December 2, 2023

Last year, Burna Boy, Arya Starr, Tems, Pheelz and Buju were featured in the Summer Playlist recommendations.

By Helena Olori

Former US president, Barack Obama, has shared his Summer Reading List and Playlist for 2023 in continuation of his annual tradition.

The Lists, highly anticipated by cultural critics and enthusiasts, features Ghanaian-born writer, DK Nnuro, and two Nigerian Afrobeats artistes, Burna Boy and Arya Starr, who were both featured on the list last year.

“Here are some books that I’m reading this summer. Check them out and let me know what I should be reading next,” he tweeted. “Like I do every year, here are some songs I’ve been listening to this summer — a mix of old and new. Look forward to hearing what I’ve missed.”

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Barack Obama

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(Read also: Spotify Launches New Website to Amplify Afrobeats’ Global Influence )

DK Nnuro’s debut novel, What Napoleon Could Not Do, a Victorian novel about family dynamics, marriage, and the American Dream, is listed alongside Poverty, by America, authored by Pulitzer Prize winner, Matthew Desmond, and Birnam Wood, by Booker Prize-winning author, Eleanor Catton.

The Reading List which comprises stellar selection of nonfiction, novels and thrillers, also features Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane; King: A Life by Jonathan Eig; Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano; All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby; The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder  by David Grann; and Blue Hour by Tiffany Clarke Harrison.

Burna Boy’s record, “Sittin on Top of the World,” ft. 21 Savage, and “Sability” by sensational Mavin Records signee, Arya Starr, also made the cut for the Summer Playlist recommendations, affirming both the listening diversity of the first Black president of the United States, as well as the global ascendency of Afrobeats music.

Last year, Burna Boy, Arya Starr, Tems, Pheelz and Buju were featured in the Summer Playlist recommendations.

(Read also: Two Nigerian-British Authors Shortlisted for Inaugural TikToK Book Awards)

The Grammy award winner and author of New York Times Bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, also used his influence and reading list to back efforts against book bans, endorsing “The Banned Book Club” and the “Digital Public Library of America” initiatives aimed at providing access to e-books that have been censored in American schools.

“With so many books being banned across the country, @DPLA has launched The Banned Book Club to give readers access to e-books that have been banned. Learn more at”

Obama has been sharing his yearly book and music recommendations since his first summer in office in 2009, with the exception of 2012 and 2013.

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