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What you should read in 2019

Most avid readers not only read several books at a time, but they have backups close at hand and wish lists of upcoming books to read. Here’s some books due out this year that readers should anticipate compiled from the New York Times Book Review and Publishers Weekly.

Dave Cullen, Edgar Award-winner for Best True Crime in 2009, will apply the same skills he did in his book “Columbine” to examine another school shooting in “Parkland.”

Jeff Guinn writes about good friends Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and, eventually, Harvey Firestone in “Vagabonds.” Beginning in 1914, the triumvirate of inventors went on a road trip to the Florida Everglades, camping along the way. Those road trips would continue until 1925 and included sojourns to the Upper Peninsula.

There will be a plethora of books on a travel destination that will take you a little further than the Upper Peninsula, as the moon landing celebrates its 50th anniversary on July 20. Included are the photographic history “Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments,” by J.L. Pickering and John Bisney, “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race,” by noted historian Douglas Brinkley, and “Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11,” by James Donovan.

Music buffs will appreciate Peter Doggett’s new book “CSNY,” about harmony-rockers Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and fans of the illustrator Theodor Geisel will love “Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination,” by Brian Jay Jones.

Not to be missed is Alex Kotlowitz’s “An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago” on the oppressive gun violence haunting Chicago. Kotlowitz, who once worked on an alternative newspaper in Lansing, first looked at race in America in his book “Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death and America’s Dilemma.”

You can also expect a bevy of books on Donald Trump and his presidency. One anxiously awaited book is “The Best People: The Inside Story,” by Alexander Nazaryan, about cronyism within the Trump adminstrati The titles: “The Border” and “A Dangerous Man” may sound like books on Trump, but they are actually books by two major mystery-thriller writers Don Winslow and Robert Crais.

Joining them are Barry Eisler’s “The Killer Collective,” a crime novel about a child pornography ring, “The Lost Girls of Paris” by Pam Jenoff, an unusual espionage story about a group of World War II spies, and the long-awaited “New Iberia Blues,” by James Lee Burke, which takes us into the Louisiana backwoods.

Three authors we’ve come to expect big things from: Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth McCracken and Margaret Atwood, have books being published this next year.

Whitehead’s new book “The Nickel Boys” follows two inmates at the infamous Nickel reform school in Florida. Atwood will release a graphic novel version of her popular “Handmaid’s Tale” and its sequel, “The Testaments,” which answers the question of what happened to Offred. McCracken creates a compelling family saga in “Bowlaway” about a mysterious woman with a cloudy past who opens a bowling alley in a small New England town.

Books that will take us back in time are “Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot,” by Winifred Conkling, which examines the quest for women’s right to vote, and “The Amusement Park,” by Stephen Silverman, a history of a piece of Americana that still thrills and frightens us today.

George Takei’s look at Japanese internment, “They Called Us Enemy,” takes the form of a graphic novel. “Savage Conversations,” by Leanne Howe, is an eerie mash-up that ties President Lincoln’s mass 1862 execution of 38 Dakota warriors to the hallucinations of Mary Todd Lincoln. In this version, the nightly visit of a “Savage” haunts the opiate-addicted spouse of the president.

The life of a larger-than-life artist is considered in the book “Michael Heizer.” Heizer, who created Lansing’s most famous lost sculpture “This Equals That,” is put under the microscope. Detroiter Jeff Morrison delves into the history of Detroit’s architectural sculpture in the book “Guardians of Detroit: Architectural Sculpture in the Motor City.”

The graphic novel that will surely be on City Pulse writer Lawrence Cosentino’s list is “Nobody’s Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead,” by Bill Griffith, about a micro-cephalic freak show performer and his role in the cult film “Freaks.” Griffith is the creator of Zippy the Pinhead, which itself has reached cult status. Cosentino interviewed Griffith for an article in Pulse when Griffith included Lansing's Knapp’s Centre in a comic strip.

Another graphic novel “Bebop Barbarians,” by Gary Phillips and illustrator Dale Berry, looks at three African American comic book artists in late ‘50s Manhattan. Phillips weaves the jazz scene, the civil rights movement and the Red Scare into a well written and illustrated novel that evokes a conflicted time in U.S. History.

Finally, a book to treasure will be a collection of articles by journalist-author Gabriel Garcia Marquez titled “The Scandal of the Century.”


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