Barack Obama Reveals His Favorite Movies, Music, and Books of 2018
With just a few days left in 2018, now is the time to look back on the moments and people that made this year what it was. For a lot of us — including, it turns out, Barack Obama — that means compiling lists of some of the highlights. The former POTUS began sharing annual roundups of his favorite films, songs, and books while he was still in office, and now we look forward to them at the end of every year.
“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists,” Obama wrote on Instagram on Friday, December 28. “It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers — some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Swipe through to see my best of 2018 list — I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.”
His first list names the 22 songs and one album he listened to on repeat this year. It includes “Apes**t” by The Carters, “I Like It” by Cardi B, “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe, “Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges, “Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile, “Love Lies” by Khalid and Normani, “My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper, and “Wow Freestyle” by Jay Rock featuring Kendrick Lamar. Songs by Anderson East, Prince, Fatoumata Diawara, Lord Huron, H.E.R., and Courtney Barnett made the list, too.
Obama also included a special note about jazz singer Nancy Wilson, who passed away on December 13. “In honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album,” he wrote, highlighting Wilson’s Great American Songbook.
As for movies, Obama named 15 favorites: Annihilation, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Blindspotting, Burning, The Death of Stalin,Eighth Grade, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, Minding the Gap, The Rider, Roma,Shoplifters, Support the Girls, and the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
His longest list, though, is his list of books. Several of them — such as Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Tara Westover’s Educated, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and Ben Rhodes’ The World As It Is — appeared on earlier lists, but he also featured several new (to him) favorites. They include American Prison by Shane Bauer, Feel Free by Zadie Smith, Florida by Lauren Groff, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight, There There by Tommy Orange, and Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
(photo via Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)