August 24th, 2009
08:16 PM ET

Pres. Obama's vacation reading list

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/24/art.obamamv.gi.jpg caption="Obama plans to read five books on vacation, the White House said."]
CNN Political Ticker

The White House has said President Obama plans to play golf and spend time with his family during his week away from Washington.

But it appears the president also wants to get some reading in: a lot of it.

White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters Monday Obama's vacation reading list comprises five books, including tomes from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and historian David McCullough.

In all, the books on Obama's list total around 2,300 pages — meaning the president would have to read close to 300 pages each day of his week-long vacation to polish off the list.

Should Obama prefer to listen to the books on his iPod, four are available in audio format with a total running time of nearly 40 hours.

Full list according to the White House:

"The Way Home" by George Pelecanos
"Hot, Flat, and Crowded" by Thomas Friedman
"Lush Life" by Richard Price
"Plainsong" by Kent Haruf
"John Adams" by David McCullough

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Janice Meints

    The Obama's have traveled all over the world, now a vacation, poor guy,

    August 25, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  2. Jason New York, NY

    It is refreshing to see our President reading for pleasure. I hope it sends a strong message to the youth of today encouraging them to read!

    To the critics of the length of the list: 5 books in one week is a reasonable amount, if you have been reading your whole life. Try it some time.

    Enjoy your vacation President Obama!

    August 25, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  3. RLWellman

    The President should take the Health Care Reform Bill along with him and read it. Along with his entire administration. That way when he comes back, they will know what it is they are signing!

    August 25, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  4. gord

    bush read a book to -see spot run-spot can jump-spot can bark

    August 25, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  5. barbara Smith

    did we ever see a list of what Pres Bush read on vacation?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:35 am |
  6. Emma

    @ VITA ZEMAITIS, why you cannot read 5 books at the same time !!!! I am a translator (into French) and I translate several things at the same time : when I get bored or stucked with one I just take another one !
    I love these comments, some are so silly ...

    August 25, 2009 at 5:08 am |
  7. Joe Luke

    Enjoy the Vineyard and the $35k house. A common man indeed.

    August 25, 2009 at 2:38 am |
  8. nea

    It dont matter what people may say and how many times they criticize President Obama he will not and cannot please everyone anyway. I really like his spirit he always seem calm all the hatred that comes out of people mouth about him and know what ,he donot respond with hatred he ignore it. Im glad that he is a humble President he dont think he know it all. He dont lash out at every negative comment about him I truly believe this President is a true Christian. I THANK GOD FOR HIM! hang in there Mr. President you will bounce back you are right where you need to be.I know the haters cannot stand the fact that you dont respond to their criticism thats why they are mad.

    August 25, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  9. Joe

    I would like to suggest that the President and/or First Lady read the new biography of Lena Horne, STORMY WEATHER, by James Gavin. This extremely well-reviewed book is easily one of the most important biographies of the year: a comprehensive look at a gorgeous, mercurial American icon, but also an amazing history of 20th century black entertainment.

    I just finished reading this book and feel like I should go back and read it again because its so rich and so informative. An amazing read.

    August 25, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  10. roy

    Cockburn, Alexander and Jeffrey St. Clair Whiteout, must read

    August 25, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  11. roy

    The Darkside is another good book

    August 25, 2009 at 12:04 am |
  12. roy

    should read Jeff Sharlet,s The Family

    August 25, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  13. Michael Stults

    Don't like O'Bama or his politics. I did recently read "John Adams" and "1776." "John Adams" was the best. Very good book.

    August 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  14. donalds

    Happy reading. Enjoy your vacation.

    August 24, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  15. Yash Dhayal

    Hi, I am a 14 year old who watches AC 360, and i think President Obama deserves a vacation. He had to go through all the mess former president Bush made (a lot of mess), and he just needs a little time away from work and with his family. BUT, I, too, think that Mr. Obama should do something about healthcare, but just let him have fun for a while, so he can tackle any problems with a mind with less worries.

