In a recent interview with Time, Lisa Lucas, the director of the National Book Foundation, recommends four books for Trump to read, including a title from vocal opponent and civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). "We were so lucky to have such a wonderful reader in President Obama," Lucas says, highlighting the 44th POTUS' oft-repeated assertion "that reading novels helped to make him a better citizen." Unfortunately, Donald Trump doesn't read nearly as much as his predecessor, but Lucas says she "can only hope that [he] is as interested in our stories, lives and literature" as President Obama was.
Donald Trump's willful illiteracy became stunningly obvious in December, when Financial Times named him its Person of the Year for 2016. The magazine lamented Trump's "lack of knowledge about the world beyond his business empire," and quoted a "longstanding [Trump] associate" who said that the then-president-elect "has literally never read a book, including the US constitution [sic]." That didn't stop Trump from bragging on Twitter about the nod, however.
That Trump doesn't read really comes as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to his interviews. When Extra correspondent A.J. Calloway asked what his favorite books were, Trump responded with The Art of the Deal and Surviving at the Top: his ghostwritten books from 1987 and 1990. The Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz told The New Yorker that he never saw a book in Trump's vicinity, and the only book the real estate mogul-turned-president has been connected to — that didn't have his name on it — was a volume of Adolf Hitler's speeches, My New Order, which he kept by his bedside.
Donald Trump doesn't read, folks, and that's one yuuuge problem. Here are the four books that National Book Foundation Director Lisa Lucas thinks he should read.
1'Citizen: An American Lyric' by Claudia Rankine
This short, lyrical work by MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine recounts the racist microaggressions Rankine, her friends, and black celebrities have endured in our allegedly "post-racial" age.
2'March' by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
The third volume of March won four American Library Association awards this year, marking the first time so many ALA honors had gone to an author in a single year. Lewis' graphic novel account of the Civil Rights Movement opens with the Bloody Sunday march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
3'Strangers in Their Own Land' by Arlie Russell Hochschild
If you think Trump has any insight into the lives of the real people who formed the bulk of his voter bloc, think again. In Strangers in Their Own Land, Arlie Russell Hochschild explores the day-to-day lives of rural U.S. conservatives, in an attempt to understand this often stereotyped group. Her findings are important for Trump and Lefties alike.
4'Stamped from the Beginning' by Ibram X. Kendi
Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction, Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning examines why black lives don't matter in the U.S., painting a dismal portrait of how pseudoscience and economics have contributed to a lasting impression of black people as less than human.