Best Readings

Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 364-1919

This is a more competitive category than you might think. Olsson’s, particularly its Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle outposts, regularly plays host to many top-shelf authors—particularly those from small presses like MacAdam/Cage and Akashic, which don’t have the budgets to finance big-deal author tours. The Borders on 18th and L does right by K Streeters by making itself a haven for establishment wonks—Tom Daschle and Dee Dee Myers are among the folks who recently had signings there—while Busboys & Poets attracts writers who’d like to kick them to the curb. And last year, Bourbon in Adams Morgan paired up with Chicago-based culture zine the Modernist to host readings by Porochista Khakpour and other up-and-comers. But these are all enthusiastic welterweights going up against the 800-pound gorilla that is Politics & Prose, which is a magnet for pretty much every major English-speaking author in God’s creation. Counting just novelists alone, the place has recently welcomed Laura Lippman, Richard Price, Scott Simon, Lionel Shriver, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more. Any author who says he or she wouldn’t cherish the opportunity to read here is probably lying.

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