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Watch, read, and listen like Barack Obama with his best-of-2018 lists

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, attends the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland September 27, 2018. Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FINLAND OUT. - RC17526C0A20
Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/via Reuters
His wave of approval.
  • Aisha Hassan
By Aisha Hassan


Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time for all those end-of-year lists again. Barack Obama, America’s most-admired man for the 11th consecutive year, posted his on Instagram today (Dec. 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,” Obama wrote. “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.”

Here are Obama’s complete lists of his favorites:

Obama’s favorite songs of 2018

You can listen to Obama’s most-loved tunes on this Spotify playlist from Quartz.

  • Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudhja)
  • Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess
  • I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)

Obama’s favorite movies of 2018

Here are the trailers for Obama’s top pick of films from the year.

Obama’s favorite books of 2018

These books, praised by the former US president, have appeared in his previous lists:

Crown Publishing Group
Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House
  • Becoming, by Michelle Obama
  • An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
  • Americanah, by Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die, by Keith Payne
  • Educated, by Tara Westover
  • Factfulness, by Hans Rosling
  • Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging, by Alex Wagner
  • A Grain of Wheat, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
  • A House for Mr Biswas, by V.S. Naipaul
  • How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
  • In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, by Mitch Landrieu
  • Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
  • The New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti
  • The Return, by Hisham Matar
  • Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  • Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
  • Why Liberalism Failed, by Patric Deneed
  • The World As It Is, by Ben Rhodes

And these are Obama’s previously unmentioned favorite books of 2018:

Penguin Random House
  • American Prison, by Shane Bauer
  • Arthur Ashe: A Life, by Raymond Arsenault
  • Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday
  • Feel Free, by Zadie Smith
  • Florida, by Lauren Groff
  • Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight
  • Immigrant, Montana, by Amitava Kumar
  • The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, by Denis Johnson
  • Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Inteligence, by Max Tegmark
  • There There, by Tommy Orange
  • Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

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