Obama’s book list during Saturday’s Business Outing

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusReaders are leaders, that's for sure and Obama is a living example Among the books Mr. Obama picked up during his annual Small Business Saturday outing was “Purity,” the Jonathan Franzen novel that includes a character reminiscent of Edward J. Snowden and Julian Assange. Mr. Obama has enjoyed Mr. Franzen’s work before — he purchased “Freedom” for beach reading in 2010. Mr. Franzen does not aspire to make a protest of the president’s surveillance power with his Snowdenesque character, Andreas Wolf, who is described by Colm Toibin in the New York Times Book Review as “self-obsessed, manipulative and concerned with fame and power.” Indeed, in an interview published in T: The New York Times Style Magazine last month, Mr. Franzen positioned himself in the middle of the debate. “Obama’s position is that it’s just metadata and a rather small amount of metadata and that intelligent, patriotic people have talked it over and there are safeguards in place,” Mr. Franzen said. “I can see both sides.” Of course, it is also possible that Mr. Obama bought the novel as a Christmas gift. Many of the other books that Mr. Obama, who was accompanied by his daughters, Malia and Sasha, bought on Saturday seemed intended for other, younger readers. Among them were three by the young adult author Cynthia Voigt, “Jackaroo,” “On Fortune’s Wheel,” and “Elske,” all part of her series called Tales of the Kingdom. Also in his bag were “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck,” by Jeff Kinney; “Dork Diaries 1: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life,” by Rachel Renée Russell; “A Snicker of Magic,” by Natalie Lloyd; and “Stargirl,” by Jerry Spinelli. The other more grown-up book he chose was “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights,” a novel by Salman Rushdie. NYT

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