Tysons Corner, VA

This weekend, bibliophiles can gather for a charity used book sale.

The McLean branch of the American Association of University Women is putting on a book sale that will provide scholarships for college students. This year marks the annual sale’s 50th anniversary.

Since the organization’s founding in 1969, the AAUW strives to assist with advocacy, education, philanthropy and research for women seeking higher education.

There will be a wide variety of genres available including philosophy, cookbooks, business, law, science, mathematics, travel, art, pets and animals and books in foreign languages, according to the event’s website. There will also be specialty and vintage books available for purchase.

For anyone not interested in books, there will also be a selection of DVDs.

Prices range from $10 to $200. Both cash and credit cards will be accepted.

The event will take place on Friday (Sept. 13) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday (Sept. 14) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday (Sept. 15) from noon-4 p.m at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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An upcoming community garage sale in McLean will offer people the chance to buy or sell unwanted items.

Hosted by the McLean Community Center, the sale offers more than 50 booths and even an area where kids can practice their entrepreneurial and business skills.

If anyone wants to set up a booth, it will cost $45 or $35 for McLean residents. For kids aged 3 t0 15 wanting to set up a booth, there will be a fee of $25 or $15 for McLean residents. The webpage warns that spots are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and interested parties can contact organizers by email.

For those looking to buy or just browse the selection, admission is free.

The event will be held regardless of the weather on Saturday (Sept. 14) from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the intersection of Ingleside Avenue and Beverly Road.

Photo via Freddie Marriage on Unsplash

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A local sci-fi author recently teamed up with big names to expand his fictional world.

David McGoings is the creator of “Catharsis: 2066” and a Falls Church resident. He began the project as a book trilogy but decided to expand it into a multi-media project featuring Star Trek’s Robert Picardo and famous narrator Greg Tremblay.

“Catharsis: 2066” follows the lives of six characters interacting with aliens come to earth and change the world’s history forever. The storyline explores the characters’ feelings and struggles as they deal with a changing environment and the ripple effect of their actions.

“It’s about the breakdown of society and the interactions of the people,” McGoings said.

McGoings told Tysons Reporter that the first book is currently finished and is in the process of publication. Next, he wants to implement a video series and work on the last two books in the trilogy.

He isn’t sure when the first book will be released to the public. As a teaser, Tremblay and Picardo from “Star Trek: Voyager” agreed to narrate the first four chapters. There is also a trailer with artwork from Rob Joseph.

“It started out as just a pitch, but most people in the industry when putting their name on something or helping out with something, they have to like the product first,” said McGoings.

Within the first week of the narration’s release, he said he received more than 2,000 new social media followers and attention on several online forums encouraging art from people of color, including Planet Ebjon, a Facebook page dedicated to Marvel DC characters and the Entertainment Universe.

“It has motivated me as well as pushed the envelope a little on how far you can go when writing a book if you have the tenacity or drive to keep with it,” McGoings said.

Until this point, McGoings said all the proceeds for his book have come out of his pocket or from donations from friends and family. In hopes of reaching his $8,000 goal for the trilogy and a YouTube video series, McGoings started a GoFundMe where people can donate to support the project.

In the next few weeks, McGoings and Joseph will sponsor a social media contest for fans where people will have the change to enter for a piece of signed custom artwork. Fans can check out the book’s Facebook page for upcoming details.

Eventually, McGoings said he wants to write full-time and hire a literary agent, to help him market his books to publishers.

“It’s probably one of the hardest parts of the process, besides writing the book itself, is to find an agent,” McGoings said. “It’s hard to grab the attention of somebody.”

Images courtesy David McGoings

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After 27 years of service in the U.S. Military, Vienna resident Timothy Redmond decided to share his experiences in an autobiography.

As You Were” is a novel about Redmond’s personal life experience after 9/11 and the time he served on duty in Afghanistan. Though the book came out in 2018, it continues to attract attention from readers as he tours local bookshops.

Before he even decided to write a novel, Redmond discovered his passion as a novelist during a creative writing workshop for retired combat veterans hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

During the writing process, Redmond told Tysons Reporter he spent time processing traumatic events that happened to him and his close friends — including the death of a friend.

“It’s stressful to relive some of that,” he said.

