What's on your nightstand? - Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)

Which book is on your nightstand right now?
“Two. First, I’ve been working on Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope. Since I endorsed him about a month ago, I figured I need to do that. Second, a history book, Rising Tide, about the great Mississippi flood of 1923. There is a fascinating history behind the politics of building the Eads Bridge.”

What magazines do you read regularly?
“I’m all over the map. National Geographic to Time to Newsweek. And old truck magazines.”

What’s your guilty-pleasure read?
“Anything from John Grisham — from my time as a trial attorney.”

Which books have most influenced your political philosophy?
“I’m a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the modern-day Democratic Party. He’s probably the greatest figure in American history. And Harry Truman, a home-state favorite. My grandfather was in Congress when he was president. They were friends and political allies.”

Which book about Washington should every member read?
“I can’t think of one I’ve read about Washington. In members’ spare time, they should read Frommer’s tour books just to make sure they see the cultural aspects while they’re here.”

What author do you often reference?

“I go back to Jefferson. I quote Harry Truman a lot. In terms of pithy, humorous quotes, I would say Mark Twain.”