Barack Obama lists his favourite books of 2020; skips A Promised Land

By Debolina Biswas|18th Dec 2020
Continuing with what has now become an annual tradition, former US president Barack Obama has recommended a mixed list of fiction and non-fiction in his favourite books of 2020.
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Former US President Barack Obama took to social media to share his list of favourite books of 2020.


Continuing with what has now become an annual tradition, the former president wrote that he will be "deliberately omitting" his own memoir, A Promised Land, which he thinks "Is a pretty good book."

Barack Obama

Former US President Barack Obama

Earlier last month, Obama released his memoir A Promised Land, his personal account of being a young man searching for his identity to holding the highest office in the US.

He had taken to social media and said, "There's no feeling like finishing a book, and I'm proud of this one. I've spent the last few years reflecting on my presidency, and in A Promised Land I’ve tried to provide an honest accounting of my presidential campaign and my time in office: the key events and people who shaped it, my take on what I got right and the mistakes I made, and the political, economic, and cultural forces that my team and I had to confront then—and that as a nation we are grappling with still. In the book, I’ve also tried to give readers a sense of the personal journey that Michelle and I went through during those years, with all the incredible highs and lows..."

Obama's book recommendations for this year include a mix of both fiction and non-fiction. Here's the complete list of books the former US President recommends:


  • Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
  • Jack by Marilynne Robinson
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
  • Luster by Raven Leilani
  • How much of these hills is gold by C Pam Zhang
  • Long Bright River by Liz Moore
  • Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey
  • Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum
  • Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  • The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
  • The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
  • Missionaries by Phil Klay


Last year, the former President took to Instagram to recommend his favourite music and movies as well. Do keep an eye out to know the music and movies Obama recommends this year!


Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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