What are the best books from President Obama's reading list?

asked by Anonymous
341 contributors
16 solutions
  1. 36

    #1The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is the Pulitzer Prize-winning first volume of a three-part biography by Edmund Morris. It recounts Roosevelt's life before becoming the youngest president of the United States.

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    Margaret George
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "In my opinion this website offers a good example and solves the issue."
  2. 34

    #2All the Light We Cannot See

    All the Light We Cannot See
    All The Light We Cannot See is a vividly-written story about Marie Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German boy in the Nazi army. Winner of a 2015 Pulitzer Prize, it shows that there can still be beauty amidst the tragedy of war.

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    Richard Lane
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I love historical fiction. And I love a creative setup. But this? This was ultimately the most bog-standard boy-meets-girl I've ever heard. If you're interested in the plot, don't waste your time - just go watch The Sound of Music instead. Same thing, except that one is actually decent. This is garbage."
  3. 30

    #3Washington: A Life

    Washington: A Life

    Washington: A Life is a biography written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Rob Chernow. It chronicles the life of the founding father and the first man to be the president of the United States of America, George Washington.


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    Andrea Nichols
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "This would be a good book to read from the list."
  1. 30

    #4Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad that tells the story of Charles Marlow and his voyage on the Congo River. The story is inspired by Conrad's own experiences traveling in the Congo River in a Belgian trading steamer. 


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    Evelyn Carter
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "This brutal and complex book about slavery in Africa is historically accurate and a must-read for any American seeking to better understand intercultural relations. Despite its inherent darkness, it's a powerful learning experience for all."
  2. 29

    #5Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men
    Of Mice and Men is a book by John Steinbeck that follows the story of George, small but smart, and Lennie, big and strong but mentally challenged, as they set off in a journey to look for a livelihood during the Great Depression.

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    Stephen Andrews
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "If President Obama recommends this book, you know it has to be influential. I was actually surprised how short the story was, yet it still managed to have a great impact on Western society and classic literature. Steinbeck really had a knack for portraying life during the Great Depression, and I think every American should take a look at the places we've been, and where we might be headed again."
  3. 27

    #6Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    In this book, popular historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explains what made Abraham Lincoln such a political genius: the 16th president of the United States, had the ability to put himself in the place of other men, something that allowed him to lead the United States through the Civil War. 


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    Jeffrey Tucker
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln was a very historical fun read. It was very accurate and very detailed. You will enjoy every minute of it."
  4. 26

    #7Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    Gone Girl is a 2014 psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. It tells the story of Nick Dunne and his wife Amy, and revolves around whether or not Nick was involved in his wife's disappearance. This is a tale of vengeance and deceit.


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    Carl Richardson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "About crime story was reveal or not"
  5. 24

    #8The Girl on the Train

    The Girl on the Train

    The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller wherein Rachel, the protagonist, takes the same train on her everyday commute. She always catches a glimpse of a couple from the window of the train, and one day when she witnesses something terrible.


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    Sanvi Powar
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "EVERY DAY THE SAME Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life--as she sees it--is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. UNTIL TODAY And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?"
  6. 22

    #9John Adams

    John Adams
    As told by the multi-awarded historian David McCullough, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book is the story of John Adams, founding father and second president of the United States. 


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  7. 21

    #10Treasure Island

    Treasure Island

    Treasure Island is a children's historical novel by Robert Louis Stevenson that tells the story of Jim Hawkins as he sets off on an expedition in search of Captain Flint's buried treasure. Along the way, he endures mutiny and pirate attacks. 


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    Tejas Kadam
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "A classic book and worth the read. Actually, you probably read this or had it read to you in grade school. Its a timeless classic that stands the test of time."
  8. 17



    In this portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt we can know more about the life of this president of the United States, and of course the decision -both good and bad- that he had to take, and what made him one of the best presidents ever. 


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    Ernesto Santillán
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "Great choice. 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It's cool to see a US President reading about other Presidents. "
  9. 13

    #12The Warmth of Other Suns

    The Warmth of Other Suns
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration is a multi-awarded non-fiction history book written by Isabel Wilkerson. It was first published in 2010 by Random House. 

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    Jonathan Adams
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "I am a huge history buff and saw this book and it intrigued me. When I saw it was on President Obama's reading list I really wanted to give it a read. It was fascinating and something that isn't often talked about in many history courses. The book is touching and so well written it is really moving. I highly suggest giving this a read as it gives a new perspective to black culture in the South and the move Northward. Just a fantastic telling of a portion of American History. "
  10. 10

    #13Between the World and Me

    Between the World and Me
    Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American autobiography novel originally published in July 2015. This book won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015 and it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

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    Jiang Shao
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Every person should read this book. School's should require it. It didn't win awards and a Pulitzer for nothing. Obama has great taste. "
  11. 3


    This book is a complete biography of Ulysses S. Grant, the first four-star general in the entire history of the United States Army who was the president of the US for eight consecutive years. The author of the book manages to write down all the military an political achievements of the man who is, according to Jean Edward Smith, one of the most underrated presidents of the United States.


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    Amanda McDonald
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "For Black History Month, my instructor for my sociology class suggested researching President Obama. I decided to steer away from Obama's policies or presidency and instead focus on little known facts about his personal preferences. I saw the book Grant (the book written by Ron Chernow) as one of his favorite reads and found it to be a very absorbing and it kept my attention throughout. There are other titles (for example Grant by Jean Edward Smith) and they are great reads, but as I was looking for Obama's reads for this assignment, I will keep Smith's creation in mind as a summer read for another time."
  12. 2

    #15The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past)

    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past)

    The Three-Body Problem is a science fiction cultural China book written by Liu Cixin and translated by Ken Liu as the first book in the Remembrance of Earth's Past series. Published in 2014 by Tor Books.


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  13. 1

    #16Cutting for Stone

    Cutting for Stone

    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is a historical fiction on health and medicine. It is an anecdote on chasing power, building intimacy, and discovering the beauty of healing others.


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    Maricela Cervantes
    Written on March 29, 2018
    "This book is on a lot of book club lists because of President Obama suggesting it and for good reason. It's a fantastic portrait of a life and tells a story with the beauty and passion that only the most skilled story-teller can pull off. If you're looking for a read that will enrich your life and contribute to an overall sense of fulfillment, this is a wonderful choice. "


Best What are the best books from President Obama's reading list
1The Rise of Theodore RooseveltBooks 36 Paid
2All the Light We Cannot SeeBooks 34 Paid
3Washington: A LifeBooks 30 Paid
4Heart of DarknessBooks 30 Paid
5Of Mice and MenBooks 29 Paid
6Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnBooks 27 Paid
7Gone GirlBooks 26 Paid
8The Girl on the TrainBooks 24 Paid
9John AdamsBooks 22 Paid
10Treasure IslandBooks 21 Paid

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