November 29, 2017

The White House made a Christmas tree out of books and the selections are weird


The holiday season is here again, and, as per tradition, people are decorating their homes in the spirit of celebration. Including the White House. And while many are perplexed by an aesthetic that appears inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas, equally as confusing is the “tree” made from books in the White House library.

As Nora Krug reports over at the Washington Post, the selection of books that make up the tree doesn’t seem to follow any theme or be connected in any way, other than that the covers are green: “The books were purchased especially for their decorative value, ‘based on their varieties of green color tones,’ according to Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for first lady Melania Trump.”

But, being as interested in books as we are, let’s take a closer look at some of the titles included in here.

One selection, American Mourning, is an “academic study of how public mourning shapes politics.” Sangoma is a memoir of how Eagle Scout James Hall left the United States to become a spiritual healer in Swaziland. Developing Superior Work Teams by Dennis Kinlaw seems, as Krug writes, “like a book the president might want to at least skim.” Also included is a thriller titled Tainted Evidence, which really just seems like too easy of a joke to make. And probably most appropriate to the president’s interests, Esquire magazine’s World of Golf.  

Trump, who has said he doesn’t have time to read, probably had little to nothing to do with the making of the library tree. But with this collection of disjointed titles arranged together, lending itself to jokes, head shaking, and rolling eyes, somehow it seems his influence is still shining through.



Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.