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Barack Obama’s Book Picks of the Season

Since his time in the White House, former President Barack Obama has been sharing his favorite reads from the previous months. This summer he introduced his list by saying, “whether you’re camped out on the beach or curled up on the couch on a rainy day, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a great book in the summer.” We couldn’t agree more!

Here are his most recent book recommendations spanning everything from the most talked-about novels, insightful nonfiction, and everything in between.

  1. 1
    Empire of Pain Book Cover Picture
    Empire of Pain Book Cover Picture

    Empire of Pain

    by Patrick Radden Keefe

    A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling.
    Empire of Pain Book Cover Picture
    Empire of Pain Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $32.50

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  2. 2
    Project Hail Mary Book Cover Picture
    Project Hail Mary Book Cover Picture

    Project Hail Mary

    by Andy Weir

    From the author of The Martian, a lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this cinematic thriller full of suspense, humor, and fascinating science. And if Obama’s endorsement isn’t enough, this will soon be a major motion picture starring Ryan Gosling.
    Project Hail Mary Book Cover Picture
    Project Hail Mary Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.99

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  3. 3
    When We Cease to Understand the World Book Cover Picture
    When We Cease to Understand the World Book Cover Picture

    When We Cease to Understand the World

    by Benjamin Labatut

    A fictional examination of the lives of real-life scientists and thinkers whose discoveries resulted in moral consequences beyond their imagining. Some of their discoveries reshape human life for the better; others pave the way to chaos and unimaginable suffering. The lines are never clear.
    When We Cease to Understand the World Book Cover Picture
    When We Cease to Understand the World Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    Under a White Sky Book Cover Picture
    Under a White Sky Book Cover Picture

    Under a White Sky

    by Elizabeth Kolbert

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
    Under a White Sky Book Cover Picture
    Under a White Sky Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  5. 5
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture

    Things We Lost to the Water

    by Eric Nguyen

    A captivating novel about an immigrant Vietnamese family who settles in New Orleans and struggles to remain connected to one another as their lives are inextricably reshaped.
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture
    Things We Lost to the Water Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.95

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  6. 6
    Klara and the Sun Book Cover Picture
    Klara and the Sun Book Cover Picture

    Klara and the Sun

    by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
    Klara and the Sun Book Cover Picture
    Klara and the Sun Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

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  7. 7
    Intimacies Book Cover Picture
    Intimacies Book Cover Picture

    Intimacies

    by Katie Kitamura

    An interpreter has come to work at the International Court. A woman of many languages and identities, she is looking for a place to finally call home. A woman of quiet passion, she confronts power, love, and violence, both in her personal intimacies and in her work at the Court. Intimacies is an electrifying story about a woman caught between many truths.
    Intimacies Book Cover Picture
    Intimacies Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

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