Obama Names the Books of His Presidency

By January 18, 2017Polls and Discussion

As Obama’s eight-year presidency comes to an end we’re seeing quite a bit from the whole family as in one way or another, they sum up the last eight years. One thing that we note about Obama’s presidency is that he’s released reading lists, and we do love a reader.

And now Obama has chatted with the New York Times about how being a reader has shaped his presidency, the books he’s read and loved while he’s been in office and his relationship with books as a reader. He even goes so far as to say that books are his secret to surviving the White House years.

We’re not going to repeat the entire transcript, you can read it here , and whatever you feel about his presidency, as a reader you’re bound to find yourself nodding along. He may be the president, but he reads for the same reason as we do, for escape, to build empathy, and to widen his world viewpoint and these are the books he says shaped his presidency.

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

National Book Award winner, The Underground Railroad was the last book Obama read while in office and he spoke highly of it, saying it had changed his outlook on the world.

The Underground Railroad US
The Underground Railroad UK

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A Bend in the River – V. S Naipaul

Obama said that A Bend in the River was able to serve as “a kind of foil”. Obama said “[It] starts with the line ‘The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.’ And I always think about that line and I think about his novels when I’m thinking about the hardness of the world sometimes, particularly in foreign policy, and I resist and fight against sometimes that very cynical, more realistic view of the world. And yet, there are times where it feels as if that may be true.

A Manual for Cleaning Women US
A Manual for Cleaning Women UK

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The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin

Obama doesn’t only read historical novels though, The Three-Body Problem is apocalyptic sci-fi and of it Obama says “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!

The Three-Body Problem US
The Three-Body Problem UK

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One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The President also talked about books he’s been reading with his daughters Malia and Sasha and that list includes One Hundred Years of Solitude, the classic work of magical realism.

One Hundred Years of Solitude US
One Hundred Years of Solitude UK

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The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing

Another one of Obama’s reads with his daughters is feminist novel The Golden Notebook. We definitely approve of this choice.

The Golden Notebook US
The Golden Notebook UK

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The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong

Along the same theme is The Woman Warrior, a tale of growing up female and Chinese-American in a California laundry that has added to the daddy/daughter reading list.

The Woman Warrior US
The Woman Warrior UK

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Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Khaneman

Obama is also a fan of nonfiction and listed two books as recent reads. Thinking, Fast and Slow is an international bestseller and looks at how our minds are gripped up by error and prejudice, teaching us better thinking.

Thinking, Fast and Slow US
Thinking, Fast and Slow UK

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The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert

The second nonfiction book recommended by Obama is The Sixth Extinction, that suggests that the earth is in the midst of a modern, man-made sixth extinction.

The Sixth Extinction US
The Sixth Extinction UK

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Barack Obama has released a book list for every year of his Presidency and they have produced some fantastic suggestions and books I may not have read otherwise.

We hope that the President Elect is just as keen to continue this tradition because we love a good reading list!

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By | Polls and Discussion | No Comments
On 31st August 1888, the body of Mary Ann Nichols was found in London, sparking a reign of terror so terrible the story would live in through the centuries. Mary Ann Nichols is thought to have been the first victim of the serial killer who would be known as Jack the Ripper. T

The Ripper was never caught and it’s maybe this that ensures his place as one of the most infamous serial killers in history. The stories and theories over the years have kept armchair detectives riveted and many, many books have been written about the subject. Read More

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By | Literature, New Releases, Polls and Discussion | No Comments
We all love a good thriller, and the genre has never been so popular. After Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl rewrote the genre we’ve seen so many exciting thrillers, often with strong female characters, all designed to make you change your loyalties from page to page, and that trend is continuing with some fantastic books released this year, filling the void perfectly.

There are hundreds of new thrillers out this year, but for this post we’re specifically featuring books that we think could be this year’s “Gone Girl”, the thriller that kept us all on a roller coaster ride before being made into a major movie. Read More

Penguin Random House Shows Pride with LGBTQ Reading List

By | Polls and Discussion | No Comments
Publishers Penguin Random House has taken to the streets of central London this week to march in support of Pride, an annual event marking the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.

This year was the year’s fiftieth anniversary and Penguin Random House UK was in partnership with Stonewall to celebrate the importance of representation of LGBTQ people in literature and the progressions of LGBT equality through literature. Read More

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By | Hit of the Lits!, Literature | One Comment

Hit of the Lits – FRA Top 40

We’ve been running our monthly reader chart here at For Reading Addicts for almost two years and over that time it’s been one of our most popular features. However, in recent months interest in the chart has declined so it’s with regret that we announce that this will be our final monthly Hit of the Lits. We will return with a new format and a new idea at the end of the summer, so if you love this feature then don’t worry too much!

That aside, it’s time for our final Hit of the Lits monthly chart where we share what you’ve loved over the past month with other readers. Thanks to all who joined in and voting for their June favourites, here’s the top 40!

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The 10 Coolest Books on African Culture

By | Culture, Literary Places, Polls and Discussion | No Comments
African culture is very diverse, beautiful, and it can be shocking sometimes. African ethnicity is extremely complicated. According to rough estimates, the continent has about 50 nations and nationalities, and 3 thousand different tribes speaking a thousand languages.

There are so many interesting books by African writers. If you are interested in African culture, here is a top 10 best novels about Africa. Read More

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