Traditionally, summer reading is all about gossipy celeb tell-alls and pulpy thrillers. But just because you're on the beach doesn't mean you're limited to disposable trash. Here are four compulsively readable, vacation-perfect books that won't insult your intelligence, plus reading tips from the authors themselves.
Why it's great: It's set both in 1960s Italy, where a young hotelier falls for an American movie star, and in present-day Hollywood, where the same man—now elderly and comically out of place—searches for his lost paramour.
Walter recommends: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. "Fountain finds all the absurdity of Catch-22 in the Iraq war."
—Timothy Hodler, research director at Details
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