The Story: “The book is on the topic of bullying and specifically how someone who experiences bullying can get through it,” Nochera says. “The main character is a goat named Joey and he’s different because his name is Joey and not Billy. Most kids are bullied because they’re different. A Goat Named Joey promotes the idea to love your neighbor as yourself. When you fight for and speak up for yourself, you can become your own hero.”
Author Inspiration: Nochera is a father of three, ages 7, 5 and 2. He began working on A Goat Named Joey when he heard the news that he would be a father for the first time. “I quickly realized I wanted my child not just to survive, but to thrive as well. I thought, ‘What gifts do I have that could help her on her way?’ I was bullied in my youth. I don’t want her to be bullied, but if she ever is, she’ll have this story that I wrote for her.”
The Story: After her husband, Sean, is killed in a hit-and-run accident, Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. “The book is about Georgie trying to raise her son after Sean is killed,” Mitchell says. “She is a physicist by profession and she starts asking questions about her husband and his death. She doesn’t stop until she reaches the highest rungs of power in the nation. Along the way, she is led to question everyone she knows and everything that she thought was true.”
NoVA Neighborhoods: In the novel, Mitchell references over a dozen Arlington locations. “MedStar Capitals Iceplex is one that’s mentioned,” she says. “And Northside Social is in the book.” Other Arlington name-drops include Crystal City Shops, Jackson Street during Halloween and Crystal City Water Park.
What’s on your wish list this year?
“Beloved books deserve the best accessories, right? Jazz up that bookshelf with these chic, wise owls!”
What’s your favorite NoVA holiday tradition?
“Every holiday season I love to go out for a totally decadent afternoon tea with my mom and sister. It’s our gift to each other (and ourselves!). There’s no more perfect place than the Ritz-Carlton at Tysons Corner: The delicate sandwiches and precious confections are almost too pretty to eat, the setting is gorgeous, oh, and the tea is good too (try the caramel blend!). We spend hours chatting, laughing, catching up, and that’s, of course, the best treat of all. Well … that and the fact that they also serve Champagne!”
Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and is a commentator for CNN.
As I write this on Thursday afternoon, Boris Johnson has announced he will put a motion to Parliament for a general election to be called for December 12th. This would be the first December election since 1923, which produced a hung Parliament. Gulp.
If this is to be a Brexit election, the Conservative strategists need to devise a campaign which cannot be thrown off balance by Labour doing what they did in 2017, and campaign on anything other than Brexit. Admittedly, Theresa May gave them ample excuse to do that.
We keep hearing that the Prime Minister’s advisers were divided on the question of when to hold an election. The traditional Conservatives, led by Sir Eddie Lister, wanted to fight it after Brexit has been delivered whereas the Vote Leave gang, under Dominic Cummings want to make it a People v Parliament election – which by definition is rendered rather pointless if we have already left the EU during any extension which the EU grants.
The Lister argument is not persuasive to many people for the simple reason that no one ever thanks a government for what it has done, no matter how successful it is. They want to know what you’re going to do next.
Winston Churchill found out this political truth the hard way in July 1945. Attlee stormed to victory. I have little doubt that the Tories are currently in a good place to win an immediate election. That opportunity may not arise again for some time.
I have little doubt that many Labour MPs will vote against an election on the basis that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Jeremy Corbyn is in a very difficult position, since he keeps saying how much he wants an election, and would definitely vote for one once an extension to Article 50 is granted – which is presumably will be today (Friday).
The only possible reason he could surely give for not agreeing to an election is that a No Deal Brexit can’t be ruled out in December 2020, at the end of the Transition Period. I can’t believe that will wash with anyone apart from diehard Remainers.
– – – – – – – – – –
What is a true conservative? And note the small ‘c’. On this week’s Delingpod you’ll find a 75 minute chat between James Delingpole and myself in which he accuses me of not being a proper conservative and being a bit ‘squishy’. I am apparently not ‘sound’ enough on the key issues that matter to ‘proper’ conservatives, apparently.
Who knew? I don’t really like labels, and while I self-identify as a conservative, I also hold a lot of liberal views. I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. You can be a fiscal conservative at the same time as being a social liberal.
– – – – – – – – – –
I really should know better. On Tuesday night, I was on a Newsnight panel which included the rather impressive Liam Thorp, political editor of the Liverpool Echo. Emily Maitlis threw him a question about Boris Johnson, and he immediately launched into a little spiel about how the city of Liverpool expects him to apologise for what he published (but didn’t write) about Liverpool 15 years ago.
