🇺🇸 Barack Obama’s annual list of favourite books films and music 2019

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Barack Obama’s annual list of favorite — books, films, and music. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy—work and family life, social and volunteer commitments—outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences. They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit. To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. Most of them came out in 2019, but a few were older ones that were new to me this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington
Normal People by Sally Rooney
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Solitary by Albert Woodfox
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
• Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter

For the sports fans:
A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule by Jim Rooney

The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala

And here’s a reminder of books that I recommended earlier this year:
• American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
• The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power
• Exhalation by Ted Chiang
• Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarrett
• Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
• How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
• Inland by Téa Obreht
• Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
• Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
• Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
• The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
• The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
• Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
• The Shadow of Sirius by W. S. Merwin
• The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
• Toni Morrison’s collected works
• Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice
• The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
• Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

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From hip-hop to country to The Boss, here are my songs of the year. If you’re looking for something to keep you company on a long drive or help you turn up a workout, I hope there’s a track or two in here that does the trick.

Playing Games – Summer Walker
• Not – Big Thief
Go DJ – KAYTRANADA feat. SiR
• Juice* – Lizzo
• Redesigning Women – The Highwomen
• Anybody – Burna Boy
• Burning* – Maggie Rogers
• Baila Baila Baila (Remix) – Ozuna feat. Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Farruko and Anuel AA
• Different Kind of Love – Adia Victoria
Change – Mavis Staples
• Toast* – Koffee
• Oblivions – The National
• Binz – Solange
• Seventeen* – Sharon Van Etten
• Middle Child – J. Cole
• Jícama – Angelica Garcia
• Go* – The Black Keys
• La Vida Es Un Carnaval (Rollo Tomasi Remix) – Angélique Kidjo
• Show Me Love – Alicia Keys feat. Miguel
• Joke Ting* – GoldLink feat. Ari PenSmith
• Old Town Road (Remix)* – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
• cold/mess by Prateek Kuhad
• Suge – DaBaby
• Hello Sunshine – Bruce Springsteen
• In My Room – Frank Ocean
• Iron Man* – Rema
• The London – Young Thug feat. J. Cole and Travis Scott
• Raleighwood Hills – lesthegenius feat. Sonny Miles and Jaxson Free
• Pure Water – Mustard feat. Migos
• 3 Nights – Dominic Fike
• The Fact of Love – Joe Henry
• Con Altura* – Rosalía
• I Want You Around – Snoh Aalegra
• On Chill – Wale feat. Jeremih
• Mood 4 Eva* – Beyoncé

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Next up are my favorite movies and TV shows of 2019. This year’s list includes everything from explorations of class dynamics and relationships, to an inspired reboot of a classic graphic novel, to a portal back to one of the most special places in history — an Aretha Franklin concert. Of course, there’s also American Factory, a film from our own production company, Higher Ground, that was recently shortlisted for an Oscar. It’s our first offering in partnership with Netflix, and I’m excited about the other projects we’ve got in the works. Here’s the full list:

• American Factory
• Amazing Grace
• Apollo 11
• Ash Is Purest White
• Atlantics
• Birds of Passage
• Booksmart
• Diane
• The Farewell
• Ford v Ferrari
• The Irishman
• Just Mercy
• The Last Black Man in San Francisco
• Little Women
• Marriage Story
• Parasite
• The Souvenir
• Transit

And a quick list of TV shows that I considered as powerful as movies:
• Fleabag: Season 2
• Unbelievable
• Watchmen

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🇨🇦Welcome to the Rock, Barack🇺🇸

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Barack Obama and Zita Cobb sit on chairs handmade in Fogo, Cobb’s hometown. (Submitted by David Howells)

Welcome to the Rock, Barack: Thousands fill Mile One for evening with Obama

Barack Obama interviewed by Fogo Island entrepreneur Zita Cobb on stage

Thousands of people filled Mile One Centre in St. John’s on Tuesday night to hear the 44th Barack2019president of the United States speak about climate change, misinformation — and hope.

