Barack Obama Shares His Favorite Books of 2019

The former president continued his annual tradition of sharing his favorite reads

Obama 2019 Summer Reading List
Obama's always been a noted bibliophile
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
By Bonnie Stiernberg / December 29, 2019 9:50 am

Former president and noted literary tastemaker Barack Obama has shared his annual list of favorites, posting a run-down of the books that made 2019 “a little brighter” for him.

Obama shared the list on Instagram, writing, “This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy — work and family life, social and volunteer commitments — outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences.”

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Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my annual list of favorites — books, films, and music — with all of you. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences. They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit. To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. Most of them came out in 2019, but a few were older ones that were new to me this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on

This year, Obama selected 17 books as well as two he designated as being “for the sports fans.” You can read the full list below.

  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
  • The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
  • Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
  • How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  • The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
  • Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Solitary by Albert Woodfox
  • The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
  • Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
  • We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter
  • A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney
  • The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala

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