Obama Reads (Good) Books

November 1, 2008

Paul Theroux on Obama and the governor of Hawaii (who apparently doesn’t like Obama):

I was introduced to Gov. Lingle at a political event not long after her reelection by a friend who insistently repeated my name. When the governor looked blank, my friend said, “The writer! He writes books!” She said, “I don’t have a lot of free time for reading,” and moved on.

Funnily enough, the first time I met Senator Obama, two years ago in a hamburger joint in my little town on the North Shore of Oahu (the sort of place only a local would know), he showed an intimate acquaintance with my work, and even an appreciation. I was with Pico Iyer. Obama said to Pico, “I love your book on Cuba.” Needless to say, I urged the senator to run for president.


Meanwhile, back at the tabernacle:

From Dark Star Safari:

The best story about the [Cairo] station, told to me by a man who witnessed it unfold, does not concern a luminary but rather a person delayed in the third-class ticket line.  When this fussed and furious man at last got to the window he expressed his exasperation to the clerk, saying, “Do you know who I am?”

The clerk looked him up and down and, without missing a beat, said, “In that shabby suit, with a watermelon under your arm, and a third class ticket to El Minya, who could you possibly be?”


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