Obama shares summer reading list featuring Diop and Ishiguro

Obama shares summer reading list featuring Diop and Ishiguro

Former US President Barack Obama has released an 11-strong list of book recommendations to read this summer, continuing a tradition from his time in the White House. 

The list spans fiction, non-fiction and narrative reporting, and includes the International Booker Prize-winner At Night All Blood is Black  by David Diop (Pushkin Press), a historic fiction novel detailing the dark tale of a Senegalese soldier's experience fighting for the French during the First World War. Nobel winner Kazuo Ishiguro is also picked out for highly-acclaimed AI exploration Klara and the Sun (Faber),

It also features Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe (Pan Macmillan), which delves into the lives of three generations of the Sackler family, the American family whose members founded pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma and When We Cease to Understand the World (Pushkin Press) which tells stories of scientists and mathematicians throughout history who shaped the world through their findings by Benjamín Labatut. 

Obama said: "While we were still in the White House, I began sharing my summer favourites—and now, it's become a little tradition that I look forward to sharing with you all. So here's this year's offering. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did”. 

In addition to the books by Diop, Radden Keefe and Labatut, the former president also recommended the 10-part short story series Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen (Simon & Schuster) , Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Cornerstone), Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future  by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Elizabeth Kolbert (Vintage) and Eric Nguyen’s Things We Lost to the Water (Knopf)

Also celebrated were Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Bloomsbury), The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris (Headline) and Intimacies by Katie Kitamura (Vintage). 

Obama's 2021 summer reading list comes after he shared his favourite books from 2020, which in December highlighted 17 titles including Isabel Wilkerson's Caste (Allen Lane) Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half (Dialogue) and C Pam Zhang's How Much of These Hills is Gold (Virago).