I interjected. “He already has done; how many apologies would you like him to make?” Liam retorted that since he was now Prime Minister he should apologise again, this time from the Dispatch Box. I’m not sure the camera caught my eye-roll. Anyway, I thought little more of it until my Twitter timeline started to fill up with Outraged of Croxteth calling me all the names under the sun.
Calm down, calm down, I thought, channelling my inner Harry Enfield. (Bugger, I’ve done it again, haven’t I?). The next morning someone alerted me to a follow-up article Liam had written for his newspaper, which carried the headline…
“LBC radio host’s Newsnight jibe at Liverpool over Boris apology call – Iain Dale suggested the Prime Minister doesn’t need to say sorry, but here’s why we say he’s wrong”
Liam publicised it by tweeting: “No offence to Iain – but his comments about Boris Johnson and Liverpool show he doesn’t understand the hurt caused to this fine city.
And all because of one, brief interjection. Bloody hell, he came to a lot of conclusions based on that, didn’t he? I then rather stupidly responded: “Nothing Boris Johnson could ever say would satisfy you. He didn’t even write the editorial, yet you think he should wear sackcloth and ashes 15 years on. You’d do better to write about how a Labour council has consistently failed Liverpool. That’s the real scandal.”
I’ve experienced the wrath of the scouser on a couple of other occasions, so I don’t know why I should be surprised by the reaction. Yesterday morning I even get an email from the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson wanting to debate the whole issue on my radio show.
I politely declined, given what I knew would be the inevitable response. I have absolutely nothing against Liverpool as a city, or indeed its people. But I have the right to express the view that the Adelphi Hotel, when I stayed in it in 2011 was one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in. I have a right to say that I like Glasgow as a city better than Liverpool.
People can disagree with me, but no one is going to shut me up. And, no, I don’t believe Johnson owes Liverpool a repeated apology. There are plenty in the queue for one ahead of Liverpool, I suspect!
I also suspect that my new book The Big Book of Boris – a collection of Borisisms – might not make it into the Liverpool branch of Waterstone’s.
Cooler temperatures and quiet evenings make fall the perfect season to drop back into reading. Even though you can’t stick your toes in the sand while flipping the pages, here are the books local bookstore owners and librarians are recommending, from infants to older adults.
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Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler – Each year, tiny Miss Maple collects lost seeds and takes care of them all winter, before sending them off in the spring to find places to sprout and grow. –Diana Price, Youth Services Manager, Alexandria Library
Summer Green to Autumn Gold by Mia Posada – Preschool and early elementary-aged children learn why the leaves change color each autumn in this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book. –Diana Price, Youth Services Manager, Alexandria Library
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste – In this spooky but hopeful story for middle-grade readers, an 11-year-old girl has to tap into an ancient magic in order to save her village from creepy creatures. With its roots in Caribbean folklore, The Jumbies is a frightening, fun and original tale of courage, friendship and fantasy. —Lelia Nebeker, Book Buyer, One More Page in Arlington
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver – One night changed Ben DeBacker’s life when they come out as nonbinary to their parents, get kicked out and move in with their estranged sister. All Ben has to do is stay under the radar, but a cute boy named Nathan Allen has different plans. —Isaiah West, Teen Services Coordinator, Alexandria Library
Guts by Raina Telgemeier – In Guts, Raina Telgemeier knocks it out of the park yet again. Witty and honest, this graphic memoir from the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and multiple Eisner award-winner takes on a tough topic: fear. —Ellen Klein (and her staff), owner of Hooray for Books!
Bad Unicorn by Platte Clark –Bad Unicorn follows the hilarious misadventures of Max Spencer, who accidentally became one of the greatest sorcerers ever to live! With his uncooperative spell book and unlikely friends in tow, he must navigate an alternate world with unicorn royalty, Princess the Destroyer, on his tail. —Ellen Klein (and her staff), owner of Hooray for Books!
