August 24th, 2009
12:30 PM ET
5 years ago

What Obama's reading on the Vineyard

Obama plans to read five books on vacation, the White House said.
Obama plans to read five books on vacation, the White House said.

(CNN) - 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


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. jaykay

    No, you're right. The President shouldn't be on vacation. He should stay holed up in DC working around the clock to think of policies that would placate the right. Get a life.

    August 24, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    first of all – who cares
    second – do you think a statement of "at least he is a president who can read" is funny? If Bush didn't know how to read I am sure he would have used that as a legitimate excuse for some of the bills he signed.
    third – everyone deserves a vacation
    and fourth – democrats: do not blame republicans if the health care bill does not pass as you have "enough" votes with your democratic lackeyes in office. Perhaps they should try to listen to the other great ideas that are out there instead of pushing through a bill that could cripple the economy

    August 24, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Maybe he should start with reading the 1,000 + page healthcare bill, that he has yet to finish.

    August 24, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. walleye

    Dont begrudge the Pres a few days off. Bush was on vacation for 8 years and let Cheney run the country into the toilet.

    August 24, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Pepou

    What A president who actually reads ???

    August 24, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. donttreadonme

    Maybe he should first read and understand the Healthcare bill he is pushing!

    August 24, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Max

    He's also taking his iPod with him...is he going to listen to 2,000 songs IN A WEEK?

    CNN, could you please beam in a hologram of an irrelevant pop singer to explain this further?

    August 24, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Lysh

    Nice to have an intelligent president that spends time reading and learning. Quite a change from the wannabe cowboy walking around sawing trees with his chainsaw.

    August 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Bruce McLaughlin, USN Ret.

    Maybe Barak SOULD READ THE HEALTHCARE BILL!

    August 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Ginger

    It is totally do-able to read 300 pages a day. Why is everyone so surprised? Just be thankful that we have a president who READS - a wonderful example to all of us.

    August 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    He can learn something about true patriotism by reading about John Adams. Now THERE is hope we can believe in.....

    August 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. John L NYC

    WHO CARES! I don't care what Vineyard ice cream shop they're going to this week. i don't care what backpacks Sasha and Malia are getting for back-to-school. i don't care what Obama and Michelle had for dinner last night! The rose-colored-glasses love affair ended after inauguration day. Enjoy the vacation then come back ready to work and make some decisions. I voted for the guy but come on! The blind adoration is getting old, he's the leader of the free world, not a rockstar. We've got work to do, starting with some sort of compromise on health care.

    August 24, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Rick

    Can't your stories have some accuracy. David McCullough's book John Adams in it's unabridged form is 30 hours in the abridge form it's 9 hours. The unabridge book is 752 pages which is 2.39 minutes per page as an audio book 3000 pages = 7,180 minutes or 119 1/2 hours (5 24 hr days) if you listened continuously) not the 40 hours you report. I don't think most of these books are available in abridged audio books format. Personally I hate abridged books.

    August 24, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Farva

    He should read Archie comics like ol' Georgie.

    And stop suggesting Ayn Rand books; beyond being overrated, dull and selfish, she rationalizes the idea that being a narrow-minded, self-centered, market-fundamentalist conservative is a good thing.

    August 24, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. disgruntled

    What a snide little clip. CNN, what a load of pathetic hacks. Time to quit with this site and stick with BBC. Its time America got some news that's not biased and salacious.

    August 24, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Dee

    Cannot believe the pettiness of some people here. Even if you dont like your President's poliicies, doesnt mean you have to resort to petty criticisms. Show some maturity and respect! Your President needs and desrves some holiday time!
    Grow up folks & try to engage in some civil& intellegent dialogue. Those of you indulging in this petty griping are showing an incredible lack of intellegence and maturity! And you are leaving a very poor impression on the rest of the world. Such outrageous rumors over Pres. Obamas citizinship, death panels etc. make the rest of the world laugh! We cant believe how absolutley absurd it is! If it wasnt so sad it might be funny...

    August 24, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Keith Bond

    I wish the President would read the health reform plans instead of recreational reading. If he is going to stuff this down our throats I would at least like to think he has some idea as to what he is pushing. Maybe if he advertised the fact that he has read and UNDERSTANDS the proposed legislation he could have some shred of credibility on the issue. But since most people, including myself, cannot begin to understand the legal doublespeak in which this proposed legislation is written, I do not think he has a prayer. It is for this very set of facts that I am not buying his assurances that this is a good idea.

    August 24, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. suck up to friedman

    as he's a major spokesperson for AIPAC, obama.

    meet the new stoogy,

    same as the old one.

    only sleazier.

    August 24, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Bob

    I suggest Obama read "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free", by Charles P. Pierce. That book might provide some insights as to why so many apparently brain-dead people in this country are gullible enough to believe incredible things like the rumors about "death panels" and why these easily manipulated people are so willing to vigorously wave the flag while doing the bidding of corporate America when it's clearly not at all in their own self interest.

    August 24, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Lauren, Atlanta

    Seriously people, the man is on vacation!! Don't we all take vacation from time to time? He's a human being and requires rest to sustain. Perhaps he should work on Christmas Day, his wife's b-day, daughter's graduation and wedding anniversary. Republicans are so bitter and it scares me the hateful comments being made here.

    And if you don't feel this is relevant news, WHY TAKE TIME TO BLOG ABOUT IT??

    You're doing a great job, relax and enjoy your family Mr. President!

    August 24, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Alfred E. Neumann

    Mr President may I suggest, "Porkbarrel Legislation For Dummies" by John Murtha.

    When your your in town please stop by the John Murtha Airport – over twenty million in taxpayor funds for twenty people a day.

    Don't worry about security – no one is there!

    August 24, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Taylor, Atlanta, GA

    How about reading HR 3200?

    August 24, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Bill

    I would suggest he read Atlas Shrugged and perhaps the Constitution.

    August 24, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Get Real

    Things I learned by reading the comments on this ticker item:

    -Obama has never read any of the healthcare bills
    -He is ignoring his children and family by reading on vacation
    -He has done nothing but take vacations since he got into office
    -He should not take vacations since there are too many issues to resolve
    -No one should bring up Bush's vacations, or that Bush took the entire month of August in his first year in office as vacation at his Texas ranch, as these things don't matter
    -Obama is a communist, a socialist and a dictator
    -CNN should only publish real news stories, not human-interest or entertainment

    Of course, these things are all patiently false, entirely unfair or unprovable (except it is true that George W took the entire month of August off his first year in office), but that does not stop Obama's detractors from trashing his every move.

    August 24, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. sunjay

    How dare he take a vacation? Global warming is still going on–our planet is going through major climate change, and our President is going on a vacation? Besides, what kind of presidential vacations are spent outside a Ranch and not involve hunting? None of us have taken a vacation in the last 6 months!! (oh Wait...most of us spent 2004-2007 taking out loans on the so-called values of our homes and taking a $10,000 vacation on a $25,000 salary).

    August 24, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10