Barack Obama announced his summer reading list the other day. While, of course, the list is likely only half the story (the half that's been vetted and field-tested for maximum public appeal), it's always interesting to hear what our political leaders read in their downtime.
I thought we could take a look at the collectibility of the titles on Obama's list in this blog post.
First up is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, the only non-fiction title on the list, which covers the migration of African-Americans from the South to the North. The cheapest copy of a signed first edition, in fine condition, is $75 and the price goes up from there.
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Next on the list is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Signed, fine copies of Verghese's novel of conjoined twins in Ethiopia begin at $85.00.
Then we've got Robin's Debutante by Ward Just. The novel follows the political awakening of a protagonist who moves to Chicago's South Side. (Sound familiar?) No signed copies are listed for sale on abebooks, but you can pick up a fine first edition for $25.00 or an advanced proof copy for $8.50.
Next is To the End of the Land by David Grossman, which is about a mother hiking the length of Israel while her son is at war. Signed, fine copies of the first edition start at $55.00
Closing the list is The Bayou Trilogy by David Woodrell, a collection of country noir set in Louisiana. A single, signed copy of the trilogy is selling on abebooks for $16.00. The trilogy, of course, was originally published in separate volumes. The first book (and Woodrell's first ever novel), Under the Bright Lights commands $150 for a signed copy. A similar, signed copy of Muscle for the Wing will set you back $80, while The Ones You Do runs a scant $25.00.
The most expensive collectable copy of a book on Obama's list, therefore, is Woodrell's Under the Bright Lights (represented by proxy with The Bayou Trilogy) while the cheapest collectable copy is the $8.50 advanced proof copy of Robin's Debutante, by Ward Just. Now if only Obama's personal copies would come on the market...
And there you have it, Obama's summer reading list, FB&C style.