On New Year's Eve, former U.S. president Barack Obama shared the songs that "got him moving" and the stories that inspired him in 2017 through a post on his Facebook profile.
"With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most," Obama said in the post on December 31.
"During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists," Obama said. "It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world."
Before leaving the White House in 2017, Obama told The New York Times that reading books allowed him to maintain his balance during his eight years as president.
Reading books provided Obama "the ability to slow down and get perspective, along with the ability to get in somebody else's shoes," he said, which he found invaluable especially "at a time when events move so quickly and so much information is transmitted."
The best books Obama read in 2017:
- "The Power" by Naomi Alderman
- "Grant" by Ron Chernow
- "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond
- "Janesville: An American Story" by Amy Goldstein
- "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid
- "Five-Carat Soul" by James McBride
- "Anything Is Possible" by Elizabeth Strout
- "Dying: A Memoir" by Cory Taylor
- "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles
- "Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward
- "Coach Wooden and Me" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- "Basketball (and Other Things)" by Shea Serrano
Obama's favorite songs of 2017:
- "Mi Gente" by J Balvin & Willy William
- "Havana" by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)
- "Blessed" by Daniel Caesar
- "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile
- "First World Problems" by Chance The Rapper (feat. Daniel Caesar)
- "Rise Up" by Andra Day
- "Wild Thoughts" by DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)
- "Family Feud" by Jay-Z (feat. Beyoncé)
- "Humble" by Kendrick Lamar
- "La Dame et Ses Valises" by Les Amazones d'Afrique (feat. Nneka)
- "Unforgettable" by French Montana (feat. Swae Lee)
- "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" by The National
- "Chanel" by Frank Ocean
- "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man
- "Butterfly Effect" by Travis Scott
- "Matter of Time" by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
- "Little Bit" by Mavis Staples
- "Millionaire" by Chris Stapleton
- "Sign of the Times" by Harry Styles
- "Broken Clocks" by SZA
- "Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)" by U2
- "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen
Here's Obama's full post:
In the past, Obama has shared his penchant for reading and listening to tunes through his summer reading lists and seasonal music playlists, the latter of which marked some of the most listened-to playlists on Spotify at the time.
As Obama said at a book reading in 2013, "Reading is important. If you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you."
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