Friends, countrymen, ‘Mericans, lend me your ears (see what we did there?! Because this is for audiobooks?! Nah, you don’t get it). Anyway. What does one do after they have championed the helm of the free world for a spell? Take a well-deserved break? We know after we run a singular errand, we need a 30-minute bubble bath/face mask combo. So, imagine my surprise to learn that there are so many books penned by former presidents. Over-achievers to the end, we guess. Below we list a few of our favorites, but only because we know after I’ll be having Taylor Swift and chill time, because we are not a former president.
No one can quite turn a phrase like Barack Obama. In our dream world there would be recordings of him reading recipes for our personal ASMR. Alas, we’ll have to make do with his stunning first volume of what will be a two-volume memoir. The first half delves into his early life, introduction to politics, and later his unlikely path to the White House. He writes about the complex pressures to live up to being the first African American president, as well as the affects the office had on his family. A compelling and honest look at the good and bad that comes with holding the highest office in the land, this book is not to be missed. Listen to it here.
The nostalgia we have seen for the Reagan era is rivaled only by 90s kids and their love for cartoon reboots. A common critique of this book is that it values feelings over truth in parts, however this was a hallmark of his Presidency? Both unshakingly positive and quietly courageous in life and his time as President, his values and fairness shine throughout the book. From his early years as an actor, to his fierce love of Nancy, and a swim in the sea of his time as President, this is a stirring poignant look at a man beloved not only for his leadership, but also his optimism. Go get yourself some jellybeans and dive on in.
Written in 2011, this is less a memoir and more a scathing examination of the nation. Basically the US has some major issues, and Clinton is not afraid to get INTO them. From how we compare globally in education, to our inordinate military spending, and erratic taxation practices, Clinton questions the practices behind the problems, and postures possible solutions. This book is an eye-opening look at issues that often get little attention. If the status quo is never questioned, positive change will never come, and Clinton isn’t afraid to shy away from complex or challenging problems. Check it out today.
This memoir reminded us of what a wild ride Bush’s presidencies were. Sure, it starts with your typical early life exposition, but then we get into it. 9/11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his controversial victory in 2000, Florida being Florida, there are twists, there are turns, there are regrets, there is the promise of a second book featuring paintings of dogs. That’s right, in a move no one could have predicted, Bush has become a prolific artist, and he specializes in dog portraits. Truly a renaissance man, with the ability to guide the nation through some of its darkest days and still come out joyful and artistic. What a guy. Check his story here.
To conclude, we present to you the most over-achieving ex peanut farmer we’ve ever heard of. The reductive, relatable musings of one of the most disarming presidents the nation has ever seen is both heart-breaking and inspiring. He chronicles his time as president, as well as dealing with the loss of a second term, and offers commentary on those leaders who have come after him. He wouldn’t be Jimmy Carter if he didn’t take an opportunity to try and make the world better, so he ends the book highlighting causes that are important to him and his wife. Ok, back to building houses for the poor, we’ll talk to you later.