Jessica Lee, the Willard Librarian, first showed me this picture at a meeting, and I knew I had to share it with you. The President made this poster with the Skokie, Illinois public library in 2006. This book he’s holding is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, which examines Abraham Lincoln’s style of leadership, including the men he selected for his cabinet, former rivals that he turned into allies.
When asked by CBS news anchor Katie Couric about his favorite books, he responded as follows:
“Well, the bible is the book that shaped me and moved me the most. But, in addition to that, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon might be one of my favorite books. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful book. And I’ve gotten a chance to know Toni Morrison during the course of this campaign, and she’s just as elegant and wise and thoughtful as you would want her to be. You know, it’s always nice to meet somebody and they turn out to be just like you want them to be. She’s just a spectacular writer and a spectacular woman.
Shakespeare’s tragedies, whether it’s Hamlet or [King] Lear. There’s so much in each of those tragedies. You can read them once a year and each year, there’s something new, there’s something you didn’t notice. There is some insight into the human dilemma. It’s powerful stuff.”