Former President Barack Obama is sharing his favorite books in 2019 in a “fun little tradition” that also includes film and music picks.
“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,” Barack wrote on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on Saturday. “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.”
Among the selections were Normal People, a novel by Irish writer Sally Rooney, about the complex relationship between a man and a woman of totally opposite backgrounds and Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep, about the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book To Kill a Mockingbird and a murder trial.
Barack also sectioned out his picks “for the sports fans” citing A Different Way to Win by Jim Rooney and The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala. And to be thorough, 44 re-capped a list of page turners he had already recommended over the summer, including the collected works of Toni Morrison, who died in August and Finding My Voice by Obama’s former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Barack’s “best of” lists are eagerly anticipated. In August, when he included the song “Juice” by Lizzo, the singer lost it on Twitter. “We’re friends now I don’t make the rules,” she tweeted in excitement, adding later, “I’m not OK!!!!!!!!”
And last year, the former commander-in-chief put Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah in a top slot, along with — naturally — wife Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming.
Related Video: Barack Obama’s Annual Best-Of 2018 Year-End List
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