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At Skylight Books, Obama books beat Romney books by a landslide

November 05, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • President Obama is seen delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington D.C.
President Obama is seen delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress… (Kevin Lamarque / Associated…)

Skylight Books in Los Feliz is celebrating Tuesday's election. All the books in the store's political section are 15% off -- not just Monday and Tuesday, but through the end of the week.

Located in a generally liberal part of generally liberal Los Angeles, the books on Skylight's politics shelves are, not surprisingly, more left than right. It's not that the store doesn't have any books on Mitt Romney -- according to the store's online database, it does have one. That's "The Real Romney," a critique of the candidate by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, two reporters from the Boston Globe.

By contrast, there are more than two dozen books about President Obama. One book on the shelf is David Maraniss' straight ahead biography "Barack Obama: The Story." And then there are several books that cast a critical eye on the president and his policies: "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power" by David E. Sanger; "The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery" by Noam Scheiber; and "The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics" by Frederick Harris.

As hard as it is to imagine, not all politics is about Tuesday's election. Skylight also has books on American political thought outside of electoral politics, including "Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street" by John Nichols. Some titles, though,  like the 20th anniversary edition of "The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory," are filed in other sections. You might have to plead for a discount.

There are also books for those who are tired of thinking about politics so seriously. Try "The Dictator's Handbook" by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, or "The McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals." Even if they don't qualify for the discount, this time of year, a book like that might be worth it anyway.


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