He also said it took him a little extra time to write the book because he “wanted to get it right” and respect the people he served with through remembrance. Redmond mentioned that several members in his former unit read the book and gave positive feedback.

From the description of the book on Amazon:

A freshly-minted prosecutor with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, Tim Redmond thought he’d left his life as a Green Beret behind as he pulled into the World Trade Center train station on the morning of 9/11. Three months later he was back in Afghanistan with his old A-Team gearing up for the fight of their lives! Follow this team of Special Forces on their raucous and heroic journey through the unimaginable horrors of war and their unique struggle to return to a home they can no longer make sense of.

Redmond shared his book with the community on Aug. 4, when he set up a table at the new Barnes & Noble in the Mosaic District. He signed autographs and bonded with community members from around the region.

Looking forward to the future, Redmond, who works at a local law firm in Tysons, said that he and his publicist are in the process of scheduling similar events in Tysons.

Photo courtesy Tim Redmond

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A used bookstore in the City of Falls Church plans to close at the end of the month, but comic book fans should plan on visiting the store before Monday.

“It’s a retirement closing” and “Thank you Falls Church for 40 years” signs currently hang on the store’s door.

After 40 years, Hole in the Wall Books plans to sell its comic books in a few days — less than two weeks before the store is packed up for good.

Owner Edie Nally told Tysons Reporter that her husband Michael ran the store for the first 20 years and she’s been in charge for the last 20 years.

After commuting a little more than 100 miles per day and getting stuck in I-66 traffic, Nally said she’s going to be “so glad to be out of that.”

But while Nally said that she feels “wonderful” about her upcoming retirement, several patrons who stopped by the store Thursday told Tysons Reporter that the closure will impact the Falls Church community.

Chris Messick said that the multi-generational store is part of the “citadel for nerd culture.”

“It’s a sanctuary for people to look for really cool, old books. They are not coming here just for a bargain,” Messick said.

Taylor Holland, a 48-year-old Arlingtonian who said he’s been coming to the store since he was 8, said that the closure is “costing Falls Church a piece of its soul.”

“Every community needs to have a place like this. It’s a repository of ideas,” Holland said. “It’s a forum where ideas can be exchanged. It’s the closest thing we have to a Roman forum or French salon circa the days of Versaille.”

Holland, who was unable to find a copy of “The Great Gatsby,” had a stack of at least two dozen paperbacks and comic books he had picked out for himself and his family.

“I buy a whole variety of things,” he said. “I have two kids ages 11 and 13.”

Shoppers can find a wide selection of books from mysteries to horror, from graphic novels to literature.

As for Nally’s favorite reads? “The very best books ever are Shakespeare and the Russians — Dostoevsky, Tolstoy,” Nally said. “What’s better than that?”

Signs outside the store say, “50% off. Going out of business sale discounts.” Nally said the half-off discount applies to “pretty much everything.”

Come Monday (Aug. 19), Nally said that a man will buy and haul away 191 long boxes containing “thousands and thousands of comics.” People looking for comic books should stop by the store this weekend, Nally suggested.

Hole in the Wall Books is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on the weekends. The store plans to close for good on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Whatever doesn’t get sold by the closing date, Nally said will end up on the Advanced Book Exchange, a Canadian e-commerce site better known as AbeBooks.com.

Nally said that people should come to store before it closes “because we’re giving a great deal.”

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Fairfax County Public Library is trying something new this year — a county-wide, adult summer reading challenge.

In years past, various branches held individual challenges for adults, but after demand rose, the county designed a unified program, according to Mary Mulrenan, a spokesperson for FCPL.

“A small committee worked together to create a system-wide program that would provide a way for all library customers to participate,” she said.

So far, participants have turned in 1,534 logs to the library — significantly more than they originally anticipated, according to Mulrenan. “We are surveying customers and to date, 73 people have completed our survey. Out of this number, 92% have rated it excellent or very good and 95% will participate again next summer.”

Anyone interested in participating can pick up reading logs at any local FCPL branch or print them out on the website. The nearest location is the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike).

To complete the challenge, participants must complete two reading logs, each consisting of a challenge to read or listen to four books and complete one other task, like trying out the library’s research database or following FCPL’s social media accounts.

Participants who return one log will be given goodies such as free snacks, discounts, fine forgiveness at the library or free entry to a Fairfax County recreation center.

