Barack Obama releases list of his favorite books of 2019


On Saturday, President Obama, known as an avid reader, continued his tradition of releasing a list of his favorite books of the year. Obama mentioned in the online post announcing the book list that his favorite movies and music for the year also would be coming soon.

An eclectic mix of nonfiction and fiction, the book list includes:

  • “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 (Booker Prize winner)
  • “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 (National Book Award winner, nonfiction)
  • “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 (National Book Award winner, fiction)
  • “We Live in Water: Stories,” by Jess Walter

Obama singled out two additional books “for the sports fan”: Jim Rooney’s “A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story From the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule” and Andre Iguodala’s “The Sixth Man.”


From Rosalía and Summer Walker to Bruce Springsteen and Big Thief, former President Barack Obama’s annual year-end playlist goes from cutting-edge tracks to cool-dad jams.

Dec. 30, 2019

Obama also included a list of books he had recommended earlier in the year. That list included Samantha Power’s “The Education of an Idealist,” Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys” and Sarah Smarsh’s “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth.”

He also mentioned the collected works of Toni Morrison, to whom he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 and who died in August.