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
The New Geography of Jobs UK

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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.”

Why Liberalism Failed US
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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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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1934

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We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re well into the 1930s now. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1934, and what you were reading instead.

1934 was the year that brought us Flash Gordon, more from Nazi Germany, and the Gothenburg prize for both Kipling and Yeats.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1934 and the heady days before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1933

By | Discussion and Recommendations | No Comments
We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re into the 1930s. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1933, and what you were reading instead.

Already we can see some hot authors and trends appearing now and as the years tick on it’s likely that you’ll start recognising some contemporary authors and others who have been publishing through the decades.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1933, the year construction started on the Golden Gate Bridge, and the year that ominously Hitler was voted into power.

We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1932

By | Discussion and Recommendations | No Comments
We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re into the 1930s. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1932, and what you were reading instead.

Already we can see some hot authors and trends appearing now and as the years tick on it’s likely that you’ll start recognising some contemporary authors and others who have been publishing through the decades. This year we have the first top book to stay as the bestselling book for two consecutive years with Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth, a book that has more than stood the test of time.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1932 and the heady days before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1931

By | Discussion and Recommendations | No Comments
We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re into the 1930s. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1931, and what you were reading instead.

Already we can see some hot authors and trends appearing now and as the years tick on it’s likely that you’ll start recognising some contemporary authors and others who have been publishing through the decades.

But today, we have the ten top selling books of 1931 and the heady days before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: February 2019

By | Hit of the Lits! | No Comments
We gave our Top 20 a miss last month as we were concentrating on the FRA Book of the Year for 2018 but now it’s time for a new Top 20, the first Top 20 of 2019. 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, including some books that have featured heavily in the Top 20 every month. We hope you find something that interests you. Here are the top 20 books for February, chosen by you!

With our new reading challenge for 2019 inspired by authors’ birthdays, you may find each month this affects the books voted for and we may see authors appearing in the Top 20 during their birthday months.  Read More

The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1930

By | Discussion and Recommendations | No Comments
We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and today we move into a brand new decade as we mark the bestselling books of 1930.

Already we can see some hot authors and trends appearing now and as the years tick on it’s likely that you’ll start recognising some contemporary authors and others who have been publishing through the decades.

But today, we have the ten top selling books of 1930 and the heady days before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

Read More



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