What Obama Has Been Reading

Former president is out with his annual summer reading list
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2022 9:40 AM CDT
What Obama Has Been Reading
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Copenhagen Democracy Summit at Skuespilhuset in Copenhagen, June 10, 2022.   (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Former President Obama wants Americans to explore why the country is so polarized at the moment and to consider ways in which a democracy can succeed at being both diverse and equal, according to his annual summer reading list. "I've read a couple of great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far," Obama wrote Tuesday on Instagram. The Los Angeles Times lays out his selections, which include two political nonfiction books: Ezra Klein's Why We're Polarized and Yascha Mounk's The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure. The former also made Bill Gates' summer reading list. Obama's other picks:

  • Sea of Tranquility, Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Candy House, Jennifer Egan
  • A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance, Hanif Abdurraqib
  • To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara
  • Silverview, John le Carré
  • Black Cake, Charmaine Wilkerson
  • The Family Chao, Lan Samantha Chang
  • Velvet Was the Night, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Mouth to Mouth, Antoine Wilson
  • The School for Good Mothers, Jessamine Chan
  • Razorblade Tears, SA Cosby
  • Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks, Chris Herring
The former president followed that up with his annual summer playlist—featuring Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, and Harry Styles—which you can check out here. (Michelle Obama has a new book coming out.)

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