Barack Obama delivers a speech in Paris, France.
Chesnot—Getty Images
By Jamie Ducharme
December 31, 2017

Former President Barack Obama used the newfound “extra time on [his] hands” to do plenty of reading in 2017, according to his annual year-end roundup of books and music.

“During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists,” Obama wrote on Facebook Sunday. “It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. 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’s book list includes a healthy mix of fiction (The Power, by Naomi Alderman), non-fiction (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond) and memoirs (Dying, by Cory Taylor). Here’s the full list:

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
*Bonus for hoops fans: Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano

The former president’s 2017 playlist is even more diverse, running the gamut from Camila Cabello’s “Havana” to Bruce Springsteen’s classic “Born in the U.S.A.” (“Not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!” Obama added of the latter.)

You can see all of Obama’s recommendations in his Facebook post.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at


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