READING ROOM

Beach Reads: Five Summer Books To Make You Look Sexy And Smart

I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams

By Mark Dery

What It’s About: Dery declares that it is the writer’s job to “think bad thoughts” and in subjects as diverse as the homoeroticism of George W. Bush, how Lady Gaga compares to previous bi-curious rockers, the gayness of the Super Bowl, or the Mayan apocalypse, he offers a counterintuitive guide to some turbulent topics.

Beach Burn: Dark humor may not go down easy on bright, sunny days, but theses well-written essays are easily digestible. Take “Straight, Gay, or Binary”: Did it ever cross your mind that 2001’s evil artificial intelligence, HAL, might be a closet case?