    : )

    August 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  16. Candice (Queens, NY)

    OMG!!! A president takes a vacation!! Where were all the complaints during Bush's MANY trips to Camp David and Crawford, Texas?? The bottom line is many, many Americans, whose ancestors stole land from Native Americans, still cannot accept that a man of color is in the White House which by the way, was built with slave labor in a town developed and designed by a Black man. Enjoy your vacation, Mr. President!! As a secondary English teacher, I hope your love of reading encourages our students to DEAR...Drop Everything and Read!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  17. Rosalie

    The Adams book is one of my all time favorite books because he voices the extreme concern over our 2 party system which he predicted each side would spend the most time trying to destroy the other side and not work to solve our problems. Hmm!!!!! Sure rings true to me.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  18. John F

    Well heck at least he's doin' a littl better than previous president George who preferred to drive his jeep around the family spread and cut wood for his vacation and besides go and complain about his Mom's cookin. No book reading there...

    August 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  19. kaREB

    I think Hot FLAT AND CROWDED is the best choice. Thomas Friedman has a great perspective on the world. Too bad he's not in the administration.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  20. chris

    "Plainsong"–one of the best ever written.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  21. lampe

    Larry: I totally agree with you. What everyone here fails to realize is that no matter who would have become POTUS, they would have all gotten the same problems handed to them on day one. The day Obam was sworn in GWB, was no longer an issue. I also find it real funny, how the same people calling others haters, because they don't like Obama, are the same ones that's been hating on GWB for 8 years. And, some of you have real memory lapses. GWB, was hated on for most of his 8 years, he was called Hitler and a Nazi. But I'm sure now of you Obama Supporters ever did that. Right?

    August 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I guess spending money at a rate 3 times that of any other President in history tires you out.

    @Fedup2009, you must have been hiding under a rock if you didn't hear all the attacks on Bush. Obama has had it easy so far. But that's changing fast as Americans realize they've been conned.

    August 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  23. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Think the President is doing a great job, all things considered. Reading list is interesting & give him credit for selecting to relax & read a bit while on vacation with his family, ... Lord knows he needs a break ... especially from all of us !

    August 24, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  24. Greg Hawkins (Lathrup Village, MI)

    Seeing the First Family arrive at Martha's Vineyard was a beautiful sight! I hope they have loving, relaxing week. I can imagine they need it!

    August 24, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  25. Annie Kate

    The John Adams book by David McCullough is excellent. I have read it and thoroughly enjoyed it as well as learned a great deal. There are several other books of the same ilk as this one that are also good – Andrew Jackson by Jon Meacham and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson. McCullough also wrote 1776. They are all good reads.

    August 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  26. Rain Pebble

    My list for President Obama:

    Facing A World In Crisis by Jiddu Krishnamurti
    Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti

    August 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  27. Larry

    There's no 'well he's only new on the job'. Once he was sworn in the job was his from that point on; so enough of this crap about him inheriting this and that. He wanted the job, its all his as of Jan. 20 2009; there's no period of internship to see if you can do the job. Obama works for us. The only haters are those who continue to whine about G.W.Bush, BTW he's no longer president so take a closer look at the guy who is the president now. Glad Bush is gone, move on.

    August 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  28. elizabeth- cawobeth

    I highly recommend That President Obama read a book by a particular woman author.
    I choose this due to his successful background in law and the observation that he has displayed a lack of reverence for one of our greatest humanitarians. I hope that President Obama reads "Michael Jackson Conspiracy" by lawyer, Aphrodite Jones. This book has been on the International best seller list, with ratings rising again at this time, and is ward of speculation. It is based on thoroughly investigated facts regarding one of the most horrid accusations against a famous person of our time.

    Further reasons this is recommended:
    MJ has been recognized by four previous US presidents,
    the president need respect decisions made by our justice system, Pres. Obama himself recently sighted displeasure in how the media covers stories and there continues to be an extraordinary reaction, around the world, regarding this great loss, I believe that Pres. Obama should recognize Michael Jackson more than just listening to him from his i-pod. Not to mention that there exists a resolution to congress honoring MJ which has not been addressed; probably due to the excessive time required by the issue of health-care reform.*I also recommened a video- "The Untold Story of Neveland" on youtube

    August 24, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  29. corvedacosta

    I can't believe Culture of Corruption didn't make the list. I'm just saying lol
    Overall a great list.

    August 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  30. Sandy McIntyre

    I can't even imagine, in my wildest dreams, anyone even giving a crap about this!!

    August 24, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  31. Jane Alkon

    He should be reading "Mr. Boy" by Jane Alkon! And Michelle should be reading this fabulous book to her kids! A great book about a Labrador retriever and his crazy puppyhood antics. Fun and stress free!!!!!! http://mrboybooks.com

    August 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  32. KIm

    Sail boats,horses,a private beach,golf and he's reading five books ? Okay,whatever you say !

