Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
A winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography, this is a great read for surfing addicts and those keen on the sport — or the addiction, as some might say. Written by 64-year-old New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan, it charts his early life in both California and Hawaii to his adventurous days exploring the islands of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Indonesia.

Barbarian Days

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Also making Oprah's book club list is the story of Cora, a young woman enslaved on a Georgia cotton plantation and her attempt to escape. It's a timely read to understand race relations in America as Cora and another fellow escapee seek out the network of secret routes and safe houses for their freedom.

The Underground Railroad Obama

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
How do you deal with grief? For author Helen Macdonald, she went out to get herself a hawk after the sudden death of her father. And not just any hawk — in her possession is the goshawk, one of the murderous and sulkiest of the lot. She proceeds to train the bird of prey in a journey of self-discovery of her relationship with her father, and her grief. 

H is for Hawk Obama

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Now adapted into a movie starring Emily Blunt, the film's trailer calls Paula Hawkins' debut (under her real name) the "thriller that shocked the world" with Kanye West's Heartless hauntingly playing in the background. The Gone Girl-esque book follows the story of the flawed female lead Rachel, who watches a couple on her daily commute to work. One day, the woman she's been watching goes missing, and she proceeds to get herself involved in the investigations.

Girl on the Train Obama

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
What's planet Earth like, 5,000 years later? Lets take a guess — it's not going to be a pretty picture. This sci-fi blockbuster of a novel looks at Earth's fate when the moon blows up, sending us spiralling down a quest for survival.

Neal Stephenson Obama

The books are taken from a list issued by the White HouseTo see more of what other creatives are reading, click here.