“What It Takes: The Way to the White House,” the full title, isn’t one of those pleasurable books you read once, enjoy and put down, out of sight and out of mind, when you finish. It’s just as worthwhile to dip back in and read a few pages as it is to plow through the entire thing. The book is divided between six candidates: George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Dick Gephardt, Joe Biden, Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis. And as with a classic movie, aficionados have their favorite characters in their favorite scenes that they love to watch again and again. – Jonathan Martin

EVERYONE HAS their favorite political book, The Making of the President 1960, by Theodore White, is up there as well. But it was quite a different book than Richard Ben Cramer’s, who came about in a less inhibited age, with Cramer’s book a whole different political ballgame.