Barack Obama is a fan of Irish-inspired works, as it turns out! With roots in County Offaly, of course, Obama has good taste.
President Barack Obama revealed his favorite things of 2019 and among them are popular Irish author Sally Rooney and her award-winning second novel "Normal People."
The book, about two people navigating young adulthood in a post-financial crash Ireland, was a massive critical success for Rooney following on from her stellar debut "Conversations with Friends."
The love story tracks the relationship between Marianne and Connell from the end of secondary school in Co Sligo to early adulthood.
"Normal People" won Best Novel at the Costa Book Awards and Waterstone's book of the year. It was also longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and named 2019’s book of the year at the British Book Awards.
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Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my annual list of favorites — books, films, and music — with all of you. This has become a fun little tradition for me, and I hope it is for you, too. 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. They’re the fabric that helps make up a life—the album that lifts us up after a long day, the dog-eared paperback we grab off the shelf to give to a friend, the movie that makes us think and feel in a new way, works that simply help us escape for a bit. To start, here are the books that made the last year a little brighter for me. Most of them came out in 2019, but a few were older ones that were new to me this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Read more: Samantha Power on how being Irish made her
Also mentioned on Obama's list was Samantha Power's "The Education of an Idealist." The memoir reflects deeply on Power's life in Ireland and the U.S., including her years as a war correspondent and the many tough lessons of her term at the U.N. as US Ambassador.
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Next up are my favorite movies and TV shows of 2019. This year’s list includes everything from explorations of class dynamics and relationships, to an inspired reboot of a classic graphic novel, to a portal back to one of the most special places in history — an Aretha Franklin concert. Of course, there’s also American Factory, a film from our own production company, Higher Ground, that was recently shortlisted for an Oscar. It’s our first offering in partnership with Netflix, and I’m excited about the other projects we’ve got in the works. Here’s the full list:
Other Irish nods on Obama's list of favorite movies of the year were "The Irishman" as well as "Little Women," which starred Saoirse Ronan.
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