Book Talk: Winter Reading Roundup

by Erica Moody

Put down your phones and pick up a book this holiday season.

Photo Courtesy Unsplash

By Therese Anne Fowler
Any book about society life must include a scandal, and this novel of the Vanderbilts is no exception. The life of Alva Vanderbilt, at times socially scorned and a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, is explored in this work of historical fiction set in Gilded Age New York. (St. Martin’s Press)

By Seymour Hersh
John le Carre called Washington-based journalist Hersh’s memoir “essential reading for every journalist and aspiring journalist the world over.” In it, Hersh describes how journalism has changed in the 50 years he’s been on the scene and recounts how he got his biggest scoops by revisiting the Watergate scandal and more. (Alfred A. Knopf)


Edited by Edwin O. Guthman and C. Richard Allen
This inspiring collection of speeches, accompanied by remarks from notable historians and public figures, honors Robert F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death. For those longing for the days of eloquence in the White House, RFK’s statements on topics like poverty and race will feel timely. (William Morrow)

By Michelle Obama
The beloved former first lady gets candid in her memoir, with humorous and never-before-heard anecdotes and revelations, including her struggles to conceive via in-vitro fertilization and her first impression of Barack Obama (she was not impressed with his sense of style) told in the relatable tone America loves her for. (Crown Publishing Group)

By John Carreyrou
The shocking true story of Silicon Valley con artist Elizabeth Holmes, founder & CEO of the now-defunct health technology company Theranos, is revealed in every juicy detail in Carreyrou’s expose. The book is a continuation of an investigation the Wall Street Journal reporter conducted for the paper, after receiving a tip from a medical expert regarding the blood testing device. (Penguin Random House)

By Ben Sasse
“We’re the richest country in history but we’ve never been more pessimistic,” writes Ben Sasse. The Nebraska senator argues that our current crisis is not about politics but rather about loneliness. No matter where you may fall politically, it’s an argument worth examining. (St. Martin’s Press)

By Kathy Wang
Members of a Silicon Valley family deal with the impending death of its patriarch (specifically, what the presumed inheritance will mean for their lives) in Wang’s celebrated debut. Well-developed characters (unlikable as they may be) serve to illuminate what a status-centered worldview does to your psyche. (HarperCollins)

By Rebecca Traister
The latest book from the bestselling author of “All the Single Ladies” could not have come at a more appropriate time. One of the Washington Post’s top ten books of the year, “Good and Mad” examines how women’s anger has and will continue to prompt political movements. (Simon & Schuster)

By Jill Lepore
In her ambitious new book, New Yorker writer Jill Lepore chronicles the complex history of the Unites States while probing to see if historical events deliver on the American ideals set forth by the founding fathers. NPR’s Michael Schaub called it “a masterpiece of American history.” (W.W. Norton)

By Shomari Wills
“Black Fortunes” is the previously untold true story of six African American entrepreneurs who escaped slavery and became millionaires. They include the author’s great-great-great grandfather, an enterprising Virginia landowner. (HarperCollins)

By Madeleine Albright
Plenty of political books have been penned in reaction to Trump’s presidency but this one from a true expert is worth reading. The first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state brings her depth of experience and knowledge to explore fascism and its impact in the twentieth century. (HarperCollins)

This article appeared in the Holiday 2018 issue of Washington Life Magazine.

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