August 26 2009, 12:42 PM
The politicians in Washington are on vacation, and that means it's time to pull out the sunscreen, a pool chair, and a stack of good books. President Barack Obama is no exception and, as Slate notes, his reading list includes Plainsong by best-selling author Kent Haruf, a drama about life in a Colorado prairie community. The novel was adapted for the stage last year and performed by the Denver Center Theatre Company. The Denver Post spoke with Haruf about the play at the time: "You have to know how to look at this country. You have to slow down. It isn't pretty...but it's beautiful." In December 2007, 5280 printed an excerpt from West of Last Chance by Haruf and photographer Peter Brown, which delves into the secrets of the high plains (the full excerpt is available in print only).