Barack Obama Shares What Books He’s Been Reading

It’s always interesting to learn what other people are reading, even more so when they happen to have been one of the most powerful people on the planet. If you’ve been wondering what former US President Barack Obama has been reading since he left office then you’re in luck. As Harper’s Bazaar reports, Obama recently took to his official Facebook page to share what he’s been reading.

“I’m often asked what I’m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time,” he wrote. There’s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive – like many of you, I’ll miss The Americans – but here’s what I’ve been reading lately. It’s admittedly a slightly heavier list than what I’ll be reading over the summer.”

Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, by Alex Wagner

“I once wrote a book on my own search for identity, so I was curious to see what Alex, daughter of a Burmese mother and Iowan Irish-Catholic father – and a friend of mine – discovered during her own. What she came up with is a thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are – the search for harmony between our own individual identities and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans.”

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The New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti

“It’s six years old now, but still a timely and smart discussion of how different cities and regions have made a changing economy work for them – and how policymakers can learn from that to lift the circumstances of working Americans everywhere.”

The New Geography of Jobs US
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Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick Deneen

“In a time of growing inequality, accelerating change, and increasing disillusionment with the liberal democratic order we’ve known for the past few centuries, I found this book thought-provoking. I don’t agree with most of the author’s conclusions, but the book offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril.”

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The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy, by Matthew Stewart, The Atlantic

“Another thought-provoking analysis, this one about how economic inequality in America isn’t just growing, but self-reinforcing – and what that means for education, health, happiness, even the strength of our democracy.”

Read it here

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, by Mitch Landrieu

“A few years ago, I eulogised the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was slain by a white supremacist in his church in Charleston, South Carolina. And I’ll never forget something Clem said while he was alive: “Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history. We haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.” That’s something Mitch takes to heart in this book, while grappling with some of the most painful parts of our history and how they still live in the present. It’s an ultimately optimistic take from someone who believes the South will rise again not by reasserting the past, but by transcending it.”

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Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life, by Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich, RAND Corporation

“The title is self-explanatory, but the findings are very interesting. A look at how a selective sorting of facts and evidence isn’t just dishonest, but self-defeating to a society that has always worked best when reasoned debate and practical problem-solving thrive.”
Certainly some very thought provoking titles. They may not be what you’d describe as ‘easy reading’ but no doubt they’re very interesting and informing.

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5 Children’s Books with a Transgender Theme

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From 12th to 19th November it’s Transgender Awareness Week and with some governments pushing back against the trans movement and trying to lock down gender in laws, it’s never been so important to be a trans ally!

With that in mine, we’re suggesting some books for children today, all with a transgender theme. These books are designed to help understanding, in a kind and simple way and all come highly recommended.

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10 Recommended Books Set During World War I

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It was the greatest war the world had even seen and tallied sixteen million dead. From 28th July 1914 to 11th November 1918 the world went to war in what became known as The Great War, and later World War I.

Such an event was always going to be documented over the years and a raft of World War I poetry, literature, and novels exist. Today we’re recommending some of our favourite reads set around the First World War, feel free to add your own in the comments.
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Top 30 Most Memorable Reads

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Over on our Book discussion page The Cwts @ Reading Addicts, members are always asking for recommendations of what to read next, but this week one of our regulars posted “I thought it might be interesting for members to list the more memorable books you have read. I find some I read years ago and remember them well and others I have read more recently are completely forgettable.”

The list that this question produced was extensive and produced some interesting suggestions. Read More

FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: November

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Another month has flown by and it’s time for a new Top 20. Each month we list your top 20 reads of the month, chosen by members of our reading group, The Cwts @ Reading Addicts.

This month is a mix-up of classic books, new releases and recommendations from the Cwts. We hope you find something that interests you. Here are the top 20 books for November, chosen by you! Read More

Why Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak is Still Relevant Today

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Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson is the novel that made her name. Published back in 1999, the book tells the story of a girl coping in the aftermath of being raped. Despite being almost twenty years old, the novel still has great relevance today as consent is still an issue, highlighted by the recent MeToo movement.

Speak is one of the most widely read books about rape and is even taught in schools across the US. Even today Laurie Halse Anderson visits schools with her work for RAINN to talk about the book’s message, and even today she is surprised at the responses she gets.

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FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: October

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Another month has flown by and it’s time for a new Top 20. Each month we list your top 20 reads of the month, chosen by members of our reading group, The Cwts @ Reading Addicts.

This month we see the same book in the number 1 spot for a second month, it’s proven to be a massive bestseller and is now the top of our top 20 for two months running! Have you read any of the books below? We hope you enjoy the recommendations. Read More

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