Colson Whitehead is one of our most scathing novelists—he can strip the luster off a sacred cow in two sentences flat—and he’s got the keenest observing eye this side of David Foster Wallace. Whitehead’s new nonfiction book, The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death, is an account of his experiences as an amateur poker player taking part in the weeklong World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Even if you hate cards, you’ll find something to love here, and can expect ugly truths to pratfall hilariously out of this book with every turn of the page. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, www.bookstore.washington.edu, 7 pm, free)

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