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Book cover Map collected and last poems

Contemporary Central European Literature

Writing from the Lands Between

Central European writers created some of the most distinctive prose and poetry of the 20th centuries. Kafka, Sienkowicz, Kundera, Andrić, Musil, and others masterfully employed irony, gallows humor and the anti-heroic “view from below” in their examinations of modern bureaucracy, ill-treatment by historical forces and the weight of memory. This list provides suggestions for readings from their 21st-century literary heirs (loosely conceived) – writers born in a mutilated world that demands both praise and lament.

Book cover This Road I Ride

Bicycle Journeys

Epic adventures on two wheels

Are you a metro-area bicycle commuter who dreams of strapping a set of panniers onto your bike and heading far from the madding crowd? One needn’t be a cyclist to enjoy a tale of long-distance cycling – experience perhaps doesn’t even help the enjoyment. The books below are a combination of first-person narratives of explorations of undiscovered territories, both external and internal, and well-researched histories of epic journeys across continents.

Cover of the book The Complete Book of Coffee

All about Coffee

Books on coffee beans, the coffee trade, and the glories of the marvelous brew

Ah… coffee. A cuppa, Java, liquid lightning… It gets us on our feet in the morning, it’s our afternoon treat, or it’s our all-day fuel and provider of comfort. In the DMV, two-thirds of us drink at least one cup of coffee every day, and the area is home to some excellent coffee shops (and plenty of Starbucks locations too). But how much do you really know about coffee? How are the beans harvested and processed? What are the particulars of the global trade in coffee? What role has the coffeehouse played over time? What are the medical benefits (and hazards) of coffee?