Barack Obama sat on stage for about an hour, answering questions from Zita Cobb, the social entrepreneur behind the Fogo Island Inn, a luxury hotel in her hometown.

Sitting in chairs handmade on Fogo Island, Cobb welcomed Obama, who hails from Hawaii, and called him a “fellow islander.”

“The performance was spectacular. Barack Obama was everything you’d imagine him to be,” said attendee Kathy Hodgkinson on the steps of Mile One.

“He was measured and intelligent and thoughtful, and it was a privilege to be here tonight to listen to him.”

Local talent sets stage

The evening opened with music from Alan Doyle, Tim Baker, and the Shallaway Youth Choir.  The St. John’s Board of Trade, which hosted the event, said it didn’t sell out, but more than 5,000 people attended.

The board wouldn’t say how much it cost to organize the event. Tickets cost $100 to $325 while meet-and-greet packages, which included several tickets and photos with Obama, went for as much as $10,000.

Message of hope

The conversation between innkeeper and world leader focused largely on community, climate change, and democracy. 

Obama said people should not feel hopeless about climate change; the world will look different but there are ways to grapple with the differences, he said.

He argued for “responsible capitalism” as part of the solution to job insecurity, which, he contended, leads to nationalism.

Radical movements are growing fast, he warned, because of the proliferation of misinformation on social media networks, and he called on his audience to think critically about where they get their information. 

True to style, Obama’s message was a hopeful acknowledgement of the world’s problems and an offer of solutions. 

It resonated deeply with Memorial University student Mehzabin Chowdhury, 19.

“For students like us, coming all the way from Bangladesh, it was a life-changing opportunity,” she said.

“He’s a great leader. I’ve always looked up to him.”

 

🇺🇸 Michelle Obama🌹️Girls Opportunity Alliance🌹️

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Happy International Day of the Girl, everyone! 
A year ago today, the Obama Foundation launched the Girls Opportunity Alliance to empower adolescent girls through education.

Welcome to the Global Girls Alliance 

Michelle Obama meets with Girls Opportunity Alliance leaders – Nov 15, 2019

Obama Foundation – Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. We all have a responsibility to change that. On International Day of the Girl, the Obama Foundation launched the Global Girls Alliance—a program which seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and to transform their families, communities, and countries. Join the alliance—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. http://www.GlobalGirlsAlliance.org

This cause is close to my heart. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many unnamed (1)inspiring girls from all around the world. From Cambodia and Japan to Morocco and Liberia, I’ve seen the promise unique to each one of them—and the resolve they have inside to get their education. Theirs are the stories and the smiling faces that have inspired me to keep doing everything I can to lift up these young women so they can fulfill their boundless potential.
 
Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. These girls are bright and hardworking, and when they have the chance to fulfill their potential with an education, they can transform families, communities, and even entire countries.
 
We know that when we give these girls a chance to learn, they will seize it. That’s why we’ve been working to lift up the grassroots leaders and organizations around the world who empower girls every single day. 

Obama Foundation – Mrs. Obama is committed to helping girls around the world get access to the education they deserve. That’s why at the 2019 Leaders: Africa convening, she’s calling on the 200 emerging leaders from across the African continent to continue their important work to empower their communities and to support access to girls’ education in Africa and around the world. You can learn more about the Leaders: Africa program and the Girls Opportunity Alliance at obama.org

Watch a special announcement from Michelle Obama about the Girls Opportunity Alliance for the Day of the Girl.

Today, on the Day of the Girl, I’m thrilled to share the news that in December, I’ll be traveling to Asia to meet with some of these girls and the organizations that support them. I’ll be going to Vietnam, where the Girls Opportunity Alliance is collaborating with Room to Read to shine a light on important efforts to empower girls. Together, we hope to equip more girls with the critical skills they need to become leaders of their own lives. I can’t wait to share these incredible stories with you, and I’m excited that the Girls Opportunity Alliance will be teaming up with the Today Show and YouTube Originals to introduce you to the girls we meet along the way.
 
