Sunday, 28 December 2008

On the Fourth Day of Christmas my True Love Gave to me...Four Calling Birds.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, I have chosen to pick up the theme of 'calling', and highlight four books, related to one of the most significant news stories of 2008, the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

Having lived in Chicago at a time when he was senator, it was easy to recognize that he was a man with a calling. In 2004, knowing nothing about him, we listened to one of his locally delivered speeches and knew he would one day run for President. That he would be elected only four years later is a credit to him.

Publisher Canongate
has long admired Obama’s talent as a writer, and publishes the three bestselling books written by Obama himself. Dreams from my Father features in Waterstones, Amazon and Blackwells Top 10 Lists and favourite paperbacks of the year at the time of writing.

To date, his three books have sold over 407,000 copies in the UK. Dreams from My Father, released by Canongate in June this year, has sold 208,447 copies alone. They also released the audio CD of "Dreams From My Father" which is not included in these figures. A hardback edition of "Dreams From My Father" is being published on 15 January 2009.

In an interview on amazon.com given just before the release of Dreams of my Father, he gives a brief insight into the writer and the man to be the next President of the United States.

Q: Do you ever find time to read? What kinds of books do you try to make time for? What is on your nightstand now?

A: Unfortunately, I had very little time to read while I was writing. I'm trying to make up for lost time now. My tastes are pretty eclectic. I just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, a wonderful book. The language just shimmers. I've started Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which is a great study of Lincoln as a political strategist. I read just about anything by Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow, or Philip Roth. And I've got a soft spot for John le Carre.

Q: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

A: I'm inspired by the people I meet in my travels--hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I'm inspired by the love people have for their children. And I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.


The Audacity of Hope.
"A "political biography that concentrates on the senator's core values," according to the Chicago Tribune. The paper also credited the large crowds he met at book signings in part having contributed to his decision to run for President.

This title presents Barack Obama's political vision for the future of America.If Barack Obama is successful in his quest to become President of the United States, he will dramatically change the face that his country presents to the world.In this bestselling book, Obama discusses the importance of empathy in politics, his hopes for a different America with different policies, and how the ideals of its democracy can be renewed.With intimacy and self-deprecating humour, Obama describes his experiences as a politician, about balancing his family life and his public vocation. His earch for consensus and his respect for the democratic process inform every sentence. A senator and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a sceptic, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power that will inspire people the world over. It is an autobiography and covers politics.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781847670830
Published: 7 February 2008
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd


Dreams from My Father.
The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama was only two years old when his father walked out on the family. Many years later, Obama receives a phone call from Nairobi: his father is dead. This sudden news inspires an emotional odyssey for Obama, determined to learn the truth of his father's life and reconcile his divided inheritance. Written at the age of thirty-three, "Dreams from my Father" is an unforgettable read. It illuminates not only Obama's journey, but also our universal desire to understand our history, and what makes us the people we are.

Format: Paperback 464 pages
Date of publication: 05/06/2008
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781847670946

Change We Can Believe in.
The election of Barack Obama as President of the USA is a defining moment for all of us. After years of failed policies and a failed politics from Washington, change has arrived. Barack Obama now has the chance to reclaim the American dream. He has proven to be a new kind of leader-one who can bring people together, be honest about the challenges we all face, and move his nation forward. "Change We Can Believe In" outlines his vision for America and its standing in the world. In these pages you will find bold and specific ideas about how Barack Obama plans to fix the ailing American economy and strengthen its middle class, make health care affordable for all, achieve energy independence, and keep America safe in a dangerous world. "Change We Can Believe In" ask us not just to believe in Barack Obama's ability to bring change to Washington, it asks us to believe in the ability of each of us to change the world.

Format: Hardback 304 pages
Date of publication: 11/12/2008
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781847674326


President Obama, by Time Publications, Callie Shell.
On November 4, 2008, America voted for change. This is a must-have record of this epic event, featuring exclusive footage from campaign photographer Callie Shell, showing the profound speeches and rallies of Obama's trail, as well as the private, more poignant moments of his journey to become America's 44th president. Behind-the-scenes photography is accompanied by "TIME" articles from its stable of respected writers, documenting Barack Obama's journey from his groundbreaking speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. Callie Shell has been alongside Obama since he started his campaign in January 2006, and has been able to document the private side of the 'skinny kid with a funny name', showing what he's like in repose, with Michelle Obama and their two daughters as well as when he's on the stage or behind the podium. Featuring interviews, analysis and the photographic inside track to this fascinating man, this is the book to own when people ask you here you were the day that history was made.

Format: Paperback 96 pages
Date of publication: 26/12/2008
Publisher: David & Charles PLC
ISBN: 9780715333419

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