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Books: What to Read

A Model Summer, a novel by Paulina Porizkova (Hyperion)

To Sum Up: A 15-year-old Swedish immigrant ventures to Paris to strut the catwalk.

Why You'll Love It: It reminds us that being a teenager sucked for everyone -- even the beautiful people.

Most Accurate Description of the First Time: "Simon thrusts in and out a few times, and just as I'm finding a rhythm, he shudders and collapses on me." (We've so been there, Paulina!)

Click here to purchase Model Summer by Paulina Porizkova.

Worth a Revisit: For more behind-the-scenes glamour in Paris, check out Kate Muir's 2006 novel, Left Bank.

Fellow Travelers, a novel by Thomas Mallon (Pantheon)

To Sum Up: It's DC in the 1950s. Joe McCarthy hunts Communists--and everyone's got something to hide.

Why It's a Page-Turner: The palpable tension between young congressional aid Tim Laughlin and hotshot Hawkins Fuller keeps you wondering when their secret will be discovered.

Bit You'll Love: Would-be confirmed bachelor McCarthy's unholy wedding: "For ten seconds at a time he'd look like one of Tim's Irish uncles, the smile ready to issue a song, but then some saturnine cloud would scud across the eyes and mouth, turning McCarthy into a baleful, preoccupied spectator at his own nuptials."

Click here to purchase Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon.

The Department of Lost & Found, a novel by Allison Winn Scotch (Morrow)

To Sum Up: A 30-year-old alpha woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and finds it's the one thing she's not quite equipped to take on.

Where You Should Read It: On the beach. It's smart and well-written, but it's still divertingly light.

Lines you'll Love: "I check e-mail. For a faltering moment I consider adding Ned's name to the mailing list for the penis enlargement drug I received."

Click here to purchase The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch.

The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007, a nonfiction compilation edited by Lucy McCauley (Travelers' Tales)

To Sum Up: In case the title isn't clear, this is a collection of essays written by women about their world travels. Uh, the best collection.

Don't Miss: Abbie Kozolchyk's "A.K. Phone Home," on how she inadvertently saves the lives of four strangers in Bolivia.

Where to Read It: In your cubicle, while you're daydreaming about all the other places you would rather be.

Click here to purchase The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007 edited by Lucy McCauley.

Season of the Witch, a novel by Natasha Mostert (Dutton)

To Sum Up: A professional hacker falls under the spell of two thoroughly modern, thoroughly hot witch sisters he's been sent to spy on.

What It Reminds Us Of: Eyes Wide Shut meets film noir murder mystery meets a dissertation on metaphysics.

Why It's As Seductive As the Cover Claims: The hero's well-dressed, intensely intuitive, and the tiniest bit cocky. Love!

Click here to purchase Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert.

Worth a Revisit: Thirsty for more ESP, sex, and black magic? Try -- but of course--Anne Rice's century-spanning thriller from 1990, The Witching Hour.

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