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Best summer books 2019: 'Is There Still Sex in the City?,' 'Nickel Boys,' more

If you’re not immersed in a book you can’t put down, you’re not doing summer right. Here are 12 fiction and nonfiction titles rolling out between now and September — each the kind of thing you want to bury your nose in. Summer reading starts now.

‘The Plaza’ by Julie Satow

A glamorous New York landmark gets the biography
Photo Credit: Twelve Books

A glamorous New York landmark gets the biography it deserves in this detailed history by a New York journalist. All the Plaza Hotel’s colorful guests and owners (including, yes, Donald Trump) are here, along with the fictional “Eloise,” and juicy stories from bellmen, maids, cooks and other staff. It’s the portrait of a storied hotel and a bygone Manhattan. (Twelve Books, June 4)

‘Patsy’  by Nicole Dennis-Benn

From the Jamaica-born author of
Photo Credit: Liveright

From the Jamaica-born author of “Here Comes the Sun,” winner of a Lambda Literary Award, comes a new novel dealing with the lives of Caribbean immigrants in New York. The title character leaves behind her 5-year-old daughter and comes to Brooklyn, hoping to rekindle romance with an old friend, Cicely. But life in the big city is not all Patsy hoped it would be. (Liveright, June 4)

'The Ministry of Truth' by Dorian Lynskey

George Orwell published his dystopian classic
Photo Credit: Doubleday

George Orwell published his dystopian classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four” 70 years ago in June. This book tells the story behind the creation of the novel and its brilliant portrait of a totalitarian state and its chilling vocabulary (Big Brother, Thought Police, Doublethink). A totemic book during the Cold War, it is a bestseller once again in the age of “alternative facts.” (Doubleday, June 4)

'Mrs. Everything' by Jennifer Weiner

In Jennifer Weiner's new novel, Jo and Bethie
Photo Credit: Atria

In Jennifer Weiner’s new novel, Jo and Bethie Kaufman — echoes of “Little Women” — are Jewish sisters growing up in 1950s Detroit. Readers follow them through the decades as they grapple with romance, weight loss, feminism, family life. Weiner will discuss the novel with Susan Isaacs at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on June 13. (Atria, June 11)

‘Three Women’ by Lisa Taddeo

Over the course of eight years, journalist Lisa
Photo Credit: Avid Reader Press

Over the course of eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo followed three American women — a North Dakota high school student, a Midwestern wife, a Northeastern entrepreneur — to learn about their sex lives, their marriages, their affairs, their desires. “Three Women” aims to present a portrait of female sexuality in contemporary America, and it’s sure to have people talking this summer. (Avid Reader Press, July 9)

'The Nickel Boys' by Colson Whitehead

On the heels of his Pulitzer Prize- and
Photo Credit: Doubleday

On the heels of his Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel “The Underground Railroad,” comes another fictional exploration of America’s troubled racial past. “Nickel Boys” follows two young black men — Elwood and Turner — sent to a juvenile reformatory in Florida during the Jim Crow era of the early 1960s and explores how they cope with its countless horrors. (Doubleday, July 16)

‘Elvis in Vegas’ by Richard Zoglin

By the time he opened at the International
Photo Credit: S&S

By the time he opened at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in July of 1969, Elvis Presley might have seemed washed up, past his prime. But over the next seven years, his sold-out Vegas shows rejuvenated him, and he rejuvenated Vegas. This account of the King’s spectacular third act is by the author of “Hope: Entertainer of the Century,” a biography of Bob Hope, and “Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America.” (Simon & Schuster, July 23)

‘Beijing’ Payback,’ by Daniel Nieh

In this debut novel, Chinese-American college student (and
Photo Credit: Ecco

In this debut novel, Chinese-American college student (and basketball bencher) Victor Li travels to Beijing to investigate his father’s murder after the shock of learning that the mild-mannered immigrant restaurateur had been involved in an international crime syndicate. “Beijing Payback” is both a crime thriller and an immigrant story that explores the gap between the generations. (Ecco, July 23)

‘Chances Are. . .' by Richard Russo

The new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Photo Credit: Knopf

The new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Empire Falls” and “Nobody’s Fool” is set on Martha’s Vineyard, where three Baby Boomers converge for a reunion of sorts, revisiting their 1960s college friendship and the mystery of what happened to their friend Jacy Rockafellow, who disappeared from their lives after a momentous Labor Day weekend on the Vineyard back in 1971. (Knopf, July 30)

‘Barnum’ by Robert Wilson

Was
Photo Credit: S&S

Was “America’s Greatest Showman” also one of the 19th century’s great Americans? This biography of P.T. Barnum, creator of the Barnum & Bailey Circus and famous for acts such as Jumbo the Elephant, the Feejee Mermaid and Swedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind, explores his fundamental notion of “humbuggery” — deceits that could both attract and please audiences. (Simon & Schuster, Aug. 6)

‘Is There Still Sex in the City?’ by Candace Bushnell

Yes -- a sequel of sorts. The narrator
Photo Credit: Grove

Yes — a sequel of sorts. The narrator is a 50-something New York woman whose dog dies and whose husband asks for a divorce within the first six pages of the book. Like its predecessor, it’s a dishy report on the friendships and sex lives of New Yorkers, now inescapably middle-aged. Bushnell will discuss the novel at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on  Aug. 12. (Grove Press, Aug. 6)

‘Inland’ by Téa Obreht

Who expected a western from the Croatian-born author
Photo Credit: Random House

Who expected a western from the Croatian-born author of “The Tiger’s Wife,” which garnered critical praise and prize nominations? “Inland” is set in the Arizona Territory in 1893, and follows the parallel stories of frontier mother Nora and former outlaw Lurie. But this is no boilerplate Louis L’Amour yarn — there are ghosts, camels and other fantastical elements. (Random House, Aug. 13)

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