Nonfiction Books and Racial Injustice: #NonficNov

November 11, 2019

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert (today’s post)

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, I am sharing five books (plus one TBR) in a subgenre that I have read and can recommend. These are my favorite recommendations for books on the topic of racial injustice. I chose them because they each share a personal story and help build my understanding of racial injustice. Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Nonfiction Recommendations on the topic of Racial Injustice:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

just mercy

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (a personal experience) (MG)

Brown Girl Dreaming

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis (The Three Doctors) (MG)

we beat the street

TBR:

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers.jpg

***UPDATE: THANKS!

Many of you have left recs in the comments here and on my instagram account, so I’m compiling them here:

Recommendations From Readers:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by by Robin DiAngelo 
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
They Can’t Kill Us All:Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
The Undefeated by Kwame Aleander (picture book)
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (poetry)
Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person Blog posted a list of books on the topic of race in America here.

….list in progress….



QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a nonfiction book that addresses the topic of racial injustice.



Fall TBR Update

Four more…



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

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Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings: #NonficNov

October 5, 2019

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings (today’s post)

Be the Expert

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Pairings

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Sarah’s Bookshelves, I have ten fiction/nonfiction book pairings to share with you! Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!


Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
paired with
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
paired with
Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (MG)
paired with
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham


Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
paired with
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas


Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
paired with
Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s home Society by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate


Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
paired with
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro


Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange by Elise Hooper
paired with
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon


Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
paired with
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
paired with
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to end Slavery by Eric Metaxas


The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
paired with
The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg


QOTD

I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a fiction/nonfiction pair.



Fall TBR Update



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

My Year in Nonfiction 2019: #NonficNov

October 30, 2019

My Year in Nonfiction 2019: #NonficNov

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction (today’s post)

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Year in Nonfiction (2019)

Non Fiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

While my eleven nonfiction reads falls below my year’s goal of twenty, it’s the quality and enjoyment and not the quantity that creates a successful and meaningful reading year! In one other way eleven seems like a low number to me: I read a majority of historical fiction, so I’m frequently immersed in history and spend time googling various events. Does anyone else feel like they’re reading nonfiction when reading histfic? This must count in some way, right?! It certainly feels like it does!

Please join me for Nonfiction November!


Grouped into general categories, here are my year’s nonfiction reads:

In Pieces by Sally Field (memoir)

Inheritance: A Memoir by Dani Shipiro (memoir)

I Miss You When I Blink by Laura Mary Philpott (memoir/essays)

Beyond Peace by President Richard Nixon (memoir)

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (memoir)

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff (memoir)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (MG: free verse/biographical/memoir)

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (humorous/personal and piognant essays/memoir)


For Everyone

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (YA: free verse/inspirational)


The Little Book of Hygge.jpg

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (culture)


leadership in turbulent times

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin (political/leadership analysis)


This week’s Non Fiction Prompt is hosted by Julz Reads and these are her questions:

  1. What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
    This is my most dreaded question! There are so many different reasons to love a book. I think one book I was the most curious to read and consequently ended up engaged with her every word was In Pieces by Sally Field. It was a difficult yet compelling read.
  2. What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
    I don’t think In Pieces is a book that everyone would enjoy, so I think my most recommended NF reads would be Inheritance by Dani Shipiro and Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman. My least recommended is I Miss You When I Blink.
  3. What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
    I don’t think I can ever read enough fascinating, thoughtful memoirs!
  4. What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
    I’m eager to read posts from other bloggers and add inspiring nonfiction titles to my 2020 TBR!


QOTD

I would love to hear all about your favorite nonfiction reads in comments! If you could recommend ONE NF title for me, what would you recommend?



Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

World Stroke Day 2019: “My Eight Year Old Daughter Saved My Life”

October 29, 2019

world stroke day guest post

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

World Stroke Day

I’m delighted to bring you this guest post in recognition of World Stroke Day.
Please meet my bookstagram friend @kdbwrites.