On the Day of the Girl and beyond, I hope that all of you will find a way to support education for adolescent girls around the world. You don’t have to fly to Vietnam—you can host a bake sale, organize a project with your friends, get your office involved, and so much more. 
 
Check out the projects on the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund and let us know how you’re taking action—because the future of our world is only as bright as our girls. 

—Michelle 

Obama Foundation – To celebrate girls around the world, former First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Global Girls Alliance to empower adolescent girls through education on International Day of the Girl. From a roundtable discussion to her appearance on the TODAY Show, relive the inspiring two-day launch.

Michelle Obama Celebrates International Day of the Girl 330 – Oct 11, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama is grooving to the tunes of Beyonce, Demi Lovato and Esperanza Spalding as she celebrates the International Day of the Girl. The first lady tweeted Sunday a link to her “girl power” music playlist on the streaming music platform Spotify. Mrs. Obama is promoting her “Let Girls Learn” campaign, which aims to expand access to education for more than 62 million girls around the world— some in developing countries— and encourages American girls to take advantage of their opportunities.

Watch Michelle Obama speak on International Women’s Day – Mar 8, 2016

Donate to organizations bringing opportunity to girls around the world:
DONATE

ANNOUNCING THE NEW BECOMING JOURNAL

What’s your journey of becoming? This gorgeous journal features an intimate and inspiring introduction by Michelle Obama and thought-provoking questions and prompts to help you discover—and rediscover—your story.

PREORDER NOW

CLICK HERE BUY THE #1 BESTSELLING MEMOIR “BECOMING”

IN A LIFE filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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🇺🇸 Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List 2019 Part – 3 Pays Tribute to the Late Toni Morrison 📚

summer reading 2019

If you haven’t already read some of the top-selling books of 2019 so far, no worries because former President Barack Obama has a few other recommendations for you.

“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,” he wrote. “To start, you can’t go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved,Song of SolomonThe Bluest EyeSula, 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.”

Nicholar Carr’s best selling book The Shallows made the cut; It explores the effect Internet technology is having on the human brain. In addition, the list includes Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, another best seller, about a group of boys attending a state-sponsored reform school during the Jim Crow era.

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.

Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List 2019 Pays Tribute to the Late Toni Morrison 

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🇺🇸 Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List 2019 Part – 2 📚

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~ Barack Obama

Here are a few books that I’ve thinking about lately and read recently that I wanted to share with you. I hope you’ll consider adding them to your own reading list:

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates: When you lift up women, you lift up everybody—families, communities, entire countries. That’s not just the right approach; it’s backed up by research and countless real-world examples. In her book, Melinda tells the stories of the inspiring people she’s met through her work all over the world, digs into the data, and powerfully illustrates issues that need our attention—from child marriage to gender inequity in the workplace. I’ve called Melinda an impatient optimist and that’s what she delivers here — the urgency to tackle these problems and the unwavering belief that solving them is indeed possible.

W. S. Merwin’s The Shadow of Sirius: One of the great poets of our time, W. S. Merwin, passed away recently. A brilliant writer and conservationist, Merwin spent the final period of his life on a former pineapple plantation in Hawaii, working to restore the surrounding rainforest. During a visit to the White House in 2010, while he was serving as U.S. poet laureate, we connected over the place we both called home and our shared responsibility to protect the planet. This collection offers a good sampling of his work. I’ve drawn inspiration from Merwin’s writing because it teaches us about ourselves, our world, and how we as humans connect to nature. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time on poetry but Merwin’s death reminded me of how a good poem can inspire and instruct. So if you’re in the mood, give one of them a try.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: This is a captivating book I read at the suggestion of a young staffer on my team — a historical novel about the Korean immigrant experience in wartime Japan. Min Jin Lee draws you in from the first line, “History has failed us, but no matter.” The book is named after a popular game in Japan that’s a bit like a pinball machine — a game of chance where the player can set the speed or direction, but once it’s in play a maze of obstacles determines the outcome. Staying true to the nature of the game, Min Jin Lee’s novel takes us through four generations and each character’s search for identity and success. It’s a powerful story about resilience and compassion.

