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Thursday, July 24, 7:00 pm

Growing up, la Grange heard her white family call Mandela a “terrorist”; after she became one of his three private secretaries in 1997, she referred to him warmly as Khulu, or “grandfather.” This is one of the dramatic changes la Grange, now with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recounts in her memoir of working and traveling with the leader who “not only liberated the black man but the white man, too.” (Viking)

Beer and wine will be available.

ISBN-13: 9780525428282
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Adult, 6/2014

Books for Any Destination

At this time of year, the travel section at Politics & Prose seems to be a favorite destination of its own. Whether planning to venture far or near, travelers peruse our shelves for guide books, maps, portable dictionaries in foreign languages, and a wide array of titles dedicated to travel literature (think of Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence or Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild).

Frequently, we’re also asked to recommend books set in foreign places where travelers are going. But this summer, we’ve chosen to keep our own focus on the United States and have assembled a collection of books set in American locations. Under the heading “Reading Across America,” the titles we’ve selected are displayed in P&P’s front window and on a table on the main floor.

Bound for Nevada? Take a look at Claire Vaye Watkins’ edgy short story collection, Battleborn. Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! is the literary fiction pick recommended for Florida travelers, while readers searching for a story set in Rhode Island should turn to Jhumpa Lahiri’s best-selling novel, The Lowland. Given the popularity of Alaska during these dog days of summer, and the allure of the state’s vast wilderness, our staff suggests Blue Bear, a captivating story of author Lynn Schooler’s life and work in the Alaskan wild and his long quest to find an elusive glacier bear.

The Deep South, of course, is known for producing some of America’s best fiction, so the list of possible choices from that region is rich and long. We settled on William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying for Mississippi and John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for Georgia. And even some states not associated with many authors, like North Dakota, are represented. That explains our selection of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, whose writings about pop culture often draw on his years growing up and working in the Roughrider State.

For all the titles included in our “Reading Across America” display, just click here. Better yet, come visit the store and browse our choices in person. They’ll be featured until the end of July.

Safe travels, whether you’re going by car, boat, plane—or simply by book.

--Brad and Lissa


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Save the date

Sunday, September 7

Family fun throughout the day and a toast to three decades of books, authors, and readers at dusk. More details to come—save the date!


Celebrate Beer Week
with a DC Brewing Tour!

Join us this August for a guided bus tour of DC brewing sites past and present, led by Garrett Peck, author of Capital Beer and Prohibition in Washington, D.C. Spend Saturday afternoon on August 23, 1 – 4 p.m. visiting five hoppy sites and indulge in some libations with tastings at Atlas Brew Works and New Columbia Distillery.

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Only a Few Spots Left: Provence

The team behind P&P’s popular trip to Paris is offering a trip to Provence this October. The model will be the same as Paris: some structure, some free time, discussions, and an opportunity for full exploration and enjoyment of a very special part of the world. A three-day excursion to Marseille is optional.

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Autumn in Italy

Politics & Prose and author Phyllis Theroux invite you to join a small group of congenial travelers this October for a week at Villa Spannocchia, a charming farm estate in Tuscany. Day trips to nearby hill towns, plus a three-day

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Music News

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P&P is excited about the National Book Festival!

(click to view a larger image ▲)


Children and Teens

Are you a Sleuth?

 Summer Sleuths are invited to snoop around the Children & Teens window display for the second week's set of clues. When you’ve solved the mystery, share your answer with the Children & Teens Department to add your name to the Detective Wall of Fame and win a prize from the Little Red Fox. Snoop fast because prizes this week are limited!



New in Hardcover

Book Cover

David Soman
Three Bears in a Boat
(Penguin, $17.99)

Blast from the Past

Book Cover

Marie-Louise Gay
Travels with My Family

(Groundwood Books, $8.95)

read more about these books.


Lunch at the Willard

Sunday, September 14, 12 p.m.