Michelle Obama is no stranger to the importance of reading and literacy, especially when it comes to children. In an interview for Jenna Bush's new "Open Book" video series on the Today Show on Thursday, former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the first book she fell in love with as a child, and it comes as no surprise that her biggest literary inspiration was the quirky and impossibly strong Pippi Longstocking. That's right, even Michelle Obama has heroes, and Pippi was one of her first.
Michelle admired the little girl's quirks and the fact that "she took care of herself." The character's spunky, playful nature is balanced out by her cleverness and compassion, so it's easy to see why she was such a standout character for Michelle. "I was really fascinated with this strong little girl that was the center of everything," she said. "And she was almost magical in a way. I mean, she was stronger and tougher than anyone. She had superhuman strength."
Among Michelle's other favorite reads are Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and White Teeth by Zadie Smith, a book she rereads often with her daughter Malia. "We're a household of readers," Michelle went on to say about her family. One of her favorite books to read to Malia and Sasha while they were growing up was the storybook classic Goodnight Moon, she said, while her husband preferred Where the Wild Things Are — both solid choices.
Like any avid reader, Michelle loves a good page-turner, including Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. And, as far as where she likes to go when she has time to "power read," she said, "I've got a chair with a little lamp and an ottoman, and I do everything from that chair. I run the world from that chair." And we can't help but agree.