Obama’s Annual Culture Lists Are Right On Cue

“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists,” writes Barack Obama in a recent Facebook post. “It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved.”

The annual listing from the former President is a retelling of the cultural highlights that have defined his last 12 months, and the list might be more prominent than ever.

In an annual survey conducted by Gallup, the Obamas were voted America’s most admired of 2018. It marks Barack’s 11th time on the top of the male list, while for the first time in 17 years Michelle replaces Hillary Clinton in the number one spot.

The Obama Family Photo Album

“It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before,” he continues. Here’s my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.”

Books

Becoming by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Educated by Tara Westover
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
The Return by Hisham Matar
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Florida by Lauren Groff
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
There There by Tommy Orange
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

When Meghan Met Michelle Obama

Movies

Annihilation
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Blindspotting
Burning
The Death of Stalin
Eighth Grade
If Beale Street Could Talk
Leave No Trace
Minding the Gap
The Rider
RomaShoplifters
Support the Girls
Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Barack Obama: A Presidency In Quotes

An Evening With Michelle Obama And Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Songs

“Apes**t” by The Carters
“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges
“Could’ve Been” by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller)
“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
“Ekombe” by Jupiter Okwess
“Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde
“Historia de un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)
“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole
“King for a Day” by Anderson East
“Love Lies” by Khalid Normani
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
“Mary Don’t You Weep” (Piano A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince
“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)
“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett
“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara
“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile
“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid
“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron
“Wow Freestyle” by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: The Great American Songbook by Nancy Wilson

Barack Obama: A Presidency In Quotes