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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Stephen Black's "Obama Search Words" is an interesting book containing a collage of pictures, world events juxtaposed with the life of US President Barack Obama, short stories, essays and satirical scripts. Unique and interesting, it follows the events that helped shape our world in general and the life of Barack Obama in particular. There are time lines that tell us, for example, that during the televised debate between presidential hopefuls Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Obama's parents started dating in Hawaii. The book is chronological, tracing Obama's childhood in Indonesia, and school days in Hawaii and Harvard, Cambridge. It goes on to the fateful meeting with his future wife Michelle Robinson, election as senator and culminates in his historic presidential candidacy.
This is a book that is visually pleasant and intellectually challenging. As I read its pages, I was entertained by all the tidbits of Obama's life unfolding in a way that is truly unique. Somehow, it is left to the reader to piece together all the pictures, essays, scripts, and time lines that are scattered all over the book. This is the reason why one feels it is a book that is better understood in the second reading. This is a refreshing take on what can be considered a biography. I was expecting a lot of texts and some old pictures in the middle of the book with proper captions. This has been the standard layout of memoirs for a long time so that Stephen Black's writing style in "Obama Search Words" is refreshing for me. Do not be fooled by this layout, however, because it will make you think more, to decipher what the author really wants to say.