What does a University Book Store bookseller do on vacation, you ask? Why, visit other book stores, of course!

Our children’s bookseller Jenny was on holiday in the other Washington (D.C., of course) and couldn’t help but stop by one of her favorite East Coast book stores, Politics & Prose. It’s always nice to visit with fellow Indie book shops, browse the shelves, and inhale that delicious, book-y smell.

Eccentric tourist destination? Perhaps. Wonderful tourist destination? Definitely.

The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day! Says Entertainment Weekly:  “A novel that’s just about the pink suit worn by Jackie Kennedy that day in Dallas? Yes - and it’s terrific!”

Planning to give a copy to your mother? Print out our eCard to go along with it!

Plus, Nicole Mary Kelby will be at Politics & Prose on Mother’s Day! Be sure to stop by and see her if you’re in the area.

I look at the world around me and see all these empty faces. Most people live on a day-to-day basis, trapped by the horrors of routine. But I want none of it. Absolutely not one bit. 

Here’s what I want: I want to travel, I want to explore, I want to breathe in life at every opportunity, but above all else I want to make a real difference in my lifetime. I want to make better and do better every single day.

A person may ask why. Here’s my answer: I want to because the world itself is hurting and I must do all that I can to undo that, or I will live a meaningless and unjust life. 

Many people label me “radical” or “unrealistic” with my philosophies, but to that I say this: if you saw the world for what it truly is, or for how it is, or you lived as someone whose identity is profusely political, you too would feel this way. 

If this is how you’ll remember me, a traveler with impossible destinations, then that is fine. I will rest knowing that at least I tried. And for me, that will be enough.

—  journal entries: mission statement // c.m.h

Literally one of the best readings I’ve ever attended.

See what I did there?

The second piece was so graphic, four people fainted. The last one was so good, I looked around the room and realized almost everyone there was leaning forward in anticipation.

He’s got charisma for days, this one. Also you can see those biceps from the back of the room. I’m pretty sure he spends every waking moment doing curls. Or maybe it’s just all the swag he lobs at the audience.

Candy. Dog toys. Rubber severed arms.

After he tossed the candy, he said, “You know the difference between the U.S. and Canada? When I do this in Canada, the people who catch the bags open them up and share with their neighbors [long stare followed by laughter and guilty sharing].”


My friend Courtney took the top picture of me answering questions after my reading at Politics and Prose. It’s one of the best independent bookstores in the country and I’ve been a regular customer there since I was a kid, so it is an honor and a thrill to see my novel on the store’s bestseller list! (All bestsellers are 20% off, so even if you don’t live in Washington, you can order the book from P&P’s website.)

And Hannah Oliver, one of the amazing booksellers at Politics and Prose, took the bottom two pictures of me next to my “Desert Island Reads.” I picked five books for a display at the store: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton; and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

It was hard to choose just five books. Others on my list of favorites include The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark; Moby-Dick by Melville; The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald; Middlemarch by George Eliot; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro; The End of the Affair by Graham Greene; Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson; My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides; and the collected poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson. 

I could go on.

Who says you have to wait until September for some SPX action?

Not us!

The Small Press Expo is co-sponsoring a tremendously cool comics event for our DC-area people, hosted by our good buds at Politics and Prose (if you ask me, the crown jewel of Washington, DC’s independent bookstores).  

The incredible Guy Delisle is coming to Politics & Prose on April 26th, touring in support of the English translation of his latest graphic novel, Jerusalem, debuting this month from our friends at Drawn & Quarterly.

D&Q has a great preview of Jerusalem online that you should most assuredly check out if you are unfamiliar with Guy’s work. Delisle is famous for his first-person travelogues from places like Burma, North Korea and China.  

In Jerusalem he recounts a year his family spent in Israel while his wife worked with Doctors without Borders.  Originally published last year as Chroniques de Jérusalem, the graphic novelwon the Angoulême Comics Festival Prize for Best Album in 2012.

As a little extra bonus, EVERYONE who picks up a signed copy of Jerusalem at the April 26th event will also receive a FREE PASS to the 2012 Small Press Expo.

That’s pretty rad, right?

We would absolutely love it if you’d help share the word about the event. 

So tell your comics-loving pals to come on out next Tursday, April 26th to see Guy Delisle at Politics and Prose. Start time is 7:30 PM!

Let’s show Guy a great welcome in DC!

It’s not about being published. That’s a wonderful problem to have and I wish it on all writers, because it is a joy. […] If you can go a year without writing and feel just fine, you’re not a writer. So what. It’s actually a good piece of news, now you’re free to go find out what the hell you’re supposed to do.

Andre Dubus III from this reading/question and answer session at Politics & Prose, one of my favorite bookstores.

Dubus talked to a member of the audience who seemed shy about calling herself a writer, and this was his answer: “I bet you can’t go three four days without feeling far from [yourself],” he said, to which the young woman agreed. “Alright so forget published, you’re already a writer. You’re stuck with it.”

I think about this a lot.

Say what you will about cops, but it seems like a lot of them are brutes.

Racist brutes, it would appear. 

In America there is this strange tension between rights and authority. There always will be, appropriately. What cops are gradually learning, in 2015 and certainly not fast enough, is that they aren’t the shit. All of this authoritarian bullshit stems from the Drug War anyway. It developed out of the 80s JUST SAY NO bullshit and on from there. 

Now people are, like, “Look, fuck you." 

What annoys me are the people who say Sandra Bland was a bitch, that she was difficult, that she wouldn’t put out her cigarette! 

Fuck you, people, I say. Why did she all of a sudden have to put out her cigarette? Control, that’s why. If they can make you do a little thing, they can maybe make you do a big thing. And if you disobey the random, completely meaningless request to put out your cigarette? Then your ass goes down. 

Fuck these cops. I see how they work.