‘Fates and Furies’ Gets the Presidential Seal of Approval

A screenshot of publisher Riverhead's celebratory gif

A screenshot of publisher Riverhead’s celebratory gif

Fates and Furies, by novelist Lauren Groff, is Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2015, he said in an interview with People magazine.

The National Book Award finalist, and Amazon pick for book of the year, tells the story of a complicated marriage and the disconnect between the way that a marriage is experienced by the couple. Ms. Groff’s creative use of language and unexpected plotting has generated a great deal of publicity and positive reviews.

But a presidential recommendation takes it to a whole different level.

A “famous bibliophile,” as described by People, the president of the United States has given a big boost to book sales over his seven years in office.

In 2009, after Mr. Obama praised Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, sales quickly rose, prompting literary agents to compare his influence to Oprah.

“There’s Oprah and now Obama,” literary agent Henry Yoon told Politico. “Those are the two titans. But it’s more than just influence. It’s also respect and trust. Here you have a sitting president who’s not only trained as a legal scholar but also a New York Times best-selling author. His credibility and trust is extraordinarily high when it comes to book recommendations.”

Naturally, Ms. Groff was excited:

Of course, not all authors remain as giddy about the power of the presidential recommendation.

“Barack Obama did not transport me into some world of cocktails and parties and fancy suits,” Mr. O’Neill told the Observer when promoting his follow-up to Netherland. “It just doesn’t work that way, does it?”

But doesn’t it, kind of? At least for a little while.

‘Fates and Furies’ Gets the Presidential Seal of Approval