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Obama’s family has book-shopping day at Washington, D.C., indie Upshur Street Books

President Obama, right, joined by his daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, center, at Upshur Street Books in Washington, D.C.

President Obama, right, joined by his daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, center, at Upshur Street Books in Washington, D.C.

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Before President Obama left for this week’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, he got in a little book shopping.

President Obama took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, shopping at Upshur Street Books in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, the Washington Post reports. The trip was in honor of Small Business Saturday, independent retailers’ answer to Black Friday.

The president left with two fall literary fiction titles, “Purity” by Jonathan Franzen and “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” by Salman Rushdie.

But the bulk of his purchase was made up of young-adult fiction. The Obamas took home three novels from Cynthia Voigt’s “Kingdom” series: “Jackaroo,” “On Fortune’s Wheel” and “Elske.” (Missing from the family’s haul was the third book in the series, “The Wings of a Falcon,” which appears to be out of print.)

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Other books destined for the White House included Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8,” Rachel Renée Russell’s “Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life,” Natalie Lloyd’s “A Snicker of Magic” and Jerry Spinelli’s “Stargirl.”

Lloyd seemed surprised that the Obamas bought her book, posting on Twitter, “Hello, Mr. President & spindiddly first fam! Hope you have fun in Midnight Gulch! (?!?!) (I can’t stop smiling!!)”

(The Ned Flanders-esque “spindiddly,” which means “better than awesome,” is a coinage of Lloyd’s.)

Rushdie also posted on the shopping trip, responding to a tweet from journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote: “Obama thumbs his nose at Ayatollah Khamenei by very publicly buying @SalmanRushdie’s latest. Perhaps I am overreading this. I hope not.”

(Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, famously issued a fatwa against Rushdie after the author published his controversial novel “The Satanic Verses” in 1988.)

In his response, Rushdie seemed affronted by the suggestion, tweeting: “Would it be wrong to think that there might be a reason for buying my book that is not related to Khomeini?”


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