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Former President Obama at his foundation's event in Malaysia on Dec. 13. Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama released his favorite books of 2019 on Saturday.

Highlights: "The Sixth Man" by Andrew Iguodala, "Lost Children Archive" by Valeria Luiselli — inspired by families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border — and the psychologically driven love story "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.

Other books on Obama's list:

  • "The Topeka School" by Ben Lerner
  • "Trust Exercise" by Susan Choi
  • "Solitary" by Albert Woodfox
  • "How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy" by Jenny Odell
  • "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson
  • "Girl, Woman, Other" by Bernardine Evaristo

Further reading: Obama also noted the reading recommendations he made earlier in the year, which include the memoir "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren and "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr, which argues that the internet is fundamentally changing how humans process information.

Go deeper: Check out Obama's full 2019 reading list.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.