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.

Barack Obama Lists Best Books And Movies Of 2019

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.

Barack Obama Lists Best Books And Movies Of 2019

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

Barack Obama Lists Best Books And Movies Of 2019

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

Price: $26.69 At Amazon


2. The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

The Anarchy

From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country.

Price: $23.67 At Amazon


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

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

"Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee" is her first book. It was an instant New York Times, WSJ, & Indiebound bestseller. The book earned rave reviews from Michael Lewis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Al Roker, David Grann, and Helen Macdonald.

Price: $41.86 At Amazon


4. Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner)

Girl, Woman, Other

“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”―Booker Prize Judges

Price: $12.79 At Amazon


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

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

Named a best book of 2019 by The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, NPR, Hudson Booksellers, The New York Public Library, The Dallas Morning News, and Library Journal.

Price: $20 At Amazon


6. How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

"A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."—Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review.

Price: $18.29 At Amazon


7. Lost Children Archive, VALERIA LUISELLI

Lost Children Archive, VALERIA LUISELLI

From the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

Price: $19.98 At Amazon


8. Lot: Stories

Lot: Stories

In the city of Houston - a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America - the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He's working at his family's restaurant, weathering his brother's blows, resenting his older sister's absence. And discovering he likes boys.

Price: $15.81 At Amazon


9. Normal People

Normal People

“A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships” (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, “a master of the literary page-turner” (J. Courtney Sullivan).

Price: $14.56 At Amazon


10. The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times bestselling novel of North Korea: an epic journey into the heart of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship.

“Imagine Charles Dickens paying a visit to Pyongyang, and you see the canvas on which [Adam] Johnson is painting here.”—The Washington Post.

Price: $9.79 At Amazon


11. The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner)

The Yellow House

A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.

Price: $19.69 At Amazon


12. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Say Nothing

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

Price: $21.71 At Amazon


13. Solitary, ALBERT WOODFO

Solitary

Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement―in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana―all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world.

Price: $14.67 At Amazon


14. The Topeka School: A Novel

The Topeka School

From the award-winning author of 10:04 and Leaving the Atocha Station, a tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right.

Price: $24.30 At Amazon


15. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

“From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire

Price: $20 At Amazon


16. Trust Exercise: A Novel

Trust Exercise

In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed―or untoyed with―by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.

Price: $18.81 At Amazon


17. We Live in Water: Stories, JESS WALTER

We Live in Water

Stories in We Live in Water range from comic tales of love to social satire and suspenseful crime fiction. Traveling from hip Portland to once-hip Seattle to never-hip Spokane, to a condemned casino in Las Vegas and a bottomless lake in the dark woods of Idaho, this is a world of lost fathers and redemptive con men, of personal struggles and diminished dreams.

Price: $11.63 At Amazon


18. A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule

A Different Way to Win

Dan Rooney was one of the most-influential sports executives of his generation, the man who transformed the Pittsburgh Steelers into one of the National Football League’s great dynasties and premiere franchises. Some of his most-important achievements, however, took place off the playing field as he sought to bring about equity in the league’s hiring practices and peace in his ancestral homeland of Ireland. As a business leader, a philanthropist, a diplomat and the author of the famous Rooney Rule, Dan Rooney was known for his core values, his quiet strength, his effectiveness, and his willingness to talk to and hear from those who disagreed with him.

Price: $14.36 At Amazon


19. The Sixth Man: A Memoir

The Sixth Man

The standout memoir from NBA powerhouse Andre Iguodala, the indomitable sixth man of the Golden State Warriors.

Andre Iguodala is one of the most admired players in the NBA. And fresh off the Warriors’ fifth Finals appearance in five years, his game has never been stronger.

Price: $16.35 At Amazon


20. American Spy: A Novel

American Spy: A Novel

What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love?

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

Price: $20.23 At Amazon


21. The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir

“Her highly personal and reflective memoir . . . is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”—President Barack Obama

An intimate, powerful, and galvanizing memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner, human rights advocate, and former UN Ambassador Samantha Power.

Price: $14.99 At Amazon


22. Exhalation: Stories

Exhalation: Stories

“Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.” —Barack Obama, via Facebook

Price: $18.27 At Amazon


23. Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward

Finding My Voice

"Valerie has been one of Barack and my closest confidantes for decades... the world would feel a lot better if there were more people like Valerie blazing the trail for the rest of us."--Michelle Obama

"The ultimate Obama insider" (The New York Times) and longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history.

Price: $13.39 At Amazon


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

Heartland

An essential read for our times: an eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in America that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which class shapes our country and “a deeply humane memoir that crackles with clarifying insight”.*

Price: $10.89 At Amazon


25. How to Read the Air

How to Read the Air

A "beautifully written"* (New York Times Book Review) novel of redemption by a prize-winning international literary star.
From the acclaimed author of The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears comes a heartbreaking literary masterwork about love, family, and the power of imagination.

Price: $11.92 At Amazon


26. Inland: A Novel

Inland: A Novel

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Price: $14.29 At Amazon


27. Lab Girl

Lab Girl

“A beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees. Terrific.” —Barack Obama, via Facebook

Price: $8.69 At Amazon


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

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

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

Price: $13.50 At Amazon


29. Men Without Women: Stories (Vintage International)

Men Without Women

“Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women 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

Price: $10.49 At Amazon


30. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

The Moment of Lift

“In her book, Melinda tells the stories of the inspiring people she’s met through her work all over the world, digs into the data, and powerfully illustrates issues that need our attention―from child marriage to gender inequity in the workplace.” ― President Barack Obama

“The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page.”

Price: $14.49 At Amazon


31. Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

Tough Love

Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Susan Rice powerfully connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan now shares the wisdom she learned along the way.

Price: $17.99 At Amazon








Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my annual list of favorites — books, films, and music — with all of you. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences. They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit. To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. Most of them came out in 2019, but a few were older ones that were new to me this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on


Next up are my favorite movies and TV shows of 2019. This year’s list includes everything from explorations of class dynamics and relationships, to an inspired reboot of a classic graphic novel, to a portal back to one of the most special places in history — an Aretha Franklin concert. Of course, there’s also American Factory, a film from our own production company, Higher Ground, that was recently shortlisted for an Oscar. It’s our first offering in partnership with Netflix, and I’m excited about the other projects we’ve got in the works. Here’s the full list:

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