Read any good books lately? Look no further for the best

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AS MOST of you will soon be on your hols, I bring you a list of the latest summer books, all suitable for taking away and leaving behind on the plane or beach . . .

Jurassic Park. Perhaps the top book of this season, it tells of how scientists managed to isolate elements of Steven Spielberg's childhood and then clone a whole series of movies from these small fragments. Even the name is significant, claims one scientist, because in German Spiel means 'play' and Berg means 'mountain', suggesting that a mountain of play remains still to be excavated.

The Alan Clark Diaries. Using a technique called 'writing-down-what - happens - to - me - every - day -as-it-happens', Alan Clark has managed to take elements of his life in the last 20 years and clone them into a book which, if you look it up, will tell you what, if anything, Alan Clark was doing at any time during the past 20 years. The book is not so good on telling you who Alan Clark was or why one should want to know, but perhaps this will become clear from the forthcoming film version, starring Tony Slattery, or maybe Angus Deayton.

The Maastricht Treaty. This has been described as the single most important piece of legislation that Parliament has considered in a century. It has also been described as totally incomprehensible. Why not buy a copy and decide for yourself?

The Reith Lectures. In this year's Reith Lectures, Edward Said sets out to tackle the vital question: can an intellectual, unaided, read the Maastricht treaty and arrive at an understanding of it? And if so, why has nobody told us? And if not, what are intellectuals for anyway?

The Dave Clark Diaries. Remember Dave Clark, likeable drummer/ leader of the Dave Clark Five (not to be confused with Dave, Dee, Titch, Grumpy, Dozy, Sneezy, Dopey and Under Arrest)? Now at last he has released his diaries of the years of pop, which tell us in great detail how to put up a drum kit and then take it to bits, and in which towns he did it over a number of years.

Boracic Park. New, hard-hitting novel about north London by Martin Amis, who seems to be saying that the law of the jungle is never very far away from north London, especially when you can't find a parking space. Binks, the hero of the novel, leads a gang who will arrange for your car to be stolen, if you can't find somewhere to park, and joy-ridden round for hours till you're ready to use it again.

The NatWest Book of Political Correctness. Based on their political files on their own customers, the NatWest bank has come up with an absorbing guide to what a great bank expects from its customers. This seems to be chiefly a desire to go along with the system, an unwillingness to complain and an ability to stand still for long periods in queues. It does not include the spirit of inquiry or an urge to dissent. Quite right, too; I did two years' National Service with the NatWest and I can't say I enjoyed it, but it made a man of me.

Not a Clause More, Not A Clause Less. The new blockbusting novel from Jeffrey Archer based on the Maastricht treaty. It concerns a top-level plot by Euro-rebels in an unnamed British government who aim to keep us out of Europe by stealing the treaty] Their idea is that by taking away the text, they will prevent it from being implemented. If they also take away the Social Chapter and burn it, they will bring Europe to a halt. In a thrilling final chase, they do actually get hold of the treaty but find to their chagrin that Brussels had another copy all along.

The Ron Clarke Diaries. Remember the great Australian long-distance runner? Oh, come on, surely you do] You really don't, eh? Well, then, this step-by-step, stride-by-stride record, written in many cases as he was actually running, may not be for you.

Brassica Park. If dinosaurs were brought alive today, what would they eat? What would happen if they didn't think much of our modern trees? In this thrilling companion volume to Jurassic Park, we hear of a group of scientists who crack the DNA of prehistoric vegetables and, in an effort to re-create the original ancestor of asparagus, inflict an army of man-eating cabbages and cauliflowers on the Earth.

A Czar Is Born. Following the discovery and authentification of the bones of the Russian royal family, it was only a matter of time before a thriller appeared in which scientists claim to have cracked the Romanov DNA and cloned new claimants to the throne of Russia.

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