Article posted May 6, 2019 by Barack Obama

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🇺🇸 Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List 2019 📚

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“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Barack Obama’s 2019 Summer Reading List 

I’ve always loved weekends because they provide me with a little extra time to make my way through the books and articles I’d been meaning to dig into. Here are a handful articles I’ve read over the past few weeks that stuck with me.

Now, I don’t always agree with every single thing that’s in them and, in fact, occasionally they contain things that are critical of my record as president. But one of the thing I strive toward is finding smart, thoughtful writing from people who have a different political perspective than I do. These stories further my understanding about some key public policy challenges — like the economy, technology, and criminal justice. They provoke me to think about problems in a new way. And they remind me about the urgency of certain issues that deserve more attention than they often receive.

So for anybody looking to be part of a solution, I hope these articles will give you some fresh perspectives — and I’ll keep them coming in the weeks ahead.

  1. “How the Upper Middle Class Is Really Doing” in the New York Times by David
  2. “White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots” in the Atlantic by Adam Serwer.
  3. “Keep It Simple and Take Credit” in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas by Jack Meserve.
  4. “Alabama’s Gruesome Prisons: Report Finds Rape and Murder at All Hours” in the New York Times by Katie Benner and Shaila Dewan.
  5. “‘Change My View’ Reddit Community Launches Its Own Website” in WIRED by Arielle 

Article posted April 27, 2019 by Barack Obama

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🇺🇸 The Obama Foundation

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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. —PRESIDENT OBAMA

ABOUT US

Raised on the South Side

Mrs. Obama, then Michelle Robinson, grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Avenue in Chicago’s South Shore community, and attended elementary school down the street. Her father, Fraser, was a city pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, pat_smileyMarian, was a secretary at the Spiegel catalog, who later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig.

As the executive director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP) in the Roseland neighborhood, Obama helped set up a job training program, a college-prep tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in the Altgeld Gardens housing projects.

How did Barack Obama go from relative unknown to the best president ever? It started with a single speech back in 2004

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States.

He was born on August 4th, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a mother from Kansas, Stanley Ann Dunham, and a father from Kenya, Barack Obama Sr. He was also raised by his obamagrandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become vice president at a local bank.

He worked his way through school—Occidental College in Los Angeles, Columbia University in New York, and later, Harvard Law School—with the help of scholarship money and student loans.

In 1985, Barack Obama moved to Chicago, where he got his start in community organizing on the city’s South Side, working to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.

The President called that time in his life “the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.” He has credited that experience as crucial to finding his identity—something that shaped his path to the White House.

Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. During his time in Springfield, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded americahealth care for children and their parents. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, he reached across the aisle to pass the farthest-reaching lobbying reform in a generation, lock up the world’s most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by tracking federal spending online.

Barack Obama was sworn in as president on January 20th, 2009, in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when our economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. He acted immediately to get our economy back on track. Since then, the private sector has added back more than 10 million jobs during the longest, uninterrupted period of job growth in our nation’s history.

In his first term, the President cut taxes for every American worker—putting $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical family. He passed historic Wall Street reform to make sure taxpayers never again have to bail out big banks. He passed the landmark Affordable Care Act, helping to put quality and affordable health care within reach for millions of Americans. He ended the war in Iraq and is working to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan.

He was the first sitting president  to stand up for marriage equalityfight for equal pay and a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.  He made a college education more affordable for millions  of students and their families. And he believes it’s time for a comprehensive solution to fix our broken immigration system.

Learn more about the Obama foundation 

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