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Female progress seems to hit a stereotypical snag when fictional aviatrix Lenora Demarest first meets historical heroine Amelia Earhart in Lori Marie Carlson’s The Flamboyant. “Amelia’s hair was a tousled mess,” the dainty woman observes. The jewelry-obsessed Lenora is obviously a far cry from her tomboy counterpart, who once hunted rats with a .22-caliber rifle. Yet despite their differences, the flygirls become fast friends, and Amelia winds up visiting Lenora just before her ill-fated flight to Howland Island. Amelia’s demise leaves Lenora pondering: “Perhaps if Amelia had been willing to linger over dinner…she might have been able to convince her friend that the journey was, at the very least, ill-advised.” Carlson seems to have based the Lenora character on real-life aviatrix Clara Livingston, who in fact hosted Earhart prior to her mysterious disappearance in 1937. Get lost amid Carlson’s vivid prose at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (Chris Shott)