I have a confession. If I could somehow make every issue of the City Paper the book issue, I probably would. There are so many great, challenging, and fun books coming out each week that we'd never run out of material. And this summer it seems we've hit the reading jackpot. There's Neil Gaiman's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which reviewers everywhere are calling his best book yet (read our review exclusively online). There's Whistling Past the Graveyard, a Southern road-trip tale with a heroine descended straight from To Kill a Mockingbird. And then there's Dan Baum's Gun Guys, a nonfiction tramp into gun-toting territories across the U.S. We've read and reviewed all these and many more, and hope that somewhere in the mix, you find your next great summer read. —Elizabeth Pandolfi

The nine novels you didn't read in high school but should have
The nine novels you didn't read in high school but should have Master Class

As an English teacher, I have always been frustrated and a little disappointed when I learned that many of my students faked their way through the novels I so desperately wanted them to enjoy. — Simon Schatmeyer


A brief history of the history you missed in high school
A brief history of the history you missed in high school The Past is Present

When I tell people I'm a history teacher, what I find most annoying is their response, "Oh, I really like history now, but I was really bad at all the dates and stuff in school." Now, why does this irk me so, you ask? Simply put, history has very little to do with dates. — Daniel L. Gidick


Books that got me through puberty and beyond
Books that got me through puberty and beyond Tissues Not Included

When one finds oneself at the precipice of adulthood six-feet tall with frizzy red hair, a prom date half her size (no really, his folks made him stand on a chair to take our photo before the dance), and a letterman's jacket for throwing shot put, things can get emotional — fast. — Kinsey Gidick


The top 20 must-reads
The top 20 must-reads From a post-apocalyptic weeper to a Scandinavian thriller to the crazy story of the creator of the World Series of Poker, these are the summer's best bets.

As anybody can tell you, crafting a best-seller is simple. All you have to do is take a feisty, female protagonist throw her into a dangerous dystopian world, draw up two heroic dudes to serve as the bottom points on the love triangle, and, viola, you've won the adoration of millions and secured your very own Hollywood movie deal. — Eric Liebetrau


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