Heard on the Hill

HOH’s Summer Reading List

There’s something for everyone in these six books

Clockwise from top left, books by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, the Library of Congress, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, reporter Joshua Green and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse make HOH’s summer reading list. (Courtesy Penguin Random House (Lee, Flake and Green), Hachette Book Group (Franken), Library of Congress, and Macmillan Publishers (Sasse))

Recess is one of the few times when Washingtonians can really settle into a good book.

Whether you’re taking time off or just have a quiet office this month, here is HOH’s list of new books for the D.C. congressional nerd to check out this summer.

If you miss clever conservatives …

Following Sen. Ben Sasse on Twitter is fun and all, but you may be starting to miss the Nebraska Republican’s witty anecdotes in hearing rooms, hallways, and on the Senate floor.

Recess is a great time to read his book, “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance,” which was released in May. The book would be particularly interesting to parents as it’s mainly about the young father of three’s strategies for raising children. It’s not a traditional political memoir, but it’s nice sometimes to take a break from politics and learn from a historian (Sasse has a Ph.D. in history from Yale).

If you miss witty liberals …

You can watch him on “Saturday Night Live” reruns, but you can also learn something by another route: reading his latest book, “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.” It came out in May and is full of fascinating stories about the Minnesota Democrat’s entry into politics.

He doesn’t hold back from stories about his campaign and about what lead him to explore the career change from comedy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Franken has made his mark as an outspoken and tough liberal senator, but, is he a giant?

If you miss constitutionalists …

Need a good way to learn a few interesting facts before your boss returns to the office? Sen. Mike Lee, one of the constitutionalists in the Senate, has a new book, released in May, that you might not have had time to read yet.

In “Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government,” the Utah Republican pays homage to historical figures whom he considers the unsung heroes in the writing of the Constitution. The figures are not necessary politicians, but writers and thinkers who shaped the fabric of our laws.

If you just miss going into work …

You might have taken some vacation days, but you’re already missing going through the metal detectors just to get into your cubicle in the Capitol complex. To help with your yearning for Capitol culture, read “The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures” by the Library of Congress, with a foreword from Librarian Carla Hayden.

It’s more visual than anything, so it’s a lighter read. It features more than 200 images of original catalog cards, book covers, and photographs from the archives. The book was released in April.

If you need your administration fix …

To get some perspective on President Donald Trump’s run to the White Houseauthor and reporter Joshua Green’s “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” details the relationship between Trump and White House senior adviser Steve Bannon.

It came out last month and is the product of years of interviews Green conducted leading up to Trump’s win last fall.

Bonus: hot off the press …

Sen. Jeff Flake’s book “Conscience of a Conservative” came out Tuesday. The Arizona Republican, an unapologetic Trump critic, talks about the GOP and why it needs to return to conservative principles. 

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