"Mr. Carter writes the way he lives. Reading his books creates a calm oasis in this crazy world. And it doesn't hurt to think about legacies."
"The Undoing Project is an excellent case study in how different people think differently. 'Bipartisanship' is a worthy goal — but if both sides have completely different perceptions of the same thing, or have incompatible values and views when it comes to fundamental principles, then where do we go from there? This book holds out some hope."
"This wild satirical novel about race might be an interesting read as President Obama transitions to a time when he no longer has a duty to be well-modulated and careful in his speech. The Sellout is almost too painful to be funny, but it would certainly be a refreshing change in tone for someone who carried the heavy burden of trying to satisfy everyone while having little room for his own opinions."
"These essays detail experiences that many of us must confront and show how we can develop empathy and a deeper appreciation for others. They also speak to several issues related to human rights that President Obama made a priority during his two terms as this nation's president."
Britt, Powell's Books
"I know President Obama to be a fan of great literature, and in my opinion, Commonwealth is the past year’s best book. It’s hearty and lovely and beautiful, which I think he deserves. I want him to collapse into a lounge chair and devour Commonwealth, stopping for a grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch and a walk with his dogs, and then returning to the chair to finish the book and take a long nap."
Jeremy, Powell's Books
"As is made abundantly clear in his disarmingly candid autobiography, Bruce Springsteen’s storytelling prowess is second to none. Much like his songs, the book’s most enduring qualities may well be the inherent fortitude, compassion, and personal strength he champions throughout. That Bruce opened up his world to the reader is gift enough; that he revealed himself to be a human being with faults, foibles, and failures like the rest of us is a reward even greater than that."
"Now that Barack Obama has shown us what being president looks like, he needs to show us what it looks like to be a citizen."
Jill, Powell's Books
"The Soul of an Octopus is a fascinating, startling, and utterly charming book. Sy Montgomery opens the reader up to a kind of empathy and insight that is radically outside our everyday human experience, which might be a welcome change of pace for President Obama. It is also a book that radiates joyfulness in highlighting our connection with other intelligences on our planet."
"President Obama deserves to spend some time drinking a good beer. Maybe an entire year of drinking good beers. Michelle might object if this goes on for over a year, but one year — no one will argue with that."
"I think President Obama would enjoy this beautifully written memoir. Deep and expansive, it leaves the reader contemplating legacy, fairness, and what we can't control."
Miriam, Powell's Books
"This biography examines the conflicts in Washington's life between his desire for privacy and his need for public recognition, his desire to be successful in business and his pull toward public service, and his struggle to reconcile divergent factions and beliefs. His leadership role in navigating the Jefferson-Hamilton rivalry seems particularly relevant today."
"Compelling and heart-opening, Tribe is important for any and all people to read. The author takes a universal approach to the subject of veterans coming home from war and makes the reader ponder why our society is so disconnected."
"This is an important anthology of what contemporary African Americans think and feel now. Varied voices offer different takes on the state of Black America."
West Linn, OR
"No excuses, no complaints, no blame. This is a book about true American spirit — man against man, man against nature, man against himself. These guys embodied American ideals in terms of ethics, loyalty, perseverance, and allegiance to each other and to 'Making America Great.'"
"Bryan Stevenson clearly and concisely provides an explanation of why the opposite of poverty is not wealth — it’s justice. I think this is an important message for the person who must be president for all Americans."
Tom, Powell's Books
"Team of Rivals is the basis for the film Lincoln and depicts the workings of the federal government during a time when there were sharp divisions in the country. Doris Kearns Goodwin is on the shortlist of best history writers in the U.S. today."
"I hope this book about climate change and the impact of humans on the world will help hammer home to President-Elect Trump how important it is to look after our environment."
Las Vegas, NV
"Single women are one of the fastest-growing voting blocs in the U.S., but they are largely ignored. They have the power to dramatically shift policies in the future, and their life choices and needs are unique. Our current and future leaders must take those needs and choices into consideration when crafting policies."
"Shoe Dog, the memoir by Nike founder Phil Knight, is a fun read about building a company from the ground up. It shows what positive things can be done with success."
Mary Jo, Powell's Books
"A literary suspense novel with both a brain and a heart, Before the Fall is a searing examination of the nature of truth. With masterful character development and a well-sculpted plot line, Hawley takes us on a thrill ride of a story while raising vital questions about the role and responsibility of the media today."