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Revive a Dead Thread > President Obama and Books

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message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments I hope many of you will enjoy this recent article in the NY Times about the influence books have had on Barack Obama. You can find it at

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/boo...


message 2: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 329 comments Overall I think he has great taste in books, but I personally never could get through Moby Dick. Having said that, it's really great to see that he seems to have a genuine love of learning and knowledge. I really think that's a vital quality for a president. :)


message 3: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos (apokalypse) I think it would be great if we nominate his book The Audacity of Hope as our next month's group read. I've noticed that we hadn't pick non-fiction books yet.


message 4: by Hayes (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:48AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Thanks, Ed. Looks good, and I will finish it later.

I'll be tuning in at 6:00 pm (my time) to watch the historic event.


message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Hayes wrote: "Thanks, Ed. Looks good, and I will finish it later.

I'll be tuning in at 6:00 pm (my time) to watch the historic event."


1:00 AM here. The Democrats Abroad are having an all night party at a local pub. I'll be there. Hallelujah!



message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Yes we can!
Yes we can!
Yes we can!

So exciting !!!!

:)


message 7: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Anybody crying? (other than me of course, I'm always crying!)


message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (chamilton12) Not yet but I did get teary eyed! Such an amazing day!

I am going to start Dreams from My Father tonight.


message 9: by Mosca (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Just finished listening to the inauguration speech. The man knows how to inspire. What a hopeful beginning!


message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) I watched at work so I couldn't start bawling, but when I get home and listen to it again I can assure you that I will be crying like a baby. It was a wonderful, inspirational speech :-)


message 11: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Okay, going to read the article but...he said he liked Moby Dick or something????? Now I am very curious to know why. I have been struggling through it for the last 4-5 years and am doing attempt 3. Finally i think i will finish it and even in the next two days. Obama Obama...Moby Dick??????


message 12: by Ed (last edited Jan 20, 2009 08:00PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Jeane wrote: "Okay, going to read the article but...he said he liked Moby Dick or something????? Now I am very curious to know why. I have been struggling through it for the last 4-5 years and am doing attempt 3..."

I agree that Moby Dick has to be the toughest "must read" I've ever tried to do. I didn't even attempt Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" or James Joyce's "Ulysses", all of which were college lit course assignments, thanks to synopses available in the library.

"Moby Dick's" theme is what makes it required reading. It represents a break from the unquestioning religious and cultural ideology of the time but I agree the price you have to pay to slog through all the detailed digressions, which may have met Melville's need to philosophize but are terribly boring, is too high. So I eventually watched the movie with Gregory Peck as Ahab and made do with the synopsis. I've never tried to go back.

Maybe, Barack, like many of us, was forced to read it as an assignment.

BTW, the article didn't say he liked it. It merely pointed out that it was listed as a book he had read on his Facebook page.


message 13: by Kandice (last edited Jan 20, 2009 07:58PM) (new)

Kandice You guys!!!! Moby Dick was great! I am beginning to think I must be crazy or something. This has come up 3 times in the last few days. My all time, forever and ever favorite book is the Scarlet Letter and that one's mentioned in the Books To Avoid thread who knows how many times. *hangs head in abject shame* I must have deplorable taste.


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather (hsditto) Kandice - If you have deplorable taste then apparently I do too...I enjoyed reading The Scarlett Letter in school and it's on my list as one that I really, really want to read again :)


message 15: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments I liked the Scarlet letter, too. The writing may have been a little turgid but it is a great story. If you took out all of Melville's digressions and just focused on the story, Moby Dick would have been a great story.

Of course, this all comes under the heading of "Different Strokes for Different Folks".


message 16: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Thank you Heather. I was worried.


message 17: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Ed said: If you took out all of Melville's digressions and just focused on the story, Moby Dick would have been a great story.

Could say that about a lot of books, actually. The Name of the Rose is one which jumps to mind. About half way thru I started reading every other chapter for the "mystery story" and jumped the "philosophizing".


message 18: by Meghanly (new)

Meghanly | 218 comments Kandice wrote: "You guys!!!! Moby Dick was great! I am beginning to think I must be crazy or something. This has come up 3 times in the last few days. My all time, forever and ever favorite book is the Scarlet Let..."

Though I never made it through Moby Dick - I loved both Scarlet Letter and To the Lighthouse (along with anything else by Virginia Woolf...). What does that make me??? :):):)




message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I haven't ever been able to read Woolf, but I think that just makes you a dedicated reader Meghan! ;)


message 20: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2396 comments YES WE CANNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






message 21: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I always hear Bob the Builder say that when I see it in print!


message 22: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Ed wrote: "Jeane wrote: "Okay, going to read the article but...he said he liked Moby Dick or something????? Now I am very curious to know why. I have been struggling through it for the last 4-5 years and am d..."

I know it wasn't said he liked it. I am wondering what he actually thinks about it. I find it interesting to see which books people like presidents read. often I write them down and see if I find rthem interesting or not.


message 23: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Kandice wrote: "You guys!!!! Moby Dick was great! I am beginning to think I must be crazy or something. This has come up 3 times in the last few days. My all time, forever and ever favorite book is the Scarlet Let..."

sorry kandice, I might have something to do with having Moby Dick coming up a lot lately. I struggled and writing about it on TNBBC helped. So many of you here also knew how much I struggled and helped me get through it...but Kandice, I am practically over with mentioning it. besides when i think about actually ahving done it!!!:-)


message 24: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 454 comments Thanks for this article...printed it out for the students to read! They all think he's cool...maybe he can encourage them to read more.


message 25: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 454 comments p.s. MOBY DICK stinks.


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) LOL...leave Moby Dick alone!


message 27: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 454 comments Sorry Jackie~


message 28: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Carrie wrote: "p.s. MOBY DICK stinks."

Moby Dick (the whale) was cool. Melville (the author) must have had a word count requirement.


message 29: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (Early-riser) I tried to read Moby Dick for years. Boring!!! Then I found an unabridged audiobook version and loved it. Just goes to show that some books are better when heard, not read.


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) (G)Emma wrote: "YES WE CANNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



"


You GO Gemma! When are you moving to the US?




message 31: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Gemmmaaaaa, I forgot you aren't in th US. Ohhhh Canada, need to go there once (at least) I find it such an interesting, beautiful country .


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Looks really interesting, I'll have to read it later.


message 33: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 454 comments LOL Ed


message 34: by Melissa W (last edited Jan 25, 2009 12:08AM) (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 11 comments I love to hear that Pres. Obama loves to read and not just books that are non-fiction. I think for a person to be "well-read", one must read a wide variety of books, or at least attempt them. I suppose it helps that he can write very well (Dreams from my Father was excellent and very well written).

While a lot of Canadians were unable to vote for Obama (probably about 99.9%), they would welcome such a leader here in Canada. Oh well, we can wish.


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