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A Saturday for Indies First

A year ago, author Sherman Alexie put forward a great idea to promote independent bookstores. He suggested that writers volunteer to work in local stores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a day that already had become known as Small Business Saturday, thanks to a vigorous campaign begun several years earlier by American Express. It didn’t take long for Alexie’s appeal to resonate with hundreds of authors, who showed up in 2013 as guest booksellers in stores across the country, giving birth to what’s been dubbed the Indies First movement.

In the run-up to this holiday season, bestselling author Neil Gaiman and musician-author Amanda Palmer have published an open letter urging even more authors to go to local bookstores and help out on Small Business Saturday. “Now is your chance to persuade people that they need your books—especially if you’ve signed them—and your friends’ books, and books you’ve always loved that, if widely read, would make the world a better place,” their letter said. “It will be, we promise you, a much more sociable day than the ones you spend staring at a blank screen or a white sheet of paper, communing with imaginary people and suchlike.”

A number of Washington area writers have answered the appeal and will be joining us at Politics & Prose on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29, to moonlight as booksellers. We encourage customers to come by the store and ask a participating author to help look for a book or recommend a favorite work as a gift for a relative or friend. Each author will be on-hand for a two-hour period. On the main floor, you’ll find:

10 a.m. to noon – Cathy Barrow
(Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry)
Noon  to 2 p.m. – David Baldacci
(The Escape)
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Azar Nafisi 
(The Republic of Imagination)
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Dinaw Mengestu
(All Our Names)
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Howard Norman
(Next Life Might Be Kinder)

And in the Children and Teens Department:

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Jessica Spotswood
(The Cahill Chronicles)
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Debbie Levy
(We Shall Overcome)
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Katherine Marsh
(Jepp, Who Defied the Stars)
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Rashin Kheiriyeh
(There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly)

Hope you’ll join us. Along with these celebrated authors, it’s anyone’s guess who else might decide to visit the store. On Small Business Saturday last year, President Obama made a surprise appearance at P&P to do a little holiday book shopping of his own.

--Brad and Lissa

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Paris Illuminated

December 7 through December 13

Winters in Paris are typically mild and a perfect time
to visit some of the most famous museums in the
world—the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, the Centre
Pompidou—and also discover some hidden gems.



Children and Teens

Books of the Week 

New in Paperback

Blast from the Past

Wendy Pfeffer
We Gather Together
(Puffin, $8.99)


Chief Jake Swamp
Giving Thanks, A Native American Good Morning Message
(Lee & Low, $8.95)

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Saturday, December 6, 7 p.m.

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Wednesday, December 10, 7 p.m.



Thursday, December 11, 7 p.m.



Supported 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.

Thursday, November 20, 7 p.m.

at Sixth & I

In Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere (Rux Martin, $40), the baker offers simple recipes for cakes, tarts, pastries, and cookies that show the French knack for elegant simplicity. Greenspan will be in conversation with Sally Swift, a James Beard winner for Best National Radio Show and the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table.

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