5 books on Michelle Obama's nightstand

Former first lady Michelle Obama recently shared her reading habits and some book recommendations with the New York Times.

Like many of us, Obama says she has a stack of half-read books by her bedside table, which are all "at varying levels of completion."

The titles on her nightstand include: Educated, by Tara Westover, An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones, Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett, and an autographed copy of Nelson Mandela's Conversations with Myself.

Obama recently finished Westover's best-selling memoir, which was recommended to her by her husband, former President Barack Obama. "It is as phenomenal as he—and everyone else—says it is. It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of an education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives," she says.

Also see: 3 takeaways from the best book Bill Gates has ever read

Obama says she typically squeezes in her reading while she's traveling or on vacation. "I don't have much time to read at home, so.... I spend a lot of long plane rides reading." Due to her limited reading time, she says she prefers to read new books.

But there are a few books she's read more than once.

Obama says she's reread Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon three times as part of a "little Obama family book club." She also revisits Conversations with Myself, a collection of Mandela's writings and speeches, from time to time. "I like to flip through it... because it always seems to give me an extra boost when I need it."

Obama says she typically sources her book recommendations from reader-friends, her chief of staff, and Barack, who "devours books like he has since [she] met him." Barack is known as an avid reader and often shares his book recommendations on Facebook (New York Times, 12/6).

Related: 5 books Barack Obama wants you to read right now


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