Obama puts wife's book on favourites list

Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include (from left above) his wife's book Becoming, the movie Black Panther and a song by Janelle Monae.
Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include his wife's book Becoming, the movie Black Panther (above) and a song by Janelle Monae.PHOTO: WALT DISNEY PICTURES
Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include (from left above) his wife's book Becoming, the movie Black Panther and a song by Janelle Monae.
Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include his wife's book Becoming, the movie Black Panther and a song by Janelle Monae (above).PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Michelle Obama will have no complaints. Her best-selling book Becoming was listed among the picks of her husband Barack Obama who has posted some of the books, movies and music he found most inspiring or thought-provoking last year.

The wide-ranging list includes songs by artists as varied as Cardi B, Janelle Monae and Nancy Wilson, who died last month.

Becoming topped his list of books, which featured multiple works by women and authors of colour.

The former American president started sharing his reading lists and playlists during his White House tenure and has continued that tradition into retirement.

An avid reader with a deep appreciation of pop culture, he not only celebrated art during his presidency, but also took it into the White House.

In 2009, before Lin-Manuel Miranda was a household name, Mr Obama invited him to a White House poetry jam, where the composer performed an early version of the opening song from Broadway musical Hamilton.

Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include (from left above) his wife's book Becoming, the movie Black Panther and a song by Janelle Monae.
Mr Barack Obama's top picks for 2018 include his wife's book Becoming (above), the movie Black Panther and a song by Janelle Monae. PHOTO: REUTERS

A love of books has always been one of Mr Obama's defining features. Nearly every night in the White House, he would read for an hour or so, The New York Times' former chief book critic Michiko Kakutani reported.

Here are some of his 2018 favourites.

Books

• Becoming (Michelle Obama)

• An American Marriage (Tayari Jones)

• Feel Free (Zadie Smith)

• A Grain Of Wheat (Ngugi wa Thiong'o)

• A House For Mr Biswas (V.S. Naipaul)

Movies

• Annihilation

• Black Panther

• BlacKkKlansman

• If Beale Street Could Talk

• Shoplifters

Songs

• Every Time I Hear That Song (Brandi Carlile)

• I Like It (Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin)

• Make Me Feel (Janelle Monae)

• Mary Don't You Weep - Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version (Prince)

• The Great American Songbook (Nancy Wilson)

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2019, with the headline 'Obama puts wife's book on favourites list'. Print Edition | Subscribe