November 7, 2012

The candidates through the books they read


Well, the results are in, and it is interesting to compare what worked and what didn’t for each of the candidates — could it have something to do with the books they read?

The Los Angeles Times and The Daily Beast ran a comparison of Obama and Romney’s book selections with instructive conclusions.

On Obama’s list:

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Shakespeare’s tragedies, Dorris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

On Romney’s list:

L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth and Bill Bryson’s memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Which is more presidential?

The Telegraph offers a more detailed breakdown of the candidates’ choices, concluding that Obama’s “taste in fiction emerges from the Walt Whitman school of nature-loving, lyrical radicalism” while Romney has “no modern novels on his list and nothing from outside America.”



Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.