Here’s What President Obama Is Reading This Summer

2 minute read

Even the leader of the free world gets a break to do some summer reading.

According to ABC News, these are the books President Obama packed for his family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard:

All That IsJames Salter

This 2013 novel by one of the most critically acclaimed modern American authors follows the life of a young man, beginning with his work as a naval officer in World War II through his later work as a book editor in New York, detailing his friendships and romances along the way.

All The Light We Cannot SeeAnthony Doerr

This novel won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it intertwines the stories of a young blind girl in Paris and an orphan boy in Germany as they grow up around the time of World War II.

The Sixth ExtinctionElizabeth Kolbert

This 2014 nonfiction book explores previous mass extinctions on Earth and makes the case that humans and other organisms are in the midst of the sixth extinction.

The LowlandJhumpa Lahiri

This 2013 novel follows two brothers growing up in Calcutta in the 1950s and 1960s, tracing each of their lives as one moves to the U.S. and the other stays behind.

Between The World and MeTa-Nehisi Coates

This 2015 book is written as a letter to the author’s son, exploring race and what it means to be black in the U.S. Coates often draws comparisons to James Baldwin.

Washington: A Life Ron Chernow

This book from 2010 is a biography of George Washington and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011.

See Photos of Barack Obama in College

Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Chance Encounter In 1980, when Obama was a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he was approached by an aspiring photographer named Lisa Jack, who asked him if he would be willing to pose for some black and white photographs that she could use in her portfolio.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Handsome Of her first meeting (in a campus eatery) with Obama, Jack remembers only that "He was really cute. But what else does a 20-year-old girl remember?"Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Styled In the photos, Jack says, "You can see he is just posing, initially, but as the shoot goes on, he starts to come out. He was very charismatic even then."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Prop Jack never realized her dream of becoming a photographer and is now a psychologist.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Pose Jack and Obama would see each other only a few more times while students. But in 2005, while on a tour, she spotted Obama on Capitol Hill and yelled hello. "He knew exactly who I was after all this time," Jack says. "I was amazed."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Doubt On a dare from a skeptical friend, Jack decided to track down her negatives from the shoot.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Searcher Initially, before she dug the film out from her basement, Jack never thought her pictures would have much life beyond her own darkroom.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years
Smile When she found them, the images of Obama "blew me away," she says. "I had no idea I'd taken a whole roll of film."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years
Charm For a while, Jack put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election, when there would be no chance they could be used for a political purpose.
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Thoughtful Today, Jack says, she hopes the photos reveal a "spirit of fun and thoughtfulness."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
The Man Who Would Be President "I'm not political," Jack says, "(But) these are historic photos and they should be shared."Lisa Jack

Read next: 35 Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime

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