With 2019 coming to a close, everyone is listing their entertainment highlights of the year, but one of the most auspicious lists is this one posted by former US President Barack Obama.

Obama started his tradition of writing up yearly summer reading lists in 2009, only missing a couple of years while he was in the White House, but he’s had a bit more time to spend reading in recent years and has even branched out into recommending films as well. His justification for only including the few TV series that he considers “as powerful as movies” tells us that he probably doesn’t have a binge-watching habit, though.

Former US president Barack Obama is seen as an authority figure by many

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So it’s only fitting that his recommendations for books and movies are always very welcome

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Obama started his tradition of writing up yearly summer reading lists in 2009

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The former US President posted his annual book list on Twitter

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1. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, SHOSHANA ZUBOFF

2. The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, WILLIAM DALRYMPLE

3. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, CASEY CEP

4. Girl, Woman, Other, BERNARDINE EVARISTO

5. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, DAVID TREUER

6. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, JENNY ODELL

7. Lost Children Archive, VALERIA LUISELLI


9. Normal People, SALLY ROONEY

10. The Orphan Master’s Son, ADAM JOHNSON

11. The Yellow House, SARAH M. BROOM

12. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE

13. Solitary, ALBERT WOODFO

14. The Topeka School, BEN LERNER

15. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, JIA TOLENTINO

16. Trust Exercise, SUSAN CHOI

17.  We Live in Water: Stories, JESS WALTER

18. A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule, JIM ROONEY

19. The Sixth Man, ANDFIE IGUODALA

20. American Spy, LAUREN WILKINSON

21. The Education of an Idealist, SAMANTHA POWER

22. Exhalation, TED CHIANG

23. Finding My Voice, VALERIE JARRETT

24. Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, SARAH SMARSH

25. How to Read the Air, DINAW MENGESTU

26. Inland, TEA OBREHT

27. Lab Girl, HOPE JAHREN

28. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, STEPHANIE LAND

29. Men Without Women, HARUKI MURAKAMI

30. The Moment of Lift, MELINDA GATES

31. The Nickel Boys, COLSON WHITEHEAD

32. Pachinko, MIN JIN LEE

33. The Shadow of Sirius, W. S. MERWIN

34.The Shallows, NICHOLAS CARR

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35.Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For, SUSAN RICE

36. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, ISABEL WILKERSON

37. Wolf Hall, HILARY MANTEL

He added his favorite movies and plans to post a music list in coming days

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1 American Factory

2 Amazing Grace

3 Apollo 11

4 Ash Is Purest White

5 Atlantics

6 Birds of Passage

7 Booksmart

8 Diane

The Farewell

10 Ford v Ferrari

11 The Irishman

12 Just Mercy

13 The Last Black Man in San Francisco

14 Little Women

15 Marriage Story

16 Parasite

17 The Souvenir

18 Transit

19 Fleabag: Season 2

20 Unbelievable

21 Watchmen

This year, he added to his already formidable summer reading recommendations with an end-of-year list that suggests enthusiasm to consider a variety of perspectives through the medium of fiction, as well as essays and economic analysis. We’re impressed by his consistent reading schedule, and commenters agree. His movie list, on the other hand, is heavy on drama. Some of the films on his list made Rolling Stone’s top 10 films of the year, and there are quite a few Oscar shortlisted entries as well.

He included a short promotion for American Factory, the first release by the Obamas’ own production label. Barack and Michelle say that they picked up the documentary film, which follows American and Chinese factory workers struggling to adapt to the dynamics of a Chinese glass company’s new American manufacturing location, out of a desire to highlight working-class stories.

Commenters praised the former president’s Twitter presence, which he and his social media representatives strive to keep good-natured, professional and eloquent even as a public figure who no longer holds office.

Twitter users appreciated the recommendations and gave their best wishes

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