Obama’s Summer Reading Heavy on Fiction

Posted August 20th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is looking to turn the pages of a few good novels during his summer vacation.

Weighty — and sometimes dense — government reports may fill Mr. Obama's days in Washington. But the White House said Saturday that Mr. Obama has a stack of five books — four of them fiction — with him at his expansive vacation retreat on the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

The president picked up two of the books Friday when he visited a local bookstore with his daughters Malia and Sasha.

One of them is The Bayou Trilogy, a collection of three crime novellas by Daniel Woodrell set in the southern U.S. state of Louisiana. The other book he bought is a novel by Ward Just, Rodin's Debutante, set in the president's adopted home town of Chicago. It has a character who becomes politically aware on Chicago's south side, the president's home turf as a one-time community organizer where he maintains a home that he has visited infrequently since taking office in early 2009.

The White House said the president also brought along three other books. Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone is the fictionalized account of two Ethiopian boys born joined at the skull. David Grossman wrote To the End of the Land, a mother's tale of war, friendship and family in Israel.

The only non-fiction book Mr. Obama has on his reading list is Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns, which describes the northward migration of blacks from the southern U.S.