By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles
Here are just a few of the hottest titles you'll be hearing about this summer:
"The Cave Dwellers" by Christina McDowell (Scout Press) takes its title from a local nickname for the Capital's oldest and wealthiest families, folks who have moved in the shadows of Washington society since their ancestors lived in caves.
This wicked satire opens with the shocking murder of one of those blueblood families, but McDowell's real interest is the bloodless crimes committed in country club dining rooms and private school parties. When one wealthy teenager starts to realize that her solid-gold existence rests on centuries of exploitation, suddenly this whole antique culture seems threatened.
Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter, turns 80 this year, and now he's the subject of an exhaustively researched new biography by Clinton Heylin. "The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling 1941-1966" (Little, Brown) is the first volume of a planned two-part study of the musician's complicated life.
Heylin covers the years from 1941, when Dylan (then named Robert Allen Zimmerman) was born in Duluth, Minnesota, to 1966, when the young folk singer was involved in a motorcycle accident that changed his life, and his music, forever.
"The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941-1966" by Clinton Heylin (Little, Brown) in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon and Indiebound
"The Other Black Girl" (Atria Books) is a debut novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris, which is already being adapted for a TV series for Hulu. It's a wry thriller about a young Black woman who works for New York's most prestigious publishing house. She's so excited when the company finally makes a move to diversify its workforce by hiring a second Black employee. But then, she finds an anonymous note on her desk that says, "Leave ... Now."
Equally witty and insightful – with a touch of creepy magic – "The Other Black Girl" is a sharp critique of the way racism twists office politics and poisons good intentions.
In 2018, Bill Clinton and James Patterson collaborated to publish "The President Is Missing," which went on to become the bestselling novel of the year. Now this power duo is back with another blockbuster, called "The President's Daughter" (Little, Brown).
The story opens with a parent's nightmare magnified by the intrigue of international politics. Two years after leaving office, President Matthew Keating gets a call: His only daughter has been kidnapped by the world's most brutal terrorist. With no army at his command, the former President must try to save her all by himself.
For these and other hot new books, check out your public library or local bookstore. They've got everything you need to take you anywhere you want to go this summer.
Until next time, read on!
For more info:
- Ron Charles, The Washington Post
- Ron Charles' Totally Hip Video Book Review
- indiebound.org (for ordering from independent booksellers)
Story produced by Robin Sanders, Roman Feeser, and Juan Torres-Falcon.
For more summer reading recommendations check out these earlier Book Report features from Ron Charles: