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Book bag for the dog days

Planning to be lazy and let it all go this summer? Sorry, there are too many good books to read. From Allegra Goodman's The Cookbook Collector to Richard Rhodes's The Twilight of the Bombs and Jean Valentine's Break the Glass , you'll find tomes gal
Load up your Goodman, Gordimer, Franzen, Moody, and more
By BARBARA HOFFERT  |  June 18, 2010
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Beyond belief

One of the purposes of escapist reading is to feed our daydreams.
Three literary fantasies for summer — including a true one
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 18, 2010
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Have a weird summer!

We take you to places a little less predictable and, perhaps, a little less scenic.
Five Ocean State oddities worth seeking out
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 18, 2010
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Trail of jeers

As summer officially kicks off this weekend, thousands upon thousands of people will be descending on our fair metropolis to get a glimpse of America's most history-drenched city.
Forget Paul Revere. This summer, treat yourself to a tour of Boston's worst in political corruption.
By LAWRENCE ''HUGGY'' BERGMAN  |  June 18, 2010
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Bang Ganger

Fireworks in summer — gazing to a blazing sky, mouth wide, sparkle-eyed, the "ahh"s and "oh man"s passing your lips unbidden.
The explosive lives of pyrotechnical professionals
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 18, 2010
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This is your summer . . . on drugs

Ah, those weird Lazy Summer Days (LSDs) in Boston. What to do on them, so as not to go out of your head with boredom?
Nine ways to take the high way out of Dullsville
By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  June 18, 2010


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Grave Spotting

I asked the question this way: "Where would you want to be buried?" Not "do," but "would." That is to say if, by chance, you were to die, unlikely as that might be, where would you want to spend all of nonexistence?
Spooky? A bit, but Massachusetts's cemeteries are also the bucolic, final resting places of many great American writers.
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  June 18, 2010
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Freaks, Geeks, and Faux Bono

As Bay Staters, we recognize that our European ancestors sure knew how to roll: scarlet letters, sticks up asses, if-she-drowns-she's-not-a-witch-if-she-floats-she's-a-witch-so-let's-kill-her legal applications.
Boston-area subcultures keep the Bay State comfortably kooky this summer
By ALEXIS HAUK  |  June 18, 2010
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Just hold it

To Portlanders, they're a familiar sight: out-of-town victims potty-dancing around town, pained expressions on their faces, one sip away from having polished off an iced coffee the size of a small child.
Portland loves its tourists, so why won't we give them relief?
By ANGELIQUE CARSON  |  June 18, 2010
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Pop-up pirate

I've written first-hand about trapeze lessons, smelt fishing, and cruise vacations (oh, my!), but as I headed toward surf lessons at Scarborough's Higgins Beach one morning in May, I had more butterflies in my stomach than usual.
A first-time surfer takes to the waves
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 18, 2010
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Strange trips

If you want this summer’s eerie subject matter to hit a bit closer to home, or a bit closer to reality, check out Strange Maine: True Tales from the Pine Tree State , by Michelle Souliere (The History Press; $17.99).
Seeking the Pine Tree State’s weirder side
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 18, 2010


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Rain check

We have just the thing to cure your summer-vacation blues: Maine, from the inside.
When bad weather strikes, just go indoors!
By ANDREW STEINBEISER  |  June 18, 2010
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Viral bloodsuckers for the summer

It might require you to buy a bigger beach tote, but there's no doubt that summer's must-read is Justin Cronin's The Passage , a hulking 766-page epic that traces the genesis and fallout of apocalyptic viral vampirism.
Could The Passage be the best vampire novel?
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  June 18, 2010
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Cinema paradisos

Here's the dilemma: you love movies, but you also love the idea of taking a vacation to one of the many inviting resorts that New England has to offer — the beaches of Cape Cod or the Islands, picturesque towns in Maine or Rhode Island, or even the cultu
As Hollywood's summer fare goes cold, local film festivals heat up
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 18, 2010
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Art in the air conditioning

From Picasso to William "Shrek" Steig's cartoons, and surfer photos to a Twilight Zone toy store, New England offers art worth traveling to this summer. Here we round up the best in the region, no matter the weather or your artistic inclinations.
Local museums keep you cool — and the art's pretty good, too
By GREG COOK  |  June 18, 2010
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Summer treats

From Andean to zydeco, pick your flavor and there's a summer music festival ready to serve it up.
Whether classical, jazz, pop, or folk, 'tis the season to get out and enjoy the music
By CLEA SIMON  |  June 18, 2010