Obama, "Sick Of Briefing Books," Turns To Novel

(Pantheon)
When he gets tired of trying to solve the country's problems, it seems President Obama likes to kick back with a novel: In an interview with the New York Times, the president said he is "sick of briefing books" and is reading "Netherland" by the Irish author Joseph O'Neill.

The 2008 novel features a Dutchman living in NYC after the 9/11 attacks. His wife leaves him and he begins playing cricket with a Trinidadian immigrant who works for a Russian gangster. The story, written in the first person, explores how people perceive their life as a narrative and how New York gets under your skin and never quite goes away, according to the Washington Post's review on Amazon.

"Netherland," as one of New York Times's best books of the year, has already sold over 90,000 copies but that number might surge on the news. Mr. Obama has a way of making books wildly popular – when Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave him a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America," that book shot up to from about 50,000 in total sales to the become the second bestselling book on Amazon.com.

Other books in Mr. Obama's recent repertoire include "The Post-American World" by Fareed Zakaria, which talks about what happens in a world in which the United States is not a lone superpower. Salon.com published an article in 2008 which referred to Mr. Obama as "the most literary president" and offers a partial list of his reading material.

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