Late Toni Morisson's work tops Obama's summer reading list.
Obama offered a mix of novels, short story collections and nonfiction works as his main interest detailed in his summer collection.
Obama's list covers both new and old releases from renowned writers, concretely paying tribute to the late Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who passed away aged 88 last week.
Other titles in his list included Tea Obreht, Colson Whitehead, Ted Chiang, Haruki Murakami, Dinaw Mengestu and Hilary Mantel.
"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 on his Facebook page.
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.
Former US President Barack Obama
The former president presented the Nobel Laureate and author with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Obama during his presidency said that reading fiction left him 'better able to imagine what's going on in the lives of people throughout his presidency.'
The ex-President says You'll be glad you read them and while he's at it, here are a few more titles you might want to explore.
Sometimes difficult to swallow, 'The Nickel Boys' by Colson Whitehead is a necessary read, detailing the way Jim Crow and mass incarceration tore apart lives and wrought consequences that ripple into today.
Obama added that Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.
Wolf Hall, Hilary MantelA's epic fictionalised look at Thomas Cromwell's rise to power, came out in 2009, "but I was a little busy back then, so I missed it. Still great today." Reiterated Obama.
Obama describes Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women as one that examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; "It'll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers."
He says that "The American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson is a whole lot more than just a spy thriller, wrapping together the ties of family, of love, and of country."
Author Lauren Wilkinson took to Twitter to express her indebtedness in making the list for Obama's summer list of books.
I am deeply honored to be on @BarackObama's summer reading list, and more than a little nostalgic for a president who values reading. Thank you to @randomhouse, @dialoguebooks and @frassinelli_ed! pic.twitter.com/a0hyYa3PUm
- Lauren Wilkinson (@thrillkinson) August 14, 2019
In his quest for books, the former American President says "The Shallows by Nicholas Carr came out a few years ago, but its arguments on the internet's impact on our brains, our lives, and our communities are still worthy of reflection, which is something we all could use a little more of in this age."
He labels 'Lab Girl' by Hope Jahren as a beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees. Terrific.
He mentions that the book 'Inland' by Tea Obreht just came out yesterday, so he won't spoil anything only adding that those who have been waiting for Obreht's next novel won't be disappointed.
Obama seems to promote a diverse group of writers, many of the works by the writers focus on issues of race, immigration, gender and class.
"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 wrote
He says the book 'Maid' by Stephanie Land is a single mother's personal, unflinching look at America's class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work.
Land wrote on Twitter in response to the list. 'I'm so dead rn, I can't believe I get a chance to be on this list with these very incredible writers.'
I can't believe I get a chance to be on this list with these very incredible writers. Thank you @HachetteBooks @FolioLiterary and of course all my readers!!
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|Publication:||The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)|
|Date:||Aug 15, 2019|
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