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Barack Obama has revealed his favourite music and books of 2017

We imagined what Trump would think of each of them

Barack Obama has revealed his favourite music and books of 2017
02 January 2018

On Sunday, former President Barack Obama released a list of his top books and songs from 2017. He said on Facebook: “During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. 

“With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here’s my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year.”

Not only is it a really strong list filled with fascinating reads and some great tunes, it’s a little bit heart-breaking thinking about how the presidency has fallen from such an intelligent, cultured man like Obama to the current office holder, Donald “I definitely CAN read” Trump: 

And now we’ve imagined how Trump – famous for his carefully-considered and well-thought-out opinions – would react to each of the president’s choices. Here they are:

1. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Summary: “Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.”

Trump’s reaction:

2. Grant by Ron Chernow

Summary: “Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.”

Trump’s reaction:

3. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond 

Summary: “Arleen spends nearly all her money on rent but is kicked out with her kids in Milwaukee’s coldest winter for years. Doreen’s home is so filthy her family call it ‘the rat hole’. Lamar, a wheelchair-bound ex-soldier, tries to work his way out of debt for his boys. Scott, a nurse turned addict, lives in a gutted-out trailer. This is their world. And this is the 21st Century: where fewer and fewer people can afford a simple roof over their head.”

Trump’s reaction:

4. Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

Summary: “This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down - but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.”

Trump’s reaction:

5. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Summary: “A New York Times bestseller, the astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.”

Trump’s reaction:

6. Five-Carat Soul by James McBride

Summary: “The stories in Five-Carat Soul - none of them ever published before - spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail.”

Trump’s reaction:

7. Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Summary: “An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.”

Trump’s reaction:

8. Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor

Summary: “Cory Taylor wrote this remarkable book in the space of a few weeks before her death from cancer in July 2016. In a tremendous creative surge, as her body weakened, she described the experience of knowing she would soon die.”

Trump’s reaction:

9. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Summary: “From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility - a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.”

Trump’s reaction:

10. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Summary: “An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power - and limitations - of family bonds.”

Trump’s reaction:

11. Bonus for hoops fans: Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano

Trump’s reaction:

And here’s the list of Obama’s top songs of 2017: 

  1. ’Mi Gente’ by J Balvin & Willy William
  2. ’Havana’ by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)
  3. ’Blessed’ by Daniel Caesar
  4. ’The Joke’ by Brandi Carlile
  5. ’First World Problems’ by Chance the Rapper (feat. Daniel Caesar)
  6. ’Rise Up’ by Andra Day
  7. ’Wild Thoughts’ by DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)
  8. ’Family Feud’ by Jay-Z (feat. Beyoncé)
  9. ’Humble’ by Kendrick Lamar
  10. ’La Dame et Ses Valises’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique (feat. Nneka)
  11. ’Unforgettable’ by French Montana (feat. Swae Lee)
  12. ’The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’ by The National
  13. ’Chanel’ by Frank Ocean
  14. ’Feel it Still’ by Portugal. The Man
  15. ’Butterfly Effect’ by Travis Scott
  16. ’Matter of Time’ by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  17. ’Little Bit’ by Mavis Staples
  18. ’Millionaire’ by Chris Stapleton
  19. ’Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles
  20. ’Broken Clocks’ by SZA
  21. ’Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)’ by U2
  22. *Bonus: ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ by Bruce Springsteen (not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!

Trump’s reaction:

So how many of Obama’s top books of 2017 have you read? Tell us below!

(Image: Rex)