Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2019

It’s that time of year, as 2019 winds down, for the planning of New Year’s Eve parties and the making of resolutions.

And, it’s time for former US President Barack Obama’s announcement of his favorite books of the year!

Former U.S. President Barack Obama
Former U.S. President Barack Obama | Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Obama is considered one of the best-read US presidents, consistently reading and learning while in office and now, clearly, as a private citizen. Each year, he offers his picks for the latest and greatest in literature, nonfiction, and the book world in general.

Here are Obama’s picks for his favorite books of 2019.

Obama’s annual book tweet

As the most-followed person on Twitter, the former president has a lot of people interested in his recommendations. He tweeted last week his annual list of the books he’s loved most throughout the year. And for someone who loves to read as much as the former president does, you know the list is going to be extensive.

In fact, he posted his book choices on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts, expressing last week, “Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my annual list of favorites — books, films, and music — with all of you. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too.”

“Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences.”

“They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit.”

“. . . here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. . . I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.”

Obama’s nonfiction picks

  • 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
  • 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
  • The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
  • Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Solitary by Albert Woodfox
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
Barack Obama
Barack Obama | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Obama’s favorite 2019 fiction

  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • 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 Topeka School by Ben Lerner
  • Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
  • We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter

And lastly…

The 58-year-old ex-president also provided offerings “for the sports fans.”

  • A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney
  • The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala

Happy reading!