Merck & Company Incorporated

City Paper's guide to non-embarrassing beach reads

On a scorching summer day, there is nothing like sitting by a body of water (be it ocean, lake, river, or pool) with a cool drink and a thoroughly engaging book. Traditionally, beach reads are considered entertaining garbage, something even the most heatstroke-addled mind can handle, with a literary value roughly equivalent to the nutritional content of a sno-ball. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of fun, engrossing, and even titillating books that will pull you in despite the rising Fahrenheit, without lowering your IQ. So even if all you have is a kiddie pool filled with Baltimore tap and a coolish Natty Boh to help you beat the heat, you can kick...