The Obama Reading List

Yesterday I noted that a prominent member of the Turkish government gave President Obama a copy of the novel A Mind at Peace, recently published in translation by Archipelago Press.

Now I see that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has given Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. This is a book I'd very much like to read myself; it's a 500-year history of Latin America in the era of European colonization and afterward, told from the viewpoint of the Latin Americans themselves.

And Chavez's gift has sparked sales. Per The Guardian:

As footage of the encounter appeared on news bulletins, the book
rocketed up the US paperback sales chart of the online bookseller
Amazon, soaring from number 54,295 to sixth place within 24 hours.

All this book-giving is making me think that before long we're going to have a list of great books that world leaders have given to Obama. Funny how no such list came out of our last presidency.

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