You know what’s a fun game? Close your eyes and imagine – just for a few minutes – that Donald Trump never became president and, somehow, Barack Obama carried on for a third term.
There’d be no messy Russian collusion investigation, the president wouldn’t have stood by rampaging Nazis and immigrant children wouldn’t have been put in cages and taken from their families. What a neck-breaking change a presidency can make.
And although Obama’s presidency was by no means perfect, it was refreshing and heartening to have a really clever dude in charge. Barack, now 57, graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, taught as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School and won fistfuls of awards as a published author.
Which means that when Obama recommends a book, we take note. Especially when he takes to Facebook to recommend five books. Writing on the social media site he said:
“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.”
Here are his five best summer reads to lose yourself in.
1. Educated by Tara Westover
“Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”
2. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
“Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.”
3. A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
“With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner’s first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.”
4. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
“An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.”
5. Factfulness by Hans Rosling
“Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.”
Emails are rubbish, ours isn't.
Get exclusive shortlists, celebrity interviews and the best deals on the products you care about, straight to your inbox.
(Images: Getty / Amazon)