The New Oprah?


The White House has released the books on President Obama’s “Summer Reading List”;

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

None of the books are explicitly being recommended by the President, but the simple dissemination of the list seems to me to have the weight of a recommendation—a POTUS stamp of approval.

Nothing by Neal Stephenson can be described literally or figuratively as “light reading.” So, perhaps even with his commitment to campaigning for Hillary, the President is starting to glide toward retirement.

Perhaps Barack’s Book Club could be one of his post-presidency projects. I’m betting he’d be great at talking to authors–and other readers–and I’m betting that OWN, as well as a host of other channels, would jump at the chance to air it.


Here are the President’s Summer Reading Lists for some past years:


All That Is by James Salter

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow



Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

To the End of the Land by David Grossman

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson



Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Tom Friedman

John Adams by David McCullough

Lush Life by Richard Price

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Way Home by George Pelecanos



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