Barack Obama’s Best Books of 2023



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The time has come for former President Barack Obama to share his end-of-year lists, and for his millions of followers on social media to speculate whether he really watched all those movies, read all those books, listened to all of those songs and binged all those shows.

Whether or not you believe Obama’s insatiable consumption of the culture, there’s no denying that the books he’s included in this year’s list are well worth a read. The former president shared the definitive list of his favorite books of 2023 on X this morning, including bestsellers such as James McBride’s “The Heaven & Earth Grocery Story,” David Grann’s “The Wager” and Jonathan Eig’s “King.”

Check out a few of Obama’s best picks below, and shop through his entire list on Amazon here. Plus, all of Obama’s picks are also available on Audible, currently offering a 30-day free trial.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The winner of the National Book Award, James McBride’s New York Times bestselling “The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store,” follows a community as they work together to save a young deaf Black boy, Dodo, from unjust institutionalization in 1930s America.

King: A Life by Jonathan Eig

The newest book from acclaimed biographer Jonathan Eig delves into the life of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in more detail than ever before. The first MLK biography in decades, “King: A Life” is the first to include recently declassified FBI files, and casts a fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father and fellow activists. 

The Wager by David Grann

From the author behind “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “The Wager” is a thrilling true crime story covering the events of an 18th century shipwreck of a British naval ship. After the survivors of the wreck and their captain, David Cheap, were stranded on an island off the South American region of Patagonia, the situation deteriorated with a few survivors robbing and killing other survivors, food supplies running low, and finally Captain Cheap killing one of the members of the crew.

The Kingdom, The Power, and the Glory by Tim Alberta

Through the eyes of televangelists and small-town preachers, celebrity revivalists and everyday churchgoers, Tim Alberta tells the story of an expansive and profoundly troubling portrait of the American evangelical movement — describing it as “faith cheapened by ephemeral fear, a promise corrupted by partisan subterfuge and a reputation stained by perpetual scandal.”

The Best Minds by Jonathan Rosen

In “The Best Minds,” acclaimed author Jonathan Rosen tells his haunting investigation of the forces that led his closest childhood friend, Michael Laudor, from the heights of brilliant promise to the forensic psychiatric hospital where he has lived since killing the woman he loved.


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