Guest Post: Kimberly Davis Basso

“My Eight Year Old Daughter Saved My Life: Stroke Awareness”
By Kimberly Davis Basso
Author of I’m a Little Brain Dead

I was forty-four years old, home alone with my young children, and I had a stroke. If that doesn’t give you pause, let me share this, I had no risk factors. None. Nothing in my health at the time, my family history, or even my genetics indicated any risk at all. So here’s the truth of it – if you have a brain it can break. Which is why I’ve asked Reading Ladies to let me share a bit about my story to help spread awareness. I’ve written a book about my absurd experience called I’m a Little Brain Dead (affiliate link), but today I want to share info from “Very Serious Appendix A” and “Very Serious Appendix B” because I assume you like your brain and want to be able to help it if it needs you. I sincerely hope you never, ever use this information – think of it like a fire drill, you prepare and then hope it’s all a waste of time and never gets put into action. Same thing here.

First, let me say that time is critical. I received life-changing care because I was in an ambulance within minutes of my symptoms appearing. My stroke treatments were time sensitive – meaning the clock was literally running on the window of opportunity for care. Get yourself into professional hands at the slightest suspicion of a stroke… still here? OK, we’ll move on.

Since you aren’t currently having a stroke, it’s a good idea to learn possible symptoms. The National Stroke Association has put together an easy to remember acronym – B.E. F.A.S.T. with each letter a different possible symptom. B-Balance, E–EyeSight, F–Face, A-Arm, S-Speech, and T–Time to Call. Here’s a great graphic from them to help you and the www.NationalStrokeAssociation.org has up to date info:

How-to-Spot-a-Stroke.jpg

For stroke, or any emergency, let me ask you – do your children know how to call 9-1-1? Have you ever practiced (without dialing of course)? My daughter saved my life because she role-played how to call 9-1-1 with her Girl Scout troop. She had this practice one month before my stroke. So she was able to stay calm, cool and collected and help me when I needed her. Not her job, but she got it done. So how do you practice?

There are links (below) to videos on my website for you to look at, but consider these basics:

  1. Does your child know how to use your cell phone (most of us don’t have land lines)?
  2. Role-play 9-1-1 calls with your kids – the adult is the dispatcher, the child makes the call. The “dispatcher” asks them questions – what happened? Where do you live? And most importantly, don’t hang up the phone. Use a generic situation like Suzy fell out of the tree, so there’s no potential fear for your child (I do not recommend using ‘just in case mommy’s brain stops working’ as an example).
  3. Is your medical information available in case you are unconscious? There’s a free form on my site you can download, which is a one-page family medical form. Keep it on the fridge (emergency personnel check there for elderly patients) and make sure your kids know where it is. We keep ours on the inside of the hall closet, down low where my son can reach it, simply because I don’t like having my medical history displayed. Which is odd given I wrote a book about it!
  4. Is your child old enough to do this? My daughter was in second grade, around
    7 or 8 years old. Her younger brother has heard this information from a much earlier age of course, because we review it with his sister. But consider how old your child is and if it’s not time, put it in your future plans.

We review this information with our kids twice a year; usually, we talk about our family fire drill and earthquake drill (we’re in California) at the same time. Here’s a link to a video where I discuss the family medical form and how we use it in our house: https://kdbassowrites.wixsite.com/kimberlydavisbasso/stroke-awareness (this link will take you to the form as well as the videos on practicing).

I want to thank Reading Ladies for letting me share this information with you – I invite you to explore the info on my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com or get in touch with me directly KDBassoWrites@gmail.com. Have a clot free day.

Kimberly Davis Basso is an author, playwright and stroke survivor. Her debut nonfiction book, I’m a Little Brain Dead, has been honored numerous times, including a nomination for INDIES Book of the Year for Humor by Foreword Reviews.

Youtube: Spot a Stroke With Kimberly

Kimberly Davis Basso was born just north of Boston. She has since lived and worked all over the United States, including San Francisco, Miami, and New York. She currently resides in good health in Los Angeles, where she is working on the prequel to I’m a Little Brain Dead. KDB is also a playwright and stage director and enjoys playing in the dirt when she’s not writing.

I'm a Little Brain Dead

I’m a Little Brain Dead Information (affiliate link)


Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May 2, 2019

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

 

 

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, I have a book recommendation for you!

have-you-read-this-book-1-e1556745936595.jpg

Today’s post is inspired by Silver’s Reviews: Have You Heard of This Book?

