Friday, October 16, 2009

Top ten books for Obama officials

Robert McCrum is assistant books editor for the Observer. Back in March 2009 he named a list of ten books for Obama officials, based on the premise that "we want the men and women who are running the world economy to have a bit more light and shade [than can be found in, say, Epictetus] in their intellectual hinterlands , and to have the confidence to go off-piste in their reading. In other words: to relax, to let their minds spin freely, to loosen their imaginations in the company of a great book."

One book on his list:
Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth.

This classic comedy of manners is also a brilliant portrait of an oddly contemporary woman. Lily Bart lives for pleasure and material rewards, and can only find fulfilment through conspicuous consumption. This strain runs deeper in the US than Democrats might like to admit.
Read about all ten books on McCrum's list.

The House of Mirth appears among Kate Christensen's six books that she rereads all the time.

--Marshal Zeringue