Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Andrea Romano
July 13, 2018

Former President Barack Obama is about to travel to Africa for the first time since he left office in 2017. With his upcoming trip, the former president is, of course, getting as much reading done as possible to enrich his journey and fill his mind with even more knowledge of the continent he’s about to visit.

On Facebook, President Obama listed a few must-read titles that he intends to pore over while he’s traveling, and each one is an excellent read for any person who wants to expand their view of the world, and especially of African culture and history.

“I've often drawn inspiration from Africa's extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways,” the former president wrote on Facebook.

This week, I’m traveling to Africa for the first time since I left office – a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving...

Posted by Barack Obama on Friday, July 13, 2018

This week, President Obama will be visiting Kenya and South Africa. In South Africa, he is expected to give a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, and the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent. In Kenya, he will visit the Obama ancestral home, which he first visited in his 20s.

These titles will, no doubt, be great help to the former president as he marks this momentous occasion. Plus, they’re just good reads.

Here are the titles President Obama recommends:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: amazon.com, $10

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Courtesy of Amazon

​​​​​​​To buy: amazon.com, $15

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Courtesy of Amazon

​​​​​​​To buy: amazon.com, $12

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Courtesy of Amazon

​​​​​​​To buy: amazon.com, $14

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

Courtesy of Amazon

​​​​​​​To buy: amazon.com, $12

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes

Courtesy of Amazon

​​​​​​​To buy: amazon.com, $21

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