On Friday, former President Barack Obama shared his annual year-end list of the books, movies and music that he "found most provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved" in 2018.
"It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers — some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before," Obama wrote in a Facebook post on Dec. 28.
"As 2018 draws to a close, I'm continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists," he wrote.
Obama started the tradition of sharing his reading lists and playlists during his presidency as 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, Obama told The New York Times that reading books allowed him to maintain his balance during his eight years as president. At the end of 2017, almost a full year out of the White House, Obama noted that he had "some extra time" on his hands to catch up on leisure entertainment.
Unsurprisingly, his top-recommended book is wife Michelle Obama's recent autobiography, "Becoming," which quickly became a bestseller and was featured on many of this year's gift guides. "Obviously my favorite!" he wrote.
Other notable selections are "Educated" by Tara Westover, which also made Bill Gates' 2018 most-recommended reading list, Golden Globe-nominated film "Black Panther" and music by Grammy Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper.
Here are the books, movies and songs Obama most enjoyed in 2018.
Obama's favorite books of 2018:
- "Becoming" by Michelle Obama
- "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones
- "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- "The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die" by Keith Payne
- "Educated" by Tara Westover
- "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling
- "Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging" by Alex Wagner
- "A Grain of Wheat" by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
- "A House for Mr Biswas" by V.S. Naipaul
- "How Democracies Die" by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
- "In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History" by Mitch Landrieu
- "Long Walk to Freedom" by Nelson Mandela
- "The New Geography of Jobs" by Enrico Moretti
- "The Return" by Hisham Matar
- "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe
- "Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
- "Why Liberalism Failed" by Patrick Deneen
- "The World As It Is" by Ben Rhodes
- "American Prison" by Shane Bauer
- "Arthur Ashe: A Life" by Raymond Arsenault
- "Asymmetry" by Lisa Halliday
- "Feel Free" by Zadie Smith
- "Florida" by Lauren Groff
- "Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom" by David W. Blight
- "Immigrant, Montana" by Amitava Kumar
- "The Largesse of the Sea Maiden" by Denis Johnson
- "Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" by Max Tegmark
- "There There" by Tommy Orange
- "Washington Black" by Esi Edugyan
Obama's favorite movies of 2018:
- "Black Panther"
- "The Death of Stalin"
- "Eighth Grade"
- "If Beale Street Could Talk"
- "Leave No Trace"
- "Minding the Gap"
- "The Rider"
- "Support the Girls"
- "Won't You Be My Neighbor"
Obama's favorite songs of 2018:
- "Apes--t" by The Carters
- "Bad Bad News" by Leon Bridges
- "Could've Been" by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller)
- "Disco Yes" by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
- "Ekombe" by Jupiter & Okwess
- "Every Time I Hear That Song" by Brandi Carlile
- "Girl Goin' Nowhere" by Ashley McBryde
- "Historia De Un Amor" by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
- "I Like It" by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
- "Kevin's Heart" by J. Cole
- "King For A Day" by Anderson East
- "Love Lies" by Khalid & Normani
- "Make Me Feel" by Janelle Monáe
- "Mary Don't You Weep (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version)" by Prince
- "My Own Thing" by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)
- "Need a Little Time" by Courtney Barnett
- "Nina Cried Power" by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
- "Nterini" by Fatoumata Diawara
- "One Trick Ponies" by Kurt Vile
- "Turnin' Me Up" by BJ the Chicago Kid
- "Wait by the River" by Lord Huron
- "Wow Freestyle" by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Obama also added a classic album, "The Great American Songbook," to honor the late artist Nancy Wilson, whom he called "one of the great jazz singers of all time."
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