Obama shares his summer reading list
The seminal late author Toni Morrison, who died last week at the age of 88, tops former US President Barack Obama’s weighty summer reading list.
Works by English historical novelist Hilary Mantel and American science fiction writer Ted Chiang also appear on Obama’s annual list of recommendations, which he revealed on social media on Wednesday.
“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,” Obama wrote.
“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.”
Other works which have kept Obama busy this summer include “Men Without Women,” a collection of short stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.
“It’ll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers,” the 44th president wrote.
Obama also used the list to highlight first-time author Lauren Wilkinson, whose debut work “American Spy” was published earlier this year.
It’s “a whole lot more than just a spy thriller, wrapping together the ties of family, of love, and of country,” Obama said.
A more well-known work, Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall,” came out a decade ago but finally made Obama’s list this year. “I was a little busy back then, so I missed it. Still great today,” he explained.
“You’ll get a better sense of the complexity and redemption within the American immigrant story with Dinaw Mengestu’s novel, How to Read the Air,” he added.
Last August, Obama recommended works including “Factfulness,” a non-fiction work by Swedish academic Hans Rosling on the “secret silent miracle of human progress,” and “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones, about a newlywed black attorney wrongly convicted of rape.
Current President Donald Trump has not released similar lists of his own reading, but he has used Twitter to recommend several books about his own career and other works authored by his political supporters.