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5 books not to miss: Bob Woodward's Trump book ‘Rage,’ Ayad Akhtar’s ‘Homeland Elegies’


Barbara VanDenburgh   | USA TODAY
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In search of something good to read? USA TODAY's Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.

1. “Rage,” by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, nonfiction, on sale Sept. 15)

What it’s about: Veteran Washington Post journalist Woodward interviewed President Donald Trump extensively for this revealing look at an embattled presidency facing a pandemic, racial unrest and a suffering economy.

The buzz: Early leaks of the book’s details have been explosive – including an admission from Trump that he was “playing” down the threat posed by COVID-19.

2. “Homeland Elegies,” by Ayad Akhtar (Little, Brown, fiction, on sale Sept. 15)

What it's about: The latest from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Akhtar is a deeply personal work that defies easy categorization and grapples with Pakistani American identity in a post-9/11 America.

The buzz: An upcoming ★★★½ (out of four) review for USA TODAY calls this “bracing and revealing” book “a symphony about America.”

3. “The Evening and the Morning,” by Ken Follett (Viking, fiction, on sale Sept. 15)

What it’s about: Follett’s sequel to his best-selling “The Pillars of the Earth” is a rich historical epic set in England’s Middle Ages – a violent time on the cusp of a new era.

The buzz: “Follett's fans will enjoy this jaunt through the days before England was merry,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

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4. “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America,” by Maria Hinojosa (Atria, nonfiction, on sale Sept. 15)

What it’s about: In this unflinching portrait of a country in crisis, the Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor of NPR’s Latino USA explores the history of immigration in America and tells the story of her own family’s migration to Mexico.

The buzz: A starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it “a powerful memoir that doubles as an essential immigration primer.”

5. “Piranesi,” by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, fiction, on sale Sept. 15)

What it’s about: The best-selling author of “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” returns with a strange and dreamlike new work of metaphysical fantasy in which a narrator who goes by the name Piranesi roams a labyrinthine house and speaks to The Other.

The buzz: “Weird and haunting and excellent,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.