For his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this week, President Barack Obama has packed a long list of books to read.
If you want to build a presidential reading list, we’ve put together Obama’s five reads with links to free samples of each title.
- 1. The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell Publisher Mulholland Books describes this work: “The Bayou Trilogy highlights the origins of a one-of-a-kind author, a writer who for over two decades has created an indelible representation of the shadows of the rural American experience and has steadily built a devoted following among crime fiction aficionados and esteemed literary critics alike.”
- Rodin’s Debutante by Ward Just Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt describes this work: “Tommy Ogden, a Gatsbyesque character living in a mansion outside robber-baron-era Chicago, declines to give his wife the money to commission a bust of herself from the French master Rodin and announces instead his intention to endow a boys’ school. Ogden’s decision reverberates years later in the life of Lee Goodell, whose coming of age is at the heart of Ward Just’s emotionally potent new novel.
- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Publisher Knopf describes this work: “Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.”
- To the End of the Land by David Grossman Publisher Knopf describes this work: “Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an epic hike in the Galilee.”
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson Publisher Random House describes this work: “In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.”