Beach reads: five recommendations


What happens on Facebook doesn't stay on Facebook. Snooping and sneaking have never been easier, and humiliation never closer at hand. Careers and marriages are made and destroyed in an instant -- there's an app for that, it seems. The authors of this summer's beach books, like the rest of us, are obsessed with technology. -- MARION WINIK. Special to


BOOK "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple (Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown)
HERO(INE) Genius architect, prematurely retired, now disappeared
STORY Fifteen-year-old daughter compiles emails, secret letters and official documents to find her mother
TAKES AIM AT Super-PC Seattle parents
PLOT DEVICE Wristband bar-code reader is modern-day trail of bread crumbs
OPENING SALVO "The first annoying thing is when I ask Dad what he thinks happened to Mom, he always says, 'What's most important is for you to understand it's not your fault.
IN A WORD Clever

(Credit: Leta Warner)

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" author Maria Semple.


BOOK "Motherland" by Amy Sohn (S&S)
HERO(INE) Five couples in various stages of marital and career disarray
STORY From Brooklyn to Cape Cod, from Broadway to Hollywood, "Big Chill" developments change lives
TAKES AIM AT Super-bourgie Park Slope parents
PLOT DEVICE iPhone app for locating gay hookups obsesses in stay-at-home dad
OPENING SALVO " 'His hair's getting really red,' Joanne Shanahan told Rebecca at Dyer Pond, leaning over in her beach chair to inspect the boy's pate."
IN A WORD Snarky


Amy Sohn, author of
(Credit: Charles Miller)

Amy Sohn, author of "Motherland"

BOOK “What the Nanny Saw” by Fiona Neill

BOOK “What the Nanny Saw” by Fiona Neill (Riverhead)
HEROINE Small-town British college girl turned supernanny
STORY Financial crisis takes its toll on power couple; turns out the wealthy don't care about their servants
TAKES AIM AT Superrich British parents
PLOT DEVICE Cellphone SIM cards undo inside traders
OPENING SALVO “When did you first notice something was wrong?”
IN A WORD Timely

Fiona Neill, author of “What the Nanny Saw
(Credit: Guy Hills)

Fiona Neill, author of “What the Nanny Saw"


BOOK "Wife 22" by Melanie Gideon (Ballantine)
HERO(INE) Bored elementary school drama teacher and mother of two
STORY Participation in an email survey about marriage goes rogue
TAKES AIM AT The midlife crisis crowd
PLOT DEVICE GPS location-markers in digital photos reveal lover's identity
OPENING SALVO "Google search 'Eyelid Drooping': About 54,300 results (.14 seconds)"
IN A WORD Romantic

Melanie Gideon, author of
(Credit: Jonathan Sprague)

Melanie Gideon, author of "Wife 22"



BOOK "Getting Over Mr. Right" by Christine Manby (Bantam)
HERO(INE) 30-something British ad exec with a fatal obsession
STORY Dumped heroine loses home, friends, job and sanity .?.?. until saved by voodoo doll
TAKES AIM AT Heartless, insensitive jerks
PLOT DEVICE Heroine is dumped via Facebook relationship status
OPENING SALVO "My love life was and always had been a disaster. It started badly and went downhill from there."

"Getting Over Mr. Right” author Christine Manby

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