Off the top of my head, I'll give my impression of some other famous politicians:
When Obama went to the Martha's Vineyard bookstore last summer, he bought Daniel Woodrell's latest mystery novel. He's the author of Ozark crime stories, such as Winter's Bone, which provided most of what was good in the successful indie movie that launched Jennifer Lawrence's career has a hillbilly hardass.
One recent book Obama has announced he is reading is The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by English author David Mitchell, author of the acclaimed Cloud Atlas. This is an attempt at a more commercial Shogun-style historical novel about the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki harbor during the Shogun period of 1601-1853. It helps you learn a little bit about the Dutch, a nationality whom Americans tend to think we must know all about, but generally don't, and the Japanese. But the novel really takes off in the last quarter when an English Royal Navy frigate sails in (modeled upon the 1808 Nagasaki Harbor Incident). Mitchell ought to think about taking up the sea story mantle of C.S. Forrester and Patrick O'Brian. He's brilliant at putting you inside the head of an extremely competent captain as he weighs courses of action and makes decisions in real time.
Obama's two favorite things to do in the whole world are:
- walking to the bookstore and spend a leisurely afternoon browsing through the new titles;
- being President.
It's kind of an odd combination.