Books read by Barack Obama

Someone sent me this list/essay.  I found it interesting.  Some of the books show up on other lists, like List of lists.  This current list is by Barack Obama.

“It’s August, so I wanted to let you know about a few books I’ve been reading this summer, in case you’re looking for some suggestions. To start, you can’t go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they’re transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them. And while I’m at it, here are a few more titles you might want to explore:

Sometimes difficult to swallow, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a necessary read, detailing the way Jim Crow and mass incarceration tore apart lives and wrought consequences that ripple into today.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel­’s epic fictionalized look at Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power, came out in 2009, but I was a little busy back then, so I missed it. Still great today.

Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; it’ll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson is a whole lot more than just a spy thriller, wrapping together the ties of family, of love, and of country.

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr came out a few years ago, but its arguments on the internet’s impact on our brains, our lives, and our communities are still worthy of reflection, which is something we all could use a little more of in this age.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren is a beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees. Terrific.

Inland by Téa Obreht just came out yesterday, so I won’t spoil anything. But those of you who’ve been waiting for Obreht’s next novel won’t be disappointed.

You’ll get a better sense of the complexity and redemption within the American immigrant story with Dinaw Mengestu’s novel, How to Read the Air.

Maid by Stephanie Land is a single mother’s personal, unflinching look at America’s class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work.”

August Fantasy Books Releases

August fantasy books

There are quite a few new fantasy books coming out this month.  I probably won’t get to most of them, but they are still fun to look at and think about what I might want to read.


WEEK ONE (August 6)


Blood of an Exile—Brian Naslund 

Kingmaker (The Dragon Corsairs #3)—Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes

Death Goddess Dance (The Mythos War #3)—Levi Black

The Gossamer Mage—Julie E. Czerneda

Witchy Kingdom—D.J. Butler

Monster Hunter Guardian—Larry Correia & Sarah A. Hoyt

The Dragon Republic (Poppy War #2)—R. F. Kuang 


WEEK TWO (August 13)


The Mage-Fire War (Recluce Saga #21)—L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday—Saad Z. Hossain

Pale Kings—Micah Yongo

Heart of the Circle—Keren Landsman

The House of Sacrifice (Empires of Dust #3)—Anna Smith Spark


WEEK THREE (August 20)


Turning Darkness Into Light—Marie Brennan

Lies of Descent (Fallen Gods War #1)—Troy Carrol Bucher


WEEK FOUR (August 27)


The Fifth Ward: Good Company—Dale Lucas

Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves Trilogy #2)—Kristina Perez

16 books to read before you see the movie

16 books to read before you see the movie

I haven’t seen most of these movies, but, then again, I haven’t read most of these books.  I’m looking forward to looking into them.

1. The Giver

2. Gone Girl

3. Wild

4. Inherent Vice

5. Serena

6. Macbeth

7. Suite Francaise

8. Child 44

9. Far From the Madding Crowd

10. The Jungle Book

11. Carol (based on the book The Price of Salt)

12. Trash

13. Truth (based on the book Truth and Duty)

14. Miss Julie

15. Every Secret Thing

16. Rosewater (based on the book Then They Came for Me)


Mythology and Gods

Oh. My. Gods.

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I ran into this book as part of a mythology list. I loved the book! I guessed at the ending early on, but I still loved it. The characters were well rounded and the story was great. I finished it hoping that there was a sequel. There is! I will be working on it soon. I hope the sequel is just as good.

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July 2019 best sellers, per City Lights Bookstore

I have two of these, heard of two more.  I will have to look up the rest.
Bestsellers for the Month of July
Hardcover (Adult & Children’s)
1. Little Boy: A Novel by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Doubleday)
2. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong (The Penguin Press)
3. The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
4. Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder by John Waters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
5. Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang (Random House)
6. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How they Communicate––Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst (Greystone)
7. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney (Hogarth)
9. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli, translated by Erica Serge and Simon Carnell (Riverhead)
10. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells (Tim Duggan)
1. The Grave on the Wall by Brandon Shimoda (City Lights)
2. There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange (Vintage)
3. The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove)
4. The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers (Norton)
5. Conversations with Friends: A Novel by Sally Rooney (Hogarth)
6. Deer Trails: San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 7 by Kim Shuck (City Lights Foundation)
7. The Immortalists: A Novel by Chloe Benjamin (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
8. In the Distance by Hernan Diaz (Coffee House)
9. Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (Harper Perennial)
10. Found Audio by N.J. Campbell (Two Dollar Radio)

AGE 4 “Charlie Parker Played Be Bop” BY CHRIS RASCHKA

Best Books to Read from Ages 1-100

Charlie Parker Played Be BopCharlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This would be a perfect bedtime book for a small child.  I’m not sure that 4 is young enough to truly enjoy the book, though.   I wasn’t thrilled with the story, but I would imagine that a small child would enjoy the rhythm of the book. It was short and I’m not really sure why the cat was involved the book at all.

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