In A Very Stable Genius, Rucker and Leonnig present the most fully detailed account of the controversial moments of Trump's presidency. The authors drew on over 3 years of reporting, hours of interviews, and hundreds of sources to present the facts of things that happened inside the White House.
This book is full of information and details that fill in the holes of events we only briefly heard about in the news. The authors did an excellent job gathering enough data to really showcase how the Trump presidency operated. They cover norm-breaking disasters, aides who were always in disagreement with the president, and an administration who was paranoid and who didn't care about the facts.
If you're interested in politics, or even want more details on how the Trump administration operated, this is a great and informative read.
In a dystopian future, people live in silos since the outside world is full of contaminants after civilization grew unkind and toxic. In the silos, order reigns through set caste systems and specific jobs that are meant to keep the people acquiescent and safe. Talk of the outside world is forbidden and anyone who shows too much interest in it is punished. The punishment is simple; they're allowed to go outside.
Once outside, the defectors never return. In Wool, a mechanic, turned Sheriff, must uncover the truth of what's happening in the silo. Too many people are dying and more people are being sent outside than ever before. Is the outside world as dangerous as they've always been told? Or, is it more dangerous in the silo? A revolt seems imminent and no one knows who will survive or what a change in the hierarchy may mean.
This story was originally self published in different installments and was eventually combined into this long novel. Howey builds a dystopian world unlike any I have read before. His story building and character development grabbed my attention and made it feel all too realistic.
Breen Kelly is an anxious woman who is stuck on a career path she never wanted. She follows along when others tell her what to do and she feels inadequate in all areas of her life. Breen grew up thinking her father left her and her mother destitute.
One day, Breen discovers her father left an account for her with millions of dollars specifically for her. With this newfound knowledge, Breen quits her teaching job and decides to spend a summer in Ireland. While in Ireland, Breen meets her paternal grandmother and learns about her father's family and his sacrifice. One day, she goes through a tree and finds Talamh. In the magical land of Talamh; dragons, fairies, elves, shapeshifters, pixies, and many other mythical beings live in harmony. Breen is amazed at her origins and learns there are some evil forces that want to shake the foundation of everything Talamh stands for.
The Awakening is a fantasy novel that introduces readers to mythical creatures in the beautiful land of Ireland and beyond. Roberts does a good job of making Breen's reactions to her journey from Ireland to Tamalh realistic. I'm ready for the next books to see what happens next and if Breen can help Talamh defeat the evil gods and demons.
Detective Anna Hart works in the missing persons division in San Francisco. She is the lead detective and has solved a lot of missing children cases, but she is dealing with a personal tragedy and is struggling to cope with her loss. Her boss recommends she takes personal time instead of jumping back into work, so Anna goes back home to Mendocino. After Anna arrives, she notices a Missing Child poster for a local girl who has gone missing.
The crime is eerily reminiscent to another crime that took place when Anna was living in Mendocino as a foster kid. Anna can't help but feel drawn to the tragedy and offers to help the local detective who was once her friend. Together, they try to unravel the truth when another child goes missing in the next county over. The new case has eye witnesses, so it is thrown into the national spotlight. All of the media coverage pushes resources from the Mendocino case, so Anna must work the case almost all on her own.
When the Stars Go Dark is a great read and is very different than any other Paula McLain book. This is well written and drew me in from the start. I was unable to guess who did it and was left in the dark until Anna herself was able to solve the mystery. McLain also draws on some experiences and feelings she had as a child undergoing trauma.
In Gang Leader for a Day, Venkatesh highlights his experience of befriending a gang in Chicago. Venkatesh was studying urban poverty and was conducting research for a graduate class. He walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago's housing projects hoping to ask the inhabitants a multiple-choice survey. Venkatesh met JT, a leader of a local gang and ended up being welcomed to follow JT's gang and document what he saw for the next seven years.
Venkatesh was amazed at the intelligence and complexity he saw in the operation of JT's crack selling business. The accounting, public relations, and organizational structure of the gang surprised Venkatesh. He saw the gang operate as an intelligent, business-minded community. In fact, JT originally wanted to become a businessman before he became the leader of the gang.
The documentation of Venkatesh's journey is an interesting story to read. This story gives an inside look to gang life, even some of the more violent aspects, and highlights reasons why a lot of poor young men in urban settings choose to join a gang. Overall, Venkatesh did a great job immersing himself in the life of the gang and gaining their trust. His story is unique and I was impressed with his commitment to finding the inner workings of gang life. This is a story I recommend to anyone who is open-minded and curious about the lives of others.
