Presidential reading list loss

One fact about Trump is that he will never be First Reader. He doesn’t read and he’s proud of it. All past presidents have brought great works and authors to the general public. Bill Clinton spotlighted Maya Angelou generally, and Gabriel García Márquez, specifically ONE HUNDRED DAYS OF SOLITUDE. Obama highlighted Helen Macdonald’s H IS FOR HAWK, Colson Whitehead’s BARBARIAN DAYS, and SEVENEVES, a sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson. Ronald Reagan brought us Tom Clancy’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and made it a bestseller. Most of all, John F. Kennedy brought us Ian Flemming with CASINO ROYAL and all the James Bond novels since.

Reading lists from interesting and powerful people, especially presidents, give us insights into what guides their thinking, what stimulates their thoughts, and through what literary doors they are able to escape and decompress. Their lists show that they are, in many ways, just like us.

Trump is not a reader. Sad.

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