Bookworm Robredo’s list of top books: Memoirs of world leaders

Published January 27, 2021, 10:12 AM

by Raymund Antonio

One thing you might know about Vice President Leni Robredo is that she is a bookworm.

Robredo’s bookcase is lined by memoirs of world leaders as evident in the post she shared on Facebook Tuesday night.

From Nelson Mandela, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej to newly elected U.S President Joe Biden, it is clear that Robredo has an affinity for the fight for democracy, a common ideology in many of the books she shared.

In sharing a list of what she currently has now in her home, Robredo said she answered the “many times” she’s been asked what kind of books she reads.

“I have been promising to post but I have to do it in several instalments because my books are all over. I do not have the space to keep them all in one place, which is really my dream,” Robredo said, citing this is just the “part one” of her post about her books.

The vice president also shared that some of the books were given to her as gifts.

Aside from famous world leaders, Robredo is also particular about women in positions of power. She has books authored by former U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and former Ambassador Wendy Sherman. A book written about current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is also one of the books Robredo has poured time reading.

She admitted that she hasn’t always been reading non-fiction books.

“My taste has evolved over the years,” Robredo said in the post.

In high school, college, and law school, she was into thrillers and espionage that she has a “room full” of books by James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Ken Follet, Dan Brown, and Patricia Cornwell.

But in her late 30s and 40s, she gravitated toward the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, and Arundhati Roy.

It was after the death of her husband, the late Interior Secretary and former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, in 2012 that she “gravitated towards lighter reads.”

Aside from biographies and autobiographies, Robredo seems to have an affinity for poems, too. This is evident in three of the books she posted—The Yellow Heart by Pablo Neruda, the complete poetry of American poet Maya Angelou, and a collection of poems favored by former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Other books in her collection are John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened, Chris Whipple’s The Gatekeepers, George Stephanopoulos’ All Too Human, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and Amy Tan’s Where the Past Begins.

But in particular, Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff seems to be Robredo’s favorite, admitting in the post that she has several copies of it.

“I gave away a few copies to colleagues from before who I thought would benefit from the nuggets of wisdom included here.”

Always a victim of online bashing and bullying, Robredo seems to draw strength, wisdom, and clarity from this particular book.