Books: Best Beach Reads

Summer reading lists always seem to focus on hardcovers--but who wants to lug McCullough on John Adams to the beach? Instead, we suggest paperbacks, a few can't-fail classics and, OK, a couple of new hardcovers.

The Miracle Life Of Edgar Mint
By Brady Udall. A sweet, funny first novel about a half-Apache, pint-size Job.

Baseball: A Literary Anthology
Edited by Nicholas Dawidoff. A brilliant change-up from the Library of America.

Raymond Chandler: The Works
These swanky neo-noir Vintage editions showcase the best crime writer ever.

You Cannot Be Serious
By John McEnroe. His autobiography reveals the world's smartest tennis pro.

P. G. Wodehouse: Assorted Novels
Even Jeeves couldn't find a better deal than these affordable Overlook editions.

The Godfather
By Mario Puzo. Maybe the best bad book ever written. You simply can't quit it.

Mystic River
By Dennis Lehane. A great gritty crime novel that's really about family and friendship.

High Season
By Robert Kanigel. The history of tourism through the story of Nice and the Riviera.

The Gangs Of New York
By Herbert Asbury. First published in 1927, still the last word on lowlife crime.

The Last Samurai
By Helen DeWitt. A brainy kid searches for his dad. This story is pure oxygen.