Our events take place at several different Olsson's locations, including Dupont Circle, Old Town Alexandria, Crystal City, and Arlington/Courthouse. Please see the individual event for store location. Unless otherwise indicated, events are free, open to the public. We update our events schedule regularly and our website has the most current information. Some of our events are included in The Literary Calendar in the Washington Post, and City Paper generally lists all events under "Books." We also include events held outside the store, for which Olsson's is selling books.
Please contact our Events Coordinator about all event-related inquiries. In addition to our instore schedule, Olsson's can handle books sales at your hosted event, from house parties to guest speakers. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic. In The Demon Under the Microscope, veteran science and medical writer Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine. Sulfa saved millions of lives—among them those of Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.—but its real effects are even more far reaching. Sulfa changed the way new drugs were developed, approved, and sold; transformed the way doctors treated patients; and ushered in the era of modern medicine.
David Carr redefines memoir with the revelatory story of his years as an addict and chronicles his journey from crack-house regular to regular columnist for The New York Times. Built on sixty videotaped interviews, legal and medical records, and three years of reporting, The Night of the Gun is a ferocious tale that uses the tools of journalism to fact-check the past. Carr's investigation of his own history reveals that his odyssey through addiction, recovery, cancer, and life as a single parent was far more harrowing—and, in the end, more miraculous—than he allowed himself to remember.
Author of the new adventure novel The White Mary, Kira Salak has traveled solo to almost every continent, becoming the first person to kayak solo 600 miles down West Africa's Niger River to Timbuktu in Mali. A contributing editor to National Geographic Adventure, her gripping debut novel tells the story of a woman journalist searching the jungles of New Guinea for the truth about a famed war correspondent thought to have committed suicide. Salak, a NG explorer, will discuss her novel and her own tales of adventure. Fee. Call (202) 857-7700 for more information or visit www.nglive.org. Books will be sold by Olsson's.
As a freelance journalist and food writer living in Beijing, Jen Lin-Liu already had a ringside seat for China’s exploding food scene. When she decided to enroll in a local cooking school—held in an unheated classroom with nary a measuring cup in sight—she jumped into the ring herself. In Serve the People, Lin-Liu gives a memorable and mouthwatering cook's tour of today's China as she progresses from cooking student to noodle-stall and dumpling-house apprentice to intern at a chic Shanghai restaurant. A food critic for Time Out Beijing and the coauthor of Frommer's Beijing, she also has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and Food & Wine. She is the founder of Black Sesame Cooking School in Beijing.
The new National Geographic TV Special, Killer Stress (which premieres on PBS September 24), reports on wide ranging discoveries—from studies of baboon troops on the plains of Africa to neuroscience labs in the United States—which show that stress is not just a frame of mind, but something measurable and dangerous. For this premiere screening, executive producer John Bredar and producer/writer John Hemingway will be joined by Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University neurobiologist and author of the best selling Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, for a discussion on the making of and the issues raised by this new National Geographic Special. Fee. Call (202) 857-7700 for more information or visit www.nglive.org. Books will be sold by Olsson's.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Candyfreak comes this collection of essays that explores the truly urgent moral dilemmas of our age, such as the consumption of ham for Chanukah. In (Not that You Asked), Steve Almond documents a life spent brawling with the idiot kings of modern culture. He squares off against Sean Hannity on national TV, takes on Oprah Winfrey, nearly gets kidnapped by a reality TV crew, and winds up in Boston, where he quickly enrages the entire population of Red Sox Nation. Amid the carnage, he finds time to celebrate his literary hero, the late Kurt Vonnegut.
Summer, sweltering, 1996. A book warehouse in western Massachusetts. A man at the beginning of his adult life—and the end of his career rope—becomes involved with a woman, a language, and a great lie that will define his future. Most auspiciously of all, he runs across Itsik Malpesh, a ninetysomething Russian immigrant who claims to be the last Yiddish poet in America. When a set of accounting ledgers in which Malpesh has written his memoirs surfaces, the young man is compelled to translate them, telling Malpesh's story as his own life unfolds, and bringing together two paths that coincide in shocking and unexpected ways. This is the debut novel from the author of Vows and coauthor of Killing the Buddha.
In 2007, David Danelo spent three months traveling the 1,952 miles that separate the United States and Mexico, beginning at Boca Chica, Texas, and traveling to the westernmost limit at Border Field State Park in California. Here the border isn’t just an abstraction thrown around in political debates in Washington; it’s a physical reality, infinitely more complex than most politicians believe. Danelo's reporting digs beneath the debate and attempts to explain the border and related issues—from legal and illegal immigration to NAFTA and border fences—as they are experienced by the people who live and work there. David J. Danelo is a Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War whose work has appeared in the New York Post, Los Angeles Times, Marine Corps Gazette, and Parade magazine. He is also the author of Blood Stripes: The Grunt’s View of the War in Iraq.
In his latest book, survival expert Laurence Gonzales shows how modern society has made us lazy, numbing our awareness to the risks around us. This follow up to his highly acclaimed Deep Survival, which offered advice on surviving extreme situations such as being lost in the wilderness, encourages us to cultivate curiosity, awareness and attention so that we are better prepared to navigate the hazards of everyday life. Whether you are climbing a mountain or the corporate ladder, this presentation will change the way you view your choices in our complex and increasingly dangerous world. Fee. Call (202) 857-7700 for more information or visit www.nglive.org. Books will be sold by Olsson's.
Growing up in a half-white, half-brown town and family in South Texas, Stephanie Elizondo Griest struggled with her cultural identity. Upon turning thirty, she ventured to her mother’s native Mexico to do some root-searching and stumbled upon a social movement that shook the nation to its core. Mexican Enough chronicles her adventures rumbling with luchadores (professional wrestlers), marching with rebel teachers in Oaxaca, investigating the murder of a prominent gay activist, and sneaking into a prison to meet with indigenous resistance fighters. Stephanie Elizondo Griest is also the author of the award-winning memoir Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana and the guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go.
The film Taking Root tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, who led a movement in her native Kenya to safeguard the environment. Maathai became the first woman to both earn a Ph.D. and head a university department in that country. She came to international attention as founder of the Green Belt Movement, which helps restore forests while paying women to plant trees. Through the group, she has helped women plant more than 30 million trees across Africa, and has taken courageous stands for democracy and women’s rights. Screening followed by discussion with Dr. Maathai, filmmakers Alan Dater and Lisa Merton and Chris Tuite, Director of the Green Belt Movement,Washington. Co-sponsored with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. Fee. Call (202) 857-7700 for more information or visit www.nglive.org. Books will be sold by Olsson's.
Susan Gardner, an astute observer of human nature and the natural environment, is skilled at illuminating relationships and drawing contextual meaning from her surroundings. The strength and lyrical appeal of her poems, appearing here both in English and in Spanish, bridge the gaps between the two languages with clarity of meaning and the best poetic values. Her experiences living in Asia, Mexico, and Europe have added depth and dimension to her understanding and profoundly influenced her art-making. Born in New York, she has made her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for almost twenty years.
In 1999, kayaker and adventure writer Jon Bowermaster began a long-term project to explore the world’s seven continents and Oceania by sea kayak. Supported by National Geographic’s Expeditions Council, and documented in a series of films now airing on NG Channel internationally, Bowermaster led teams of photographers, filmmakers and scientists on adventures to places like the Aleutians, the coast of Vietnam, the islands of French Polynesia, and this year, Antarctica. Join Bowermaster as he shares highlights of his latest journey, paddling to the bottom of the world. Fee. Call (202) 857-7700 for more information or visit www.nglive.org. Books will be sold by Olsson's.