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Best summer books 2018: Megan Abbott’s ‘Give Me Your Hand,’ Anne Tyler’s ‘Clock Dance,’ more

As surely as summer brings beaches, ice cream, picnics and backyard barbecues, it also means summer reading — long, relaxing days where there is nothing better to do than lose yourself in a good book. Here are 12 titles, both fiction and nonfiction, being published this season, and they’d all be worthy additions to your summer reading list.

'The President is Missing,' by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Not since Margaret Truman (daughter of Harry S.)
Photo Credit: Alfred A. Knopf

Not since Margaret Truman (daughter of Harry S.) penned “Murder in the White House” has an author been better suited to a book. Or in this case, authors — the 42nd president here teams up with mega-bestselling thriller writer Patterson (the Alex Cross series, etc.) to imagine what would happen if the U.S. Commander in Chief . . . well, you know. Clinton and Patterson appear at Book Revue in Huntington on June 28. (Little, Brown and Co. / Alfred A. Knopf, June 4)

'Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous,' by Christopher Bonanos

Photographer Arthur Fellig -- better known by the
Photo Credit: Henry Holt

Photographer Arthur Fellig — better known by the name he adopted, Weegee — was a peerless documentarian of crime and street life in New York during the 1930s, '40s and '50s. An immigrant boy from an eastern European shtetl who grew up on the Lower East Side, he is legendary for his images of crime scenes, dead bodies, grieving relatives, cross-dressers and perps. This zesty biography is by a city editor at New York magazine. (Henry Holt, June 5)

'The Secrets Between Us,' by Thrity Umrigar

The author's bestselling 2006 novel,
Photo Credit: HarperCollins

The author’s bestselling 2006 novel, “The Space Between Us,” told the story of two Mumbai women: one an upper-middle class housewife, the other her servant from the slums. It explored the friendship between them — and the class difference that divided them. Another tale of female friendship and immersive experience of contemporary India, this sequel follows servant Bhima as she goes into business running a market vegetable stall with a woman even older and less fortunate than she. (Harper, June 26)

'Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer,' by Margalit Fox

What if the creator of Sherlock Holmes were
Photo Credit: Random House

What if the creator of Sherlock Holmes were himself called upon to do some sleuthing of his own? It sounds like the setup for a Hollywood movie, but it actually happened. In this book by New York Times obituary writer Fox, we learn how Arthur Conan Doyle sought to prove the innocence of a Jewish immigrant gambler being railroaded for the murder of a wealthy Glasgow woman in 1908. (Random House, June 26)

'Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip,' by Richard Ratay

The advent of U.S. interstate highways in the
Photo Credit: Scribner

The advent of U.S. interstate highways in the 1950s gave birth to the family road trip, as millions of Americans and their kids piled into their station wagons and lit out for Gettysburg, Yosemite, Mount Rushmore and other iconic destinations, stopping at Howard Johnson’s and Holiday Inns along the way. Part family memoir, part popular history, this book might just inspire some old-school four-wheel family vacations this summer. (Scribner, July 3)

'Clock Dance,' by Anne Tyler

A new novel by the award-winning author of
Photo Credit: Knopf

A new novel by the award-winning author of “The Accidental Tourist,” “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” and “A Spool of Blue Thread” is always a welcome occurrence. In this, her 22nd book, Tyler offers a warmly sympathetic portrait of selfless Willa Drake through snapshots of her life in 1967, 1977 and 1997, culminating with a present-day section where she finds herself caring for her son’s ex-girlfriend. (Alfred A. Knopf, July 10)

'Give Me Your Hand,' by Megan Abbott

Female friendship always gets a dark twist in
Photo Credit: Little, Brown

Female friendship always gets a dark twist in the irresistible psychological novels of Megan Abbott (“Dare Me,” “You Will Know Me”) — and her latest is no exception. Here, two high school friends who bond and fall out in chemistry class re-encounter one another as competitive adult researchers in a science lab where the stakes of their competition are vastly higher. (Little, Brown and Co., July 17)

'Tropic of Football: The Long and Perilous Journey of Samoans to the NFL,' by Rob Ruck

Junior Seau. Marcus Mariota. Troy Polamalu. Why have
Photo Credit: The New Press

Junior Seau. Marcus Mariota. Troy Polamalu. Why have so many pro football players hailed from the tiny South Pacific American territory of Samoa? In this intriguing new book, sports historian Ruck (“The Republic of Baseball”) argues that “Samoans redefined the game’s meaning and made it a way to shout their story to the world.” Physical prowess is only part of the equation; so is the Samoan culture that prizes “discipline and warrior bearing.” (The New Press, July 24)

'Mary B,' by Katherine J. Chen

Jane Austen's
Photo Credit: Random House

Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” has probably inspired more retellings, sequels and spinoffs than any novel in the English language, among them Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Eligible,” P.D. James’ “Pemberley” and — who can forget? — Seth Grahame-Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Katherine J. Chen enters the Austen sweepstakes with this novel focused on plain, bookish Mary Bennett, the overlooked sibling of Jane, Lizzy, Kitty and Lydia. (Random House, July 24)

'Ninety-nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret,' by Craig Brown

If Season 2 of
Photo Credit: FSG

If Season 2 of “The Crown” on Netflix whet your appetite for more of Queen Elizabeth’s scandalous younger sister Margaret (played by Vanessa Kirby), cozy up with this volume by English critic and satirist Brown. It's not a biography so much as a cultural assessment of the royal who was forbidden to marry a divorcee and wed a commoner instead. Brown sums her up thus: “She took a perverse pleasure in saying the wrong thing, ruffling feathers, disarming, disdaining, making her displeasure felt.” (FSG, Aug. 7)

'If You Leave Me,' by Crystal Hana Kim

Readers who loved the Korean family saga in
Photo Credit: William Morrow

Readers who loved the Korean family saga in Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko” last year might turn to this debut novel by a Korean-American writer who grew up in Jericho. Inspired by her own grandmother’s story, “If You Leave Me” centers on 16-year-old Haemi, whose life is upturned when the communist army of North Korea invades her village and she is forced into a refugee camp, finding solace in her clandestine romance with childhood friend Kyunghwan. (William Morrow, Aug. 7)

'Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of "Little Women" and Why It Still Matters,' by Anne Boyd Rioux

The recent Masterpiece Theater adaptation of Louisa May
Photo Credit: W.W. Norton & Co.

The recent Masterpiece Theater adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1868 classic proves the theory advanced by the subtitle of this book: “Little Women” still matters. A professor at the University of Orleans, Boyd Rioux charts the phenomenon of the book’s success and the deep identification that readers — chiefly girls and women — feel with it. (W.W. Norton & Co., Aug. 21)

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