Alexie is a poet and writer whose books include "Reservation Blues" and "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." For Romney: Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," so he'd learn that humans have advanced because of compassion and not competition. Emily Dickinson's "Collected Poems," so he'd learn that faith and doubt are fraternal twins. Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," so he might understand why 90% of black folks will not be voting for him. Leslie Marmon Silko's "Almanac of the Dead," just to scare the spit out of him about brown-skinned immigrants. John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," to give him a sense of what it means to be funny and serious at the same time. For Obama: A dictionary so that he could look up the definition for "progressive." James Baldwin's "Giovanni's Room" — though I'd guess he's already read it, I'd like him to place this novel in the context of black evangelical homophobia. James Welch's "Winter in the Blood," to remind him that, yes, there are still Indians in this country. Patricia Highsmith's "The Talented Mr. Ripley," because I suspect he doesn't read enough mysteries. And also to make him think about the relationship between wealth and fraud. Leslie Marmon Silko's "Almanac of the Dead," also to scare the spit out of him about brown-skinned immigrants.
Alexander Gallardo / Los Angeles Times