What We Are Reading Today: Barack and Joe

Updated 19 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Barack and Joe

Author: Steven Levingston

Barack and Joe is an intimate look at the making of the powerful partnership between former US President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Based on original interviews, media reports, memoirs and other accounts, Barack and Joe is the first book to tell the full story of their historic relationship and its substantial impact on the Obama presidency and its legacy.
Author Steven Levingston “does a great job recounting the veepstakes process of Obama picking Biden to be his running mate,” said a review in goodreads.com.
In a review for The New York Times, Jason Zengerle said that Levingston “spends much of Barack and Joe dwelling on the public-facing aspect of — and public response to — their ‘bromance. He quotes from both men’s Twitter and Instagram accounts; late-night hosts, cable news gasbags and Internet meme-makers are all frequently cited.”
Levingston is the non-fiction book editor of the Washington Post and author of Kennedy and King, Little Demon in the City of Light and The Kennedy Baby.


What We Are Reading Today: The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien

Updated 06 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien

Author: John Garth

This book takes you to the places that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to create his fictional locations in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other classic works. Written by renowned Tolkien expert John Garth, The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien features a wealth of breathtaking illustrations, including Tolkien’s own drawings, contributions from other artists, rare archival images, and spectacular color photos of contemporary locations across Britain and beyond, from the battlefields of World War I to Africa, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Garth identifies the locales that served as the basis for Hobbiton, the elven valley of Rivendell, the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep, and many other settings in Middle-earth, from mountains and forests to rivers, lakes, and shorelands. He reveals the rich interplay between Tolkien’s personal travels, his wide reading, and his deep scholarship as an Oxford don. Garth draws on his profound knowledge of Tolkien’s life and work to shed light on the extraordinary processes of invention behind Tolkien’s works of fantasy. He also debunks popular misconceptions about the inspirations for Middle-earth and puts forward strong new claims of his own.