News & Politics

The New York Times 100 Notable Books List Just Came Out and DC Got a Lot of Love

A roundup of some of the Washington-centric titles that made the cut.

Photograph via iStock.

The New York Times published its list of “100 Notable Books of 2020” Friday, and Washington made a solid showing. While a number of the titles chronicle the lives of DC power players, several others were written by authors connected to the District. Here’s a sampling of the Washington-centric books recognized by the Times to add to your winter reading list:

Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East by Kim Ghattas

Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party by Julian E. Zelizer

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (She’s a Howard University alum)

Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World by Robert M. Gates

The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World by Barry Gewen

The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

Memorial Drive: A Memoir by Natasha Trethewey (She lived in DC while U.S. poet laureate)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War — a Tragedy in Three Acts by Scott Anderson

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn, 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson (She’s a professor at Georgetown)

Soul Full of Coal Dust: A Fight for Breath and Justice in Appalachia by Chris Hamby

Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music by Alex Ross (He’s an alum of St. Albans)

Who Gets in and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions by Jeffrey Selingo (He’s a DC-based journalist)

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.