Book Club / Culture

These are a few of Barack Obama’s favourite things (from 2022)

obama reading list 2022

You know the year is coming to a sharp end when former president of the US, Barack Obama, shares his favourite books of the year. The lists have become so popular that in recent years he's added his most-loved music and movies to the drop, also. Not only does it grant us insight into his tastes and reading habits, but the lists arrive at a time when many of us have downtime ourselves, and can actually dip into a new release.

So what made the cut for 2022? Let's begin with the most obvious inclusion – Michelle Obama's The Light We Carry. A follow-up to her 2018 memoir Becoming, the new text acts as a guide to dealing with troubling times with advice and anecdotes from the former first lady. Naturally, it has pride of place atop her husband's booklist.

There are other authors who are included as well; from Jessamine Chan's explosive The School for Good Mothers that speaks to the pressure of being the "perfect" mother, to Charmaine Wilkerson's Black Cake which brings two estranged siblings together in the wake of their mother's death. George Saunders is in there too with his newly released book of short stories Liberation Day. And you'll find titles from Jennifer Egan, Tanzanian-British novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, as well as Imani Perry's rumination on America's South, and Ed Yong's An Immense World.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama)

Things get more playful as we move into the music category. There's a ton of pop, with Rosalia, Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Burna Boy, Maggie Rogers, Steve Lacy and Beyoncé. But you'll find inclusions from Sudan Archive's recent album Natural Brown Prom Queen, as well as a track from Ethel Cain and Omar Apollo too. Safe to say the former president has great taste.

As for films? It really is all the best from the year. It appears Obama is also a Paul Mescal fan, with Aftersun making the cut. The Woman King is on there as well, as is French director Céline Sciamma's Petite Maman. Park chan-wook's Decision to Leave surfaces, as does Chinonye Chukwu portrayal of Mamie Till-Mobley's pursuit of justice following the brutal lynching of her son in Till. Top Gun: Maverick adds a touch of lightness and Obama counts himself as one of the many who also enjoyed Cate Blanchett in Tár.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama)

Thanks Obama, you've given us enough content to see us through to 2024.

In case you were on the hunt for more recommendations, taking this holiday reading list, along with the books we're eager to read once they drop in 2023.

Stay inspired, follow us.

Image: Pinterest