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Who better to give advice about beach reading than in-house lawyers with access to the hottest books? Corporate Counsel asked general counsel at two leading publishing houses and a major bookstore to come up with a summer reading list fit for Montana fly-fishing or Hamptons sunbathing. Here’s the skinny. “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is out, Robert Caro’s “Master of the Senate” is in. So off to the beach. Just bring a duffle bag to tote around some hornbook-size texts. Meanwhile, as Oprah Winfrey disbands her book club, maybe it’s time for general counsel to start one of their own. HARRIETTE DORSEN Senior vice president and general counsel, Random House The legal department: Dorsen is general counsel in the legal division with eight other attorneys. She reports to the chief financial officer, Edward Volini. What she reads and recommends: Dorsen will jet to Montana and the coast of Oregon to visit friends this summer. “I’ll have to find some Western literature,” she says. In the meantime, she recommends a few new Random House books. She just finished Ann Packer’s “The Dive from Clausen’s Pier.” “It is a first novel and a serious book.” Moving from the obscure to the dense but wildly popular, Dorsen recommends Robert Caro’s “Master of the Senate.” “It’s so well written, and yes, it is a very large and a serious book, but it’s not dry or heavy, and it is absolutely fascinating reading,” she says. Off the beaten track, she likes a minor classic, the first suspense novel ever written by Wilkie Collins. Dorsen says “The Woman in White” is an engaging psychological thriller. What was your favorite book while growing up? “In college, I loved 19th-century Russian literature. I reread “Anna Karenina” recently, and reading it as a mature adult, I read the book differently than as a college student. This time I had total sympathy for Anna’s husband, who behaved so nobly.” For kids, Dorsen suggests E.B. White: “I still cannot read ‘Charlotte’s Web’ without crying.” CAROL ROSS Senior vice president, business affairs and general counsel, AOL Time Warner Book Group Inc. The legal department: New York-based AOL Time Warner Book Group Inc. is a two-lawyer department within the AOL Time Warner leviathan. Ross reports to the chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner Book Group, Lawrence Kirshbaum. What she reads and recommends: “I read our own books; it’s part of what makes this job fun,” says Ross. “This place is as much about art as it is about money; every corporate experience is not similar.” AOL Time Warner Books has published a number of lawyers-turned-authors, including Scott Turow, David Baldacci, Brad Meltzer and Tim Green. Ross is currently reading “Atonement” by Ian McEwan; Sena Naslund’s “Ahab’s Wife”; and Brad Meltzer’s “The Millionaires,” an AOL Time Warner book. She also recommends Henry Louis Gates’ “The Bondwoman’s Narrative,” which is the oldest selection of fiction writing by a slave. And for the beach: “Anything by James Patterson, Michael Connelly, Nelson DeMille or David Baldacchi.” What was your favorite book while growing up? As a mother, Ross would love for her daughter to read “Ben and Me,” a book about a mouse who claims credit for all of Ben Franklin’s inventions: “I just can’t get her interested, though.” BRADLEY FEUER Counsel, Barnes & Noble Inc. The legal department: Feuer is the only in-house lawyer at Barnes & Noble and reports directly to the CFO. Prior to joining the bookstore chain, he was with the New York offices of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The 34-year-old is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. A first-time general counsel, he likes to read books by first-time authors. Feuer has an eclectic, no-nonfiction reading list. And, like his publishing colleagues, he reads his company’s books before they make their way into stores. What he reads and recommends: “‘The Guru of Love’ by Samrat Upadhyay — It’s his first novel, which comes out in January 2003. I just read “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, a Canadian writer. It’s a great summer book. It’s about a journey across the ocean for survival.” On a more serious note, Feuer suggests “In the Casa Azul” by Meaghan Delahunt, which tells the story of Leon Trotsky’s life in exile. What was your favorite book while growing up? In high school on Long Island, Feuer loved “The Natural” by Bernard Malamud. “What made the book great is its un-Hollywoodlike ending,” he says. “It’s really about tragedy.”

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