Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), U.S. senator: Calico Joe, by John Grisham (Doubleday). Joe Castle is a rookie phenom until one fast pitch changes several lives forever.
Cathy L. Lanier, D.C. chief of police: The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). After a young boy’s family is murdered, a detective turns to a hypnotist to pry clues from him.
Jim Lehrer, executive editor of the “PBS NewsHour”: Beastly Things, by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly). A body with few identifying marks washes up in a canal, posing a forensics challenge for Commissario Brunetti.
Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball”: They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, by Christopher Buckley (Twelve). A satire of U.S.-China relations.
Robert F. McDonnell (R), governor of Virginia: Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow (Penguin). The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the first president.
Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), U.S. senator: Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown). Schiff clears up centuries of myth surrounding one of history’s most compelling and famous women.
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), D.C. delegate to Congress: It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein (Basic). How the American constitutional system collided with the politics of extremism.
Diane Rehm, host of “The Diane Rehm Show”: Traveler of the Century, by Andres Neuman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). A man finds himself trapped in an existential debate with an old organ-grinder.
James Webb (D-Va.), U.S. senator: Eisenhower in War and Peace, by Jean Edward Smith (Random House). A biography of the World War II general who became president.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. secretary of state: Anything that’s not a six-inch-thick, three-ring binder of briefing material.
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