As the week comes to a close, there have been a couple of news items about President Obama and books. On the 15th, the President made his tax returns public, and turns out he and Michelle earned $5.5 million in 2009—most of it from the sales of Dreams from my Father and The Audacity of Hope.
On Sunday, the Washington Post will run a story about U.S. Presidents and their book choices, and how reading shapes “policies and perceptions” (the story’s already available online). As the health care battle escalated last month, Obama was quoted as saying, “We’ve been talking about health care for nearly a century. . . I’m reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt right now. He was talking about it.”
Talk about the President’s books is nothing new. You may remember news outlets reporting Obama’s reading list for his August vacation to Martha’s Vineyard—Richard Price’s Lush Life, Kent Haruf’s Plainsong and others. Not long ago he sent fan mail to Yann Martel. Also, George W. Bush and Karl Rove were famous for having annual reading competitions, and Bill Clinton loved mysteries.
For fun, here’s a video of Obama talking about a book that many of us love: Where the Wild Things Are. This is an excerpt from a 2007 speech he made to the American Library Association.