My Summer 2021 Lists

Barack Obama
3 min readJul 10, 2021


Whether you’re camped out on the beach or curled up on the couch on a rainy day, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a great book in the summer. While we were still in the White House, I began sharing my summer favorites — and over the years, it’s become a little tradition that I look forward to sharing with you all. So without further ado, here are some books I’ve read recently. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  • At Night All Blood Is Black — David Diop
  • Land of Big Numbers — Te-Ping Chen
  • Empire of Pain — Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Project Hail Mary — Andy Weir
  • When We Cease to Understand the World — Benjamín Labatut
  • Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future — Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Things We Lost to the Water — Eric Nguyen
  • Leave The World Behind — Rumaan Alam
  • Klara and the Sun — Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Sweetness of Water — Nathan Harris
  • Intimacies — Katie Kitamura

With so many folks getting together with family and friends, there’s a lot to celebrate this summer. I put together a playlist of some of the songs I’ve been listening to lately — it’s a mix of old and new, household names and emerging artists, and a whole lot in between.

  • Pick Up Your Feelings — Jazmine Sullivan
  • Switch It Up — Protoje ft. Koffee
  • Holding Back the Years — Simply Red
  • My Sweet Lord — George Harrison
  • Straightenin — Migos
  • Desperado — Rihanna
  • Leave the Door Open — Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic
  • Interlude — Sarah Vaughan
  • Ella No Es Tuya (Remix) — Rochy RD, Myke Towers, Nicki Nicole
  • Tumbling Dice — The Rolling Stones
  • Astronaut In The Ocean — Masked Wolf
  • Frozen — Sabrina Claudio
  • If You Really Love Me — Stevie Wonder
  • Walkin’ — Miles Davis
  • Exodus — Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? — Chicago
  • Coyote — Joni Mitchell
  • Mohabbat — Arooj Aftab
  • Didn’t Cha Know — Erykah Badu
  • Allure — Jay-Z
  • Conséquence — Kékélé
  • Everybody Loves the Sunshine — Roy Ayers Ubiquity
  • So Hard — Nezi
  • I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight — Bob Dylan
  • Neighbors — J. Cole
  • Good Days — Sza
  • Text You Back — brother sundance ft. Bryce Vine
  • You Ain’t The Problem (Claptone Remix) — Michael Kiwanuka
  • Everything (…Is Never Quite Enough) — Wasis Diop
  • The Tears of a Clown — Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • Wants and Needs — Drake ft. Lil Baby
  • Águas De Março — Elis Regina and Antônio Carlos Jobim
  • Its Way With Me — Wye Oak
  • I’ll Take You There — The Staples Singers
  • Find A Way — H.E.R. ft. Lil Baby
  • A Kiss To Build A Dream On — Louis Armstrong
  • Speak Your Mind (From the Netflix Series “We The People”) — Brandi Carlile
  • Lush Life — Ella Fitzgerald



Barack Obama

Dad, husband, President, citizen.