The Ultimate Barack Obama Summer Reading List

August 22 2018

He’s done it again! Former President Barack Obama recently shared his latest recommendations for summer reading. Here are a few of our favorites from his summer reading lists over the years.

The Source of Self-Regard
by Toni Morrison

The late Toni Morrison's last published work before her passing, THE SOURCE OF SELF-REGARD is an inspiring and enlightening collection of essays, speeches, and meditations over the course of four decades. Her seminal work in its entirety—from BELOVED to SELF-REGARD—is at the top of Barack Obama's 2019 summer reading list.

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The Source of Self-Regard
Toni Morrison

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American Spy
by Lauren Wilkinson

For fans of espionage-thrillers and female-centric narratives, AMERICAN SPY is a gripping read, it's clear why this novel made Obama's 2019 summer reading list. Marie Mitchell—a black woman in the FBI—takes an assignment to observe and seduce an African "Che Guevara" figure but a passionate romance changes everything she believes about what it means to be a spy and an American.

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American Spy
Lauren Wilkinson

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Educated
by Tara Westover

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

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Educated
Tara Westover

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Warlight
by Michael Ondaatje

Set after WWII, WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family. On Obama's 2018 reading list.

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Warlight
Michael Ondaatje

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An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.

Read the full review of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE.

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An American Marriage
Tayari Jones

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Barbarian Days
by William Finnegan

The summer after Anthony Doerr's national bestselling novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Barack Obama added it to his 2015 summer reading list. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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Barbarian Days
William Finnegan

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All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

The summer after Anthony Doerr's national bestselling novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Barack Obama added it to his 2015 summer reading list. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

Already beloved by millions of readers, this novel follows a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II. The breakout hit of 2014, this beautiful novel was a finalist for the National Book Award and it just won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list.

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