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Obama’s year-end list of favorites is out. His wife’s book is at the top.

Also featured: the Carters and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Donald And Melania Trump Arrive At White House Ahead Of Inauguration
Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House on Donald Trump’s inauguration day.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Just days after being named the most admired man in America for the 11th year in a row, Barack Obama is sharing a list of the things he admired this year — and his wife’s book is at the top of the list.

Obama has an annual tradition of sharing his favorite books, movies, and music at the end of each year. This year’s list characteristically features some of the buzziest and most acclaimed pop culture of 2018 (An American Marriage; “Apeshit”), and it doesn’t neglect one of the most-talked-about books of December: Becoming, Michelle Obama’s memoir. “Obviously my favorite!” Obama wrote in a parenthetical next to that entry.

In addition to buzzy new fiction, Obama’s full list of favorite books includes a few classics, both older (Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart) and newer (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah), as well as some wonky nonfiction (Why Liberalism Failed; Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence). His favorite movies of the year tend to be critical favorites, often interested in race (Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk), and his favorite music of the year includes — amid a slew of new releases from Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and more — The Great American Songbook in tribute to Nancy Wilson, who died this year. (Curiously, there’s no reference to Aretha Franklin, who also died in 2018, although Obama is on the record as being a big fan.)

The full list is characteristically cosmopolitan and intelligent: It’s the list of a man who makes it his business to keep up with culture. You can read the whole thing on Facebook.

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