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Barack Obama's Summer Reading List 2019
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Barack Obama's Summer Reading List 2019

Former President Barack Obama shared his Summer Reading List. "The list covers both new releases and older works from authors such as Téa Obreht, Colson Whitehead, Ted Chiang, Haruki Murakami, Dinaw Mengestu and Hilary Mantel. Mr. Obama started with an invitation to read works by the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who died last week at the age of 88. Mr. Obama’s interest in reading has been well documented. The former New York Times chief book critic Michiko Kakutani reported at the end of Mr. Obama’s presidency that he would read for about an hour on most nights. Mr. Obama said that reading fiction left him “better able to imagine what’s going on in the lives of people throughout my presidency.” —Arit John, New York Times,

Maid

Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

By: Stephanie Land
Narrated by: Stephanie Land
Length: 8 hours 34 minutes

“This was an amazing book about her life and struggles. It was so much better being able to hear the author tell the story. I could feel the despair in her voice and it made the book so much more poignant. Read more

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The Shallows

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

By: Nicholas Carr
Narrated by: Richard Powers
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: as we enjoy the Internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?Now, Carr... Read more

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The Source of Self-Regard

Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

By: Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 16 hours 1 minute

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Here is the Nobel Prize winner in her own words: a rich gathering of her most important essays and speeches, spanning four decades that "speaks to today’s social and political moment as directly as this morning’s headlines” (NPR).

These pages give us her searing prayer for the dead of 9/11, her Nobel lecture on the power of... Read more

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Wolf Hall

A Novel

Wolf Hall Trilogy: Book #1

By: Hilary Mantel
Narrated by: Simon Slater
Length: 22 hours 58 minutes

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years,... Read more

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Exhalation

Stories

By: Ted Chiang
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Dominic Hoffman, Amy Landon & Ted Chiang
Length: 11 hours 21 minutes

“WOW. My first experience with Ted Chiang absolutely blew me out of the water. Each story left me with wide eyes and a racing mind, running to my husband to read a passage so we could both be knocked over with wonder. Exhalation filled me with so many questions about our collective past, present, and future, I’ll be coming back to this book again... Read more

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Inland

A Novel

By: Téa Obreht 
Narrated by: Anna Chlumsky, Edoardo Ballerini & Euan Morton
Length: 13 hours 7 minutes

“Man, I could live my whole life inside this novel and be perfectly happy. Téa Obreht is the real thing. Inland has the stern gorgeousness of Blood Meridian, the cinematic perfection of Station Eleven, the fantasia-like atmosphere of Cloud Atlas, and the deep-heartedness of The Winter Soldier. This is the sort of novel that makes people want to... Read more

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The Bluest Eye

By: Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

“Toni Morrison was a visionary. This, her first novel, was my first foray into her work, and I found it approachable, yet deep with meaning. It borrows its structure from a children’s Dick and Jane story, which Toni reads like a haunting incantation. Her narration of the entire book is flawless and stunning, like the text itself. The novel... Read more

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American Spy

A Novel

By: Lauren Wilkinson
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 10 hours 49 minutes

“Part literary fiction, part spy novel, punctuated by black American history, Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel crosses time periods and genres. This unflinching portrayal of a young black woman who becomes a Fed during the height of the Cold War is based on the true story of Thomas Sankara, known as “Africa’s Che Guevara.” Politics, illicit... Read more

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Men Without Women

Stories

By: Haruki Murakami
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 7 hours 17 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER Including the story "Drive My Car”—now an Academy Award–nominated film—this collection from the internationally acclaimed author "examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; it'll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers" (Barack Obama).

Across seven... Read more

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Beloved

Pulitzer Prize Winner

By: Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A spellbinding novel that transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. With a new afterword by the author. 

This "brutally powerful, mesmerizing story” (People) is an unflinchingly look into the abyss of slavery, from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner.


Sethe... Read more

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The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

A Novel

By: Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Colson Whitehead
Length: 6 hours 45 minutes

“This is the story of boys at a reform school in Florida in the 1960s. Based on the true story of the Dozier School for Boys, and the atrocities that took place there. This isn’t for the faint of heart; the cruelty and violence are terrible. However, Whitehead is a master novelist. The haunting beauty of his prose makes this a must-read. The... Read more

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Lab Girl

A Memoir

By: Hope Jahren
Narrated by: Hope Jahren
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

“This book has it all: nature, love, science, drama, heartbreak, joy, and plenty of dirt. Not since Cheryl Strayed's Wild have I read such a rich and compelling nonfiction narrative. Lab Girl is the story of Jahren's life in science, and her writing on the wonders of nature will renew your sense of awe. But more than that, it is an exploration... Read more

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Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more