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July 4 Beach Read Lead
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This 4th promises to be a luscious long weekend of BBQ-ing, tanning, and, for those of us bookworms here at InStyle, cracking open that paperback we've been meaning to dig into for weeks. In case you're in need of a good recommendation, we solicited some well-read editors for their choice picks. From Wednesday Martin's talked-about sociological study to this year's Pulitzer Prize-winning tome, there's something on the list to satisfy every kind of reader. Go ahead and start skimming.

Migratory Animals by Mary Helen Specht ($12; amazon.com)

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"My book club picked this for our post-July Fourth session. The women in my group are all in their early 30s, and this is about a young scientist who's around our age trying to figure out how to navigate her feelings about her two loves—her work and her family. I'm excited for the conversation this instigates about work-life balance."

—Sharon Clott Kanter, Senior Editor

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza ($17; amazon.com)

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"As someone who works in publishing, I'm excited to read this one. It's about an editor-in-chief of a magazine who returns to work from medical leave and finds out that the title she used to run is being turned into an app—sort of like The Devil Wears Prada for the digital age. Since it's written by a fashion insider, there's a sense of authenticity to it."

—Amy Synnott-D'Annibale, Executive Editor

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn ($8; amazon.com)

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"After getting deep into Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, I figured I need to hit the third jewel in the Flynn trifecta. All of her books are super dark, and this one, quite literally, but there nothing like escaping the hustle and bustle of N.Y.C. and getting deep into a Midwestern mystery."

—Danielle Prescod, Accessories Editor

The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel ($14; amazon.com)

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"I started re-reading this one on D-Day (June 6) and keep going back. Amazing stories and true voices from American history."

—Joshua David Stein, News and Features Director

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari ($18; amazon.com)

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"I recently caught Aziz's Live At Madison Square Garden performance on Netflix and couldn't stop laughing, so I'm pretty sure his hilarious take on dating will keep me smiling at the beach all weekend."

—Christina Shanahan, Senior Editor

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ($11; amazon.com)

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"Ever since several InStyle co-workers couldn't stop raving about this book, I was intrigued by this extraordinary tale—and the long weekend is the perfect time to indulge in the challenge—it's over 700 pages, after all!"

—Kim Peiffer, InStyle.com Senior News Editor

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ($14; amazon.com)

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"I started this months ago and was blown away by the narration, but decided to save it for a binge read on a long weekend to really enjoy such a finely crafted story."

—Eric Wilson, Fashion News Director

My Paris Dream by Kate Betts ($16; amazon.com)

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"I'm traveling to Paris for the first time in the fall and devouring everything I can about the City of Light. First up: Kate Betts' coming-of-age memoir about her career as a fashion journalist living in 1980s Paris."

—Jennifer Ferrise, Associate Editor

First Jobs: True Tales of Bad Bosses, Quirky Coworkers, Big Breaks, and Small Paychecks by Merritt Watts ($13; amazon.com)

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"I keep picking up and putting down this book. Since it's tons of short firsthand stories of funny first jobs its a no-brainer for a holiday weekend!"

—Ali Pew, Senior Style Editor

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin ($16; amazon.com)

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"It has a hit of James Frey-esque controversy to it, but no matter: True or false, it's a pretty juicy read."

—Jennifer Merritt, InStyle.com Deputy Editor

Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny by Holly Madison ($16; amazon.com), Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years by Keith Badman ($12; amazon.com), and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon ($24/set of 3; amazon.com)

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"I always read three books at a time. That way, no matter how I'm feeling in the moment, I'll have a story to suit my mood. As my fun, candy read, I'm beginning Holly Madison's Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. What can I say? I used to watch the reality series The Girls Next Door, so I'm mildly curious. To feed my decades-old Marilyn Monroe obsession, I'm in the middle of Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years, by Keith Badman. It's not the most uplifting read, so this weekend I'll likely take it slow on this hardcover. And finally, on the recommendation of a friend, I've embarked on the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I'm three-quarters of the way into book one, and am thoroughly swept up in its drama and romance. I bet I'll finish this one by the time the fireworks hit the sky!"

—Angelique Serrano, Beauty Director