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Barack Obama shares his favorite books, TV shows and movies of 2020

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Reading the same books and watching the same TV shows and movies as Barack Obama may not guarantee you the same level of success as the former president, but it can't hurt.

On Thursday, Obama released a list of his favorite books, and on Friday a list of his favorite TV shows and movies, of 2020.

(The memior he published this year, "A Promised Land," was not among them.)

Reading and writing is fundamental to who Obama is, he told The New York Times in 2017. Obama learned "the power of words as a way to figure out who you are and what you think, and what you believe, and what's important, and to sort through and interpret this swirl of events that is happening around you every minute," he told the Times.

"People now remark on this notion of me being very cool, or composed. And what is true is that I generally have a pretty good sense of place and who I am, and what's important to me. And I trace a lot of that back to that process of writing."

Obama's favorite books of 2020

"Homeland Elegies: A Novel," by Ayad Akhtar

"Jack," by Marilynne Robinson

"Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents," by Isabel Wilkerson

"The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance during the Blitz," by Erik Larson

"Luster," by Raven Leilani

"How Much of These Hills Is Gold," by C Pam Zhang

"Long Bright River," by Liz Moore

"Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir," by Natasha Trethewey

"Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism," by Anne Applebaum

"Deacon King Kong," by James McBride

"The Undocumented Americans," by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

"The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett

"The Glass Hotel," by Emily St. John Mandel

"Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family," by Robert Kolker

"The Ministry for the Future," by Kim Stanley Robinson

"Sharks in the Time of Saviors," by Kawai Strong Washburn

"Missionaries," by Phil Klay

It may be comforting to know that even Obama, the 44th President of the United States, takes time off from high-minded work to watch television.

Obama's favorite TV shows of 2020

"Better Call Saul," on Netflix

"The Queen's Gambit," on Netflix

"I May Destroy You," on HBO

"The Boys," on Prime Video

"The Good Lord Bird," on Showtime

"Devs," FX Hulu

"The Last Dance," on Netflix

"Mrs. America," FX on Hulu

"The Good Place," NBC

"City So Real," National Geographic Documentary Films

Obama also told Entertainment Weekly he loves to watch the NBA playoffs, because it's hoops!"

Obama's favorite movies of 2020

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," on Netflix

"Beanpole," released on Kino Marquee

"Bacurau," released on Kino Marquee

"Nomadland," Searchlight Pictures

"Soul," Disney Pixar

"Lovers Rock," Produced by Steve McQueen's Small Axe on Amazon Prime

"Collective," Magnolia Pictures

"Mank," Netflix

"Martin Eden," on Kino Marquee

"Let Him Go," Focus Features

"Time," Concordia Studios on Prime Video

"Boys State," Concordia Studios on Apple TV and A24

"Selah and the Spades," Prime Video

"Crip Camp," Higher Ground Productions, executive produced by both Barack and Michelle Obama, on Netflix

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