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These are the books Barack Obama wants you to read


Every December Barack Obama drops his end-of-year recommendation lists – a “fun little tradition”, whereby the former president shares his favourite books, film and music of the year.

Last December was no exception, with the former US president revealing his 17 favourite reads of 2019 – so, with many of us spending more time at home due to self-isolating and social distancing, we thought it was the perfect time to revisit his recommendations.

Among his favourites were Normal People by Sally RooneyGirl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self Delusion by Jia Tolentino.

Posting to Instagram at the time, Obama wrote: “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.”

He adds, “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.”

On the second page, he also shares books that he had recommended people to read earlier this year, such as Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarrett.


From Harper’s Bazaar UK

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