Thanks for all the excellent summer reading suggestions. I've filled my online shopping cart, and expect to get a bunch of new books next Monday, when I have to turn in the latest draft of CERTAIN GIRLS, so that all works out.

But I am hereby declaring the greatest thing I have read all summer to be Robert Olen Butler's my-wife-done-left-me-to-join-Ted-Turner's-stable letter to his graduate students, which is all over the Internets.

Seriously, this thing is a masterpiece of passive-aggressive, self-aggrandizing hilarity in which Olen Butler manages to mention his Pulitzer twice, divulge candid details about his wife's health and history that most of us would just as soon keep private, and make himself sound like a saint ("She says I saved her life.") A saint with a Pulitzer.

It's going to be very hard for any book to top this.