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Current Events

Tuesday, October 21st at 6:30pm

Jen Lin–Liu for ON THE NOODLE ROAD


A food writer travels the Silk Road, immersing herself in a moveable feast of foods and cultures and discovering some surprising truths about commitment, independence, and love.

"Thrilling... While carbo–loading in Tibet, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Iran, among many other stops, Lin–Liu serves up insights on these societies–with a focus on women's roles–along with generous helpings of detail and humor. A–." –Entertainment Weekly







Wednesday, October 22nd at 6:30pm

Harry L. Katz for MARK TWAIN'S AMERICA


An unflinching account–in words and pictures–of America's longest war by an outspoken graphic journalist.

MARK TWAIN'S AMERICA features spectacular examples of Twain memorabilia and period Americana from the unsurpassed collections of the Library of Congress: rare illustrations, vintage photographs, popular and fine prints, period views, caricatures, cartoons, maps, and more. Excerpts from Twain's writings are framed in a lively narrative by author Harry L. Katz.





Sunday, October 26th at 7:00pm

John Derek Croteau for MY THINNING YEARS


As a child, Jon tried desperately to be his father's version of the all–American boy, denying his gayness in a futile attempt to earn the love and respect of an abusive man. With this he built a deep, internalized homophobia that made him want to disappear rather than live with the truth about himself. That denial played out in the forms of anorexia, bulimia, and obsessive running, which consumed him as an adolescent and young adult.

It wasn't until a grueling yet transformative Outward Bound experience that Jon began to face his sexual identity. This exploration continued as he entered college and started the serious work of sorting through years of repressed anger to separate from his father's control and condemnation.

My Thinning Years is an inspiring story of courage, creativity, and the will to live—and of recreating the definition of family to include friends, relatives, and teachers who support you in realizing your true self.



Monday, October 27th at 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Laura Kasinof for DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE BULLETS


Laura Kasinof studied Arabic in college and moved to Yemen a few years later-after a friend at a late–night party in Washington, DC, recommended the country as a good place to work as a freelance journalist. When she first moved to Sanaa in 2009, she was the only American reporter based in the country. She quickly fell in love with Yemen's people and culture, in addition to finding herself the star of a local TV soap opera.

When antigovernment protests broke out in Yemen, part of the revolts sweeping the Arab world at the time, she contacted the New York Times to see if she could cover the rapidly unfolding events for the newspaper. Laura never planned to be a war correspondent, but found herself in the middle of brutal government attacks on peaceful protesters. As foreign reporters were rounded up and shipped out of the country, Laura managed to elude the authorities but found herself increasingly isolated–and even more determined to report on what she saw.



Tuesday, October 28th at 6:30pm

Emily St. John Mandel for STATION ELEVEN


Nominated for a National Book Award. An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would–be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

"Station Eleven is so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn't have put it down for anything."

– Ann Patchett





Monday, November 3rd 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Diogo Mainardi for THE FALL


THE FALL is a memoir like no other. Its 424 short passages match the number of steps taken by Diogo Mainardi's son Tito as he walks, with great difficulty, alongside his father through the streets of Venice, the city where a medical mishap during Tito's birth left him with Cerebral Palsy.

As they make their way toward the hospital where both their lives changed forever, Mainairdi begins to draw on his knowledge of art and history, seeking to better explain a tragedy that was entirely avoidable. From Marcel Proust to Neil Young, to Sigmund Freud to Humpty Dumpty, to Renaissance Venice and Auschwitz, he charts the trajectory of the Western world, with Tito at its center, showing how his fate has been shaped by the past.

Told with disarming simplicity: by turns angry, joyful, and always generous, wise and surprising, THE FALL is an astonishing book.





Wednesday, November 5th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Fuminori Nakamura for LAST WINTER, WE PARTED


Instantly reminiscent of the work of Osamu Dazai and Patricia Highsmith, Fuminori Nakamura's latest novel is a dark and twisting house of mirrors that philosophically explores the violence of aesthetics and the horrors of identity.

A young writer arrives at a prison to interview a convict. The writer has been commissioned to write a full account of the case, from the bizarre and grisly details of the crime to the nature of the man behind it. The suspect, a world-renowned photographer named Kiharazaka, has a deeply unsettling portfolio–lurking beneath the surface of each photograph is an acutely obsessive fascination with his subject.

He stands accused of murdering two women–both burned alive–and will likely face the death penalty. But something isn't quite right. As the young writer probes further, his doubts about this man as a killer intensify, and he struggles to maintain his sense of reason and justice. Is Kiharazaka truly guilty, or will he die to protect someone else?

Evoking Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Ryƫnosuke Akutagawa's "Hell Screen," Fuminori Nakamura has crafted a twisted tale that asks a deceptively sinister question: Is it possible to truly capture the essence of another human being?





Sunday, November 9th at 7pm

Kramerbooks Presents Nicola Griffith for HILD


A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild

In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore: the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early Middle Ages–all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith's luminous prose. Working from what little historical record is extant, Griffith has brought a beautiful, brutal world to vivid, absorbing life.





Monday, November 10th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Robert Bausch for FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE


Bobby Hale is a Union veteran several times over. After the war, he sets his sights on California, but only makes it to Montana. As he stumbles around the West, from the Wyoming Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakotas, he finds meaning in the people he meets-settlers and native people-and the violent history he both participates in and witnesses. Far as the Eye Can See is the story of life in a place where every minute is an engagement in a kind of war of survival, and how two people-a white man and a mixed-race woman-in the midst of such majesty and violence can manage to find a pathway to their own humanity.

