Which Book from Obama’s Reading List Should You Read?
Which of these subjects interests you the most?
- Religion and culture
- Race and magic
- History and anthropology
- Adventure and gender
What is something you wish you understood more about?
- How race plays into the social hierarchy of the United States
- How colonialism has shaped our perspective of our place in American history and culture
- How community and ethnicity play into law enforcement
- The issues that come with being a Muslim in America
What is your favorite genre?
- Historical fiction
- Crime and thriller
- Western or family drama
- Sociological nonfiction
When choosing a book, are you more likely to go for something everyone else is reading, or choose something no one else knows about?
- I like to go with whoever has the best track record.
- I usually read things that others have recommended to me.
- I like to be ahead of the trends.
When you're not reading books, what type of media do you normally consume?
- I love theatre!
- A good documentary
- Journalism—the newspaper, blogs, magazines
- TV dramas
Which title sounds most interesting to you?
- Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India
- After the Last Border
- The World Doesn't Require You
The biggest issues in your family stem from...
- Differing political views
- I just don't fit in with them.
- Conflict between generations
- Interpersonal conflict that hasn't been addressed
What does "home" mean to you?
- Anywhere my family is.
- Being near my loved ones and people who have gone through similar things in life as I have—whether or not we're related.
- Where my culture is accepted.
- Home means being understood by those around you.
Are you more likely to read fiction or nonfiction?
- I almost exclusively read novels. I love an enthralling story.
- I love to learn about actual events, theories, and people.
Which themes do you identify with most (or, which interests you the most)?
- Social status and oppression
- Gender identity, sexuality, and what it means to own something
- Authenticity and the conflicts between different identities
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Obama's Reading List
Every year, former US President Barack Obama releases lists of the books, films, music, and TV shows he enjoyed most that year. As one of the most influential American politicians and public figures, his recommendations carry a lot of weight. In the past, Obama's reading list was full of recommendations that have helped further the careers of authors like Nicholas Carr, Hope Jahren, Téa Obreht, Stephanie Land, Ted Chiang, Dinaw Mengestu, and Marilynne Robinson. The books on his list inevitably become bestsellers, and they all contain important life lessons and reflections on world events.
The books that made the list of recommendations this year are no exception. After a year of uncertainty, disease, upheaval, and social change, many of the books that Obama recommends tackle themes of race, what it means to be a woman, identity, and family. Many of these books are sure to land on summer reading lists for generations to come. They'll hopefully bring our isolated world closer together. If you're looking for some great reads that you're sure to remember for life, search no further—these stories are sure to stick with you and fill you with hope for humanity.