August 26, 2009
Sybil Steinberg reviews DC resident Eugenia Kim’s new novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, in Washington Post‘s Book World. Steinberg praises the sensitivity of the novel, commenting that “Kim’s account acquires depth and immediacy as she draws vivid pictures of wartime poverty and hardship.” Steinberg closes by writing, In quietly recording the arc of a woman’s experience from idyllic childhood through harrowing adulthood, Kim mirrors the changing nation. The ending of the book is somewhat rushed, as Kim tries to encapsulate events in the […]
August 25, 2009
President Obama reportedly brought a copy of George Pelecanos’ most recent novel, The Way Home, on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. I wonder if he would be a guest reviewer?
August 21, 2009
Yvonne Zip reviews Eugenia Kim’s The Calligrapher’s Daughter in the Christian Science Monitor. Zip notes, “Kim builds a patient spell, carefully orienting American readers who probably know little of this chapter of history. . . Fans of Lisa See’s or Amy Tan’s novels should eagerly embrace [the main character] Najin, and The Calligrapher’s Daughter bids fair to become a staple of book clubs. While the story is Najin’s, its true subject is Korea’s occupation by Japan.”
August 21, 2009
Garrett Graff, the 28-year-old blogging pioneer, has taken over as editor-in-chief at The Washingtonian. Stepping into the shoes of Jack Limpert, who held the reins at the magazine for an incredible 40 years, the young journalist comments that his new role is “partly a reflection of just how Washington is changing. The city right now is not just younger than it has been traditionally in the past, but much richer in terms of culture and arts and restaurants.” Graff explains that he […]
August 12, 2009
This guide to the historical landmarks of D.C. succeeds in presenting a thoroughly unique viewpoint of the city and its long and colorful history. Through a combination of anecdotes and images of historical sites — both existing and long gone — each destination has its own story, ranging from the political to the criminal. Dividing the city by neighborhood, rather than into walking paths, this portable little book is indispensable for anyone interested in the history behind the geography.
July 15, 2009
The strength of Walls’s narrative lies in her ability to completely absorb herself in telling the story, without allowing herself time or space to inject judgment or analysis. More than just an incredible story, “The Glass Castle” showcases Jeannette Walls’s clear talent with a pen and her undeniable prowess as a storyteller.
July 8, 2009
Jessica Cutler, author of The Washingtonienne, reviewed Grant Ginder’s This Is How It Starts. Cutler found it lacking in inspiration, comparing the work to Jay McInerneny’s Bright Lights, Big City. Cutler comments, “Ginder’s prose is rarely amusing or enjoyable. Perhaps it’s moony and aimless on purpose — all part of the ennui and disillusionment, as though the characters are intentionally cliche because Washington is really like that.” Ouch. Sounds like another great DC political thriller.
July 7, 2009
Washington Post Staff Writer Kate Kilpatrick laments the forthcoming close of a Capitol Hill landmark, the Trover Shop. Though the plethora of political material in the store is less to my liking, many lament it’s passing. Kilpatrick relates: Bookstore enthusiasts walking along Pennsylvania Avenue during lunch break yesterday were confronted with sobering news: After 51 years in business on Capitol Hill, Trover Shop is closing. Bright-orange fliers announcing 20 percent off merchandise were taped around the shop before the 7 a.m. opening. […]
July 4, 2009
Politics and Prose is a pleasant stop in a weekend stroll with its friendly staff, frequent author visits, and good selection of good books… What more could I ask for?
Perhaps a Columbia Heights location. But until then, I will schlep all the way out to Van Ness to get my calming bookstore fix.
June 29, 2009
The Washington Post has reviewed Politics and Prose, the oasis of literature out (way out) in Van Ness. While Staff Writer Thomas Heath got a little closer to the subject than I could, even interviewing owners Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade about the financial state of the store, check out my own experience with the bookstore.
June 26, 2009
Title: Ever is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi’s Dark Past Author: W. Ralph Eubanks ISBN: 9780738205700 Pages: 256 Release Date: August 2003 Publisher: Basic Books Genre: Memoir Source: Library Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Summary W. Ralph Eubanks prefaces his first book with his son’s innocent question: “Daddy, what’s Mississippi like?” Eubanks finds himself torn between protecting his children from the harsh truth of segregation, as his parents attempted to do in his own childhood, and educating them on the […]
June 10, 2009
Check out The New Republic‘s take on Busboys and Poets, penned by associate editor Eve Fairbanks. Fairbanks says, “Like the Obama movement, [Busboys owner] Shallal set about divorcing liberalism from granola and marrying it with a sexy, modern, faintly intellectual hipness. Busboys’s ceiling is coffered, the chandeliers are modish, the CD player loops Amy Winehouse and Akon, there are no grimy plastic tubs to bus your own plates, and only a couple of dishes on the menu feature tofu. Busboys is a […]
June 10, 2009
Busboys and Poets, a self-proclaimed progressive bookstore/restaurant, runs the risk of merely packaging social justice and cultural awareness into a neat bundle for a new crowd moving into the neighborhood: one that is richer, whiter, and in search of a cooler Starbucks.
June 5, 2009
Jonathan Yardley, former editor of and current reviewer for the Washington Post‘s Book World, shuns standard political novels, preferring instead the works of Jones and Pelecanos, two revered names that come up time and again in discussions of D.C. literature.