The Book Report: Washington Post critic Ron Charles (June 2)

Date:


By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles

Here are four hot new books to check out this summer.


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W.W. Norton


You may know Claire Messud from such terrific books as “The Emperor’s Children” or “The Woman Upstairs.” Her new novel, “This Strange Eventful History” (W.W. Norton), uses the outlines of her own family to tell a story of three generations buffeted around the globe from World War II into the 21st century.

Determined to be a writer herself someday, the narrator watches as her father struggles for many unhappy decades to match the example of his father.

This gorgeously written book examines the way family secrets are protected and family myths are polished. 

Read an excerpt: “This Strange Eventful History” by Claire Messud

“This Strange Eventful History” by Claire Messud (W.W. Norton), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org

clairemessud.com


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Simon & Schuster


I see a very fun novel in your future: “The Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley (Simon & Schuster). This delightful mix of historical fact and science fiction is about a secret British agency that plucks doomed people from the past.

The narrator is a young woman serving as a guide to present-day life. Her first assignment is with the very proper Commander Graham Gore, who died on Franklin’s Arctic expedition in the mid-19th century.

Imagine if “The Time Traveler’s Wife” had an affair with “A Gentleman in Moscow.” You’ll love it.

Read an excerpt: “The Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley

“The Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley (Simon & Schuster), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org


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Little, Brown & Co.


Speaking of bringing people back from the past: Fifteen years ago, Michael Crichton died before he could finish his story about a volcano in Hawaii. 

Well, life finds a way! Now in the splashiest partnership of this summer – or perhaps any summer – Crichton’s manuscript has been completed by James Patterson.

The result of this bestseller mash-up is “Eruption” (Little, Brown & Co.), an explosively corny thriller about a volcano that’s about to send millions of tons of lava across Hawaii and possibly threaten all life on Earth. Put on your oven mitts: This is a hot one.

Read an excerpt: “Eruption” by Michael Crichton and James Patterson

“Eruption” by Michael Crichton and James Patterson (Little, Brown & Co.), in Hardcover, Large Print, eBook and Audio formats, available June 3 via AmazonBarnes & Noble and Bookshop.org

michaelcrichton.com

jamespatterson.com


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Simon & Schuster


In early 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle blasted off into a clear blue sky. Seventy-three seconds later, the ship exploded, killing all seven crew members.

The outlines of that tragedy are well known, but Adam Higginbotham finds fresh new lessons in his exhaustively researched new book, “Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space” (Simon & Schuster). He explores the culture of overconfidence that led NASA to ignore warnings and push ahead as though space flight were routine. It wasn’t then, and (as this sobering book reminds us) it still isn’t. 

Read an excerpt: “Challenger” by Adam Higginbotham

“Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space” by Adam Higginbotham (Simon & Schuster), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org

adamhigginbotham.com


For more suggestions on what to read, contact your librarian or local bookseller. 

That’s it for the Book Report. I’m Ron Charles. Until next time, read on!

     
For more info: 

      
For more reading recommendations, check out these previous Book Report features from Ron Charles: 

     
Produced by Robin Sanders and Roman Feeser.



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