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Last year I was honored to read and review A Way Out: A Memoir of Conquering Depression and Social Anxiety by Michele Balge. Thank you to @michellebalge @michelle_balge for my free e copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Way Out is a gritty, completely transparent, and inspiring first-person account of Michelle’s early childhood, eventual diagnosis, and her young adult day-to-day life. In addition, she includes valuable tips and resources. If someone you love is dealing with these challenges or if you work with persons struggling with mental illness, I think you will appreciate the read. *Trigger warnings for thoughts and discussion of suicide.
Find my full review here.

A Way Out

A Way Out Information



 

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World: A Review

April 12, 2019

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World Review

Genre/Categories: Non Fiction, Essays, Humor, Parent/Child

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thank you to #NetGalley #AtriaBooks for my free e-copy of #ThingsMySonNeedstoKnowAbouttheWorld by Fredrik Backman in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary:

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World is a collection of humorous and poignant essays Backman wrote to teach his son about life. Essays range from short and light (how to beat Monkey Island 3) to poignant and deep (why a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight). Underlying it all are thoughtful themes including those of unconditional love, a desperate desire to not fail at fatherhood, falling in love, and friendship.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

(more…)

Brown Girl Dreaming: A Review

April 10, 2019

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming Review

  • Genre/Categories: Non Fiction, Poetry, Memoir, Middle Grade, Racism, Prejudice, African-American, Family Life

*This post contains amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

In free verse, Jaqueline Woodson shares her experience as an African-American growing up in South Carolina and New York during the 60s and 70s. An award-winning book, Brown Girl Dreaming is a poignant and inspiring story of a girl finding her voice and her place in the world. Even though she struggled with reading in childhood, she loved stories and blank writing paper as she held her dream of writing close to her heart.

(more…)

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love: A Review

March 27, 2019

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

Inheritance Review

Genre/Categories: Non Fiction, Memoir, Ancestry, Bioethics, Jewish

Family secrets….bioethics…..if you send in a DNA sample to Ancestry on a lark, be prepared for truth.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

Receiving DNA results from Ancestry propels a determined and persistent Dani Shapiro into a quest for identity and paternity. Shapiro thoughtfully unravels family secrets as she explores the meaning of love versus biology, a new cultural heritage, and family bonds. The story behind Shapiro’s discovery is not what you might expect and I won’t spoil that part of the story for you. You will want to know, though, that the ethical considerations that she brings up are worthy of discussion and careful thought.

(more…)

In Pieces: A Review

February 18, 2019  

In Pieces by Sally Field

In Pieces coverGenre/Categories: Non Fiction, Memoir, Biography, Family Relationships, Motherhood

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Summary:

Beloved actor Sally Field tells her story for the first time. Her earliest years were lived as a shy, vulnerable, insecure, and anxious little girl in social situations, and she reveals that she did not feel safe at home. In middle school she discovered acting and it became a refuge for her. As she reached her later teens and landed her first professional acting job, she felt responsible to help her mom and younger sister in financial and practical ways. Even when she married for the first time, she felt the burden of providing financially for her young family. From her early years as Gidget and The Flying Nun, Sally Field went on to captivate movie lovers with riveting and emotional performances in her portrayal of characters such as Sybil, Norma Rae, and Mary Todd Lincoln. Of course, we also loved her in Forest Gump and Mrs. Doubtfire. Most recently, she played a leading role in the TV drama series, Brothers & Sisters. Through Sally Field’s personal story, readers see her behind-the-scenes reality and also follow her unstable and codependent relationship with her mother in which she ultimately finds healing and reconciliation.

Amazon Ratings (February): 4.4 Stars

My Thoughts:

Content. Although Sally Field’s story, In Pieces, is a bit sadder and more tragic than I expected, she writes in the same authentic, transparent, upbeat, and vulnerable style we’ve come to expect from her. Sally Fields shares her behind-the-scenes experiences and her complicated family relationships. Especially poignant is the relationship with her mother and eventual reconciliation. I appreciate Sally’s struggle to understand her choices and those of others. She is determined to chase her dream and demonstrates grit in dealing with life’s disappointments and circumstances. Through her life experiences, we learn what it was like for her to follow her heart and pursue her ambition in a male dominated world. She shares the good and bad, her ups and downs, her fears and her success, her doubts and passion. Her memorable story is honest and authentic, powerful and inspiring. The story doesn’t come across as written by a celebrity (except for mentions of the movie industry)….it’s a story from someone we might sit across the table from working though difficult life issues.

