The books on Barack Obama's 2019 summer reading list

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If you're looking for a few more good beach reads to carry you through the final weeks of summer, then Barack Obama has you covered with several suggestions.

The former president posted a list of the books he's been reading this summer on social media on Wednesday, and it's highlighted by the works of the recently departed Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.

"To start, you can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison," Obama wrote in a post he shared on Facebook and Instagram. Morrison, who died on Aug. 5 at the age of 88, wrote several acclaimed novels, including "The Bluest Eye," "Song of Solomon," and "Beloved."

"They're transcendent, all of them. You'll be glad you read them," Obama wrote of Morrison's work. In 2012, while he was still in office, Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

But, the former president also had 10 additional books and short stories to recommend to his tens of millions of followers across both Facebook and Instagram. Here are Obama's recommended books for summer reading:

  1. "The collected works of Toni Morrison"
  2. "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead
  3. "Exhalation," a short story by Ted Chiang
  4. "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel
  5. "Men Without Women," a short story collection by Haruki Murakami
  6. "American Spy" by Lauren Wilkinson
  7. "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr
  8. "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren
  9. "Inland" by Téa Obreht
  10. "How to Read the Air" by Dinaw Mengestu
  11. "Maid" by Stephanie Land
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Obama made a habit of releasing his reading lists while he still occupied the White House, and he's maintained that tradition since he left office in 2017. In December 2018, Obama even released an end-of-year list of the books, movies and music that he "found most provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved" over the course of that year (featuring his wife, Michelle's, "Becoming" at the top of the list).

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