By People Staff
June 08, 2009 12:00 PM

GET SET FOR SUMMER

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER

by Jennifer Weiner

Former mousy types, rejoice! In Weiner’s delicious latest, a popular girl hits trouble long after high school—and only the geeky pal she once shunned can help. (July)

SOUTH OF BROAD

by Pat Conroy

Conroy’s first novel since 1995’s Beach Music, this story of the sustaining friendships among a group of South Carolina teens reaches from the ’60s to the dawning of AIDS. (August)

PERFECTION

by Julie Metz

A fascinating memoir by a woman who, after learning of her much-loved late husband’s history of affairs, decides to confront her former rivals. (June)

THE PRETEND WIFE

by Bridget Asher

Gwen is happily married until her dreamy ex asks if she’ll act as his wife—just for the weekend, to please his dying mom. A cut above chick lit. (June)

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE

by Alan Bradley

After finding a dead body in her family’s cucumber patch, science whiz Flavia, 11, sets out to solve the crime. A quirky, delightful whodunit by first-time novelist Bradley. (April)

TROUBLE

by Kate Christensen

The author of The Great Man returns with a female midlife crisis novel, starring a sex-starved therapist, an L.A. rocker and a trust-fund baby. There’s drinking, hanky-panky and wit aplenty. (June)

QUEEN TAKES KING

by Gigi Levangie Grazer

High-stakes divorce among Manhattan’s glitterati. Bit of a period piece, what with the economic meltdown and all, but still great fun. (June)

SWIMMING

by Nicola Keegan

Mired in her troubled Kansas family, Pip finds solace and dreams of glory in perfecting her strokes at the local pool. A fine debut novel about the making of an Olympic champ. (July)

BELOW ZERO

by C.J. Box

In Box’s ninth mystery featuring game warden Joe Pickett, our hero’s getting text messages from a foster daughter he’d thought was murdered. And they’re being traced to crime scenes. Creepy! (June)

SHANGHAI GIRLS

by Lisa See

From the bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a tale of two sisters sent to America for arranged marriages in the 1930s. (May)

THE EMBERS

by Hyatt Bass

What really happened the night 17-year-old Thomas died? Can his still-shattered family ever heal? A moving tale about grief’s tenacious hold and the road to redemption. (June)

THE ANGEL’S GAME

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Set in 1920s Barcelona, Zafón’s fast-paced adventure features a desperate novelist, a mansion full of secrets, a series of murders and a narrator who may or may not be unreliable. (June)

IN THE KITCHEN

by Monica Ali

Finding a dead porter in the basement can really take the fizz out of your fancy restaurant, as executive chef Gabriel Lightfoot discovers in Brick Lane author Ali’s entertaining new offering. (June)

THE WEDDING GIRL

by Madeleine Wickham

A bride’s impetuous past comes back to haunt her in this yummy confection by Wickham—whose pen name is Sophie (Shopaholics) Kinsella. (June)

FUN COOKBOOKS

BOBBY FLAY’S BURGERS, FRIES & SHAKES

by Bobby Flay

Toasted Marshallow Milkshake, anyone? The Food Network star offers up casual American classics—with some inspired twists.

RELAXED COOKING WITH CURTIS STONE

by Curtis Stone

No-fuss recipes with photographs so gorgeous you’ll be tempted to eat the pages. Opt for the Greek Salad with Char-Grilled Salmon—or the Peach and Mint Iced Tea, below—instead.

SERIOUS BARBECUE

by Adam Perry Lang

It wouldn’t be summer without barbecue, and Lang, who’s served as “meat maestro” at Mario Batali’s Vegas Italian steak house, Carnevino, has recipes and instructions even neophytes can follow. And it’s not just meat—there are fruit and vegetables too. Fire up the grill and get cooking.

MARIEL’S KITCHEN

by Mariel Hemingway

The actress, wife and mom has pulled together some of her organic favorites, arranged by seasons. Try the Watercress, Avocado and Almond Salad topped with Raspberry Dressing.

RUSTIC FRUIT DESSERTS

by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Caramel Peach Grunt, Raspberry Fool, Stone Fruit Slump: Don’t let the dowdy names fool you; these scrumptious desserts finish off any meal with style. (Below: Fresh Strawberry and Ricotta Tart)

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