Barack Obama has released his highly-anticipated summer reading list for 2018, including several African authors he deems worthy of exploration and praise. The former president shared his inspiration for the list on Facebook, saying an upcoming trip to The Motherland was a huge factor.

“I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.”

Recommendations include:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Things Fall Apart by China Achebe

The Return by Hisham Matar

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes.

Rhodes, while not African, is a “smart” and “compelling” writer, according to 44.

“Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.”

Read Obama’s full post below.



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