September 22, 2008

Books For Barack

From her website:

BOOKS FOR BARACK is the brainchild of novelist Ayelet Waldman, whose empassioned — and expletive-laden — e-mail to politically like-minded writers went, as she put it, "viral." Ayelet's solicitation for signed copies of their books for a fundraiser for Barack Obama's campaign has touched a literary nerve, yielding an outpouring of over 750 books from across the country.

This incredible collection — including rare, first-edition, and highly collectible copies — continues to grow every day. Here are just a very few examples of the remarkable volumes available through this fundraiser:

* Madeleine Albright, Memo to the President Elect (hardcover, first ed, $140 est. value),
* Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter (hardcover, first ed)
* Judy Blume, Wifey (hardcover, first ed, $95 est. value)
* Michael Chabon, Yiddish Policeman's Union (hardcover, first ed, $85 est. value)
* Marisa de los Santos, Belong to Me (hardcover, first ed, $100 est. value)
* Dave Eggers, What is the What (hardcover, $120 est. value)
* Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club (hardcover, first ed, $85 est. value)
* Alan Furst, The Spies of Warsaw (hardcover, first ed, $100 est. value)
* Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha (hardcover, $35 est. value)
* Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (hardcover, first ed)
* Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner (hardcover, $75 est. value)
* Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis (hardcover, $1379 est. value)
* Stephen King, Duma Key (hardcover, $375 est. value)
* Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth (hardcover, first ed)
* Ursula LeGuin, Tehanu (hardcover, leatherbound limited ed)
* Dennis Lehane, The Given Day (hardcover, first ed)
* Greil Marcus, Dead Elvis (hardcover, first ed, $100 est value)
* Steve Martin, Born Standing Up (hardcover, first ed)
* Terry McMillan, How Stella Got Her Groove Back (hardcover, first ed)
* Lorrie Moore, The Collected Stories (hardcover, first ed)
* Ann Patchett, Bel Canto (hardcover, first ed, $200 est value)
* Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart (hardcover, first ed, $100 est value)
* Richard Price, Lush Life (hardcover, first ed, $100 est value)
* Alice Sebold, Lovely Bones (hardcover, first ed, $500 est value)
* Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin (hardcover, first ed, $125 est value)
* Lemony Snicket, Complete Set (hardcover, box ed)
* Amy Tan, The Bonesetter's Daughter (hardcover, limited ed)
* Anne Tyler, Digging to America (hardcover, first ed, $125 est value)
* Tobias Wolff, Our Story Begins: New & Selected Stories (hardcover, first ed)

So how do I get one of these books and help Obama at the same time?

It's really quite simple. If you donate $250 or more to Barack Obama's campaign through Ayelet's MyBarackObama website, you will receive a mystery bag of 10 books, all in a canvas tote printed with the BOOKS FOR BARACK logo. The bags will be assembled randomly and tied closed so that no one — not even Ayelet — will know the contents of any specific bag. Your bag could contain a signed first edition copy of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, a signed first edition copy of Stephen King's Hearts of Atlantis or a fine collection of poetry by a writer you've been waiting to discover.

Books will be mailed out starting Friday, September 26.

HOW IT'S DONE: 1. Donate $250 or more to Barack Obama's Campaign through Ayelet's MyBarackObama page. 2. Forward your e-mailed receipt to Ayelet (, be sure to include your mailing address, and your books will be on their way!

Go here for all details and a list of the generous authors who have contributed to this cause.


  1. Oh, interesting! I won't comment on my political leanings but it's awfully tempting, just for the books. I'm broke from all those trips to OK, so it's not an option at the moment, anyway.

  2. This is wonderful! Thank you for letting us know about it!


  3. Anonymous1:30 PM

    OK, Lesley, let me say it again: I love your blog! Thanks for letting us know about this fundraiser . . . what a great idea it is, too. Go Obama! Kim Fitzke

  4. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Wow, what an impressive list!

  5. Anonymous7:23 PM

    After seeing the photo of Chabon and Ayelet hugging on the porch I couldn't resist and whipped out my credit card. I guess I will be getting a packet of mystery books someday!
    Thank you for keeping me in the loop.

  6. Nancy - I thought it was interesting, too! No need to comment on your political leanings. I love ya no matter what. ;)

    Lezlie - You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

    Kim - Awwww, thanks. It's been a lot of fun. To think, a few years ago, I had no idea what a blog was for (or, for that matter, why anyone would want to read mine!).

    Shana - Yeah, I thought so, too.

    Swan - Yay!!! Good for you! Come back here and leave me a comment with a list of your mystery books. I'll be quite anxious to see what you get.

  7. How cool. I wish I had an extra $250...

    And, Swan, I wanna know what you got too :)

  8. A worthy prize, even if one doesn't support Obama. ;)

  9. This is just a cool fundraising idea.

  10. SO COOL! So so cool!

  11. Anonymous5:05 PM

    I just got a very nice email from Ayelet letting us know that first the authors had donated beyond their expectations and then we had donated beyond their expectations. They are asking if we wouldn't mind receiving five mystery books instead of ten. Heck, I wouldn't mind one just to be part of this inspiring chain of events.

  12. I think the US is a wonderful place when one idea can generate such a great response. Because of this response, I am saddened to read on Ayelet's website that she thinks of this country as a country that "no one believed would ever have the grace and confidence to elect him."

    I am not a 'no one' and I have believed this country is capable of ever-wonderful things. More capable than any other country in this world - in other countries, people who are not like everyone else are not treated well and little shame or remorse is attached to those behaviors.


  13. Iliana - You and me both. I hate to spend any money right now!

    Bellezza - :)

    Katya - I thought so, too. Very creative, not to mention all the support from the authors!

    Andi - I just knew you'd dig this!!

    Swan - How nice to hear from Ayelet! I'm so pleased to hear that the fundraiser is going well. I can't wait to hear what you get.

    Kathy - Thank you for stopping by with a comment! I, too, think the response has been amazing.


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!