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 tunes including books like Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Velvet Was the Night,” Emily St. John Mandel’s “Sea of Tranquility” and Hanya Yanagihara’s “To Paradise.”
“I’ve read a couple of great books this year and wanted to share some of my favorites so far,” Obama wrote on social media. “What have you been reading this summer?
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He also shared his summer 2022 playlist with songs including Beyoncé’s glistening dance track “Break My Soul,” Harry Styles’ jazzy ’70s pop vibe single “Music From a Sushi Restaurant” and electrifying Kendrick Lamar’s “Die Hard.”
“Every year, I get excited to share my summer playlist because I learn about so many new artists from your replies—it’s an example of how music really can bring us all together,” Obama said. “Here’s what I’ve been listening 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 summer 2022 reading recommendations
“Velvet Was the Night,” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of “Mexican Gothic,” is a noir thriller that follows a daydreaming secretary and a lonely enforcer who both seek a missing woman in Mexico during the 1970s.
“The characters are fascinating, the tone lush and romantic, and it’s all wrapped up in a mystery with twists and turns one likely won’t see coming,” a review said.
Author Emily St. John Mandel intertwines three tales taking place centuries apart in Obama’s rec “Sea of Tranquility.” The book follows an exiled England man living in Canada in 1912, a widow in 2020 whose husband kills himself and touring author in 2203.
“(The book) uses its innovative narrative structure to generate new insights into how humans relate in the midst of disease and tragedy,” a review said.
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Author Hanya Yanagihara tackles queerness and socioeconomic divide in three different periods of New York City in “To Paradise.”
“Yanagihara writes with elegance, evoking emotion and rendering believable characters who move the plot,” a review said. “Her perceptive eye is evident in the three separate settings, placing the reader in each time frame through multiple narratives, which she orchestrates with great acuity,”
Other books Obama recommended 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, more
Forty-four songs made the cut for Obama’s annual summer playlist and of course that includes Beyoncé’s “Break my Soul.” The recommendation comes right before the star is set 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 Styles’ “Harry’s House,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Die Hard” featuring Blxst and Amanda Reifer, from “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” and “Ojitos Lindos” featuring Bomba Estéreo. , from Bad Bunny’s “Un Vernano Sin Ti.”
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Other 2022 songs included are Amber Mark’s “Bliss,” Omar Apollo’s “Tamagotchi,” and Koffee’s “Pull up.”
New releases aside, Obama is still bumping the 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 drafted up not one, but two separate summer playlists: one for the daytime, and one for the evening.”
The inaugural playlist included songs from John Legend (“Green Light”), Frank Sinatra (“The Best is Yet to Come”) and Nina Simone (“Feeling Good”).
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Contributing: Elise Briscoe