    August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  33. Ron

    What a relief it is to have a brilliant Pres one who reads and keeps an open mind. Our Presa constitutional lawyer is behaving like he instructs...checks and balance! He knows this is not a perfect Union. Have a great vacation! You haters....hate on!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  34. Robert Ford

    At least he's not considering Sag Harbor, I just finished it and it was boring. I might take the John Adams suggestion though...

    August 24, 2009 at 5:57 pm |

    How can one read five books at the same time? Doesn't the content sort of get mixed up? Not being disrespectful, but shouldn't ourPresident be reading the Health Care Report? It would take me forever!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  36. Larry

    Zoe. Why do you think we have a VP, who would be followed in line by Nancy Pelosi?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  37. oh please!

    Fed up with what ?
    He hasn't been in office a year.
    And is trying his best to set this mess right.
    If you have a better plan RUN FOR OFFICE!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  38. Larry

    Leave Obama alone? Isn't that what the people living in a dictatorship do? I guess he has his groupies.

    For a book it should be 'How To Fool The American Public Into Voting For You' subtitled 'Promise Everything, Deliver Nothing'

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  39. johnnyb

    Pithy joke about "Presidency for Idiots."

    As I'm sure you would know, John Adams was our nation's second president. Shortly after he took office, we were dragged into the middle of the growing conflict between the British and the French.

    I would imagine a thoughtful biography on Adams and his presidency would be of considerably greater value than the kind of cursory how-to guide you seem to be familiar with. I hope Obama finds it engaging and insightful, and I'm glad to see him seeking wisdom from his predecessors.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  40. Mari

    Some of the comments against President Obama are downright hateful.

    What's pathetic is that the very hateful people writing such comments, more than likely attended church yesterday and today sit at their PC's and type hate against a new president.

    Why all the criticism of a president's vacation? Bush left on vacation....... 487 times to Crawford and 490 times to Camp David.

    And let's not forget, a few days after 9/11, Bush was playing golf when he was asked about 9/11, he said a couple of things....... and then said to the reporter "now watch this shot."

    People who live in glass houses..........

    August 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  41. Tonya C

    Fed up- You are the idiot Atleast my President knows how to under what he reads your last one didnt!! Move away since you are FED UP!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  42. Heather,ca

    Fed up

    I agree.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  43. Sabina Cragg

    Presidency for Idiots. Wasn't that written by George W Bush?

    August 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  44. Zoe

    Sometimes I wonder if and when Pres. Obama should wear a bulletproof vest. That would be a sad day for America.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  45. ashley johnson

    leave Obama alone!!!!! dont you people out their have better things to do than constantly being all up on his back, let the man breath give him a chance damn!!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  46. alice NYC

    Good reading choices, at least we now have a president who is intelligent enough to read. I think their vacation choice of Martha's Vineyard is great. I,ve been there and it is a great place to relax and enjoy your privacy with the family. The girls are going to love it and the first lady is going to love, all the quaint shops on the vineyard, as well as the Cape. Have a great time OBAMA FAMILY, you deserve it.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  47. Fedup2009

    I sit and listen to all this about the health care debate and the attacks on our president and it is sad that people resort to the outlandish things they say about our president. We never heard all of this during the previous administration even after we were put in a staggering deficit and nothing to help the american people. Now we have the Becks and other networks calling him a racist, this is reprehensable. Why are people so afraid of change that we desperately need

    August 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  48. JM

    Get over it! The man has just stepped into the most difficult situation any president has faced since the Vietnam war. He is doing as decent a job anyone could expect a human being to do. People forget that the man is HUMAN he's not superman and we have to realize that the only tools at his disposal are the civil tools of democracy that our society has created. Also can we give the man and his family a break about his vacation. If you were carrying the weight of half the world, two wars, an economic crisis, health care reform, and angry loud Americans; you would be pretty stressed out to. I wonder how many times he's gotten to sit down and talk with his kids in the past three weeks. Let him have his single week of vacation and then get back to fighting for the US, till Christmas. The man is clearly full steam ahead if he plans to read all five of those books in the next six days.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  49. JC- Los Angeles

    "A Confederacy of Dunces" is the only masterpiece that applies to our storied politicians, corporate executives and leadership.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  50. Fed Up

    How about: Presidency for Idiots.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm |