Barack Obama wants you to get away from the TV for a few hours and do some serious thinking this summer. For his annual list of the best books to read this season, Obama has selected five books worthy of your attention – including one by Michael Ondaatje, the Sri Lanka-born Canadian poet, writer, essayist, novelist, editor and filmmaker.
One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I’ve been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth. Here’s what I’ve been reading:
Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.
Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.
With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner’s first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.
Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.