1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
From the Guardian by Alison Flood
The US president visited the Martha's Vineyard bookshop Bunch of Grapes with his children, according to US reports, where he was given an advance copy of the much-anticipated novel [Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom] by store's owners. Obama also bought Paul Harding's Pulitzer prize-winning Tinkers, about the final days of a dying man, and Brad Leithauser's novel A Few Corrections after it was recommended to him by a member of staff.
"I mentioned it to him, and I got it off the shelf and he bought it," clerk Leroy Hazelton told the Boston Herald. "It's a simple book about a man looking at an obituary, and he proceeds to examine it line by line and to investigate the truth in each line. As a result, he begins to examine the actual life of the man."
Obama's focus on fiction marks a difference from last year...Perhaps he fancied escaping to fictional worlds this year - although Franzen's tale of an American family in meltdown, and Harding's story of death from cancer and kidney failure, are hardly the cheeriest of fare.