Books sent from publishers that would do better poolside rather than accumulating in an increasingly dangerous tower at my desk: Cheesecake: The Rotenberg Collection—Seven hundred

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Summer Slush

Books sent from publishers that would do better poolside rather than accumulating in an increasingly dangerous tower at my desk: Cheesecake: The Rotenberg Collection—Seven hundred and sixty-eight pages—color, black-and-white, Marilyn Monroeera—of naked women. No nips, no tucks, and plenty of untoned flesh for your consumption. No wonder all the men in the office have been hanging around! (Taschen) The Heart of the Matter—Paul Loeb and Suzanne Hlvacek resolve issues of communication between you and your cat or dog with their anti-training technique called "the harmonic triangle." (Pocket Books) The Jukebox Queen of Malta—A Brooklyn auto mechanic visits Malta as a wireless operator and stays in a brothel. This novel by Nicholas Rinaldi is, according to the jacket, "a mesmerizing love story in the tradition of Catch-22 and Corelli's Mandolin." (Simon & Schuster) Makai—A novel by Oregon writer Kathleen Tyau. A Chinese-Hawaiian woman recollects her life. The press release calls it "exotic and homespun all at once." (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Murder on the Gravy Train—Phyllis Richman, who usually writes about food for the Washington Post, follows The Butter Did It with this pot-boiler featuring—who else?—a food critic "with a taste for sleuthing." Set in DC, a head chef goes missing. Better check the soup! (HarperCollins) Transfer of Power—Even the cover is shiny, and the White House lurks beneath the red-lettered title like spent nickel. Vince Flynn, the author of Term Limits, asks the question in this political thriller (or at least the inside jacket does), "What if America's most powerful leader was also its prime target?" (Pocket Books) Other titles eating up space around me: * Carey, Lisa. The Mermaids Singing (Bard paperback)

* French, Nicci. Killing Me Softly: A Novel of Obsession (Warner Books)

* Jenny, Zoe. The Pollen Room (Simon & Schuster)

* Kinder, Gary. Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (Vintage paperback)

* Knopper, Steve, ed. MusicHound's Swing! The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink)

* Montparker, Carol. A Pianist's Landscape (Amadeus Press)

* Weinstein, Matt and Luke Barber. Work Like Your Dog: Fifty Ways to Work Less, Play More, and Earn More (Villard)

* Yaeger, Michael. An Insider's Tour of the Pike Place Market (Studio Solstone Ltd.)

 
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