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Thursday, April 24, 7:00 pm

The first of a projected multi-volume biography takes readers from the future leader’s birth in 1869 through his departure from Gujarat for study in England and law practice in South Africa. Guha, a wide-ranging journalist, teacher, and award-winning author, draws on many fresh primary sources, including secret files kept by British functionaries, court documents, writings by Gandhi’s children, and more to set this amazing life firmly in the political, social, and cultural context of his times. (Knopf)

This event is canceled.

Gandhi Before India (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385532297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 5/2014

An Evening of Giving Away Books

World Book Night has become more than a noble experiment. Again this year on April 23, more than 25,000 people will fan out across the United States to place books in the hands of those who don’t normally read—or don’t have—books. More than half-a-million editions will be given away, free of charge, thanks not only to the many volunteers who will be doing the distributing, but also to the authors who have waived their royalties and to the publishers who have agreed to pay the book production costs.

This ambitious event, first tried in Britain in 2011, is now in its third year in the United States and also has spread to Germany. Politics & Prose is proud to be participating as a community distribution center, along with hundreds of other bookstores and many libraries. And we’re grateful to the dozens of Washington area residents who have volunteered to serve as book givers.

April 23 has special historical significance. It is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as date both of Shakespeare’s birth and death. It also is the date that Miguel de Cervantes died, and in the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.

The 35 titles that will be handed out were selected by a national panel of librarians and booksellers. The complete list is below. But one new element this year involves a special e-book that’s been put together for the occasion. It contains ten pieces by booksellers, librarians and authors who participated in past World Book Nights. The e-book will be available free online at for two weeks beginning April 22.

One of the contributors—Elliott Holt, author of You Are One of Them—will be appearing at P&P on April 22 at 7 p.m. to moderate a discussion about the book-giving project. Simultaneous events will be held in 14 cities, including Seattle, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York City, where givers will have opportunities to speak about their experiences and meet other World Book Night participants. We encourage everyone to attend.

The physical books to be distributed include a mix of recently published works and established classics. In selecting them, a conscious attempt was made to provide gender, ethnic and geographical balance. Here’s the list:

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Diane Ackerman); Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Jesse Andrews); Zora and Me (Victoria Bond & T.R. Simon); Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain); The Weird Sisters (Eleanor Brown); The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky); After the Funeral (Agatha Christie); The Ruins of Gorlan: The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1 (John Flanagan); Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford); The Lighthouse Road (Peter Geye); The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell); Wait Till Next Year (Doris Kearns Goodwin); Catch-22 (Joseph Heller); The Dog Stars (Peter Heller); Hoot (Carl Hiaasen); Pontoon (Garrison Keillor); Same Difference (Derek Kirk Kim); Enchanted (Alethea Kontis); Miss Darcy Falls in Love (Sharon Lathan); Bobcat and Other Stories (Rebecca Lee); Young Men and Fire (Norman Maclean); Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin); Waiting to Exhale (Terry McMillan); Sunrise Over Fallujah (Walter Dean Myers); Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson); The Botany of Desire (Michael Pollan); The Raven’s Warrior (Vincent Pratchett); Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs); When I was Puerto Rican (Esmeralda Santiago); Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Maria Semple); Wild (Cheryl Strayed); Presumed Innocent (Scott Turow); Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein); This Boy's Life (Tobias Wolff); 100 Best-Loved Poems (edited by Philip Smith).

--Brad and Lissa

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Writers at the Willard

tea with Linda Przybyszewski on May 3

tea with Cokie Roberts on May 18


lunch with David Baldacci on June 7

lunch with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on September 14


This Weekend: NERDS! Trivia Night

 Spring is here and so is our next installment of trivia night! This Saturday, April 26, match wits with other knowledge-knowers and fight for the best team name. Games begin at 8 p.m. Sign up at Modern Times Coffeehouse opens at 7 p.m.


Children and Teens

Book Cover

Following a blockbuster event last year—when over 200 were in the audience for our first panel on picture books—P&P is happy to announce we’re doing it again!  Please join us on May 4 at 5 p.m., when Leonard Marcus will moderate a discussion on the breadth and diversity of non-fiction in picture books.  Joining the discussion are Richard Jackson, Educational Director, Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books; author, Jen Bryant; illustrator, R. Gregory Christie; and authors/illustrators, Brian Floca, Susan L. Roth, and Duncan Tonatiuh.



New in Hardcover

Blast from the Past

Book Cover Book Cover

Lois Ehlert
The Scraps Book
(Beach Lane Books, $17.99)


Lois Ehlert
Planting a Bainbow
(Harcourt, $7.99)

read more about these books.


Our Next Children's Event

Gravity (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781596437173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 4/2014

Friday, April 25, 10:30 am

Our Next Teen Event

ISBN-13: 9781442426702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 4/2014

Thursday, April 24, 7:00 p.m.

Music News

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On the Dark Side:
The First Arc of American Noir

 Expand your understanding of noir in this class led by novelist James Grady. Explore and compare three seminal books penned by masters of the genre, including Dashiell Hammett.  Tuesday, April 29, 7 – 9 p.m. and Wednesday, April 30, 1 – 3 p.m.



A Few Spots Left

Sunday, May 4, Politics & Prose invites you to explore the wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater. A perennial P&P favorite, we are conducting a community trip to this wooded area of western Pennsylvania, near the Maryland border, to enjoy the blossoming trees and explore the house known worldwide as a resonant feat of architectural achievement.



Don't Miss

Monday, May 5, 7 p.m.



Wednesday, May 14, 7 p.m.



Monday, May 19, 7 p.m.



Affiliated Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Please contact if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

Wednesday, April 30, 7 p.m.

 at Sixth & I

Mark Leibovich
This Town

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Friday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.

 at the Sixth & I

Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
The Confidence Code

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Friday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.

 at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue

Ayelet Waldman
Love & Treasure

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Saturday, May 10, 7 p.m.

 at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Award Ceremony & Dinner

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