Upon completion of a second log, participants will receive a drawstring bag and be entered into a drawing at the end of the summer for a canvas bag filled with a Barnes and Noble gift card, a journal and a portable beach blanket. Individual branches may offer additional prizes, according to the county library website.

Anyone interested in participating can still turn in reading logs until Aug. 31.

The library plans to offer more incentives next summer, due to this year’s high demand.

“It’s wonderful that we have exceeded that number and we still have time (one month) to gain more finishers. We also hope to encourage more businesses to sponsor coupons,” Mulrenan said.

Image via Fairfax County

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“People nowadays don’t want to believe in this stuff,” Al Tyas, a retired local ghost hunter and published author, recently told Tysons Reporter. And by “stuff,” Tyas means ghosts.

Tyas recently published his second book “Project Rabbit Hole.” The book delves into how and why people have a fascination with ghosts “now more than ever before,” as Tyas put it — thanks in part to increasing pop culture references.

Originally from Rhode Island, Tyas said that he saw his first ghost when he was 7 while at an amusement park. He moved to Falls Church in 2007 and now lives in Alexandria.

After moving to the D.C. area, he joined a paranormal ghost group — “at first it was cute” — and then five years later, he branched off and made his own group, DC Metro Area Ghost Watchers.

In the height of his ghost hunting days, Tyas said he would conduct two investigations per week — everything from people claiming they were possessed to reports of strange noises or occurrences in people’s homes.

Eventually, Tyas handed off his group to another person after the experiences got “darker and darker” and he noticed his and fellow ghost hunters’ health start to decline.

What are ghosts? “Ghosts are demented, dysfunctional beings that died before their time and at the height of their lives,” he said, adding that the ghost might not even know that they are dead.

Most people think they have a ghost when they feel cold spots, hear a voice or notice that objects are missing, he said. Yet Tyas said that he approached investigations at first with skepticism, since some people claim to see ghosts for short-term fame and attention.

“Not everything people see or experience are ghosts,” he said.

This isn’t Tyas’ first time writing a book. He published “Last Call on the Potomac” — a book about D.C. area ghost stories — in 2006.

For his new book, Tyas drew on his personal experiences as a retired paranormal investigator, research and interviews for an in-depth look at the “supernatural family” — from ghosts to aliens. The paperback book costs $17 on Lulu.

Last year, Tyas headed down to New Orleans to do research on how people have interacted with supernatural beings throughout history. In his research, he noted that changes starting with the Fox sisters, who became mediums in the 1850s but later admitted to faking some parts of their seances.

“In past historical time periods, people avoided or took precautions. Now, we’re trying to make contact,” he said. “It’s getting dangerous.”

For people looking for ghosts, Tyas shared some words of warning.

“[Ghosts] always appear when you least expect them to,” Tyas said, adding that they tend to pick the weakest person to bother.

Ultimately, Tyas said that coexistence is the goal and that people should leave supernatural beings alone.

As for skeptics? “I say, ‘More power to them,'” Tyas said.

Photo via Lulu.com

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As the Tysons-Pimmit Library continues its quarterly book sales, the library might get a new place to help store some of its books.

Fairfax County is looking to lease a property it owns to the Friends of Tysons-Pimmit Library, the non-profit that provides funding for the library.

“One of the primary methods for the Friends to raise this funding is to hold ongoing book sales at the library as well as much larger book marketplaces on a quarterly basis,” according to county documents.

The nonprofit plans to construct a 199-square-foot brick-faced building next to the library “to assist in their preparations for the book sales,” according to the county. The shed would store books and materials needed for the book sales.

The county’s Board of Supervisors OK’d today (Tuesday) to let residents know about a public hearing on the matter, which is set to be held on July 30 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Friends of the Tysons-Pimmit Library

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (June 19)

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service at Angelika Film Center7 p.m. at Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) — As part of their Studio Ghibli summer festival, Angelika Film Center will be screening Kiki’s Delivery Service — the anime classic about a young witch striking out on her own — on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. Tickets are $14.50.

