Once Upon a Time, Presidents Read Books. Here Are Obama’s Favorites From 2019.

“This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too.”

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Former President Barack Obama took a moment out of his busy schedule of building media empires and having the 2020 Democratic nominees for president kiss his ring,to carry on a time-honored tradition he started during his presidency: Releasing his annual list of favorite books from the previous year.

“This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too,” Obama wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”

This year’s list is predictably broad and includes Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, The Yellow House; Susan Choi’s latest novel, Trust Exercise; and NBA star Andre Iguodala’s memoir, The Sixth Man, which was co-written by Carvell Wallace. Also on the list was Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino’s collection of essays about life on the Internet. If you’re looking for a few new titles to add to your own book list, this may be a good place to start. Here’s the whole list:

  • 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

 

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate