Summer books for D.C. readers: poker, vinyl, Mars


The Curiosity Rover helped author “Mars Up Close.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

June 17

Paul McCartney had a life after the Beatles, you know. In “Man on the Run,” Scottish rock journalist Tom Doyle writes about Sir Paul’s time with Wings while they recorded the album “Band on the Run” in the 1970s. That time included drug busts, public feuds with former Beatles and, eventually, a return to the top of the charts. June 17, Ballantine, $27.

June 24

In the 2000s, the most exclusive underground poker game in Hollywood was run by a woman named Molly Bloom. In the memoir “Molly’s Game,” she explains how she came to host illegal multimillion-dollar games for high rollers like Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio. And how she got in trouble for it. June 24, It Books, $27.

July 8

The perfect gift for that one person you know who’s really into vinyl, “Do Not Sell at Any Price,” by Pitchfork regular Amanda Petrusich, delves into the world of rare 78rpm records and the people willing to pay thousands for them. July 8, Scribner, $25.

July 15

From Bonnie and Clyde to World War II to the oil business, “Wayfaring Stranger: A Novel” follows the fictional Weldon Avery Holland through a chunk of the 20th century. In the hands of Edgar Award-winning mystery writer James Lee Burke, the thriller promises to have the sinister edge missing from the similarly plotted “Forrest Gump.” July 15, Simon & Schuster, $28.

Aug.5-6

Whether their hero is Buzz Aldrin, Neil deGrasse Tyson or the Mohawk Guy, fans of space exploration will want to check out National Geographic’s latest eye-popping book, “Mars Up Close.” With 250 photos from the Curiosity mission, the tome is a travelogue for a place you can’t go … yet. Author Marc Kaufman, who was embedded at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for two years, explains just how hard it is to land a $2.5 billion robot on a planet 35 million miles from Earth. But wait, there’s more! A National Geographic Live! event on Aug. 5 features Kaufman and four of the NASA scientists behind the Curiosity mission. And the book ties into the National Geographic Museum’s free “Mars Up Close” exhibit, which shows visitors what the Red Planet really looks like using video, photos and interactive exhibits. It also has a full-scale model of the Curiosity Rover. Book event: National Geographic Live!, 1600 M St. NW; Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m., $24; 202-857-7700. (Farragut North) Exhibit: National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW; Aug. 6-Nov. 30, free; 202-857-7700. (Farragut North)

Click to read the whole summer guide!

Beth Marlowe is a senior editor at Washington Post Express. She has written for The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Bloomberg Television and other publications.
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Kristen Page-Kirby · June 8, 2014