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater – On Nov. 4, 2013 on a bus in Oakland, California, a queer teen named Sasha was set on fire by a boy named Richard. It seems clear that Richard is a hateful monster, but as we all know, nothing is as simple as it seems. —Isaiah West, Teen Services Coordinator, Alexandria Library
Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner – Young readers who enjoyed Raina Telgemeier’s books will devour this hilarious graphic novel about a sixth grader who will do whatever it takes to stand out—even if it means pretending to be a vampire in order to impress the slayer-obsessed girl he loves. It turns out, though, that pretending to be a vampire to impress a potential slayer comes with just a couple of complications. Even if the reader in your life isn’t a fan of vampires, they’ll definitely be able to relate to AJ’s desire to fit in. —Lelia Nebeker, Book Buyer, One More Page in Arlington
Cider House Rules by John Irving – Fall in New England. Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch—saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted. –Katie Dow, Adult Services Manager, Alexandria Library
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Nothing gets you ready for the holidays like this Christmas Classic. A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. –Katie Dow, Adult Services Manager, Alexandria Library
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara – You may not have heard of Milicent Patrick, but you definitely know the classic monster she helped to design: the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Part memoir of O’Meara’s own experiences in movie making, and part biography of a hidden figure, The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Milicent Patrick in her rightful place in monster movie history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since. —Lelia Nebeker, Book Buyer, One More Page in Arlington
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – Sinuous, sinister and surreal, Carmen Maria Machado’s original debut collection of stories are full of heart, horror and healing in equal measures. Each story is a dark, shimmering cut into the human psyche, exploring the twists and turns of women’s existence, the shadows that haunt their minds, and the damage done unto them over the course of their lives. —Lelia Nebeker, Book Buyer, One More Page in Arlington
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – A group of 30-something friends from Oxford meet for a holiday on an estate in the Scottish Highlands, and by the end of the trip, one of them ends up dead. If you like Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries, toxic too-close friendships doused with a hefty layer of old money and Dom Perignon, and gorgeous remote settings, The Hunting Party will be a quick and intoxicating read. —Lelia Nebeker, Book Buyer, One More Page in Arlington
A post shared by Lauren Liess (@laurenliess) on Oct 8, 2019 at 6:20am PDT
Lauren Liess continues to be on the up and up. The woman behind interior design firm and textiles company, Lauren Liess & Co. (founded 11 years ago and based in Great Falls), is now on HGTV with her own show, Best House on the Block, and continues to work with clients throughout the Northern Virginia region.
Most recently, Liess released her newest and second book, Down to Earth: Laid-Back Interiors for Modern Living on Oct. 8, showcasing her signature designs made for easy living. The book features design tips on how to incorporate nature and approachability into readers’ homes, alongside vivid photos and advice on creating a lifestyle of both creativity and functionality.
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In celebration of Down to Earth, Liess will hold a book tour party on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Ballard Designs at Tysons Corner Center from 7 to 9 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Liess and get their copies of the book signed. The event will also include light hors d’oeuvres and Champagne.
For those who won’t be able to make the event in Tysons, they can mark their calendars for Thursday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 14, when Liess will be back in town for two more tour stops, at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria and Nest Egg in Fairfax, respectively. // Ballard Designs: 8084 Tysons Corner Center, Tysons; book tour event free, Down to Earth $38
Virginia Wine Travel Journal (2019)
By Nancy Bauer
This is an indispensable companion on any trip exploring Virginia’s many wine countries. The spiral-bound book is a primer on grapes, trends, top talent, best bottles, a directory of all the wineries in Virginia and how to tour each region. There’s also some sage advice: Don’t be afraid to spit. “Since almost no one spits, one of the unanticipated benefits is that the staff will assume you’re a wine aficionado.” (Virginia Wine in My Pocket, $15)
The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine
By Karen Page with Andrew Dornenburg
If you’re familiar with this married couple’s encyclopedic tomes of food knowledge (see: The Flavor Bible), then their cunning use of adjective-heavy lists will feel just right when it’s used to help dissect varietals. Regions (there’s a Virginia entry!) and styles are also sliced into tidbits of information ranging from flavors and textures of grapes to food pairings and world-class producers. (Little, Brown & Company, $35)
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course (2018)
By Kevin Zraly
The industry-approved essential reading for beginners learning about wine, Windows on the World’s 400 pages are a compilation of classes Kevin Zraly taught from the wine school inside the restaurant 107 stories in the sky at the top of the World Trade Center. The book has been updated numerous times since its publication in 1985, and remains the final word on wine. (Sterling Epicure, $28)
