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GOOD Books for Summer: Five Not-Too-Trashy Beach Reads GOOD Books for the Beach: Fun and Smart Summer Reads

From sex on the moon to globe-trotting fashion editors to robot revolutions, this week's GOOD Books have oceanside appeal but won't dumb you down.

GOOD Books is a weekly round-up of what we're reading and what we wish we were reading.

It's one of the greatest joys of summer to unwind on the beach with a fun, easy read. That said, none of us wants to waste our time on something too trashy. Here are a few beach reads that will still inspire you and make you think as the pages fly by.


Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
By Ben Mezrich
304 Pages. Knopf Doubleday. $26.95

Read instead of: Anything by Stieg Larsson

While it's hard to find a character as thrilling as Larsson's Lisbeth Salander, the real life NASA-intern-turned-mineral-thief Thad Roberts comes close. A professed adrenaline addict, Roberts executed one of the most daring and unusual heists in recent decades when he stole 17 pounds of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston to give to his girlfriend. Ever the romantic, he spread the moon rocks across his bed like rose petals for an extra special evening (hence the book's title). Yet the happy ending was short-lived; Roberts and his accomplices were caught by the police and spent years in prison. He later spilled the details of his story to Ben Mezrich, who also wrote The Accidental Billionaires, the book from which The Social Network was adapted.

Robopocalypse
By Daniel Wilson
352 Pages. Knopf Doubleday. $25.95

Read instead of: Twilight

Robot books are the new vampire books. Sure, vampires like Twilight's Edward Cullen have always evoked passion and danger, and it's hard to imbue clunky pieces of man-shaped metal with the same sex appeal. But Wilson comes close with Robopocalypse. The story's antagonist, a rogue robot named Archo, sports boyish good looks and mild manners, that is, until he unleashes a virus that turns the underclass of robot slaves against their human masters. What ensues is all-out war between man and machine, and while it sounds cliché, author Daniel Wilson knows his stuff: He earned a doctorate in robotics from Carnegie Mellon and wrote the popular novelty book How to Survive a Robot Uprising. Fans include Steven Spielberg, who plans to turn it into a film in 2013.

D.V.
By Diana Vreeland
216 pages. Da Capo Press. $17.00

Read instead of: Eat, Pray, Love

Sure, Elizabeth Gilbert's prose brings her introspective journey across the globe to life. But before there was Gilbert, there was another lady journalist who whisked readers aroud the world with her memoirs, defining fabulosity for generations to come. Diana Vreeland, or D.V., ruled the fashion world for 50 years during her career as fashion editor at Haper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief at Vogue. She was famous for her bold aesthetic and for saying things like "I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity," waxing poetic about everything from Balenciaga to plastic flamingos and blending fact and fiction in her personal stories. Vreeland's life is an incredible story of risk-taking and success, which perhaps can be attributed to one of her maxims, as recorded in D.V.: "There's only one thing in life, and that's the continual renewal of inspiration."

My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience Store
By Ben Ryder Howe
320 pages. Henry Holt and Co. $25.00

Read instead of: True Prep

In a new memoir, misplaced prep and editor at The Paris Review Ben Ryder Howe recounts a series of strange decisions. First he and his wife, a corporate lawyer, move into the basement of his in-laws' house. Then he decides to help his Korean mother-in-law purchase and run a deli in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood. Editing a literary magazine by day and selling lottery tickets by night, Howe gains a new perspective on the sometimes mundane, sometimes thrilling world of managing one of the ubiquitous bodegas of New York City.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

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Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

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