Even Barack Obama can’t have a Summer 2022 playlist without Beyoncé’s “Break my Soul.”
The former president is once again setting the tone for summer 2022 with his personal reading and music recommendations. On Tuesday, Obama released his annual list of favorite reads and songs, including books like Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Velvet Was the Night,” Emily St. John Mandel’s “Sea of Tranquility,” and “To Paradise.” by Hanya Yanagihara.
“I’ve read some great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far,” Obama wrote on social media. “What have you read this summer?
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He also shared his summer 2022 playlist with songs including Beyoncé’s scintillating dance track “Break My Soul”, Harry Style’s jazzy 70s pop single “Music From a Sushi Restaurant” and electrifying “Die Hard” by Kendrick Lamar.
“Each year, I’m excited to share my summer playlist because I learn about so many new artists from your responses. It’s an example of how music can truly bring us together,” Obama said. “Here is what I listened to this summer. What songs would you add? »
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In total, Obama selected 14 books and 44 songs to highlight across different genres.
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Obama’s reading recommendations for summer 2022
“Velvet Was the Night,” by “Mexican Gothic” author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, is a dark thriller that follows a dreamy secretary and a lonely enforcer who both search for a missing woman in 1970s Mexico.
“The characters are riveting, the tone lush and romantic, and it’s all shrouded in mystery with twists you’re unlikely to see coming,” a USA TODAY reviewer said.
Author Emily St. John Mandel interweaves three tales set centuries apart, Obama’s rec “Sea of Tranquility.” The book follows an exiled man in England living in Canada in 1912, a widow in 2020 whose husband has committed suicide, and a traveling author in 2203.
“(The book) uses its innovative narrative structure to generate new insights into how humans behave in the midst of illness and tragedy,” a USA TODAY review said.
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Author Hanya Yanagihara tackles homosexuality and the socio-economic divide at three different time periods in New York City in “To Paradise.”
“Yanagihara writes elegantly, evoking emotion and delivering believable characters that move the plot,” a USA TODAY review said. “Her discerning eye is evident in the three distinct settings, placing the reader in each period through multiple narratives, which she orchestrates with great acumen”,
Other books recommended by Obama include “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance” by Hanif Abdurraqib, “Why We’re Polarized” by Ezra Klein, and “The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure Hardcover” by Yascha Mounk.
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Obama’s Summer 2022 Playlist Includes Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, And More
Forty-four songs have been shortlisted for Obama’s annual summer playlist and of course that includes Beyoncé’s “Break my Soul.” The recommendation comes just before the star is due to release her seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” on July 29.
Obama also recommended songs from other artists who released albums this year.
The playlist includes “Music From a Sushi Restaurant” from “Harry’s House” by Harry Styles, “Die Hard” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer, from “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” and “Ojitos Lindos” featuring Bomba Estéreo, from “Un Vernano Sin Ti” by Bad Bunny.
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Other 2022 songs included are “Bliss” by Amber Mark, “Tamagotchi” by Omar Apollo and “Pull up” by Koffee.
New releases aside, Obama is still shaking up classics like Drake’s “Too Good” featuring Rihanna, Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and Aretha Franklin’s “Save Me.”
Obama made his first playlist in 2015 after creating a Spotify, according to an article written by Obama White House staff.
“When asked to pick a few of his favorite songs for the summer, the president got serious,” the article read. “He grabbed a pen and paper and wrote not one, but two separate summer reading lists: one for the day and one for the evening.”
The inaugural playlist included songs by John Legend (“Green Light”), Frank Sinatra (“The Best is Yet to Come”) and Nina Simone (“Feeling Good”).
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Contributor: Elise Brisco