By Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles
With summer on the horizon, you might be looking for a new book to savor while on vacation. Here are a few you might like:
“Gold diggers” (Penguin), a debut novel by Sanjena Sathian, has already been picked up by Mindy Kaling for an upcoming TV series. This effervescent social satire is about the children of Indian immigrants determined to succeed in America while honoring the culture of their parents.
The narrator is a high school student who discovers that the young American Indian girl next door has found a magical way to melt gold jewelry and drink it to ingest all the dreams and hopes invested in that brilliant bling.
Spirit and tender, it is a 24 carat work of genius.
Sanjena Sathian (Penguin) ‘Gold Diggers’, in hardcover, eBook and audio formats, available through Amazon and Indiebound
Sanjena Sathian (sanjena.com)
Read an excerpt from “Gold Diggers”
Maggie Shipstead’s “Great circle” (Knopf) contains two interwoven stories: one is a burgeoning historical tale about a young woman in the early 20th century who dreams of piloting airplanes. Decades later, a disgraced actress makes a film about this legendary pilot when she discovers a surprising secret.
With allusions to the life of Amelia Earhart, this gripping novel contains wrecks and plane crashes, soldiers and gangsters – and at the center of it all is a woman who will sacrifice everything to reach the clouds.
“Great circle” by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf), in hardcover, eBook and audio, available May 4 via Amazon and Independent
Read an excerpt from “Great Circle”
Shortly after Richard Wright published his classic novel, “Native Son,” in 1940, he wrote another book titled “The man who lived underground” (Library of America). It begins when a black man is arrested by white cops and charged with murder. They made a false confession to him, but he escapes into the sewers where he watches the city from the subway.
Wright’s editor rejected the novel, but a few years ago the full manuscript was discovered, and now this lost masterpiece is finally available – and just as relevant as ever.
“The man who lived underground” by Richard Wright (Library of America), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available through Amazon and Independent
Read an excerpt from “The man who lived underground”
Richard Wright’s daughter on his new book, “The Man Who Lived Underground” (CBSN)
If you like a beautiful story and good music, discover the audiobook version of Brandi Carlile’s new memoirs, “Broken horses” (Random home audio). It tells the story of an immensely talented young woman emerging from a difficult childhood to discover her voice, her sexuality and her audience.
Six Grammy Award winner Carlile recounts this audiobook herself, and best of all, each chapter ends with her solo versions of her own songs, or songs by Dolly Parton, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and others – more than 30 pieces in all.
“Broken horses” by Brandi Carlile (Random House Audio), in audio formats, available via Amazon and itunes
Listen to a sample of Brandi Carlile reading “Broken Horses”:
Meanwhile, the political climate is heating up for giants like Google and Facebook. Senators on both sides of the aisle – Democrat Amy Klobuchar (“Antitrust: seizing power from monopolies from the golden age to the digital age”) and Republican Josh Hawley (“The tyranny of big technologies”) – each has just published books warning of the dangers posed by Big Tech monopolies.
Until next time, read on!
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Story produced by Robin Sanders, Roman Feeser and Charis Satchell.