Editor’s Note: Books linked here are chosen independently by CNN+ news staff. CNN+ may receive a commission for any purchases made through these links. The following is an excerpt from this week’s “Jake Tapper’s Book Club” newsletter:
A note from CNN’s Jake Tapper: When I started this project, I didn’t expect a Dolly Parton and James Patterson collaboration to be part of our premiere. The country music icon is known for her incredible songwriting, with a roster that includes timeless hits like “Jolene,” “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” and “I Will Always Love You.”
In the literary world, she’s not only written a fantastic memoir I highly recommend – “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics” – she’s made her mark with her non-profit organization that sends hundreds of millions of books to children in rural and impoverished communities around the world.
Parton hadn’t dabbled in fiction, however, until she got a call from one of the most popular best-selling authors in the world, James Patterson. You may know Patterson from the thrillers he’s brought to life, with iconic characters such as Alex Cross, Michael Bennett and those in the “Women’s Murder Club” series.
Patterson had just co-authored with former President Bill Clinton a successful thriller that drew on Clinton’s insider knowledge of being president. Together with Parton, Patterson hatched a plot for a thriller about a young woman trying to make it in the country music business.
Their unexpected collaboration resulted in “Run, Rose, Run,” which tells the story of AnnieLee Keyes as she tries to escape her past to become a famous country music singer.
The book is filled with the kind of detail that could only come from someone who has lived it. Parton also contributed an accompanying album that brings music to the lyrics in the book – a unique and fun package for everyone.
For our first episode of the book club, I flew down to Nashville to hang out with the co-authors to discuss how this one-of-a-kind novel/album came about. Parton also threw in a cool tour of her studio. What a treat.
Lots more to come from all sorts of genres, authors and backgrounds. Hope you enjoy, and welcome to the club.
What else Jake is reading
‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Nigerian-British novelist Oyinkan Braithwaite tells the story of sisters Korede and Ayoola. After Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row ends up dead, Korede steps in to help her sister but she must reckon with how far she’s willing to go to protect her family.
Recommended by the ‘Jake Tapper Book Club’
‘Madam Secretary: A Memoir’ by Madeleine Albright
Albright, a diplomatic force in President Clinton’s administration and the first female US secretary of state, died last week at age 84. Her autobiographical 2003 memoir deftly chronicles her childhood in Europe through the years of her long career in international affairs.
‘When the Stars Go Dark’ by Paula McLain
When Anna Hart, a seasoned missing persons detective, faces tragedy in her own life, she leaves San Francisco for the village of Mendocino in Northern California. But when Hart arrives, she hears about a missing teenage girl whose case sounds eerily familiar to an unsolved murder of another young girl.
‘Moon Witch, Spider King’ by Marlon James
In “Moon Witch, Spider King,” the sequel to James’ award-winning 2019 novel, “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” the story of a boy’s mysterious disappearance is told through the eyes of the 177-year-old witch.
Independent book store spotlight
One of the goals of “Jake Tapper’s Book Club” is to promote independent bookstores across the country. This week, the team salutes one of our favorites, Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.
Not only does P&P have a wide selection, they also host multiple live events and book discussions (many of them virtual since the start of the pandemic).
Do you have a favorite bookstore? Tweet @JakeTapper with your pick and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
What’s coming up on ‘Jake Tapper’s Book Club’
- April 3 – Jake interviews Jean Chen Ho, whose debut book is a collection of short stories about the friendship of two Taiwanese-American women.
- April 10 – Jake sits down with comedian Judd Apatow, author of a new book of conversations with that Apatow conducted with entertainers and celebrities.
- April 17 – Jake speaks with Elizabeth Alexander, the author of a poignant new book, “The Trayvon Generation,” in which she considers the impact the last decade of racial justice uprisings had on Black youth through art.
This article is based on a special edition of the “Jake Tapper’s Book Club” newsletter to celebrate the launch of CNN+. Going forward, the newsletter will be delivered on Sundays with the latest “Jake Tapper’s Book Club” episodes.