Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

while we're talking book clubs… is calling Obama “the next Oprah.” The president’s widely circulated summer reading list seems to have given every book on it a huge bump in sales, as indicated by these Amazon rankings (stats are via Politico) BEFORE = on Monday, before Obama’s list was released / AFTER = as of Wednesday):
The Way Home by George Pelecanos — BEFORE: no. 33,349 / AFTER: no. 328
Lush Life, by Richard Price — BEFORE: no. 74,289 / AFTER: no. 10,295
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman — BEFORE: no. 231 / AFTER: no. 41
John Adams by David McCullough — BEFORE: no. 14,301 / AFTER: no. 7,067
Plainsong by Kent Haruf — BEFORE: 8,155 / AFTER: no. 189

On Slate, John Dickerson considers how Obama’s reading choices reflect on him. (Thanks to Anu for sending me this article.) Meanwhile, some critics — leaping on the fact that Obama had previously read and quoted from Hot, Flat, and Crowded, and that he later referred to it being “on his nightstand” — seem to think there’s something weird about reading a book twice, or reading it slowly over a long period of time while you RUN THE COUNTRY and have to read a million other things. **Sigh.**

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