Sizzling Summer Reads

GMA and Parade magazine pick summer's best books, from mystery to non-fiction.

June 30, 2008 — -- Summer reading can be the perfect recipe for relaxation. "Good Morning America" and Parade magazine have teamed together to find the most entertaining, intriguing, can't-miss books for this summer. Check out the list below and discover why summer reading isn't just for kids anymore.

Light Reading

"Chasing Harry Winston"

"The Devil Wears Prada" author Lauren Weisberger has returned with a new book called "Chasing Harry Winston." In the book, three single women try to change their lives.

Think "Sex and the City" without Miranda and you've got the title's characters. It's fun, well-written and has a couple of surprises for readers.

"How to be Single"

Liz Tucillo had a smash hit when she co-wrote the relationship advice book "He's Just Not That Into You." Her new book also tackles relationship fare. In "How to be Single," Tucillo follows a group of friends in the singles scene in New York City and around the world.

"Love the One You're With"

Emily Griffin's "Love the One You're With" is about a happily married young woman who unexpectedly encounters an old flame. It provokes some sticky questions. And she has to determine who the real love of her life is. Is it her husband or that old boyfriend? It's a light, but sweet, contemplation of what true love really means.



"Netherland" is the perfect novel about immigrants striving for the American dream. The fictional tale is colored by Sept. 11; it's events serve as a backdrop. The book, by author Joseph O'Neill, can be very funny, and is filled with history while being wrapped in romance.

As you celebrate Independence Day this weekend, this just might the perfect novel about the nation -- even if the hero happens to be Dutch.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"

David Wroblewski's "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" has gotten sensational reviews and is generating a lot of buzz. The book follows a mute, young man who communicates with people, dogs and ghosts in his own unique way. This is a book people will discuss long after summer's over.

"Palace Council"

Best-selling author Stephen L. Carter's "Palace Council"is a gripping political thriller set in the Watergate and Vietnam eras -- a real page turner.


"Billionaire's Vinegar"

"Billionaire's Vinegar" is the true story of a bottle of wine -- allegedly owned by Thomas Jefferson -- that sold at auction for $156,000. Author Benjamin Wallace does a terrific job of taking the reader back into Jefferson's wine cellar, and then forward to the future to find out that the bottle is probably a fraud.

One of the best stories is that of the collector who had another alleged Jefferson bottle worth over $200,000. He took it to a party at a Four Seasons hotel to show it off and broke it. If you read this book sitting on a beach blanket, sipping from a jug of Gallo, your cheap wine will never taste better.

"Girls like Us"

"Girls like Us" is a great beach-bag tagalong. Author Sheila Weller writes a coming of age story of 60s music while focusing on three amazing women. She talks about how singer Carly Simon, legendary songwriter Carole King, and the influential Joni Mitchell forever changed the music industry.

"The Prince of Frogtown"

Best-selling author Rick Bragg continues his series of family memoirs with "The Prince of Frogtown," a story that crosses generations. It's about his relationships with his troubled father and his young stepson. Bragg's fans will love it.


"Broken Window"

Jeffrey Deaver's "Broken Window" is a perfect summer book that should come with a sunburn warning, because once you start it, you'll forget everything else.

Even the most minor characters are well developed, and the incredibly smart plot offers an interesting twist on identity theft. Imagine if someone took all the information that's accessible about you and used it to commit a murder, and then pin it on you. The most thrilling thing about this thriller is just how real it seems. The facts about our information age and how that information can be abused, are truly scary.

In the same vein as "Broken Window," "The Whole Truth," by best-selling author David Baldacci, is a good read that asks the question: What would happen if the government launched a misinformation campaign to start a war? Both are quick reads that raise really interesting questions.


"Tailspin' is the 12th book in Catherine Coulter's FDI series, which is based on this provocative scenario: What if the therapist to the movers and shakers of Washington started telling their secrets? You could spend many summer nights tossing that idea around.