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Your vacation checklist: bathing suit (check!), sunscreen (check!), newly minted sweetie (check!), and, finally, a good book. We've gathered the summer's hottest reads and paired them with travel destinations so that upon your return to the real world, you'll be well-rested -- and well-read.
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"Perfectly Miserable" by Sarah Payne Stuart
The opening line of Stuart's hilarious collection of memoirish essays says it all: "If you come from New England, the creeping certainty that you are a bad person is always with you." From there, her self-depreciating honesty about her WASPy family will have you chuckling about yours, no matter which coast you hail from.
Where to read it: In (white) wine country.
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"Summer House With Swimming Pool" by Herman Koch
Koch's latest mystery novel, this one set at a Mediterranean beach house, is the best way to slip away from seating-chart PTSD and lingering marriage mania. But that's not to say it'll help you get more shut-eye: you might just be turning pages until 2 a.m.
Where to read it: The title is "Summer House With a Swimming Pool"; need we say more?
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"The Vacationers" by Emma Straub
This summer's buzziest read (by an even buzzier author) takes places in Mallorca, Spain, where a teenage girl is vacationing with her family. It's also where she sparks a romance with a slightly older native. You can relate to both the vacation and the romance, except you'll be beaching sans family, and your summer crush is one that will extend long beyond the trip back home, thankfully.
Where to read it: On a sandy beach, Corona in hand.
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"The Phantom of Fifth Avenue" by Meryl Gordon
You're on your honeymoon because you want to hide out, right? Put this biography in your carry-on. It recounts the life of society-pages-darling-turned-recluse Huguette Clark, who spent the last 20 years of her life in hospitals, despite being perfectly healthy and owning millions of dollars worth of property around the U.S.
Where to read it: On a not-another-soul-for-miles deserted island.
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"Down the Shore" by Stan Parish
This debut novel from a magazine editor is a bit like a Scotland-based "The Wolf of Wall Street" -- complete with drugs, sexcapades, and attractive men. (No Leo cameos, sorry.) Don't be surprised if your husband asks to borrow this one after you've raced through it.
Where to read it: In a cozy European garden.
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