Major Garrett reports that for his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, the president has George Pelecanos’ latest book on his reading list. Pelecanos is, in my estimation, easily one of the finest crime writer working today. (Pelecanos was also one of the writers on The Wire, which is pretty much the best show in the history of television. And I don’t say that as hyperbole.) The president is slated to read Pelecanos’ latest effort, The Way Home which I haven’t gotten around to yet — though I have noticed it’s getting mixed reviews. However, his 2006 novel The Night Gardener was terrific and two of his earlier efforts King Suckerman and The Sweet Forever are among my favorite crime novels ever. (Though I will note that one of Pelecanos’ books is a preachy and insufferable anti-gun jeremiad.)
Anyway, as an avid reader I like to think that a president’s fiction reading list can tell you something interesting about them. In that way, Bill Clinton’s findness for Stephen Hunter and GWB’s fondness for Vince Flynn seemed in keeping with their respective personalities. Anyway, Pelecanos is very literary for a genre writer and writes very deftly about race and class — so it makes sense Obama would enjoy him.
UPDATE: Greg Pollowitz sends the following note about Obama’s lengthy reading list for his vacation — “That’s a lot of reading for obama. Why won’t he read the health care bill then?” Heh.