On Chesil Beach, a novel by Ian McEwan
(Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)

TO SUM UP: Young newlyweds in 1960s London are timid about sealing the deal on their wedding night.
WHY IT'S BRILLIANT: McEwan, of Atonement fame, delivers a quick read, but just when you think it's over-bam!-a life lesson on the very last page.
MOST ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF LOVE: "He was discovering that being in love was not a steady state, but a matter of fresh surges or waves, and he was experiencing one now."

Click here to purchase On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, a novel by Khaled Hosseini
(Riverhead)

TO SUM UP: An older woman in Afghanistan strikes up an unlikely friendship with her husband's second wife, a teenager.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: In case you thought Hosseini was a one-hit wonder with The Kite Runner, he's not.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT: One sleepless night. It's like a can of Pringles-once you pop, you can't stop.

Click here to purchase A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

The Witch Of Portobello, a novel by Paulo Coelho
(HarperCollins)

TO SUM UP: The daughter of a Romanian gypsy searches for deeper enlightenment through travel, music, and mysticism.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT: Re-evaluation of life goals. Sounds touchy-feely, we know, but Coelho is the master of the quest narrative.
LINE YOU'LL LOVE: "I've always been convinced that women have a supernatural ability to know what's going on in a man's soul. They're all witches."
Click here to purchase Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho.

Worth a Revisit: Chart your own path to enlightenment with the book that put Paulo Coleho on the map, The Alchemist (1998).

A Much Married Man, a novel by Nicholas Coleridge
(Thomas Dunne Books)

TO SUM UP: Anthony, a playboy banker in London, takes us through his three failed marriages and the raising of his 10 children. Talk about baby mama drama!
WHO WILL APPRECIATE IT: Page Six junkies. There are steamy affairs, scandals, and gossip galore.
WHERE YOU SHOULD READ IT: On holiday, of course! Make that a long holiday-it's more than 450 pages.

Click here to purchase A Much Married Man by Nicholas Coleridge.

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