Once Upon a Time, Presidents Read Books. Here Are Obama’s Favorites From 2019.

“This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too.”

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Former President Barack Obama took a moment out of his busy schedule of building media empires and having the 2020 Democratic nominees for president kiss his ring,to carry on a time-honored tradition he started during his presidency: Releasing his annual list of favorite books from the previous year.

“This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too,” Obama wrote in an Instagram post. “Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences.”

This year’s list is predictably broad and includes Sarah M. Broom’s memoir, The Yellow House; Susan Choi’s latest novel, Trust Exercise; and NBA star Andre Iguodala’s memoir, The Sixth Man, which was co-written by Carvell Wallace. Also on the list was Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino’s collection of essays about life on the Internet. If you’re looking for a few new titles to add to your own book list, this may be a good place to start. Here’s the whole list:

  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, by Shoshana Zuboff
  • The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, by William Dalrymple
  • Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep
  • Girl, Woman, Other,  by Bernardine Evaristo
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, by David Treuer
  • How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell
  • Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
  • Lot: Stories, by Bryan Washington
  • Normal People, by Sally Rooney
  • The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson
  • The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom
  • Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Solitary, by Albert Woodfox
  • The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, by Jia Tolentino
  • Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
  • We Live in Water: Stories, by Jess Walter
  • A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule, by Jim Rooney
  • The Sixth Man, by Andre Iguodala

 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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