Beachy keen: 10 hot new summer books

"Layover in Dubai," by Dan Fesperman (Knopf, July "Layover in Dubai," by Dan Fesperman (Knopf, July 2010) Photo Credit: Handout

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OK, class, school's out and the summer reading season has begun. The syllabus: 10 books that are beach-blanket-ready, whether you're reading them on the printed page or a digital screen. Let the reading begin

The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek

This one has all the ingredients: a pair of yin-and-yang half-sisters, an inherited cottage in Southampton and a shared obsession with F. Scott Fitzgerald's great Jazz Age novel. Throw in some Gatsby-esque parties, ex-boyfriends, artists and real-estate agents, and you've got required beach reading for the Hamptons set - and the rest of us. (Viking, available now)

Cum Laude by Cecily von Ziegesar

Move over, Blair and Serena - here comes Shipley Gilbert, a privileged blond freshman at Dexter College in small-town Maine, and one of the protagonists in this first "adult" novel from the "Gossip Girl" scribe. We'll miss the filthy-rich Upper East Side milieu of the YA series, but we're certain these college kids will generate some juicy scandals Down East. Can the CW series be far behind? (Hyperion, Tuesday)

Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe by Jenny Hollowell

This first novel about an aspiring actress in Hollywood, a former evangelical, has already garnered comparisons to Joan Didion, Nathanael West and Lorrie Moore. Hollowell grew up as a Jehovah's Witness, and now works as an advertising producer, where she has auditioned actors for commercials. (Henry Holt, June 8)

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How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley

Crosley's first book, a collection of humorous essays entitled, "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," chronicled her life as a well-connected, occasionally hapless book publicist adrift in Manhattan. HBO is developing a pilot - hey, it worked for Candace Bushnell and Jonathan Ames - and now Crosley offers a second volume of her distinctive, delicious wit. (Riverhead, June 15)

Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst

Part-time Sag Harborite Furst is back with the latest in his string of atmospheric and addictive World War II spy stories, this one set in the Macedonian port city of Salonika, where Greek forces are at war with the Italian occupation forces in neighboring Albania, and policeman Costa Zannis finds himself caught up in international intrigue. (Random House, June 15)

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

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Those looking for the summer's big historical novel, look no further: The two-time Booker Award finalist has delivered the tale of a young clerk with the Dutch East Indies Company who, in 1799, is posted to a man-made island in Nagasaki Harbor. Political intrigue and cross-cultural romance ensue. (Random House, June 29)

As Husbands Go by Susan Isaacs

The Sands Point favorite, best known for "Compromising Positions" and "Shining Through," has a new novel - part suspense, part satire - about an L.I. florist and mother whose world is turned upside down when her "ideal" plastic-surgeon husband is found murdered in the Upper East Side apartment of an escort. (Scribner, July 6)

Layover in Dubai by Dan Fesperman

Fesperman, author of "The Arms Maker of Berlin" and "The Prisoner of Guantánamo" sets his new thriller in that strange urban oasis known as Dubai, the gleaming high-rise Persian Gulf city. There, a visiting corporate auditor and a local detective try to solve the murder of an American after a wild night on the town. (Knopf, July 13)

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Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

If you think America's on the wrong track now, wait till you read the new novel from Gary Shteyngart ("The Russian Debutante's Handbook," "Absurdistan"). The America of the not-so-distant future is hopelessly in debt to China, ruled by the Bipartisan Party and dominated by megacorporations like AlliedWasteCVSCitigroupCredit. Against this comically dystopian backdrop, Shteyngart presents the romance of middle-aged Lenny Abramov and 20-something Eunice Park. (Random House, July 27).

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson

From the Norwegian author of the international bestseller "Out Stealing Horses" comes a melancholy novel, set in 1989, about a Norwegian communist who seeks a new lease on life as he goes through a divorce, learns that his mother has cancer and communism is collapsing in Europe. Sure, the subject matter sounds bleak, but Petterson fans - and curious newcomers - will snap it up. (Graywolf, Aug. 3)

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