9 Books The President Needs To Read, From 'Between The World & Me' To 'I Am Malala'

by Melissa Ragsdale
Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It's been more than a year since Donald Trump became president, and in that time, he has shown a phenomenal distaste for reading of any kind. Recent reports claim that he doesn’t read his top-secret intelligence reports. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee even did a segment that jokingly theorizing that perhaps the president can't read at all.

This is a problem for many reasons. As president, Trump’s goal ought to be to represent all of America, and one of the easiest ways to understand the hearts and minds of people whose experiences are different from yours is to read widely.

It's pretty unlikely that Trump will see this list, let alone follow my recommendations. But even if he can't or won't read these books, these books are essential reading for every American. The more knowledge we spread, the better equipped we all are to make the world a better place.

So, if I were Trump’s personal librarian, with the power to make him read whatever I recommended, there are definitely a few books that would be at the top of the list. Here are 10 books that Trump really needs to read.

'The Devil's Highway: A True Story' by Luis Alberto Urrea

For someone who talks a lot about the U.S./Mexico border, Trump doesn't seem to have a clue about the real people whose lives are tied to it. This book tells the true stories of 26 men and teenage boys who attempted to cross the border from Mexico into Arizona in 2001. This is truly an important read for anybody who wants to understand what's at stake in the debates about border control.

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'Without You, There Is No Us' by Suki Kim

North Korea is another topic that Trump just can't stop tweeting about. But how much does Trump really know about the country? This memoir is a unique, unprecedented look into the lives of the people actually living in North Korea, written by a woman who posed as English teacher at a school for the sons of the country's elite class.

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'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It could not be more clear that Trump does not understand nor care about the issues that affect black people (or really, any non-white people) in our nation. Maybe this National Book Award-winning book can help him begin to understand.

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'Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America ' edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding

Obviously, Donald Trump is in major need of some lessons on how to respect women. In this fantastic collection of essays, women are speaking out on the issues that face us in Trump's America. Of course, this book is only the tip of the iceberg, but it's an excellent, intersectional beginner's guide.

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'Night' by Elie Wiesel

Trump is in desperate need of some education on the horrors of the Holocaust and the Nazis. Of course, no book is more earth-shatteringly candid about the tragedy than Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel's memoir of life in a concentration camp.

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'Exit West' by Mohsin Hamid

Of course, there's a lot Trump could learn from fiction, too. While this brilliant book is filled with magic, it's also a heartbreaking and painfully real account of the refugee experience.

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'I Am Malala' by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

There are so many reasons why Trump needs to pay attention to Malala's story. As a young woman who stood up to the Taliban and fought for her right to an education, Malala is a symbol of peace and power in today's age. Imagine if Trump took the time to take in her point of view, and maybe even look up to her?

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'Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America' by Linda Tirado

Imagine how different things might be if Trump actually had some understanding of what it's like to be poor in America? In this memoir, Linda Tirado opens up about how she went from middle class to being impoverished, and all the hardships that have come with it.

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'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein

I know I learned a lot about kindness and generosity from this wonderful book when I was a kid. And it just might be a little closer to Donald Trump's reading level.

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