Slatereaders recommend some books for the president's vacation.

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Aug. 9 2010 7:09 AM

What President Obama Should Read This Summer

Slatereaders recommend some books for the president's vacation.

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Last Call, by Dan Okrent. * This story of prohibition was suggested by conservatives and liberals alike, though they seem to have taken different lessons from it. For conservatives, it's the story of the "folly of government intervention." For liberals, it's a story that "shows how we as a country have always been richly endowed in wingnuts."


The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley. "The best antidote to malaise."

Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers: "A good reminder of all that government can do wrong."*

"Gone Tomorrow".

Crime Novels Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child: "Excellent urban crime drama, with international-politics implications."

Savages, by Don Winslow: Crime novel set in Orange County, Calif. Interesting look at Mexican drug cartels. Withering political commentary. Very funny, which would be good for a president with no apparent sense of humor.



"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

The Common Touch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson: "Everyone is reading it. It would connect him with a lot of readers. Plus it would be a good transporter for him."

The Bible. "Show the common touch—best selling book in the world. Symbol of seeking comfort in touch times (economically, poltically). Helps deflect conservative attacks and the weird 'closet Muslim' rumors."

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