Just the facts
If you were the kind of kid who liked to use vacation to get ahead on homework, here's nonfiction summer reading.
American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church (Public Affairs) by Alex Beam is a journalist's engrossing account of the history of the largest American-born religion and its charismatic, mysterious founder.
The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob (Simon and Schuster) by David Kinney takes readers into the eccentric, devoted subculture that follows Bob Dylan's every word and move, and explores how the Internet has affected them and their subject.
Nature's Nether Regions: What the Sex Lives of Bugs, Birds, and Beasts Tell Us About Evolution, Biodiversity and Ourselves (Viking) by Menno Schilthuizen is a scientist's look at the jaw-dropping variety of animals' reproductive methods and equipment (like the duck with a 17-inch penis).
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor