COOL SUMMER READS: PUT DOWN THAT PROUST

NOW IS THE TIME FOR BIG THRILLERS--WITHOUT BIG WORDS

No one ever said summer was the season for gravitas. So it is not surprising that publishers reserve their books of substance--tomes with titles like Hitler's Willing Executioners--for distribution during the months of the year when one is less apt to read in the company of a wine cooler. If Dostoyevsky had had a marketing consultant, she would have positioned Crime and Punishment for a November release.

Summer is the time for books that don't tax or disturb or get debated about in the pages of Lingua Franca. It is the season for Tom Clancy and, although the best-selling author isn't...

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