President Obama’s Top 12 Books

With only 3 more days left in office, President Obama has recently discussed how books were a big part of his life, especially over the past 8 years. A best-selling author himself, he has recommended some great titles, but has surprised us all by being a prolific reader as well. Here are some of the books he’s read while in office:

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
A tale of the intertwining experiences of a blind French girl and orphaned German boy during the Nazi occupation, it is a mesmerizing story of how people can change each other’s lives without even realizing it.

Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer – Joseph Conrad
Based on Conrad’s own 1890 trip up the Congo River, the story is told by Marlow, the novelist’s alter ego. It is a journey into darkness and horror—both literally, as the narrator descends into a sinister jungle landscape.

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
The story of a marriage told from the perspectives of both husband and wife, it’s a raw, dark, and dazzling examination of how a relationship—and the people in it—can change over 24 years, for better or worse.

Nora Webster – Colm Toibin
Set in a small Irish village, Colm Tóibín’s latest novel introduces us to widowed mother Nora Webster, who must navigate the complexities of grief and loss while continuing to live her life.

The Whites – Richard Price
Back in the 1990s, when Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an anti-crime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a ten-year-old boy while stopping an angel-dusted berserker in the street. Branded as a cowboy, Billy spent years in one dead-end posting after another. Now in his early forties, he is a sergeant in Manhattan Night Watch, a team of detectives that responds to all felonies from Wall Street to Harlem.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights – Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie’s fantastic (and fantastical) story centers on a storm in New York City that reawakens an ancient conflict between humans and the descendants of a mystical creature known as the Jinn.

The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
Follows 2 brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan
A sweeping story that moves from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia and explores the important themes of war and truth, love and death.

A Constellation of Deep Phenomena – Anthony Marra
Set in a small rural village in Chechnya, Anthony Marra’s novel about love, compassion, and war centers around a young girl named Havaa and the neighbor who takes her in after Russian soldiers abduct her father and set fire to her home.

Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
A National Book Award winner and favorite of many adults, Jacqueline Woodson’s young adult masterpiece is a collection of poems that reveal what it was like for her to grow up in South Carolina and New York in the 1960s and ’70s, among the remnants of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement.

Tinkers – Paul Harding
Paul Harding’s debut novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner and is a meditation on life, loss, illness, faith, and nature, told through the perspective of a dying old man. As the clock runs down, his memories intertwine with those of his father and grandfather.

Rodin’s Debutante – Ward Just
Following the life of Lee Goodell, a man whose life was once changed by a Gatsbyesque figure named Tommy Ogden, Rodin’s Debutante explores the ways in which we remember, and how we decide which moments shape us forever.

For the full article from Off the Shelf, you can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/gombbu5

-Claire

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