At the end of each year, many celebrities share the list of books that have marked them during the last 12 months. Barack Obama has shared his top 2021 reads on Twitter.

It includes men and women of letters like Ann Patchett and Colson Whitehead. Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama became known as an avid reader and cultural critic.

While he recommended dozens of books to his fellow citizens during his two terms, he has been sharing his annual reading lists on Twitter for the past decade. The most recent one includes 13 titles, most of which are works of fiction.

Among them are Harlem Shuffle, a whodunit in which Colson Whitehead revisits a robbery at Harlem’s Theresa Hotel, and Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads, a family saga set in a small American town in the 1970s.

Lauren Groff and Anthony Doerr are also on the list of books Barack Obama has particularly enjoyed this year thanks to Matrix and Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Books that nourish the soul

Some of the books selected by the 44th President of the United States deal with particularly topical issues such as racism. That’s the case of Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope In An American City by Andrea Elliott, journalist for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winner, as well as of How The Word Is Passed.

In this book, Clint Smith travels to eight locations in the US and abroad to understand how each of them understand their relationship to the history of American slavery.

Barack Obama also revealed on Twitter his music and movie recommendations for the year.

“Art always sustains and nourishes the soul. But for me, music and storytelling felt especially urgent during this pandemic year,” he noted.

Check out the 13 books included in Barack Obama’s annual recommendation list below:

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Matrix by Lauren Groff

How The Word Is Passed by Clint Smith

The Final Revival Of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope In An American City by Andrea Elliott

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

The Love Songs Of W.E.B Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang – AFP

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