• Washington Post editor David Maraniss—whose books include biographies of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Vince Lombardi—takes on Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World. That year’s Summer Olympics were notable for, among other things, a young boxer named Cassius Clay—later Muhammad Ali.
Writes Maraniss: “Cassius Clay paraded through the village before breakfast, gold medal dangling from his neck. ‘I got to show this thing off!’ he kept boasting. . . . Dallas Long, the bronze medalist shot-putter, said nothing when he came across Clay that morning, but thought to himself ‘This guy is such a jerk. He’s never going to amount to anything.’ ”
• Washington native Breena Clarke’s first novel, River, Cross My Heart—set in the Georgetown of the 1920s, when it was largely African-American—was excerpted in The Washingtonian and later was a pick of Oprah’s Book Club. Clarke’s second, Stand the Storm, is about newly freed slaves and again has a local setting:
“Breezy relief came with the turn of the season in the town. It was as if the breath that had been held all of the hot, stuffy summer was loosed. And the breath brought back all the wiry, lanky, rotund, and lop-legged politicians and profiteers to Washington and Georgetown.”
• Daniel Silva’s 11th thriller, Moscow Rules, is out this month. The globe-hopping novel again stars art restorer and Israeli spy Gabriel Allon. Silva, a onetime CNN producer married to NBC correspondent Jamie Gangel, has acquired a following of avid readers and often-admiring critics.
The author has said of Allon: “He’s not someone you’d actually like to spend a lot of time around. In fact, that’s one of the reasons he’s so interesting to write about.”