre. (Random House; July 3.)

4 Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls, Rae Lawrence
Forged from scraps of the late Susann's (very) raw material, this sequel takes Valley's survivors into a scandalous middle age, misspent largely in the Hamptons. (Crown; June 26.)

5 John Henry Days, Colson Whitehead
The author of critical favorite The Intuitionist averts a sophomore slump with a sprawling epic about a black folk hero and a cynical, junketeering freelance writer. (Doubleday; in stores now.)

6 How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
The pop-addled British chronicler of lovable boy losers pulls off the seemingly impossible: He tackles marriage and the nature of benevolence from a woman's point of view without sacrificing his impish charm. (Riverhead; July 9.)

7 Fearless Jones, Walter Mosley
The best-selling creator of Easy Rawlins returns to mystery, this time in the form of multicultural fifties L.A. noir. A mild-mannered black used-book-shop owner becomes entangled with an elderly Holocaust survivor and a World War II "killing machine," Fearless Jones. (Little Brown; in stores now.)

8 Hollywood Wives: The New Generation, Jackie Collins
With entirely new characters for her own summer sequel, Collins puts a postfeminist gloss on the power players who try to (gasp!) start their own production companies. The leopard-print cover says it all. (Simon & Schuster; June 19.)

9 Next: The Future Just Happened, Michael Lewis.
Like his best-selling The New New Thing, Lewis's new book covers left-field innovators like Shawn Fanning (of Napster) but spends more time on the Internet's larger cultural impact. Don't miss his last chapter: "The Unabomber Had a Point." (W.W. Norton; July 31.)

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