This story was first published on The Reading Room.
President Obama has released a summer reading list of six books that he plans to get through during his vacation.
The list includes this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction. Obama will also read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, the searing treatise on race relations in America that has been a constant cause of discussion in the literary world since its publication last month. Interestingly, the original inspiration for Coates’ book came in part from a meeting with President Obama in 2013. At that meeting, Coates criticized Obama’s policies, claiming that they did not do enough to address racial inequality.
The presidential summer reading list is an annual tradition, and parsing it is the delight of literary aficionados and amateur political scientists alike. President Obama is apparently planning to read every one of these books during his 16-day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Six books in 16 days is a pretty tall order, but if Obama is like us he probably can’t imagine a better vacation than one spent with his nose in a book!
Check out the complete list below.
Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri
All That Is, by James Salter