books

Library of Congress Tees Up Strategic Changes
Inspector general says institution has not followed through on previous plans

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said the institution would do a better job planning and executing as a knowledge base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress is looking into the future and is on track to release a five-year strategic plan in October. The agency, which has struggled with management and planning in the past, updated lawmakers on their progress on Wednesday.

The library will embark on a mission to focus on its users and providing improved services for the 1.8 million people who visit the library in person and more than 300 million digital users each year.

Bucks for Books: Senators Earn Thousands for Memoirs
Penning a memoir can be lucrative for high-profile senators

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received $476,000 from Harper Collins in 2015 for his book, "A Time for Truth." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators already earn a sizable salary, but writing about their work turns out to be an effective way to earn some extra cash. 

Members of the Senate can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars — in addition to their annual Senate salary of $174,000 — by penning memoirs and other books.

John Lewis Closes Out ‘March’ Trilogy
Final installment of Georgia congressman's graphic novel due out this summer

Courtesy Top Shelf Comix

The illustrated history of the civil rights movement that Rep. John Lewis has shared with the world is coming to its dramatic conclusion.  

[ John Lewis Receives a Hero’s Welcome at Comic-Con ]  

Your Capitol Hill Summer Reading List
From a congressional whodunit to lawmaker memoirs to Civil War time travel

California Sen. Barbara Boxer writes about the difference between toughness and anger in her latest book, "The Art of Tough." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It turns out Ben Rhodes isn't the only aspiring author in #‎ThisTown . More than a few Washington authors got their start drafting bills on Capitol Hill before trying for a best-seller. From former Hill staffers to party leaders to a congressman who calls himself only “X,” here are a few of the latest reads from authors with Capitol Hill ties for your summer recess reading pleasure.

No woman makes it through more than three decades in national politics without being tough and Boxer’s latest book lays out all the gritty details. Part memoir, part motivational manual, Boxer recounts her career in Congress and defines “the art of tough,” including knowing when to stand your ground and how to know the difference between toughness and anger. Boxer even kicks off the book with few choice quotes from her harshest critics, including: “[Barbara Boxer] is quite possibly the biggest doofus to ever enter the Senate chamber, including janitorial staff, pizza delivery kids, and carpenter ants.” Read the book to understand the context — you’ll be glad you did.

McConnell's Memoir Bashes Outside Conservative Groups
His antidote to Harry Reid: margaritas

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reflects on past campaigns in his upcoming memoir. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There's no love lost for outside conservative groups in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's new memoir, which hits bookshelves next week.  

The Kentucky Republican, always a political strategist, makes the case in "The Long Game" that he could have ascended to the majority leader position earlier if not for forces like the Senate Conservatives Fund .  

5 Creepy Passages in Hastert's Autobiography
As ex-Speaker faces sex abuse charges, memoir has new resonance

Rep. Dennis Hastert's 2004 autobiography has some passages that cause a pause on a new reading. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert wrote that his 2004 autobiography wasn't a "tell-all." That's for sure.  

But some of its passages tell us more in retrospect, now that the Illinois Republican faces sexual abuse allegations and is scheduled to be sentenced this month in a hush-money scheme connected to alleged misconduct when he was a wrestling coach and teacher at Yorkville High School.