 Thursday (June 20)

  • The Boro Summer Kick Off — 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at The Boro — Boro Tysons is hosting a summer kick off event with food trucks, music, lawn games and “puppy therapy.”
  • Summer Reading Party 7-8 p.m. at Bards Alley (110 Church Street NW) — The Bards Alley bookstore in Vienna is hosting a summer book party with finger foods and lemonade available. Booksellers will be in attendance sharing their favorite summer reads.
  • Vienna Stories Book Talk — 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — Marie Kisner, a former public information officer for the Town of Vienna, collected newspaper stories about Vienna into a new book called “Vienna Stories 1950-2000.” Kisner is also planning a book signing at the Freeman Store on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Friday (June 21)

  • Echosmith at Tysons Corner Center 3:30-9:30 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — HOT 99.5 and Tysons Corner Center are hosting a free concert with the band Echosmith. The show is scheduled to start for 6:30 p.m. but attendees are encouraged early to grab a seat.

Saturday (June 22)

  • Daylily Walking Tour 10:15-11:15 a.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — The Northern Virginia Daylily Society President Janice Kennedy will lead a walking tour through the gardens showing the daylily collection including a few award-winning varieties. The tour is free and those participating in the tour will have free admission.
  • Georgia Peach Truck — 12 p.m. at Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Highway) — The Georgia Peach Truck is planning to roll into Merrifield at noon on Saturday with beaches brought up from Georgia available to be purchased by the box. One 23-25 pound box is $45.

Sunday (June 23)

  • Providence Democrats Unity and Summer Solstice Celebration — 4-7 p.m. at Nouvelle Apartments (7911 Westpark Drive) — Following a crowded Democratic primary that saw Dalia Palchik voted as the Democratic nominee for the vacant Providence District Board of Supervisors seat, Providence District Democrats are hosting a buffet and silent auction fundraiser with the nominees and the other candidates. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP early.

Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook

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A new book recounts tales about the Town of Vienna from the 1950s to early 2000s.

Marie Kisner, a former public information officer for the Town of Vienna, collected and compiled newspaper stories about Vienna for her newly released book, “Vienna Stories 1950-2000.”

“It basically fell in my lap,” Kisner told Tysons Reporter. In the early 200os, the Town’s clerk office decided to give dozens of boxes of news article clippings to Kisner, who sorted through the clippings.

“I didn’t have to go back and try to find a lot of old timers and pick their brains and see if they could remember these things,” Kisner said.

Originally, Kisner said that she sorted the articles chronologically, but then decided to organize the book by recurring themes, like animals, beautification, businesses, civil rights and politics.

Many of the issues Kisner recounts Vienna residents tackling decades ago — traffic, Tysons Corner’s growing presence and development — are still relevant to locals today.

“People need to know they can’t sit back and hope — hope — that Vienna will stay Vienna,” Kisner said. “I think development has always been like issue #1.”

Kisner said that she not only wrote the book to preserve its history from the news articles, but also to remind current residents of the struggles the town has gone through to maintain its unique character.

“One of the reasons I wrote the book is so people who live in Vienna now who think, ‘Oh what a wonderful town we’ve got,’ they will realize it didn’t happen by accident,” Kisner said. “It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to make and keep Vienna the way it is, and those same issues keep coming up.”

While Kisner does not cite throughout the book, “Acknowledgements” section includes a list of the news publications that the articles came from:

  • “The Washington Post”
  • “Washington Evening Star”
  • “Washington Business Journal”
  • “Fairfax Globe”
  • “Fairfax Journal”
  • “Northern Virginia Sun”
  • “Sentinel”
  • “Sound of Vienna”
  • “Sun-Gazette”
  • “Vienna Viewpoint”
  • “Vienna Connection”
  • “Vienna Times”
  • “Vienna Advertiser”

“My thought was if I cited every single newspaper reference, the book would probably be twice as thick and it would break up the narrative too much,” she said.

Since the book is based on the articles, Kisner decided to refer to herself in the third person, saying “Right now I’m just part of the cast of characters in this book.”

Kisner, who now lives in Texas, is set to come back to Vienna for a book talk and signing next Thursday (June 20) at 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE).

She will also sign books during the Antiques and Collectibles Evaluation event at the Freeman Store (131 Church Street NE) next Saturday (June 22) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Book lovers and history buffs can buy the book for $12.99 at the Freeman Store. All of the proceeds from the book will go to the town’s historical society.

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