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Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler will give you free books

Written by
Tiffany Gibert

Head to Washington Square Park on the morning of Nov 19 to nab books by the National Book Award Finalists! Beginning at 8:30 on Wednesday morning, Daniel Handler, of Lemony Snicket fame and 2014 National Book Awards host extraordinaire, and author and reading evangelist Neil Gaiman will compete to see who can give away the most books to passersby. In other words, you have a good chance of having a armful of guaranteed-to-be-amazing books shoved at you by two of our most well-known writers, if you just don't mind getting up early and braving the cold morning. Handler and Gaiman will be joined by a portable reading room from the Uni Project, a brilliant endeavor that emphasizes the importance of literature by bringing the books to the readers.

In Washington Square's Garibaldi Plaza, the two authors will dole out donated copies of their own books in addition to the National Book Award-nominated publications. Pro tip: Before the giveaway, you can see a bunch of the NBA finalists read tonight at The New School. And here are the nominated books you can expect to add to your own personal library tomorrow morning:


  • Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
  • Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
  • Phil Klay, Redeployment
  • Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
  • Marilynne Robinson, Lila (and don't miss our interview with the Putlizer Prize-winning author!)


  • Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
  • Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
  • John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
  • Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
  • Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence


  • Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night
  • Fanny Howe, Second Childhood
  • Maureen N. McLane, This Blue
  • Fred Moten, The Feel Trio
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric

Young People's Literature

  • Eliot Schrefer, Threatened
  • Steve Sheinkin, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
  • John Corey Whaley, Noggin
  • Deborah Wiles, Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two
  • Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

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