Former President Barack Obama speaks to Obama Foundation Fellows gathered in Chicago on May 16, 2018.
Erin Hooley—Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images
By Casey Quackenbush
August 20, 2018

Looking for something to read as the summer winds to a close? Former President Barack Obama has a few suggestions.

“One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon,” wrote Obama in a Sunday night Facebook post. “This summer I’ve been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth.”

Obama’s top picks include:

Educated by Tara Westover. Obama calls Westover’s coming-of-age memoir a “remarkable” read that chronicles the life of a young woman raised in a survivalist family who goes on to get a PhD from Cambridge University.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. The best-selling author tells the story of families living through the post-World War II era and dealing with the lingering effects of war.

A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul. The recent passing of the Nobel Peace Prize winner inspired Obama to reread Naipul’s novel, which is about growing up in Trinidad and the challenges of post-colonial identity.

American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Also a selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2018, Jones’ novel is about the wrongful conviction of a young African-American couple living in Atlanta.

Factfulness by Hans Rosling. An international public health expert, Rosling offers an uplifting read about how the world can be a better place when humans work off facts rather than inherent biases.

Write to Casey Quackenbush at casey.quackenbush@timeinc.com.

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