Books: Your Sum­mer Read­ing List

These newly re­leased books of­fer the per­fect en­ter­tain­ment dur­ing the dog-days of sum­mer.

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Grunt: The Cu­ri­ous Science of Hu­mans at War by Mary Roach (W W Nor­ton & Com­pany)

If you’ve ever read any­thing by Mary Roach, you’ll rec­og­nize her sin­cere cu­rios­ity and hu­mor­ous ap­proach as she dis­sects se­ri­ous top­ics. This time around The New York Times best-sell­ing writer delves into the psy­chol­ogy of war and ex­plores the science of keep­ing hu­man be­ings in­tact, awake, sane, un­in­fected, and un­in­fested in the bizarre and ex­treme cir­cum­stances of war.

How the Post Of­fice Cre­ated Amer­ica: A His­tory by Winifred Gal­lagher (Pen­guin Press) The least ap­pre­ci­ated and an­a­lyzed of Amer­ica’s great in­sti­tu­tions is fi­nally given some over­due credit. Winifred Gal­lagher ex­am­ines its rich his­tory and its role in all the ma­jor events in Amer­i­can his­tory, from the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence to The Civil War to the ad­vent of the In­ter­net.

Some En­chanted Evenings: The Glit­ter­ing Life and Times of Mary Martin by David Kauf­man (St. Martin’s Press) Mary Martin was one of the great­est stars of her day. Peo­pled with le­gends like Ethel Mer­man, Ezio Pinza, Noel Cow­ard, and a starry cast of thou­sands, David Kauf­man’s bi­og­ra­phy is the story of a woman who de­scribed her­self as a chicken farmer from Texas only to be­come Peter Pan and cap­ture Amer­ica’s heart.

Amer­i­can Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kid­nap­ping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jef­frey Toobin (Dou­ble­day) On Fe­bru­ary 4, 1974, the heiress Patty Hearst was kid­napped by a group of self- styled rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies call­ing it­self the Sym­bionese Lib­er­a­tion Army. The al­ready sen­sa­tional story un­folded with many in­cred­i­ble twists and weird turns. Based on more than a hun­dred in­ter­views and thou­sands of pre­vi­ously se­cret doc­u­ments, Jef­frey Toobin digs deep to de­liver the de­fin­i­tive ac­count of the kid­nap­ping and trial that de­fined an in­sane era in Amer­i­can his­tory.


A Cer­tain Age by Beatriz Wil­liams (William Mor­row)

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