The former president shares the most impactful books he's read this summer

By Sam Gillette
August 20, 2018 01:45 PM
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Barack Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Since finishing two terms in the White House, former President Barack Obama has had time to pursue one of his favorite pastimes — reading.

On Sunday, the founder of the Obama Foundation revealed the best books that he’s read this summer, sharing his recommendations online.

“One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon,” Obama, 57, wrote in a Facebook post. “This summer I’ve been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth.”

Here are Obama’s top summer picks:

Educated by Tara Westover

Random House

“Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho,” Obama said, “who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”

Buy It: Educated, $30; amazon.com

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Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Knopf

“Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family,” the former president explained.

Buy It: Warlight$29; amazon.com

A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

Vintage

“With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr. Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner’s first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity,” the former president said.

Buy It: A House for Mr. Biswas$16.95; amazon.com

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Algonquin Books

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple,” Obama wrote about the book, which was a selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2018.

Buy It: An American Marriage$26.95; amazon.com

Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Sceptre

Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert,” the former president wrote, “is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.”

Buy It: Factfulness, $12.99; amazon.com

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