Barack Obama has released his summer reading list for 2019

barack obama releases summer reading list 2019
(Image credit: Getty)

Summer is a time for reading for all of us.

Lying in the garden, long plane journeys, sunbathing by the hotel pool – all the best summery activities call for us all to have a good book in hand.

But when it comes to what we should read, there are so many recommendations out there it’s hard to weed out the best.

Sure we all trundle through the newspaper bestseller lists and the dozens of reading recommendations around the internet, not to mention trusty Amazon and their bestseller pages, but if we went for all the advised options we might be left with a hefty overweight baggage charge.

More: Good books to read 2019 | Our edit of the best books to read this year

So former US president Barack Obama has now released his favourite summer reads for this year, so we can get the best reading material and still have space left in our cases for a spare pair of shoes or two.

Taking to his Instagram page to reveal his favourite reads of the season, the former president shared 11 books spanning thrillers, short stories and non-fiction explorations.

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‘It’s August, so I wanted to let you know about a few books I’ve been reading this summer, in case you’re looking for some suggestions,’ wrote the popular politician.

Giving a shout-out to Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison who is known for her writings on gender and race, he said: ‘To start, you can’t go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they’re transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them.

barack obama releases summer reading list 2019

‘And while I’m at it,’ he added, ‘here are a few more titles you might want to explore.’

The 58-year-old went on to recommend a series of recent publications, including Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, which looks at the repercussions of social reform in the United States, Ted Chiang’s Exhalation, which deals with humanity’s relationship with science fiction, Lauren Wilkinson’s American Spy, a thriller set during the Cold War, Téa Obreht’s Inland surrounding myths of the American West and Maid about a struggling single mum.

barack obama releases summer reading list 2019

The 44th president also recommended several slightly older literary classics, including Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women, Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl and Dinaw Mengestu’s How To Read The Air.

Well, looks like we’re sorted for that late summer holiday!

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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