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Barack Obama Shares His Top Books & Curated Playlist For Summer 2021
By Mikelle Leow, 13 Jul 2021
Images via bangsusup / Shutterstock.com and Amazon
Almost half a decade since leaving office, former US president Barack Obama is still carrying on his White House tradition of recommending books and music for summer. 2021 is no different, as he has presented a fresh playlist and reading list to ignite minds of all walks of life.
While Bill Gates’ annual book recommendations usually center around a theme, Obama’s diverse titles aim to stir readers of a gamut of interests. There’s At Night All Blood is Black, a tragic historical fiction novel about a young Senegalese man whose mind spirals into madness during his fight in World War I; and then there’s the tender, dystopian Klara and the Sun, about a humanoid who intriguingly observes the behavior of customers who walk into her store; and Land of Big Numbers, a collection of 10 short stories about people who reside in, or who have relocated from, modern-day China.
Similarly, Obama’s new playlist is created for a variety of music tastes: “It’s a mix of old and new, household names and emerging artists, and a whole lot in between.”
Most recently, Barack and Michelle Obama premiered a new animated Netflix series, We The People, under their production company Higher Ground. The program—which includes creative input from reputed musicians Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, Janelle Monáe, Daveed Diggs, and Bebe Rexha—endeavors to educate viewers about societal issues through visuals and music. The series is part of a multi-year agreement between the former first couple and Netflix to produce original films and series for the streaming giant.
Head below to view the former president’s favorite books and tracks for summer 2021.
At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut
Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert
Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura
[via Esquire, cover image via Mike Mareen / Shutterstock.com]
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