BOOK GUIDE; Summertime . . . and the Reading Is Easy an Epic Tale from Stephen King, Short Stories by Annie Proulx, Romance from Danielle Steel, Humor from David Sedaris -- and Much More

Article excerpt

Odds are good that in the time it took you to walk to the curb and pick up today's newspaper, you broke into a sweat. Unless you're heading for the pool or dashing from your air-conditioned house to your air-conditioned car, Florida summers can be brutal.

That's why it's the perfect season to grab a good book and curl up in a cool corner or settle in a shady spot. Turning pages isn't going to overheat anybody.

No matter what your taste, there's something new to catch your fancy this summer, one of the, um, hottest publishing seasons of the year. And if you can't find a new book that interests you, there are only about a zillion old titles still out there.

Pour yourself a cold drink, find a comfortable chair and turn on the fan. It's reading season.

Lists compiled by Tom Szaroleta, Jennifer Fish and Brandy Hilboldt Allport/The Times-Union

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED READS

From a former president's biography to authors celebrating their publishing debut, these are some of the books receiving some advance buzz.

My Life, by Bill Clinton (Knopf, $35): Weighing in at 992 pages, Clinton's memoir remains one of the most anticipated books of the summer. The book's publisher states it is a "riveting personal drama as well as a fascinating look at the American political arena." For those who miss hearing Clinton's mellow voice, the abridged audiobook is read by the president. (June)

You Remind Me of Me, by Dan Chaon (Ballantine, $24.95): A little boy who vanishes in 1974, a pregnant teenager in 1966 and a young man's career as a drug dealer in 1991 are interwoven in the new book by Chaon. (June)

The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage (Viking, $24.94): Told in alternating viewpoints, a doctor and his family find their lives turned upside down by dark threats and psychologically disturbed characters.

All Fishermen Are Liars: True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar, by Linda Greenlaw (Hyperion, $22.95): All fisherman and seamen have tales to tell -- some of them probably quite tall -- and Greenlaw, author of The Hungry Ocean and The Lobster Chronicles, has heard many of them. Her new book offers a number of these stories that have been passed on while lunching or drinking after a long day's work.

The Hundredth Man, by Jack Kerley (Dutton, $23.95): When a junior detective and a veteran cop discover a body mutilated with cryptic messages, the search is on for the killer while the body count keeps growing.

Namath: A Biography, by Mark Kriegel (Viking, $27.95): Kriegel examines the life of Joe Namath, who brought glamour and a national spotlight to professional football, from the star's upbringing in a Pennsylvania steel town to his meteoric celebrity rise. (late August or early September)

Shoot the Moon, by Billie Letts (Warner Books, $24): Letts, whose first novel, Where the Heart Is, rocketed to Oprah fame, is back with an even more mysterious tale. It's 1972 in DeClare, Okla., and the town mourns the disappearance of a baby boy. Three decades later, he mysteriously returns. (July)

The Preservationist, by David Maine (St. Martin's Press, $23.95): Maine's debut novel retells the Bible story of Noah (Noe, in this new telling) and his ark with modern sensibilities and characters. (July)

Stranger than Fiction: True Stories, by Chuck Palahniuk (Random House, $23.95): Palahniuk, best known for his eerily creepy fiction novels, has moved to the non-fiction genre with this collection about life's peculiarities. Vignettes include the violent world of college wrestling, encounters with alternative heroes such as Marilyn Manson and the lives of submariners. (June)

Night Swimming, by Robin Schwartz (Warner Books, $23.95): Charlotte Clap is overweight and has been told she has one year to live, so she throws herself a farewell party, steals $2 million from the bank, changes her name and relocates to Hollywood. …

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