DC's Literary-ish Goings-On

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Books! Funsy, right? Sure. Here are some fun book-related events in DC this week (big week for Politics & Prose). Here are also some of the week's Most Vital book reviews, which you can read in DC, or anywhere.


  • Monday, Jan. 26: Former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie stops by Politics and Prose to talk about his new book, "The Rules of the Game," a novel about torrid aristocratic sex in a French country retreat. 7 PM. [Politics & Prose]
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27: Creative Capitalism author and Slate-founder (the word "Slate" can only be written in the human language in both bold and italics) Michael Kinsley will tell you about all the Important Discussions he's had with Important Rich People like George Soros and Warren Buffett. Brush up against the Importance online, in a practice round, by reading the studiously low-budget-looking Creative Capitalism blog. 7 PM. [Politics & Prose]
  • More depressing economy talk at Dean Baker’s book signing of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy. At Busboys and Poets, 6:30PM. [Busboys and Poets]
  • Holocaust books for a dollar at the Jewish Community Center! 5PM-8PM. [DCJCC]

  • Wednesday, Jan. 28: Melissa Boyle Mahle, the CIA's "top Arabist", will be talking about counterterrorism tactics like trying to convince John McCain to finally tell America how to catch bin Laden, and probably other things outlined in her book, Denial and Deception: An Insider’s View of the CIA. Prices Vary. [Spy Museum]
  • Azar Nafisi, who wrote the very well-received Reading Lolita in Tehran, will stop by Politics and Prose to talk about her new book about growing up during the Islamist Revolution and possibly reading some fun modernist stuff. 7 PM. [Politics & Prose]
  • Hurricane Howie will be playing the piano at Kramerbooks' Afterwards. Cafe music without an acoustic guitar: take advantage of this nice opportunity. 8 PM. [Kramerbooks]
  • Thursday, Jan. 29: Go hear all about how the US bombed Germany and Japan, back during WWII. Marcus Jones, a professor of military history, will explain everything. 6:45 PM; $25. [Smithsonian]
  • Vanity Fair and Wall Street Journal reporter Bryan Burrough will be in town to cultivate local schadenfreude by talking about his new book, The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes. 7 PM. [Politics & Prose]
  • There is nothing more annoying than concerned, type-A parents who micromanage their teen’s education, and that is precisely why you should attend the book signing of Steven Goodman’s College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family. Just imagine the characters. 7:30PM at Barnes and Nobles, Rockville Pike. [Barnes and Nobles]

  • Saturday, Jan. 30: See the New York Times' most famous non-Andrew Ross Sorkin reporter David Sanger and his large-ish new book The Inheritance. It's all about Barry and his Troubles! 6 PM. [Politics & Prose]


The Week in Extremely Important Book Reviews
:

  • John Lanchester takes on Daily Beast blogger/World Bank alum Liaquat Ahamed's new book, Lords of Finance in the New Yorker. The gist of the book is the abbreviated history of the banking industry (from WWI to WWII) in terms of its relationship to the gold standard. Kind of like Daniel Yergin's The Prize, with gold. The book earned a New Yorker-style rave, as Lanchester gushes, "not at all [dry]." [The New Yorker]
  • Pankaj Mishra has a huge article in the New York Times Magazine (technically from last week), which is a profile of Chinese novelist Yu Hua and a sketch of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. [New York Times Magazine]
  • The New Republic's Isaac Chotiner (who himself is literally this week's Talk of the Town) gets around to reviewing Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, which is similar to a Ye Olde Slate "Assessment" of the author, in which Chotiner rehashes what Gladwell's deal is. (Spoiler alert: "The unexpectedness of his explanations often disguises their banality or their error.") [The New Republic]

Additional listings by Malaka Gharib.

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