This week President Obama named V. S. Naipaul’s A Bend In The River, published by Picador, as one of the novels which had helped him during his time in the White House.

In an interview with The New York Times, Obama described how ‘the role of stories to unify — as opposed to divide, to engage rather than to marginalise — is more important than ever’.

With this in mind we’ve put together a recommended reading list, covering immigration, politics, war, love, and race, for the next President of the United States and self-proclaimed non-reader, Donald Trump.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s astonishingly beautiful and memoir detailing the racism and abuse she endured as child growing up in the American south of the 1930s should be compulsory reading for everyone, but especially for a US President. Her focus is unfalteringly on what unites rather than divides people, as Maya herself describes ‘I write about being a Black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it's like to be a human being

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The Crucible

The Crucible

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller's classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 and the American anti-communist purges led by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s. The story of how the small community is stirred into madness by paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations.

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