Saturday, August 20, 2011

President Obama's 2011 Summer Reading List

White House releases the titles: Books about epic journeys, coming of age in unfamiliar lands, and hardboiled crime...

A White House official today announced President Obama's summer reading list for his ten-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard. The five books are about epic journeys, both real and imagined. They include crime, heartbreak, and high drama. On Friday morning, President Obama visited Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven, accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha. He purchased two of the books there, and brought three with him to the island, according to the official. Four are novels, and one is a massive, critically acclaimed work of African American history. The President will be enjoying his books in between ice cream runs, golfing, and working. (Above: At Bunch of Grapes on Friday)

At Bunch of Grapes, the President purchased:

The Bayou Trilogy, three novels by Daniel Woodrell. Collected in a single volume for the first time, Woodrell's stories are about "the adventures of Det. Rene Shade, an ex-boxer turned cop."

Rodin's Debutante, by Ward Just. The author's 17th novel is the tale of a boy who "comes of age in mid-20th-century Chicago and tries to find a way to create art in the face of the world's harshness."

President Obama brought these books with him:

To The End of The Land, a novel by David Grossman. Originally published in 2008 in Hebrew as A Woman Fleeing the News, the book tells the story of living in Israel during the era of terrorism and the occupation.

The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. The author is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the tome, published in 2010, is described as the "epic" story of America's Great Migration, documenting "the sweeping 55-year-long migration of black Americans from the South."

Cutting For Stone, a novel by Abraham Verghese. The author's first novel is about Marion and Shiva Stone, twin brothers "born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon." They are orphaned, and the novel follows their triumphs and tribulations as they journey to America.

The President purchased several books for Malia and Sasha during the Bunch of Grapes visit, but there was no word from the White House on what these titles are. On Friday night, the President and First Lady Obama dined out for the first time during their vacation, visiting Beach Plum Inn and Restaurant in Menemsha, which is located close to their rental estate.

*Getty photo

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