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Obama's Summer Reading List Is Out

First-time author Lauren Wilkinson gets a nod
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 8:13 AM CDT
In this May 29, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama awards author Toni Morrison with a Medal of Freedom, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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(Newser) – It's not too late to get in some summer reading, and former President Barack Obama knows where you should start. Toni Morrison, who died earlier this month, tops No. 44's annual summer reading list shared Wednesday on Facebook. "Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else—they're transcendent, all of them. You'll be glad you read them," writes Obama, who highlights another 10 books that he's been reading this summer, including one from a first-time author, per CNN.

  • The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead: "A necessary read, detailing the way Jim Crow and mass incarceration tore apart lives and wrought consequences that ripple into today."
  • Exhalation, Ted Chiang: A collection of science-fiction short stories "that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human."
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel­: Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize, the novel is "still great today," offering an "epic fictionalized look at Thomas Cromwell's rise to power."
  • Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami: Another short-story collection, this one "examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; it'll move you."
  • American Spy, Lauren Wilkinson: Wilkinson's debut novel "is a whole lot more than just a spy thriller, wrapping together the ties of family, of love, and of country."
  • The Shallows, Nicholas Carr: An exploration of the internet's wide-ranging impact on our lives and our brains.
  • Lab Girl, Hope Jahren: "A beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees."
  • Inland, Téa Obreht: It's touted as a new take on the Western, and "those of you who've been waiting for Obreht's next novel won't be disappointed."
  • How to Read the Air, Dinaw Mengestu: Get "a better sense of the complexity and redemption within the American immigrant story."
  • Maid, Stephanie Land: A "personal, unflinching look at America's class divide" through the eyes of a single mother.
Check out Obama's 2018 recommendations here. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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