July 05, 2010 12:00 PM

One Day

by David Nicholls |


People PICK


Bright, sexy, minty-fresh college grads Emma and Dexter hook up one day in 1988-but can they ever become a real couple? Checking in on the pair once a year on the same date, July 15, over a period of two decades during which both become famous (but for very different reasons), this instant classic-a huge bestseller last year in Britain-is one of the most hilarious and emotionally riveting love stories you’ll ever encounter. Dexter, who becomes the host of an MTV-style TV program, finds his ego and his drinking urging each other on to ever more unsustainable levels, while Emma, a goody-goody schoolteacher and would-be writer, dates slightly defective men like the comic to whom “a joke was not a single-use item but something you brought out again and again until it fell apart in your hands like a cheap umbrella.” Yet when Dex and Emma get together, the banter is music and you’ll be humming along. Read it before the movie gets made: You’ll want to be among the snobs explaining why the book was better.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

by Stephenie Meyer |



Readers hoping for more Edward or Jacob, be forewarned: Neither of Bella’s hunks is even mentioned by name. Instead, this mildly entertaining surprise installment in the Twilight franchise details the world of rogue bloodsuckers through the eyes of a character who appears in just one scene in Eclipse. A runaway, Bree became a newborn vampire at the hands (teeth?) of evil Victoria, who was conscripting soldiers for a battle against the Cullens. Her story is tragic (see title) but fills out the Twilight story from a vampire’s point of view. She and fellow newborn Diego awkwardly consider romance-you might believe these were real teens until they return to the coven, where newborns fight by pulling off each other’s arms.

Finding Chandra

by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz |



The ’01 disappearance of D.C. intern Chandra Levy, and the revelation that she was having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit, went from hot news to cold case in the wake of 9/11. This book reveals how the investigation was botched: most shockingly, how for too long police ignored the inmate who confessed and later recanted. Disturbing and unforgettable.

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