Home Barack Obama Barack Obama’s Best Books and Favorite Songs of 2017

Barack Obama’s Best Books and Favorite Songs of 2017


The following is from Barack Obama, who for eight years a president graced our country with dignity, intelligence, class, curiosity, and so much more. In stark contrast, can anyone even imagine village idiot Donald Trump reading any book at all, let alone the “best books” read by Barack Obama? Can anyone even imagine cultural philistine Donald Trump appreciating music or the arts in any way? I mean, the guy spends his free time – and he’s got a lot of it, because he apparently never does any real work – eating fast food and golfing, basically. Ugh.  Fortunately, Barack Obama demonstrates that it was possible, at least until recently, that American voters can elect a brilliant man with a voracious curiosity about the world – arts, sciences, humanities, you name it. Unfortunately, those same American voters have also shown that they are capable of electing the polar opposite – a boorish buffoon and global embarrassment. Let’s hope we: a) make it to 2020; b) elect someone much more like Barack Obama and not at ALL like Cheeto Mussolini for president next time around. With that, here’s Barack Obama…

During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here’s my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year.

The best books I read in 2017:
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Grant by Ron Chernow
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
*Bonus for hoops fans: Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano

My favorite songs of 2017:
Mi Gente by J Balvin & Willy William
Havana by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)
Blessed by Daniel Caesar
The Joke by Brandi Carlile
First World Problems by Chance The Rapper (feat. Daniel Caesar)
Rise Up by Andra Day
Wild Thoughts by DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)
Family Feud by Jay-Z (feat. Beyoncé)
Humble by Kendrick Lamar
La Dame et Ses Valises by Les Amazones d’Afrique (feat. Nneka)
Unforgettable by French Montana (feat. Swae Lee)
The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness by The National
Chanel by Frank Ocean
Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
Butterfly Effect by Travis Scott
Matter of Time by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Little Bit by Mavis Staples
Millionaire by Chris Stapleton
Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
Broken Clocks by SZA
Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix) by U2
*Bonus: Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen (not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!)


P.S. by Lowell:  A few books I’d recommend from my reading in 2017 include Destined for war: can America and China escape Thucydides’s trap? by Graham Allison; Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson; We were eight years in power: an American tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates; The death of expertise: the campaign against established knowledge and why it matters by Tom Nichols; Lincoln in the bardo: a novel by George Saunders; What is populism? by Jan-Werner Müller; Infamy: the shocking story of the Japanese American internment in World War II by Richard Reeves; The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction by Mark Lilla…


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