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Reading Like The President, Part Deux

On Tuesday I asked what one book you would have the presidential candidate read before Inauguration Day. I thought that was a pretty clever question, but I guess I wasn’t the first one to think of it, and there are actually a lot of presidential reading sorts of things happening. Here’s just a few:

Scott McLemee of Inside Higher Ed asked my question to a series of “academics, editors, and public intellectuals.” As would be expected, the responses were very high-brow and intellectual, not to mention just a little bit snobby. You can read all of them in the article

In the comments Tuesday, Rebecca at Rebecca Reads mentioned the Martel-Harper Challenge. Every two weeks, author Yann Martel sends a work of fiction to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The book includes a letter from Martel about the book, which he also posts to that website.

The other election-related reading activity I came across is the U.S. Presidents Reading Project. The goal of this project/challenge is to read one book about every single president, or some combination of books that talk about all the presidents. This is a huge, huge task, but pretty cool anyway.

Once the rest of the election buzz dies down, one topic I would personally like to learn more about is the Electoral College. Why do we have it? Is it working? What if we got rid of it? I’ve been researching some books to aid in that, but would love any suggestions from you!

Do you have any political books you’re looking forward to now? Did the election take all the politics out of you? Any suggestions on books for or against the Electoral College?

This post is part of National Blog Posting Month for the month of November. You can find out more about NaBloPoMo here and view my NaBloPoMo profile page here. Thanks for reading!

Photo by flickr user clgregor

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rebecca Reid November 6, 2008, 9:31 am

    Wow, no Harry Potter on those lists!

    That’s the thing with reading: everyone has their own opinion of what is “great” and what is “worthy” of _[fill in the job title]_’s time. Yet another reason I hate recommending books to people!

  • Louise November 6, 2008, 9:52 am

    I would love to say that I had all those political bios on my TBR-pile, but I haven’t. I am simply notinterested enough (but curiously enough I am more interested in American politics than my “native” Danish politics).

    The large Clinton-bio, My Life, was very popular here in Denmark a while ago and I often see bios here of the most famous/infamous US-presidents, as well as a lot of bios of Danish politicians through the times.

    But again, I am not interested enough in politics to choose a politician’s bio over a some good fiction.

    I do however care a lot about history and have a lot of non-fiction history books about several subjects, ancient history being my main thing, but I also have an interest in American and European history, and I guess a politcian’s bio could be as much about the time that particular president lived and thus equal “history”.


  • Care November 6, 2008, 2:45 pm

    I loved reading McCullough’s book Truman and have wanted to read his John Adams – especially now that I live in Mass, but alas, not yet.

    Regarding your ending Qs, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to anything too political right now.

  • Kim November 6, 2008, 3:57 pm

    Rebecca: Yeah, pretty serious books! I like to recommend books, but I always do it with the caveat that just because I like it doesn’t mean they will.

    Louise: Why was the Clinto bio so popular? Because the president is such a huge deal, I would think a biography would be similar to a history, or at least another version of a history. I like memoirs by average people, I’m not much for memoirs or biographies of famous people, so I doubt I’ll be reading much about the presidents.

    Care: I’ve heard mixed reviews about John Adams, depending on whether the person is a big history buff or not. I’m not going to pick up any Electoral College reading for awhile yet, but it’s sometime in the future when the election hangover is over 🙂

  • Louise November 7, 2008, 12:38 am

    Bill Clinton was a popular president with the Danish people. He came here during his 8 years and talked to the people and stuff like that. After he was not president no more, he has been here on several occasions as well, doing speeches for corporate people, communications people and so on. The Danes just seem to like him in. George W. has been here as well, as he is pals with our Prime Minister, but that generated more anti-USA demonstrations than “love-fests”. W was never really a popular president in Denmark, but popular or not popular, in reality I guess the American pres. could’t care less about my small, somehow insignificant, country up here in the cold North ;o)

  • Kim November 10, 2008, 8:57 am

    GW hasn’t been super popular anywhere around the world lately. I didn’t know Bill Clinton was such a big figure internationally, although I suppose any former US president would be a big deal.