Summer Reading Strand

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WALKER EVANS: FLORIDA with an essay by Robert Plunket (J. Paul Getty Museum, $19.95) Advocate arts writer Robert Plunket's affectionate essay wraps through this fascinating photo book, capturing the late master photographer's funny, observant, and occasionally surreal takes on the Sunshine State. shot thoughout the state in 1941, Evan's photographs are at once very much of their era and timeless.

IS HE GAY? by Ed Baker and Chris Busick, illustrated by Ed Baker (Fireside Books, $10) Your clue-challenged hetero lady friends--you know, the ones who can't figure out why their well-dressed, gym-obsessed, E!-watching guy pals show no interest in kissing or dating--will appreciate this guidebook. Tip-offs like "dried flowers," strawberry margaritas," and "wants to know you as a person" will help these gals separate the gay men from the boy toys.

M: THE MAN WHO BECAME CARAVAGGIO by Peter Robb (Henry Holt, $30) Meticulously researched (although, perhaps, a bit sparsely illustrated), this biography explores the explosive life and tumultuous times of Caravaggio, whose chiaroscuro style and outrageous subject matter (politics, religion, sexual convention) continues to intrigue art lovers and scholars, Robb creates a flesh-and-blood portrait of the artist placed firmly in historical context, and readers will want to make tracks to the nearest museum before they're done.

THIS IS BLYTHE by Gina Garan (Chronicle Books, $12.95) A celebration of those collectible (and somewhat creepy) Blythe dolls from the '70s, this wild photo book is an oddly fascinating mix of art and kitsch--as if Cindy Sherman shot a Barbie photo album.

KAMIKAZE LUST by Lauren Sanders (Akashic Books, $14.95) A young lesbian on a voyage of self-discovery delves into the world of porn, hoping to paying some bills and figure out her life, This sexy little novel isn't afraid to be steamy--but it isn't log jaded for romance either.

FABULOUS HELL by Craig Curtis (Alyson, $12. …