Robert Bausch is the distinguished author of a body of work that is lively and varied, but linked by a thoughtfully complicated masculinity and an uncommon empathy. The unique voice of Bobby Hale manages to evoke both Cormac McCarthy and Mark Twain, guiding readers into Indian country and the Plains Wars in a manner both historically true and contemporarily relevant, as thoughts of race and war occupy the national psyche.





Tuesday, November 11th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Matt Higgins for BIRD DREAM


"Perversely entertaining... In a truly intoxicating read that was hard to put down, Matt Higgins has managed to make real a world about as far removed from daily life as it gets." – Daily Beast

"Matt Higgins cracks open this astonishingly dangerous sport and captures the spectacular adrenaline surges it delivers." – The Wall Street Journal

A heart-stopping narrative of risk and courage, Bird Dream tells the story of the remarkable men and women who pioneered the latest advances in aerial exploration–from skydiving to BASE jumping to wingsuit flying–and made history with their daring.

Matt Higgins will be in-conversation with wingsuit pilot and BASE jumper Chris Mort.





Wednesday, November 12th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Sheila Weller for THE NEWS SORORITY


For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism. After fierce struggles, three women–Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour–broke into the newsroom's once impenetrable "boys' club." These extraordinary women were not simply pathbreakers, but wildly gifted journalists whose unique talents–courage and empathy, competitive drive and strategic poise–enabled them to climb to the top of the corporate ladder and transform the way Americans received their news.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, The News Sorority crafts a lively and exhilarating narrative that reveals the hard struggles and inner strengths that shaped these women and powered their success. Life outside the newsroom–love, loss, child rearing–would mark them all, complicating their lives even as it deepened their convictions and instincts. Life inside the newsroom would include many nervy decisions and back room power plays previously uncaptured in any media account. Taken together, Sawyer's, Couric's, and Amanpour's lives as women are here revealed not as impediments but as keys to their success.





Sunday, November 16th 7:00pm

Kramerbooks Presents Jack Miles for THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF WORLD RELIGIONS


A landmark work in which the six major, living, international world religions speak to readers in their own words.

This magisterial Norton Anthology, edited by world-renowned scholars under the direction of Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Miles, offers a portable library of more than 1,000 primary texts from the world's major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism (Volume 1): Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Volume 2). The anthology brings together foundational works–the Bhagavad Gita, the Daodejing, the Bible, the Qur'an–with the writings of scholars, seekers, believers, and skeptics whose voices over centuries have kept these religions vital. To help readers encounter strikingly unfamiliar texts with pleasure, this Norton Anthology provides accessible introductions, headnotes, annotations, pronouncing glossaries, maps, illustrations, and chronologies. It also includes a dazzling general introduction by Jack Miles that questions whether religion can be defined and illuminates how world religions came to be acknowledged and studied, absorbed and altered, understood and misunderstood.

For readers of any religion or none, The Norton Anthology of World Religions opens new worlds that, as Miles writes, invite us all "to see others with a measure of openness, empathy, and good will... In that capacity lies the foundation of human sympathy and cultural wisdom."





Monday, November 17th 6:30pm

Janet Sims-Wood for DOROTHY PORTER WESLEY AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY


When Dorothy Burnett joined the library staff at Howard University in 1928, she was given a mandate to administer a library of Negro life and history. The school purchased the Arthur B. Spingarn Collection in 1946, along with other collections, and Burnett, who would later become Dorothy Porter Wesley, helped create a world-class archive known as the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and cemented her place as an immensely important figure in the preservation of African American history. Wesley's zeal for unearthing materials related to African American history earned her the name of "Shopping Bag Lady." Join author, historian and former Howard University librarian Janet Sims-Wood as she charts the award-winning and distinguished career of an iconic archivist.





Tuesday, November 18th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Sarah Wildman for PAPER LOVE


Years after her grandfather's death, journalist Sarah Wildman stumbled upon a cache of his letters in a file labeled "Correspondence: Patients A-G." What she found inside weren't dry medical histories: instead what was written opened a path into the destroyed world that was her family's prewar Vienna. One woman's letters stood out: those from Valy–Valerie Scheftel. Her grandfather's lover who had remained behind when he fled Europe six months after the Nazis annexed Austria.

Valy's name wasn't unknown to her – Wildman had once asked her grandmother about a dark-haired young woman whose images she found in an old photo album. "She was your grandfather's true love," her grandmother said at the time, and refused any other questions. But now, with the help of the letters, Wildman started to piece together Valy's story. They revealed a woman desparate to escape and clinging to the memory of a love that defined her years of freedom.

Obsessed with Valy's story, Wildman began a quest that lasted years and spanned continents. She discovered, to her shock, an entire world of other people searching for the same woman. On in the course of discovering Valy's ultimate fate, she was forced to reexamine the story of her grandfather's triumphant escape and how this history fit within her own life and in the process, she rescues a life seemingly lost to history.





Wednesday, November 19th 6:30pm

Kramerbooks Presents Roy Peter Clark for HOW TO WRITE SHORT


America's most influential writing teacher offers an engaging and practical guide to effective short-form writing.

In HOW TO WRITE SHORT, Roy Peter Clark turns his attention to the art of painting a thousand pictures with just a few words. Short forms of writing have always existed-from ship logs and telegrams to prayers and haikus. But in this ever-changing Internet age, short-form writing has become an essential skill. Clark covers how to write effective and powerful titles, headlines, essays, sales pitches, Tweets, letters, and even self-descriptions for online dating services. With examples from the long tradition of short-form writing in Western culture, HOW TO WRITE SHORT guides writers to crafting brilliant prose, even in 140 characters.





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