Entries in Books (2)


Obama Family Participates in Small Business Saturday

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Between hitting the hardwood himself and taking in a college basketball game with his family Saturday, President Obama managed to wedge in something a bit more cerebral—a bookstore shopping spree with daughters Sasha and Malia.

The president browsed the shelves at Kramer Books, a popular Washington D.C. bookstore, with his daughters, telling fellow customers he was supporting Small Business Saturday, a day in which shoppers are encouraged to visit local small businesses after the frenzy over deals offered on Black Friday by department stores and large chain stores.

Obama, Malia and Sasha came away with a stack of books, including: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, Tails, The Tiger’s Wife, The Phantom Tollbooth, Zen Shorts, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Obama also purchased Descent into Chaos: the United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The president was asked how he felt about personal aide Reggie Love’s departure at the end of the year.

“We’re sad to see Reggie go,” Obama said, “But he’s doing the right thing. He’s going to finish his education and as you can see, we’re still getting a little basketball in.”

Love was among those who played basketball with the president earlier in the day.

In the afternoon, the Obama family, along with mother-in-law Marian Robinson, attended the Towson University-Oregon State University men’s basketball game in Towson, Md. Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, coaches the OSU Beavers. The OSU Thanksgiving weekend game has become a bit of a tradition for the Obamas—in 2009, they watched the Beavers defeat the George Washington University Colonials 64-57 and, in 2010, the Howard University Bison 84-74.

Also attending the game were Education Secretary and Arne Duncan and comedian Bill Murray, who spent time chatting with the president.

Happily for the Obama family, Oregon State romped over Towson 66-46.

The president has had a busy Thanksgiving weekend thus far, hosting roughly 50 family members and friends for dinner on Thursday and playing a round of golf Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama's Reading List on Martha's Vineyard Revealed

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(EDGARTOWN, Mass.) -- We now know how the president’s going to spend some of his downtime while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard.

On Friday, President Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha made an impromptu stop at Bunch of Grapes, a popular island bookstore in Vineyard Haven. When they left the bookstore some 30 minutes later, Sasha emerged with a large brown paper bag, but despite several requests by tenacious reporters as to what books the president might have purchased, it took 24 hours to finally learn most of the bag’s contents.

Drum roll please:  On President Obama’s reading list were two new purchases. One was “The Bayou Trilogy,” a collection of three novels by Daniel Woodrell that features a recurring character, Det. Rene Shade, an ex-boxer turned cop. These thrillers take place in the Louisiana swamp town of Saint Bruno, according to, which says “there’s poetry in Woodrell’s mayhem, each novel -- and scene -- full of gritty and memorable Cajun details.”

His second purchase, “Rodin’s Debutante,” written by Ward Just, his 17th novel. This book may ring more familiar to President Obama as it takes place on the outskirts of Chicago around the mid-20th century and features an adventurous kid, Amazon says, who “tries to find a way to create art in the face of the world’s harshness.” 21st century translation: an adventurous president who tries to find a way to create a balanced budget in the face of Congress’ harshness.

The president also brought along three other books with him. “Cutting for Stone” is a novel by Abraham Verghese that spans decades and continents, from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City. “To the End of the Land,” by Israeli author David Grossman, is a novel about an Israeli mother caught up in a love triangle with two men who each fathered a son with her. The story is intertwined with the reality of decades of military conflicts in the region, described by as “a book of mourning for those not dead, a mother's lament for life during a wartime that has no end in sight.”

Lastly, “The Warmth of other Suns,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, the only non-fiction book on the president’s list. It follows three African-Americans who fled the south as part of the “great migration,” the exodus of 6 million black Southerners.

No word yet on what the girls purchased.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio