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5 Books by DC-Area Writers to Read This Month

By Lindsay Garbacik  | April 15, 2020 | Lifestyle

Our sequestered state of mind delivers one bonus: more time to spend with great local writers.


The Man Who Came Uptown (Mulholland Books, $27) by George Pelecanos

Michael Hudson spends his days in prison reading books given to him by the young prison librarian, Anna. After working with her prized student, Anna develops quite the soft spot for him, until one day Michael is suddenly released. It soon comes to light that a private detective manipulated a witness during his trial. Now he must choose between the woman who showed him a new path or the man who got him out. Explore DC through the eyes of Pelecanos in this crime story.

More about the writer: Before becoming a bestselling and Emmy-nominated writer (Treme), Pelecanos grew up in the District and worked everywhere from bars to restaurants to a shoe store. Pelecanos has written 21 crime novels all based in and around the District.

The Ninth Hour (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24) by Alice McDermott

One of the most widely praised books of 2017, Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour tells the story of an Irish immigrant who takes his life during tough times in the early part of the twentieth century—and the aftermath that ensues for those in his life. His death tests the demands of love and sacrifice, through multiple generations.

More about the writer: McDermott is a master storyteller of the Irish-American experience, and has created masterpieces like Charming Billy and At Weddings and Wakes. Now working as the professor of humanities at John Hopkins University, Mcdermott has an illustrious and prolific career of writing award-winning novels. Her 2013 novel, Someone, was long-listed for the National Book Award, while three of her previous novels were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

A Minute to Midnight (Grand Central Publishing, $20) by David Baldacci

Novel number two in David Baldacci’s Atlee Pine Series, FBI agent Atlee Pine returns to her hometown in Georgia to investigate her twin sister’s abduction, only to encounter a serial killer in the mix. If you like this one, Baldacci has another thriller due for release this fall titled Walk the Wire.

More about the writer: A life-long Virginian, Baldacci has published 40 bestselling novels. His first, Absolute Power, was adapted into a film starring Clint Eastwood. While Baldacci continues to produce bestselling books, he also works on his family’s Wish You Well Foundation (, established by Baldacci and his wife, Michelle, working to support family and adult literacy programs across the United States.

The Guest Book (Flatiron Books, $28) by Sarah Blake

This fictitious novel from New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Blake, begins in 1935 and follows three generations of a powerful American family. After tragedy strikes the seemingly perfect Milton family, they purchase an island in Maine that continues to plague the family for generations to come.

More about the writer: No stranger to the happenings of DC, Blake has taught fiction writing workshops at George Washington University and the University of Maryland.

Sweet Love (China Grove Press, $25) by Alyce Miller

This collection of short stories by award-winning author Alyce Miller transports readers through the experiences of 12 different lives. The insightful stories include the hopeful yet anxious energy of teenage girls on their first unsupervised trip, a missing college girl and prison love. Miller brings each story of love and the many avenues of the world to life in this collection of stories.

More about the writer: Born in Zurich Switzerland, Miller has written three award-winning short story collections, in addition to two other books. Miller taught creative writing at Indiana University for 20 years before moving to the DC area.

Tags: at home books

Photography by: David Lezcano/Unsplash