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

By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles

Here are four popular new books to read this summer.


W. W. Norton


You may know Claire Messud from great books like 'The Emperor's Children' or 'The Woman Upstairs'. Her new novel, “This strange eventful history” (WW Norton), uses the contours of her own family to tell a story of three generations that ravaged the world from World War II to the 21st century.

Determined to one day become a writer herself, the narrator watches as her father struggles for many unhappy decades to emulate his father's example.

This beautifully written book explores the ways in which family secrets are protected and family myths are shattered.

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

“This strange eventful history” by Claire Messud (WW Norton), in hardcover, eBook and audio formats, available at Amazon, Barnes & Edel And Bookstore.org

clairemessud.com


ministry-of-time-cover-1500.jpg

Simon & Schuster


I see a very nice 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 who serves as a guide to contemporary life. Her first assignment is with the very good commander Graham Gore, who was killed during Franklin's North Pole expedition in the mid-19th century.

Imagine if 'The Time Traveler's Wife' had an affair with 'A Gentleman in Moscow'. You'll like 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 at Amazon, Barnes & Edel And Bookstore.org


eruption-little-brown-900.jpg

Klein, Bruin & 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 hottest collaboration of the summer—or perhaps any summer—Crichton's manuscript has been completed by James Patterson.

The result of this bestselling mash-up is “Eruption” (Little, Brown & Co.), an explosively corny thriller about a volcano about to send millions of tons of lava across Hawaii, potentially threatening 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 Amazon, Barnes & Edel And Bookstore.org

michaelcrichton.com

jamespatterson.com


challenger-cover-1500.jpg

Simon & Schuster


In early 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle rocketed into the sky. Seventy-three seconds later the ship exploded, killing all seven crew members.

The contours of that tragedy are well known, but Adam Higginbotham finds new lessons in his extensively researched new book: “Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space” (Simon & Schuster). He examines the culture of overconfidence that led NASA to ignore warnings and continue as if spaceflight was routine. That wasn't the case then, and (as this sobering book reminds us) it still isn't the case.

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 from Amazon, Barnes & Edel And Bookstore.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 information:


For more reading recommendations, check out these previous book reports by Ron Charles:


Produced by Robin Sanders and Roman Feeser.

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