updated 07/11/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/11/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
THE O.C.: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($69.98)
TV's best teen drama got better in its sophomore year, thanks to complex, credible storylines for both the teens and their parents.
LAGUNA BEACH-THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($29.99)
Pleasures don't get much guiltier than MTV's reality series about ultra-shallow West Coast teens.
NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($59.98)
FX's epic plastic surgery drama is literally cutting-edge TV. Spurting blood, stunning twists and top-notch acting are staples, but season 2 outshocks the first and serves up a mind-blowing finale.
MISS CONGENIALITY 2: ARMED AND FABULOUS (PG-13, $27.95)
FBI agent Grade Hart (Sandra Bullock) heads to Vegas and winds up impersonating a showgirl, complete with towering feathered headdress.
GUESS WHO (PG-13, $28.95)
It's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) in reverse when Zoe Saldana brings white fiance Ashton Kutcher home to meet disapproving dad Bernie Mac.
THE UPSIDE OF ANGER (R, $27.95)
Looking for a for grown-ups? Try this comedy drama about a woman (Joan Allen) who takes up with her tippling tor (Kevin Costner) after her hubby runs off.
Best Beach Read
By Finola Hughes and Digby Diehl ($23.95)
This frothy first novel by British actress Hughes (General Hospital) is about—surprise!—a British actress who joins a soap. Plenty of behind-the-scenes dish adds a ring of truth to this fun page-turner.
By Jessica Cutler ($23.95)
A roman a clef from the ex-Senate staffer whose infamous blog chronicled her dalliances with D.C. power brokers last year. It has more delicious detail than he Starr Report.
By Tilly Bagshawe ($23.95)
The spunky granddaughter of a fictional Hollywood legend is hungry for her own taste of stardom in this alluring debut novel.
By Michael D. Eisner ($22.95)
A heartfelt memoir by the Walt Disney CEO of summers filled with wood cabins and gooey s'mores.
By Sarah Vowell ($21)
In a whimsical travelogue, quirky NPR personality Vowell chronicles her pilgrimage to presidential assassination sites.
By Lee Child ($25)
Brooding cop Jack Reacher aids a Gulf War sniper accused of murdering civilians in this thrill-a-minute novel.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (Now through Sept. 7)
The jam band's tours-think the Grateful Dead for a new generation—are a rite of summer.
SANTANA/LOS LONELY BOYS (Now through Oct. 26)
Two generations of Latin rockers make a smooth combo.
AVRIL LAVIGNE/GAVIN DEGRAW (July 17 through Aug. 29)
The skater girl and the piano man team up for a double bill.
ANGER MANAGEMENT TOUR (July 7 through Aug. 13)
Hip-hop heavyweights Eminem and his protege 50 Cent lead a bevy of rap acts, including their respective posses D12 and G Unit.
COLDPLAY (Aug. 4 through Sept. 30)
The band's new album X&Y is filled with arena-ready anthems guaranteed to have crowds swaying in the aisles.
DEUCES WILD TOUR (Aug. 6 through Oct. 30)
Three musical pairs-Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, and the Warren Brothers-are sure to have country lovers going buck wild.
By Tina Miller ($35)
Miller, whose father owns the famed Black Dog restaurant on Martha's Vineyard, goes over basic summer faves—such as grilled lobster with lime butter-that capture that salty air feeling no matter where you're cooking.
THE SPICY FOOD LOVER'S BIBLE
By Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach ($29.95)
"Pope of Peppers" DeWitt offers over 250 heat-intensive recipes. Also included: "cool down" dishes and beverage pairings.
GRILLING FOR LIFE
By Bobby Flay ($22)
The Food Network grill master teaches how to indulge in the summer barbecue spirit without taking a leap off the cholesterol deep end.
GOOD DAY FOR A PICNIC
By Jeremy Jackson ($22.95)
Attention, romantics: Jackson offers up bold alternatives for al fresco fare, such as Crostini with Peaches and Blue Cheese.
THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK
By Barbara Scott-Goodman ($24.95)
The no-fuss recipes, including Clams Casino and Low-Country Pickled Shrimp, aim to get cooks out of the kitchen and at the table in time to catch the sunset.
Best Summer Songs
"Girl" BECK. This bouncy surf groove is pure pop delight.
"GO!" COMMON. A sexy-cool party jam that goes down as easily as a margarita.
"Fix You" COLDPLAY. Every summer needs an anthem. This is it.
"Say Somethin' "MARIAH CAREY. Featuring Snoop Dogg, Carey delivers in this breezy hip-hop ditty.
"Only" NINE INCH NAILS. The neo-new wave tune will have dance fans pounding the beach-house floor.
"Cool" STEFANI. A sweet and shiny ode to staying cool with your ex. Awww.
"La Tortura" SHAKIRA featuring Alejandro Sanz Latin-pop stars team up on this steamy bump-and-grinder.
"My Doorbell" THE WHITE STRIPES. This catchy stomper will ring in your head long after the pool party ends.
Styles of the Season
"CABANA BOY WANTED" TOTE AND TOWEL SET
(St. Tropez Essentials, $145, www.shopkitson.com)
Ladies, you'll probably find at least one volunteer by carrying this flirty beach bag. And it's roomy enough to carry him home in.
(J.Lo, $50, www.shopjlo.com)
The latest sun staple for the young actress set: Nicole Richie and the Olsens are fans of the look.
KUKUI NUT NECKLACE
(Flying Lizard@ Yyette Fry, $34, www.stylism.com)
Some prefer the natural look of the Hawaiian nuts, while color seekers prefer them painted.
Stop your targets cold with a state-of-the-art water gun that chills the H2O, thanks to an insertable freezer attachment.
MM-A800 CAMERA PHONE
Turn this sleek new Sprint cell phone over and it's a bona fide two-megapixel camera, complete with video recording, digital zoom and a self-timer.
BLUE CHILL FREEZER JAR
Tired of warm, drippy daiquiris? This freezable liquid-insulated jar, which fits on all Oster blenders, keeps frozen drinks cold for hours.
Don't want sand or suntan lotion on your pricey iPod? Pop it into this waterproof boom box/radio and crank away.
STRAW COWBOY HAT
(Shady Brady Hat Co., $76, www.shadybrady.com)
Look wildly sexy and protect your face.
E505 DIGITAL MUSIC PLAYER
An MP3 player (345 songs) and FM radio that's the size of a tongue depressor. It also features a display so you can see the name of the song you're playing.
(Mystique, turquoise: $95, Plaza Too, 800-972-4179; coral: $130, Niki B., 310-659-8616)
STEVEN RAICHLEN BBQ TOOLS
($14.99 to $16.99)
You may still overcook the burgers, but you'll at least look like a pro with this new line of spatulas, basters and brushes from the bestselling author of The Barbecue Bible.
(T-Bagsy, $l75 Intermix)
This sometimes spangled, sometimes simple must-have was big on this season's runways.
(Sharper image, $129.95)
A personal propeller that lets kids zoom around underwater at 2 mph. for use in the pool or in the ocean.