The best books about Washington D.C. 📚

Browse the best books on Washington D.C. as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of King Lear

King Lear

By William Shakespeare

Why this book?

When I first sat down to write a novel about three sisters, step one was to reread King Lear which is about exactly that. The three sisters in Lear are quite different from mine. Among other things, they like each other much less. But for that delicate sisterly balance between so-glad-I-have-you-to-share-the-burdens-of-an-aging-parent and I-might-actually-have-to-kill-you, nothing beats King Lear.
From the list:

The best books on how sisters are great but also a pain in your ass

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Book cover of Louisa May Alcott: A Biography

Louisa May Alcott: A Biography

By Madeleine B. Stern

Why this book?

This is a well-researched, detailed biography of Louisa’s works and life. I appreciated the author covering the many different stories Louisa wrote throughout her life and how they reflected her experiences. I also loved the information on why Louisa used a pen name in the earlier part of her career. Very insightful and informative!

From the list:

The best books about Louisa May Alcott and her life

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Book cover of Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City

Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City

By Mark Adams

Why this book?

Mark Adams is simply a delightful writer. In this book, he dares to ask the age-old question: did Atlantis actually exist? He sifts through the facts and the fiction, taking the reader with him in his traipse across the globe to find answers. Like his other books, Meet Me in Atlantis is a fun read, where you’ll learn a lot and have some laughs along way.

From the list:

The best books on Atlantis if you love adventure

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Book cover of This Is NPR: The First Forty Years

This Is NPR: The First Forty Years

By Noah Adams, John Ydstie, Renee Montagne, Ari Shapiro, David Folkenflik, Susan Stamberg, Cokie Roberts

Why this book?

NPR turns fifty this year, but this book offers a survey of its first forty years. Though it was produced by the network itself, it's relatively devoid of unbridled boosterism, and offers a fair and fun look behind the scenes of what has become a beloved and respected network heard each day by millions.

From the list:

The best books about National Public Radio and how it all works

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Book cover of Good Old Coney Island: A Sentimental Journey Into the Past

Good Old Coney Island: A Sentimental Journey Into the Past

By Edo McCullough

Why this book?

First published in 1957 (and re-issued with a welcome epilogue by historian Michael P. Onorato), the book vividly portrays the storied seaside’s heyday. McCullough was Coney Island royalty: His grandfather was one of its earliest settlers, his uncle was among its greatest showmen, and his dad owned a dozen amusement-park shooting galleries. The family’s love of the place seeps through these pages (a sub-sub title reads “the most rambunctious, scandalous, rapscallion, splendiferous, pugnacious, spectacular, illustrious, prodigious, frolicsome island on earth”—which about sums it up).  Particularly moving is the heartbreaking fate of the show animals on the night of a tragic…

From the list:

The best books about historic Coney Island

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Book cover of March

March

By Geraldine Brooks

Why this book?

This book is not as well known, but the author, Geraldine Brooks, did an amazing job in describing the war. She took an interesting spin by writing a side story to the famous novel, Little Women. Interestingly, Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott, who served as a Union nurse during the Civil War.

From the list:

The best novels to gain perspective about the American Civil War

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