Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama's Book

Yann Martell of course started the trend of making pointed political comment with the book gift or two.

More recently The New York Times asked authors including Junot Diaz, Lorrie Moore (who recommended Macbeth for Hilalry Clinton!) and Barbara Kingsolver to suggest titles for the presidential hopefuls, after Obama was seen reading Fareed Zakaria The Post-American World. (Which I would really like to read myself.)

Guy Damman on The Guardian blog passed on the question on to its readers with some interesting results.

And I pass it on to you too. What books would you say are must-reads for Cane and Obama (now that it's down to a two-horse race)?

And, of course (and much more interestingly), which books would you like to see in the hands of Malaysia's own politicians?


mel said...

Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", for:

1. Rais Yatim who dared suggest that women should get written permission before travelling alone,

2. Ibrahim Ali who called for women to be "educated" on polygamy,

3. Munirah Bahari (although she's not a politician) who thinks that our current school uniform is too transparent & invites rape, &

4. Ng Yen Yen who was too quiet throughout all this for a Minister of Women, Family & Community Development

bibliobibuli said...

that's a brilliant choice,mel. we should really send those copies and generate some publicity.

i think the book should be required reading for every politician actually, along with cormace mccarthy's "the road"

mel said...

Haha yes, we should. It would be interesting to hear back from the politicians as well about what they thought of the books, etc.

"The Road" is among the 43 titles in my TBR pile.

Jordan said...

There wouldn't happen to be a book called 'Governing for Dummies', would there? Too lazy to google it.

Anonymous said...

What a great question! I've always thought Dubya should be locked in a small room and forced to read a year's worth of serious fiction, just to teach him that the world isn't black and white and that there is no such thing as "Evil." The Handmaid's Tale and The Road are both excellent suggestions. Maybe all our politicians should also be made to actually *read* Burgess's Malayan Trilogy instead of just banning it?

I'd also make Fanon's Wretched of the Earth required reading for all governments of former colonies (if only to see how closely they conform to the patterns he predicted, ha!) and The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah (for the same reason -- a good hard look in the mirror).

-- Preeta

kamal s said...

The Road (Cormac McCarthy) -- to all Malaysian politicians both sides.

Black Water (Joyce Carol Oates) -- for those who are trying VERY hard to cover up their scandals!

The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) -- imposing and shoving religion down someone's throat is hazardous to mental health! (Hello, Pak Cik)

Streisand: Her Life (James Spada) -- Those who want to be popular, gotta learn from mother of all divas.

(I'll let you know the 5th one, right after I make my selection).