Barack Obama Shares His Summer Reading List

Melinda Sineriz

Former President Barack Obama posted a list of the books he's been reading this summer to Facebook. Obama, a Harvard Law graduate and author of several books, has been reading an eclectic mix of fiction, memoirs, and biographies during his down time this summer.

"One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit," Obama wrote. "Whether it's on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I've been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth."

The first book on his list is Educated by Tara Westover. Educated is a memoir of the author's experiences being raised in a survivalist home in Idaho. She didn't enter a classroom until she was age 17, but she was ultimately able to attend college and earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

His next recommendation is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. The novel is set in post-World War II London and tells the story of two British children who are left in the care of a mysterious stranger, according to The Guardian.

Obama describes the book as "a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family."

Prompted by the passing of V. S. Naipaul, Obama also reread A House for Mr. Biswas. The 1961 novel was written early in Naipaul's career. The novel is set in Trinidad and discusses "the challenge of post-colonial identity," according to Obama's post.

The fourth entry on Obama's list is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. This novel is also an Oprah book club pick, according to The Washington Post. It chronicles the lives of a young African-American couple dealing with the husband's incarceration due to a wrongful conviction.

The final entry is Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Rosling is a respected public health expert. The book "discusses 10 instincts that keep us from seeing the world factfully," according to a GatesNotes review by Bill Gates. The book encourages readers to look overcome their innate biases.

Obama has periodically posted lists of his favorite media over the years. He has had a lifelong love of reading, which he described to The New YorkTimes.

In referring to reading, he said, "The idea of having these worlds that were portable, that were yours, that you could enter into, was appealing to me."

It's a habit he continues to this day.