Jack the Ripper terrorized the people of London in 1888. His unknown identity and cruelty of his crimes scared the people of London, especially the women. His five victims became instantly famous and their lives inaccurately portrayed. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary-Jane died at the hands of a serial killer. Throughout history, the media has called these women prostitutes, but this has been found to be untrue.
In The Five, Rubenhold fills the gaps of the women's stories, their families, their lives, and the consequences that eventually led them to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 'The Ripper' has become more famous than his five victims and even more so since he has never been identified. In this narrative, Rubenhold brings the light to the victims, and not the victimizer. She shares details that have never been shared and finally sets the record straight. She shares their stories of love, loss, poverty, homelessness, misogyny, and the misfortune of being born a woman in the 1800s.
Rubenhold does an excellent job of piecing together the history of the five victims. I found this book enthralling because I learned things I never knew about the victims. It also made me frustrated because it shows, once again, the unfair treatment of women and the resulting misfortunes. This book also made the history of 'the Ripper' more frustrating because people focused so much on the women being prostitutes, that they missed opportunities to potentially catch the killer; in their minds, or so it seems, a woman being a prostitute is worse than a man being a serial killer. This is a great read for anyone interested in true crime or the history of women being treated poorly.
Kate and Ben live in Chicago and have successful careers in their chosen fields. Despite their success, they are new parents and their son has had medical issues thus far, putting Kate and Ben in financial hardship. Kate's grandmother, Grandma Rose, has been having memory issues and Kate and Ben are the chosen family members to stay with her since Kate is still on maternity leave.
At first, Kate is frustrated with Grandma Rose and isn't sure how she will survive multiple weeks with her abrasive grandma. During her stay though, Grandma Rose begins to leave journal entries around the house for Kate to find with words of wisdom for Kate. The most poignant words she shares with Kate are, "maybe you should start wanting less." Grandma Rose tries to teach Kate the importance of the daily family moments most take for granted.
Tending Roses was a book that recognizes of the importance of stopping to smell the roses. We, as a society, live such fast-paced lives and are always reaching for bigger and better moments. However, the truly wonderful and impactful moments are those that are spent in the presence of loved ones, sharing kindness, and appreciating our surroundings. The book club I am a part of read this and every single lady really enjoyed this; I recommend you read it, too!
Gen is a thief who boasts of his ability to steal anything from anyone. He even has proof; the King's seal was stolen out of his private chambers by Gen himself. Gen shows the bounty to others in a pub and again states how he's the greatest thief. One of the patrons happens to be a spy for the King's advisor, though. Gen is caught and put in jail where he remains for weeks until the King's advisor has a proposition for him. Gen being supposedly the greatest thief ever must steal a treasure that is thought to be only legend.
Gen is joined on his mission by the King's advisor, the advisor's apprentice, a future duke, and the duke's personal guard. Along the way, the group is met with both expected and unexpected dangers. They must join forces and overcome their initial dislike of one another if they're all to survive the journey. Gen is the only one who can enter the temple and steal the coveted treasure though; can the others really trust that he'll follow their plan? What happens once he steals it and returns to the kingdom?
The Thief was a great introduction to Gen's world and the kingdom he serves and has me excited to read the rest of the series. There were surprises I honestly didn't see coming, but were welcomed nonetheless. Gen's personality and flip attitude were a welcome relief to the usual intense personalities of many main characters in fantasy novels. If you like adventure, action, or fantasy, this is a series I highly recommend.
In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes on some of the biggest and oldest questions we have about the world we live in. He delves into the details of life's big mysteries and tries to answer them with heavily researched facts and discussions with experts.
Bryson discusses everything from the Big Bang, the extinction of dinosaurs, the importance of tectonic plates, the rise of civilization, the genetics of people, and the possible eruption of Yellowstone. He seeks to understand how people evolved from nothing and what the future may hold. He does an excellent job describing these events with scientific evidence in terms anyone can understand.
I really enjoyed this book and the variety of topics Bryson presented. All of the topics were interesting and ones I had questioned at previous points of my life. He presented details I didn't know and had intriguing theories. I could tell he did a lot of research for this book and consulted many experts to get a better understanding of each subject. I tried to absorb as much as I could because this book was so though provoking and filled with information I greedily I want to remember. This is one I will read again and will recommend to all of my friends.
Matthew McConaughey wrote Greenlights from the various journals he kept over a 20-year span. He prefaces the book by stating it's not really a memoir, nor is a self-help book, although I found it to be a bit of both.
McConaughey discusses, in detail, his life and the various moments that made an impact on him. Throughout his stories, he states when something was a greenlight (a moment that propels him on the correct trajectory) and also moments he would put on a bumper sticker.
Greenlights caused me to laugh out loud multiple times and it made me pause and reflect at other times. McConaughey is a deep thinker and his understanding and humor of various life events was a breath of fresh air.