Obama’s summer holiday reading list: 2,300 pages

August 24, 2009

OBAMA/President Barack Obama is squeezing some reading into his week-long Martha’s Vineyard vacation. OK, a lot more than “some.”

The brainy president has brought along a stack of five books– three novels and two works of non-fiction — to amuse himself in between rounds of golf, visits with friends, activities with his family and the inescapable business of running the country while he is on the Massachusetts island.

Two of the novels are thrillers, but his reading list is hardly light, literally or figuratively, with a total for the five books of more than 2,300 pages.

Here’s what’s on Obama’s holiday reading list:

“The Way Home” by George Pelecanos, is a thriller set in Washington, DC, a city that should be familiar to a president and former senator. The crime novel by the best-selling author explores the relationship between a father and his son.

“Hot, Flat and Crowded,” by the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, is a non-fiction book that looks at one of Obama’s top policy issues — climate change — as well as what Friedman considers the United States’ loss of hope and purpose since the September 11 attacks.

“Lush Life” by Richard Price is another thriller, this one set on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in New York City.OBAMA/VACATION

The president’s fourth book, “Plainsong” by Kent Haruf, is the shortest of his choices, at just 301 pages. It is a novel about small town life in Colorado.

And the president’s fifth choice is about one of his most distant predecessors, David McCullough’s sweeping biography of the second U.S. president, “John Adams,” which comes in at 768 pages.

Reuters photos by Jason Reed (Obama waves as he plays golf, and a storefront sign welcomes the president and his family to Martha’s Vineyard)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Perhaps President Obama will read the Quiltmaker’s Gift to his daughters. It is a favorite. He could read it to his daughters as I have read to our girls.

Posted by Luke Adams | Report as abusive

Hummm….let me see. He has time to read over 2000 pages of entertainment but doesn’t have the time to read 1100 pages of the multi trillion dollar “stimulas package”.

Posted by Glenn | Report as abusive

I even hope dearly President Obama succeeds in reading all 2,300 pages of his vacation reading material! I hope he succeeds in having a fun enjoyable vacation. I hope he has the best golfing of his life! I wish him the best.

Posted by Tom Sellier | Report as abusive

Hey mr president – how about you read something you’re expected to read – all the bills you so much love to endorse?

Oh, then try the Constitution – you seem to have some pretty large gaps in your understanding of it. Start out with the part where our Founding Fathers talk about Czars.

Posted by Bob in NC | Report as abusive

What part of the Constitution talks about Czars? The same part that says the founding fathers knew communism doesn’t work?

If anyone has a pretty large gap in their understanding of the Constitution, it’s Bob in NC, not the guy who actually taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

[…] Apropos of nothing in particular, if anyone out there hasn’t spent some time reading Ben Wallace-Wells’s masterful Rolling Stone feature detailing America’s failed war on drugs, they should change that. Print it out and read it over lunch. You can even feel smug in the knowledge that it’s a whole lot better than anything on Obama’s summer reading list. […]

Posted by How America Lost the War on Drugs – Spacewater | Report as abusive

[…] He brings 5 books (2300 pages) with him on a one-week vacation. […]

Posted by Reasons why I’m an Obama fangirl | Reading Through Life | Report as abusive