×

President Obama's summer jams and beach reads

In this latest installment of CNBC's summer reading series, presidential reads — and summer jams! President Obama is on a two-week vacation with his family in Martha's Vineyard and the White House has released his summer reading list. They also announced with a splash on the Whitehouse.gov home page that the president just joined Spotify.The president takes his summer jams pretty seriously, so he released — not one, but — two summer playlists, one for day and one for night. Check out what the president's reading — and jamming out to this summer:

President Barack Obama on the golf course.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images
President Barack Obama on the golf course.

The president's summer reading list

"All That Is"
By James Salter
This book explores the life of Philip Bowman, who returns to the U.S. from the battlefields of Okinawa in World War II to pursue a career in the world of publishing in search of success — and love. The New York Review of Books calls it "mesmerizing" and "radiant." The New Yorker says, "You come away from [Salter's] work wondering if you should have lived more, even if living more, in his work, often leads to ruin." The Los Angeles Times calls it "A sexy, bittersweet story."

"All the Light We Cannot See"
By Anthony Doerr
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize,is the story of a blind French girl, who has learned to navigate the streets of Paris through a wooden model of the city her locksmith father has created, and an orphan German boy who meet in occupied France during World War II. The Washington Post says it is "Enthrallingly told, beautifully written and so emotionally plangent that some passages bring tears."

"The Sixth Extinction"
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In this Pulitzer-prize winning book, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert notes that there have been five mass extinctions in the past half-billion years and that with how humans have so severely changed life on this planet, a sixth one could be on the way – one that would be the most devastating since the dinosaurs were wiped out.

"The Lowland"

By Jhumpa Lahiri

"The Lowland" is a story about two brothers who grew up in Calcutta in the 1960s. After one is killed, the other marries his pregnant widow and moves to the U.S. The New York Times calls the premise of this novel "startingly operatic."

"Washington: A Life"

The president's summer jams

President Barack Obama playlist
Source: The White House

"Your summer just got a little groovier," the White House said in announcing President Obama's summer playlist on Spotify.

Aw, yeah.

From the Temptations and Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones and John Legend, the presidential playlists span the decades — and cue up some great music.

President Obama's Summer Playlist: Day

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
  • Live It Up – Isley Brothers
  • Memories Live – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek
  • Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan
  • So Much Trouble in the World – Bob Marley
  • Paradise – Coldplay
  • Tengo Un Trato (Remix) – Mala Rodriguez
  • Wang Dang Doodle – Howlin Wolf
  • Another Star – Stevie Wonder
  • Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone
  • Boozophilia – Low Cut Connie
  • Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
  • Good Day – Nappy Roots
  • Green Light – John Legend
  • Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones
  • Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin
  • Down Down the Deep River – Okkervil River
  • Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
  • Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  • La Salsa La Traigo Yo – Sonora Carruseles

President Obama's Summer Playlist: Night

  • My Favorite Things – John Coltrane
  • Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean) – Beyoncé
  • Moondance – Van Morrison
  • Is Your Love Big Enough? – Lianne La Havas
  • How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – Al Green
  • Red & White & Blue & Gold – Aoife O'Donovan
  • Nothing Even Matters – Lauryn Hill
  • The Best Is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra
  • You Don't Know Me – Ray Charles
  • I Found My Everything – Mary J Blige
  • Help Me – Joni Mitchell
  • I've Got Dreams to Remember – Otis Redding
  • Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
  • Feeling Good – Nina Simone
  • Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
  • Until – Cassandra Wilson
  • UMI Says – Mos Def
  • The Very Thought of You – Billie Holiday
  • Flamenco Sketches – Miles Davis
  • Woo – Erykah Badu

To quote a presidential jam — Hot fun in the summertime!