Salon’s Summer Selections

Salon’s summer reading recommendations are coming in parts. On Monday, June 2nd, the Salon staff picked four chick lit titles. Most summer roundups focus on titles published during the season, but the Salon staff doesn’t confine itself to pub date or format.

Louis Bayard selects a UK title, This Is How It Happened, pubbed here in trade paperback, calling it “a black-humored romp.” Reading a man write about chick lit is a bit like watching a guy hold his girlfriend’s purse. He’s agreed to do it, but he has to make sure you know he’s not comfortable with it. The main character describes how hard she works to appeal to her man. Says Bayard;

she’s shaving and plucking like a maniac and wearing makeup on Saturday mornings and getting a bikini wax every other week. On and on it goes, a litany of biological self-denial, to which a stupefied male reader can only respond: We are so not worth it.

This is How it Happened (Not a Love Story)

by Jo Barrett

  • Paperback: $13.95
  • Publisher: Avon A (January 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061241105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061241109


Rebecca Traister loses her heart to Anne Rivers Siddons:

Off Season

Anne Rivers Siddons

  • Hardcover: $24.99
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 13, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0446527874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446527873


Sara Hepola chooses a debut novel by Liz Tuccillo, the co-author of a little piece of nonfiction, He’s Just Not That Into You. The movie version hits theaters Oct. 24, starring nearly everybody (for a little guilty pleasure, check the trailer under our “Books to Movies” listing).

Tuccillo was also head writer for Sex and the City. Hepola sees a similarity “her dialogue bears some of the show’s hallmarks — tart and briskly paced and occasionally sappy.”

How to Be Single: A Novel

by Liz Tuccillo

  • Hardcover: $24.95
  • Publisher: Atria (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416534121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416590149
  • Audio CD: Abridged, $29.95
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743569679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743569675


Joy Press chooses April pub Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner (covered here earlier), saying “Weiner has chosen smartass amusement over depth every time — but that’s what makes Certain Girls an imperfectly perfect summer read.”

Certain Girls

by Jennifer Weiner

  • Hardcover: $26.95
  • Publisher: Atria; (April 8, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743294254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294256
  • Audio CD: Abridged; 29.95
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; (April 8, 2008)
  • Readers: Michele Pawk, Zoe Kazan
  • ISBN-10: 0743569865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743569866


Last week, Salon chose thrillers. Four of the five, all pubbed in April, are already well-known:

  • Hold Tight by Harlan Coben (Dutton)
  • Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
  • Losing You by Nicci French (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
  • The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber (Morrow)

The less predictable choice is a debut title from February, selected by Laura Miller. It’s difficult to condense Miller’s review but a quote from PW gets at the strangeness Miller describes — “a thriller that will strike some as a mix of John Fowles’s The Magus and Stephen King’s The Shining.”


Will Lavender

  • Hardcover: $24.00
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (February 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 030739610X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307396105
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, 7 CD’s $90
  • Publisher: Books On Tape
  • ISBN: 9781415946442

Next week, Salon will do memoirs. The finl list will be historical fiction.

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