Preview Events

October 4-10

Wednesday, October 4

7:30 PM

Enjoy a Festival preview event with Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. Her new book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, presents an inspiring call to action based on interdisciplinary research and personal stories. She argues that collective climate action is about connecting with our communities and shows that we already have power to create change. Publisher’s Weekly says “practical advice abounds in this compassionate guide to conducting meaningful discussions about the environment. Those in search of a hope-filled approach will find plenty of encouragement.” Learn how you can do your part while staying optimistic! Sponsored by Robert & Lucy Beck.  

Location: Center for the Arts Lobby, George Mason University.

Set a reminder to reserve your free ticket. Tickets go on sale on September 26 at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10

7 PM

Thrills, secrets, and danger await in three killer spy stories. Informed by her time as an intelligence officer, Alma Katsu’s novel, Red London, follows CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan as she races against the clock to prevent the most calculated global invasion of our time. In The Peacock and the Sparrow, debut novelist and former CIA operations officer I.S. Berry introduces us to Shane Collins, a CIA spy stationed off the coast of Saudi Arabia who becomes embroiled in conflict, political upheaval, and a budding romance with his informant. In Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America’s Most Dangerous Female Spy – and the Sister She Betrayed, Jim Popkin shocks readers with the real life account of Ana Montes, one of the U.S. government’s top intelligence agents for almost 17 years until she was publicly exposed as a secret agent for Cuba. Sponsored by the Friends of the Pohick Regional Library. 

Location: Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, VA

In the first authoritative biography of James Garfield in over four decades – historian C.W. Goodyear casts an often disregarded figure in a refreshing new light. Although he is most commonly known for being a president who was assassinated weeks after taking office, Garfield was one of the most accomplished American statesmen of the 19th century. The last president to be born in a log cabin, Garfield quietly shaped the rise—and fall—of Reconstruction. In fact, his peacemaking attempts to heal rifts in the postwar Republican Party resulted in his murder. In this biography, Goodyear draws on diaries, archival research, and more to show a progressive statesman working to keep America intact throughout a contentious time. Kirkus Reviews calls the book a “masterful portrait of a man of great intellect, patience, and ability who should not be overlooked by history.” Sponsored by the Friends of Richard Byrd Library.


Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce St, Springfield, VA

7 PM

Over the course of four years, David Goodrich, author of On Freedom Road: Bicycle Explorations and Reckonings on the Underground Railroad, rode his bike 3,000 miles to travel the routes of the Underground Railroad and to delve into the history of each place. Goodrich recontextualizes familiar locations, such as New York, New Orleans, and Buffalo, and enables readers to view these locations in a different light. Booklist says “On Freedom Road is a vital and accessible text for readers to understand the conditions enslaved people faced when attempting escape.” Sponsored by the Friends of Kings Park Library. 

Location: Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd, Burke, VA

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