The New Wine Rules
By Jon Bonné
Wine doesn’t have to be fussy and precious and intimidating. Sure, there are a lot of grapes and grape-growing regions around the world, but mostly, drinking wine should be about pleasure. Jon Bonné, the former wine editor and critic at San Francisco Chronicle wrote a slim, assured guidebook with rules that are just as funny as they are dead-on (“Not every new-wave wine is cool. Not every classic wine is uncool.”) and just plain helpful (“Don’t save a great bottle for anything more than a rainy day.”). (Ten Speed Press, $15)
Grasping the Grape
By Maryse Chevriere
Understanding wine is a mix of two things: the variety of the grape and where the grape grew. Maryse Chevriere takes the importance of grapes to the extreme, filling in a backstory and persona, a parable, really: “There are those who are bright, easy and cheerful; excited and ready to welcome you … And then there are those who are more guarded and reserved … who require time to open up and reveal the complexities of their personality. Nebbiolo is very much the latter.” She completes each lesson on grapes with pairings, flavors and textures and a whimsical illustration of its personification. (Hardie Grant, $15)
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition
By Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack
Built for the visual age, flush with infographics and bullet points, Wine Folly is a comprehensive guide not just to types of wine, but the entire process from how much water to drink to avoid a headache (a glass of water to match each glass of wine) to winemaking techniques, pairing methodologies and full-page explainers on each grape with illustrations of flavors, scales for body and tannins, growing regions, decanting time and how much money to spend. Besides its use as a teaching tool, Wine Folly is a master class in how good design is just as important as clear writing. (Avery, $35)
Calling all bookworms, casual readers and those looking to get more into reading: The 19th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival returns on Saturday, Aug. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the free and open-to-the-public event will feature bestselling authors, novelists, historians, poets, children’s writers and more, including presentations by acclaimed chef José Andrés and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The National Book Festival will host more than 140 authors, illustrators and poets on stages to present their work. Guests can hear talks on children’s books, fiction, historical writing, biographies, poetry and science. There will be thematic programs and panel discussions, as well.
Other activities include book signings; lessons on what it takes to become a professional librarian; a sneak preview of the film Free for All: Inside the Public Library; a panel on how libraries are adapting storytime for different generations; copyright trivia; and much more.
For the kids, The Washington Post will host animated readings by local children’s book authors every hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and The Posts’s mascot, Ned the Newshound, will be there to take photos with festival guests. And for parents, there’s even a panel titled, “How to Raise a Reader,” being held from 5 to 6 p.m.
Northern Virginia is home to a number of high-profile and bestselling authors and, thanks to the region’s thriving independent bookstore scene, there’s no shortage of places to find talented Virginia writers likeRussell Baker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from Loudoun County, and New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. On Aug. 9, embrace your inner bookworm by heading over to a local bookshop and purchasing a few summer reads in honor of National Book Lovers Day.
Looks like the page might be turning on the booming fortunes of political books in the era of Donald Trump.
As you may have noticed, there’s no shortage of Washington drama. But it seems there’s a growing abundance of fatigue over books chronicling it.
Makes some sense. If you’re bombarded in the morning paper with news of DC turmoil. Then on the radio en route to work. Maybe in a lunchtime conversation with co-workers. On the way home again. And the evening talk shows that have become evening argument shows.
How much then would you want to pay $30 to curl up with an entire book of more of the same?
Maybe you remember last year ‘Fire and Fury’ was a best-seller for Michael Wolff for fully half the year. That chronicled alleged details from inside the drama of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and early days in the White House, though many questioned their veracity.
Then, there was ‘A Higher Loyalty’ by professional martyr and document-leaker James Comey, late of the FBI Director’s office, and another Bob Woodward opus called ‘Fear’ that also sold big late in 2018.
This year there’s bupkus like that selling big.
Wolff did a hurry-up, follow-up called ‘Siege’ designed to tap into that Trump loathing and fascination.
So far, Volume 2 hasn’t even crept into this year’s top 20 best-sellers.
The Trump-favorable book ‘Unfreedom of the Press’ by Fox News contributor Mark Levin has sold fairly well at No. 7, pushing more than a quarter-million copies out the bookstore doors through June.
Howard Kurtz of Fox News has ‘Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth’ that came out early this year.
Canadian native David Frum, who works for The Atlantic now, has written ‘Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.’ You can guess its contents.
Same goes for ‘It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America’ by David Cay Johnston.
One that is worth a look is the brand new ‘Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and Future of the Supreme Court’ by Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist and Fox News panel and attorney Carrie Severino.