Pres. Obama Releases a Free Playlist of 40 Songs for a Summer Day (Plus 6 Books on His Summer Reading List)

obama summer playlist

Like much of the rest of the country, President Obama is getting some downtime in August — in his case spending 16 days in Martha’s Vineyard. From that nice getaway spot, POTUS has launched on Spotify (download the free software here) two playlists of music — 20 songs for a hot summer day, and another 20 for a nice summer evening. You can play the songs below, and further down the page, find six books on his summer vacation reading list.

Daytime listening features songs from Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Howlin’ Wolf, Aretha Franklin, Florence and the Machine, and The Rolling Stones. For nighttime, he’s serving up John Coltrane, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and more. The man has taste. And for summer reading you can do worse than offer Jhumpa Lahiri, James Salter and Elizabeth Kolbert.

“The President’s Summer Playlist: Day”

“The President’s Summer Playlist: Night”

Obama’s Summer Reading List:

All That Is, by James Salter

All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri

Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn and  share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.


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  • Carrie Ann Calay says:

    Our country is blessed to have such a brilliant and fun guy as Mr. Obama.

  • Carrie Ann Calay says:

    OH, yeah…. what would Geo Washington’s playlists be? Obama should know when he has finished his summer reading!

  • Louise cody says:

    I cannot imagine what our world could have been if president obama would have had a congress that worked with a man I believe to be the best president we have ever had.It had to be unbearable to know what was possible and just thrown away by people that I cannot understand have been chosen to run the country.Thank you for these years ,for your family ,the incredible example each of you have been. Take care please I have been so afraid for you in this increasingly violent time.

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