Rove says that Bush read 95 books in 2006 alone. In 2007, he read 51 books and as of last week, he had read 40 in 2008. The numbers are precise because Bush challenged Rove to a contest: who could read the most books. "In the 35 years I've known George W. Bush, he's always had a book nearby," Rove writes. "He plays up being a good ol' boy from Midland, Texas, but he was a history major at Yale and graduated from Harvard Business School. You don't make it through either unless you are a reader."
As might be expected, most of Bush's books have been biographies and histories.
The fact remains that Bush is a prodigious, industrial reader, and this does not conform at all to his critics' idea of who he is. They would prefer seeing him as a dolt..
Mr. Bush's 2006 reading list shows his literary tastes. The nonfiction ran from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, King Leopold, William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, LBJ and Genghis Khan to Andrew Roberts's "A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900," James L. Swanson's "Manhunt," and Nathaniel Philbrick's "Mayflower." Besides eight Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald, Mr. Bush tackled Michael Crichton's "Next," Vince Flynn's "Executive Power," Stephen Hunter's "Point of Impact," and Albert Camus's "The Stranger," among others.
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