Former US President Barack Obama continued his summer tradition of posting a personal playlist on his Instagram account. Coincidentally, the list came out almost at the same time as the release of the 2022 Booker Prize nominees list on July 26.
From a dystopian sci-fi novel to a New York Knicks NBA fan story retelling, Obama’s Reading List has something for just about everyone. “I’ve read some great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far. What have you read this summer? Obama wrote on his Instagram.
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As for Obama’s reading list, here’s a rundown of the 14 books he recommended:
“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St John Mandel
Emily St John Mandel writes about a banished teenager, a writer and a private detective, who exist in separate places in space and time, connected by a strange experience.
“Why We’re Polarized” by Ezra Klein
This book is about what has become of American politics today and is written by Ezra Klein, co-founder of the popular online publication Vox.
Jennifer Egan’s ‘The Candy House’, a sequel to Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad
This book is about a world that may not be far from us, full of digital memory and sad reflections on the unfulfilled human desire for connection.
‘A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance’ by Hanif Abdurraqib
This book by Hanif Abdurraqib praises the legacy of black artists in the United States.
“In Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara
“To Paradise” is a long tale of three different decades that has people suffering from all kinds of tragedies, from the AIDS epidemic to an unsuitable engagement.
“Silverview” by John le Carré
Silverview is a global spy novel, the last by author John le Carré, who died in 2020. Many of his books have been adapted into television series.
‘Black Cake’ by Charmaine Wilkerson
“Black Cake” is a novel about two siblings discovering their mother’s secrets after her death, which involves everything from a child on the long list to suspected murder.
“The Chao Family” by Lan Samantha Chang
“The Family Chao” is a satirical version of how three sons deal with the death of a father who had many secrets in his life.
“The Velvet Was Night” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“Velvet Was the Night” is set in 1970s Mexico. The plot mainly concerns a policeman and a secretary who are looking for the same missing woman.
Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
“Mouth to Mouth” is a story that takes place after one stranger saves another’s life. It shows how, after the incident, their lives intertwine.
“The Great Experiment: Why Various Democracies Crumble and How They Can Last” by Yascha Mount
This book by Yascha Mount offers solutions to the complex problem of maintaining a democracy that includes people from multiple cultures and ethnicities.
“School for Good Mothers” by Jessamine Chan
“The School for Good Mothers” is a dystopian novel where governments control mothers, and mothers must prove to the government that they are good at parenting, in order to keep custody of their own children.
SA Cosby’s ‘Razorblade Tears’
“Razorblade Tears” is about a black man and a white man, whose sons got married but were later murdered. Both men face their homophobia and other flaws as fathers as they hunt their sons’ murderers.
‘Blood in the Garden: The Blatant History of the New York Knicks of the 1990s’ by Chris Herring
This book by Chris Herring is for all New York Knicks fans as well as NBA aficionados. It lists historical accounts related to the rise and fall of the Knicks in the 1990s.