Trump's tremendous, totally real favorite books list

Obama's not the only one that can drop a reading list. Trump reads all the books. The best books, in fact!

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published January 1, 2020 7:30PM (EST)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his book during a campaign stop (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his book during a campaign stop (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The former and currently most missed president in American history, Barack Obama recently shared his picks for his favorite books of 2019 on social media.

"This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too," the former president wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. "Because while each of us has plenty that keeps us busy – work and family life, social and volunteer commitments – outlets like literature and art can enhance our day-to-day experiences."

Obama's full 2019 book list includes:

  • "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power" by Shoshana Zuboff
  • "The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company" by William Dalrymple
  • "Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee" by Casey Cep
  • "Girl, Woman, Other" by Bernardine Evaristo
  • "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present" by David Treuer
  • "How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy" by Jenny Odell
  • "Lost Children Archive" by Valeria Luiselli
  • "Lot: Stories" by Bryan Washington
  • "Normal People" by Sally Rooney
  • "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson
  • "The Yellow House" by Sarah M. Broom
  • "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland" by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • "Solitary" by Albert Woodfox
  • "The Topeka School" by Ben Lerner
  • "Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion" by Jia Tolentino
  • "Trust Exercise" by Susan Choi
  • "We Live in Water: Stories" by Jess Walter
  • "A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule" by Jim Rooney
  • "The Sixth Man" by Andre Iguodala

Obama's list is great; I've read some of the books and totally agree. But Obama isn't president anymore. We have a new president, which means we have new perspective. The country has moved into a different direction. Obama's intelligent lectures have been transformed into Trump's monosyllabic tirades, and the list should reflect that. So, without any authorization from the Trump administration, I created a list of the Trump's favorite books.

I'm going go out on a limb and assume that Obama reads way more than the president. I mean he reportedly doesn't even read his presidential briefings, or anything really as reported by The Atlantic in a story about that quoted Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury."

"He didn't read." wrote Wolff, "He didn't really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate."

So, the brief list I compiled is not for just for his favorite books of 2019; it includes all books for his entire presidency.


  • "The Art of the Deal" by Donald J. Trump and Tony Schwartz"The Art of Deal "is the most important book of Trump's presidency. Without this book, Trump wouldn't be branded as the world's most famous businessman, and there would be no "Apprentice" show, which means he probably wouldn't have the fame that landed him in the White House. Schwartz has gone on record numerous times saying that writing this book was his biggest mistake. I agree.
  • "Triggered" by Donald Trump, Jr."Triggered" was released in November by the president's oldest son. I'm pretty sure Trump didn't read this book, as it's the only book on the list that I haven't and wont read; however, it made it here because Trump looks just like the guy on the cover, and we all know how much he loves himself.
  • "Hair Love" by Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti HarrisonAccording to Trump, he is the "least racist person you have ever met" and has proudly stated, "The blacks love me," on more than one occasion. We also know that he is famous for and loves his hair, that off-blonde, slicked-back, bounce-less helmet has garnered as much attention if not more than his presidency – so the brilliant 2019 book by Cherry and Harrison has to be on the list as it gives the president a chance to celebrate his two favorite things: the blacks and hair.
  • "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. SeussIf you ever watched a Trump rally, you'd notice that he doesn't use many words, the ideas are simple, and the messages are straightforward. And though the 1957 classic by Dr. Seuss is more timeless than a pointless Trump speech, the president has also mastered messaging in a similarly simple and fun way. "The Cat and the Hat" matches Trump's reading level perfectly, and I bet if he had started reading the book on his own, a little after his inauguration, he could probably finish by the time the Senate removes him from office: never.
  • "Mein Kampf" by Adolf HitlerA book by Hitler to cap off the list because to many of us, he and Trump are essentially the same person.



By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

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