Literary Event of the Week: Unpresidented reading at University Book Store

Though he seems like a being who lives entirely, eternally in the present, it's actually very important to understand Donald Trump's past — the crimes of his parents, the crimes of his early career, and the shameful way he's behaved personally. A man who'll lie to you two contradictory ways in one sentence doesn't have much faith in the importance of memory, but he's also likely to be a man who is consumed by his own past.

Seattle author Martha Brockenbrough's Unpresidented is a biography of Donald Trump. (She'll be debuting the book this Friday at University Book Store.) Brockenbrough has experience writing for younger audiences, and Unpresidented is a biography with the YA crowd in mind. That doesn't mean the book is dumbed-down; in fact, it means Brockenbrough has to use sharper, clearer language than your traditional both-sides journalism. In fact, the book somehow feels even more damning than most accounts of Trump's life that you've likely read on a news site.

Brockenbrough begins Unpresidented with a history of Donald Trump's tendency to lie about crowd size. She plainly lays out the facts of his life and the lies feel obscene when contradicted in such clear, straightforward English: " his ghostwritten book Trump: The Art of the Deal, Trump claims his ancestry is Swedish. This is not true."

I know it seems like a lot to ask someone to read more about Donald Trump in the year 2018, but this one is a very important book if you want to get into the head of the (tragically) most important human being in the world right now, and to comprehend just how often he spreads easily disproven lies, when simply telling the truth would be easier.

University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400,, 7 pm, free.