Obama Just Recommended 6 Books For Summer & The List Is Inspired By His Upcoming Trip To Africa
Six more books have splash-landed on your vacation TBR, book nerds. President Barack Obama just revealed his summer reading list for 2018, and it takes much of its inspiration from the former POTUS' next destinations: Kenya and South Africa.
President Obama wrote in a Friday Facebook post that his upcoming travels will be the first time he has visited Africa since his departure from the White House. "I was proud to visit sub-Saharan Africa more times than any other sitting President," Obama wrote, "and I’ll return this week to visit Kenya and South Africa. In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth." The former POTUS added that "Kenya . . . is the Obama ancestral home," and that his time there informed the "journey [he] wrote about in [his] first book, Dreams from My Father."
African authors wrote five of the six books on President Obama's summer reading list. The remaining title, The World As It Is, is a memoir from Ben Rhodes, the former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, which covers his time in the Obama White House.
Check out the six books on President Obama's summer reading list below:
'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe
First published in 1959, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart centers on Okonkwo, an Igbo man, who witnesses the arrival of European colonizers in Nigeria.
'A Grain of Wheat' by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Set during the anti-colonial Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, A Grain of Wheat traces the series of events that lead up to the execution of a suspected traitor, who is thought to have turned over a resistance fighter to the British.
'Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela'
Published in 1994, Long Walk to Freedom is Nelson Mandela's narration of his life, from childhood through his prison sentence, which ended in 1990 after 27 years.
'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah follows a young woman, Ifemelu, as she comes of age in Lagos — then under the control of a military junta — before leaving for the U.S. to attend university.
'The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between' by Hisham Matar
This memoir from British-Libyan author Hisham Matar chronicles his experiences in a post-Gaddafi Libya, in which he searches for answers to the mystery of his father's disappearance in 1990.
'The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House' by Ben Rhodes
In The World As It Is, Ben Rhodes recounts his decade inside the Obama administration, from his humble beginnings as a 2007 campaign speechwriter, to the events of the 2016 general election.