Art Bechenstein – son of a renowned gangster – has very little direction when he steps out of the library and into the summer of his graduating year. It is then, after spending his four college years in virtual solitude, that he meets Arthur Lecomte. As the final summer of his youth plays out, Art’s family and social circles, which he has actively worked to keep separate, begin to intersect. In this captivating and classic coming-of-age story (now an awful movie), Chabon tackles sexual identity, betrayal and father-son dynamics in an expertly crafted first novel. It is also on our boot camp list so why wouldn’t you read it?