If you’d rather spend New Year’s Eve under a blanket with a good book than at a loud party, Barack Obama has your back.
The former president tweeted a list of the best books he read in 2019 on Saturday, with some of the year’s most talked-about titles making the cut.
As we wind down 2019, I wanted to share with you my annual list of favorites that made the last year a little brighter. We’ll start with books today — movies and music coming soon. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. pic.twitter.com/l5qTGkAPok— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 28, 2019
Novels making Obama’s list included Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, Susan Choi’s National Book Award-winning Trust Exercise, and Sally Rooney’s buzzy Normal People.
He also recommended two short story collections: Bryan Washington’s Lot and Jess Walter’s We Live in Water.
The nonfiction books Obama loved reading in 2019 included Sarah M. Broom’s National Book Award-winning memoir, The Yellow House, Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, and David Treuer’s The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present.
The former president also included two recommendations for his fellow sports fans: Andre Iguodala’s memoir The Sixth Man and Jim Rooney’s A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule.
On Twitter, some of the authors who made Obama’s list reacted with delight and disbelief:
Thank you @BarackObama for putting #girlwomanother on your Favourite Books' List 2019! And I see it's also a @thesundaytimes UK Book of the Decade. So many jaw-dropping moments during the past 5 months. 8 books into my career and then all of this happens. Feeling blessed, folks. https://t.co/rPzZ3etE5K— Bernardine Evaristo (@BernardineEvari) December 29, 2019
Now I can say it straight and without trying to be funny: #thanksobama— david treuer (@DavidTreuer) December 28, 2019
So happy to find myself here and hoping you found a little about yourself and the character of our country in my pages. Thank you#obamabooks #america #BestOf2019 #riverheadbooks #cheneyagency https://t.co/KnopjSIyRx
Happy, though of course bewildered, that @BarackObama read Lost Children Archive. Curious about what, in those pages, spoke to him, and wondering what thoughts left an echo. And now here's a wish for 2020: that @AOC reads Tell Me How It Ends and pushes for some major reforms!— Valeria Luiselli (@ValeriaLuiselli) December 30, 2019
I’m so thankful to be on @BarackObama reading list with this group of writers. Watching this book move through the world has been an incredible lesson on so many things - often joyous. Never more happiness though than when one of my nieces and nephews feels pride in it. https://t.co/l7Bm3WYTM6— Sarah M. Broom (@sarahmbroom) December 29, 2019
I wonder how my wife gone react to 44s list... being he’s the perfect human in her eyes!! Lol!!— andre (@andre) December 28, 2019
Michael Schaub is an Austin, Texas–based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.