The year is about to end and ‘annual book lists’ are popping out everywhere. Following the trend, former US President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has announced the list of his favourite books from 2020. The 44th POTUS has listed a total of 17 books, deliberately excluding his own A Promise Land.
Apart from being a prolific author and widely respected politician, Barack Obama is also a voracious reader. This fact is clearly visible in the great diversity in his list of favorites, right from The Ministry for the Future, a novel set in the future, to Twilight of Democracy, a political treatise analyzing the rise of right-wing populist and authoritarian politics.
A Promised Land, published under the Viking imprint of Penguin, is Obama’s fourth book. It’s the first volume of his presidential memoirs, his journey from being a young vulnerable man to becoming the leader of the civilized world. The book has met tremendous reception, becoming an instant bestseller with over 3.3 million copies sold in North America itself. His first book, Dreams of My Father (1995), was included in Time Magazine‘s top 100 non-fiction English language books since 1923, in 2011. Obama’s other two books include The Audacity of Hope (2006), and Of Thee I Sing (2010).
Obama’s Favorite Books from 2020 Are:
Homeland Elegies – Ayad Akhtar
Jack – Marilynne Robinson
Caste – Isabel Wilkerson
The Splendid and the Vile – Erik Larson
Luster – Raven Leilani
How Much of these Hills is Gold – C Pam Zhang
Long Bright River – Liz Moore
Memorial Drive – Natasha Trethewey
Twilight of Democracy – Anne Applebaum
Deacon King Kong – James McBride
The Undocumented Americans – Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett
The Glass Hotel – Emily St John Mandel
Hidden Valley Road – Robert Kolker
The Ministry of the Future – Kim Stanley Robinson
Sharks in the Time of Saviors – Kawai Strong Washburn
Missionaries – Phil Klay
Looking for mind-blowing translations from around the world? Check out this list of 75 notable translations compiled by World Literature Today.
Noman Shaikh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Bombay Reads. He grew up in Mumbai, a city he loves more than any other, and currently works as a content consultant. His expertise lies in creating high-quality academic and marketing content in the form of blogs, articles, op-eds, etc. Noman has worked with reputed brands, including Economic Times (through Spiral Media), Coinbase (through MattsenKumar), AdEngage, Della Group, GBIM Technologies, VAP Group, etc. For his published portfolio, click here. Contact Noman on noman@bombayreads for engagement.