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THURSDAY

Cooking up delicious speeches for the likes of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Peggy Noonan was this town’s Martha Stewart throughout the ’80s—magic hands, nice pearls, and family values, too. Most memorably, Noonan was the wizard behind Bush’s election-winning “Read my lips, no new taxes” line. (OK, so it was a lie, but it sure tasted great.) Like most of the country’s best mouths, though, she’s at her best when she just talks and doesn’t think. Thankfully, that’s all she does in her latest book, Simply Speaking. She just yaps away, passing out her proven oratorical tricks like so many gobs of cotton candy: no speeches over 20 minutes long, yes to jokes, no to jargon, and make sure you actually say something, dammit. It’s a safe bet she’ll follow her own advice tonight when she talks and signs copies at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s, 1200 F St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-3686. (Amanda Ripley)