Our Favorite Reads

Did you follow the Democratic and Republican conventions? I wasn’t exactly glued to the coverage of the nominations, but I did find them interesting.

Being a book person, the focus on politics has made me think about some books that deal with politics. The first one that came to mind was Primary Colors which was published anonymously in the 1990’s. The novel follows the presidential primary campaign of a southern governor who is smart, inspirational, and surrounded by personal scandal. Sound familiar? Primary Colors is a smart, funny story with characters and events that you will probably recognize.

First published in 1946, All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren is possibly the best American political novel, and the one that I intend to read again this year. Loosely based on the life of Louisiana governor Huey Long, this Pulitzer Prize winning book centers on man’s continual search for knowledge with the end goal being self-knowledge. This complex novel raises a variety of issues from politics to religion.

Advice and Consent by Allen Drury and Washington, D.C. by Gore Vidal are a couple of other political novels of interest. Advice and Consent is a classic novel that deals with the nomination of a highly controversial person for the position of Secretary of State. The novel portrays Washington, D.C. in the 1950’s and 1960’s as a jungle of intrigue where anything goes in the struggle for power and position, but also as a city where idealism and principles have a place.

Washington, D.C. is set in the period from the New Deal to the McCarthy years. The primary characters, a powerful conservative Senator and his young assistant, both have presidential ambitions, and they are a study in contrasts—for the Senator to be dishonest is literally demoralizing; for his assistant nothing matters except winning. The importance of image and money in politics is part of the message of this novel.

I’m always looking for suggestions for good reading and would appreciate hearing about books that you enjoy. Please share you favorite reading with us.

Staff Picks--Click here to read more about our favorites

Pat: I, Witness: The Shocking Insider's Story of Jehovah's Witness by Daniel Clark
Dana: Grape Thief by Kristine Franklin
Bruce:The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Melanie: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
Shawn: Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold