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The end of the year comes with many traditions: holiday lights, presents under the tree... and a few of former President Barack Obama's favorite things.

With just 15 days to go before the end of 2021, Obama has officially revealed all of his pop culture picks. "Art always sustains and nourishes the soul," he wrote on Instagram in a post kicking off his annual roundup. "But for me, music and storytelling felt especially urgent during this pandemic year—a way to connect even when we were cooped up."

Among the standouts included on Obama's reading list were Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land, Patrick Radden Keefe's Empire of Pain, Michelle Zauhner's Crying in H Mart, and Katie Kitamura's Intimacies, all of which also landed a spot on EW's Best of 2021 list.

As for movies, Obama's favorites included a mix of epic action (The Last Duel), musical love stories (West Side Story), and critically acclaimed features like The Power of the Dog and Judas and the Black Messiah. The Japanese arthouse film Drive My Car, which EW named one of the best films of 2021, also made the cut.

On the music side, Obama's favorite tunes also proved that he was no stranger to the songs that dominated pop culture (and our own playlists) for most of the year with Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" (also a Best of EW pick) and Cardi B and Lizzo's "Rumors." But he also showed his usual impressive range of taste with everything from Mitski's "The Only Heartbreaker," Jon Batiste's "Freedom," and Brandi Carlile's "Broken Horses."

We'll give the former president of the United States a pass for not including some of the year's other biggest names, like Adele and Taylor Swift, on his list. After all, with so much good music out there, some things just aren't bound to make the cut.

You can listen to all the songs on Obama's 2021 playlist here, via Spotify.

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