Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading List

In what has become a summer tradition, Barack Obama has shared his summer reading list with all of us.

“I’ve read a couple of great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far. What have you been reading this summer?”, The former president said in an Instagram post today.

Have you read any of these books? Grab one and enjoy!

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Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility: A novel

Emily St. John Mandel’s newest novel is filled with time travel, love, and humanity. This book spans 300 years and follows an exiled son of an earl, an author on a book tour trapped on earth during a pandemic, and a Gaspery-Jacques Roberts alongside his childhood best friend who has seen the opportunity to do something great that would change the fabric of the timeline of the universe.

Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein

Why We're Polarized

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller shows us that America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: It’s working exactly as designed. In this “superbly researched” (The Washington Post) and timely book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us – and how we are polarizing it – with disastrous results.

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House: A Novel

Set in the same world as Goon Squad, The Candy House follows the rise of a new tech start-up that allows users to access all their memories and upload them to a cloud database. With a staggering array of characters and narrative perspectives, The Candy House is an uncanny examination of the role of technology, nostalgia, and vanity in our culture that readers will remember for years to come.

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

“I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too.” Inspired by these few words, spoken by Josephine Baker at the 1963 March on Washington, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and best-selling author Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture.

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

To Paradise: A Novel

Three storylines spanning three centuries in alternate versions of America are woven together in this enthralling novel about love, loss, family, and the prices and promises of utopia. Hanya Yanagihara delivers a bold new story that hinges upon and withstands the test of time.

Silverview by John le Carré 

Silverview: A Novel

In his last completed novel, John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years—the secret world itself. Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the city for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town.

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake: A Novel

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording.

The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

The Family Chao

Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chao offers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Velvet Was the Night

Mexico in the 1970s is a politically fraught land, even for Elvis, a goon with a passion for rock ’n’ roll who knows more about kidney-smashing than intrigue. When Elvis is assigned to find Leonora, he begins a blood-soaked search for the woman—and his soul.

Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

Mouth to Mouth: A Novel

In a first-class lounge at JFK airport, our narrator listens as Jeff Cook, a former classmate he only vaguely remembers, shares the uncanny story of his adult life—a life that changed course years before, the moment he resuscitated a drowning man.

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure by Yascha Mounk 

The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure

Drawing on history, social psychology, and comparative politics, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan 

The School for Good Mothers: A Novel

An “intense” (Oprah Daily), “captivating” (Today) story that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another.

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby

Razorblade Tears: A Novel

Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change—and maybe even redemption.

Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks by Chris Herring 

Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks

Blood in the Garden is a portrait filled with eye-opening details that have never been shared before, revealing the full story of the franchise in the midst of the NBA’s golden era.



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Have you read any of these books? Are you going to read one this summer?

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.