Personal Connection. Stories in which readers can make personal connections become the best reading experiences! I grew up in around the same area of Southern California as Sally Field; in fact, as it turns out we lived in the same city during our childhoods. I grew up fangirling Sally, watching her first in Gidget and then The Flying Nun. I’ve admired her work in later years and cheered for her on award shows, so it was incredibly interesting to hear the behind-the-scenes stories for movies that I’ve seen (not on DVD or TV but as they were released).

Cover. I don’t often mention covers in my reviews, but I love the cover of In Pieces. Her picture reflects the vulnerable and transparent person we read about in the story.

Recommended. Sally Field’s accomplishments despite the obstacles she faced are remarkable. I love hearing how the profession of acting and the portrayal of certain characters helped her work out the emotions and desperate circumstances in her own life. She is a survivor, and it’s an engaging and well written story. I’m awarding this five stars because of the emotions I felt while reading her story and because it was engaging (read it in two days). In Pieces is recommended for readers who love memoir, for fans of Sally Field the actor, and for those who desire to read about the movie industry. ***Trigger warnings for child abuse and for attention given to women without their consent.

My Rating: 5 Stars

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

In Pieces

In Pieces

Meet the Author, Sally Field

Sally Field

Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winning actor who has portrayed dozens of iconic roles on both the large and small screens. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2015 she was honored by President Obama with the National Medal of Arts. She has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices since 2002 and also served on the Board of The Sundance Institute from 1994 to 2010. She has three sons and five grandchildren.



Let’s Discuss!

Are you a Sally Field fan?! Which of her roles is your favorite?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead:

Come back Friday for a review of Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly.



Links

Check out The Secret Library Book Blog and her great weekly links!

I’ll be updating my Winter TBR as I read and review selections. So check back often!



Sharing is Caring

Thank you for reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

 

Leadership in Turbulent Times: A Review

February 15, 2019

In recognition of the Presidents’ Birthday Holidays in the United States….

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Leadership in Turbulent Times cover.jpg

Genre/Categories: Non Fiction, Biographical, U.S. Presidents, U.S. History, Government/Politics

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summary:

In Leadership in Turbulent Times, Pulitzer Prize winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin explores the topic of leadership. Goodwin provides case studies of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. As she describes their early lives and follows them into adulthood, she explains how they faced challenges and difficult circumstances and became noted leaders. What traits or skills did they share that helped them become leaders in their time?

Amazon Star Rating (February): 4.7 Stars

My Thoughts:

Leadership. Goodwin sets out to compare and contrast the leadership of four U.S. presidents, but the challenge of studying four vastly different men living in different times and facing unique circumstances is a monumental task. From her material, I gained some insights. Each of the four presidents faced challenges in childhood and their personal lives that might have discouraged them from pursuing their dreams. So the first traits I notice are resilience, determination, and risk taking. Each one had a feeling that he was destined to do more and be more than what his present circumstances would suggest was attainable. It is interesting to me that in our county’s early history, ambitious young men decided that politics was their best opportunity for achievement. In addition, they each cared deeply about the welfare of individual folks and the nation. They each were driven to make a difference and to be remembered for something. Finally, it struck me how each president was gifted in interpersonal communication, exhibited an affable personality, and was an excellent communicator. Overall, each of the presidents was visionary, an innovative problem solver, and thought outside the box. Although they had more differences than similarities, the similarities I mention are a significant part of their leadership traits. I think young people who study these presidents can be encouraged that a difficult childhood or challenging personal circumstances do not have to determine the course of their lives or their leadership potential.

The Presidents. Each president studied is a unique person with a dissimilar background and skill set from the others, yet each became a leader. Noted here are a few facts and insights I gained from the reading. Hopefully, the following details will whet your appetite for reading more about these interesting and famous presidents.

  • Abraham Lincoln was self educated with a great resolve to succeed, sensitive, and deeply empathetic. He is remembered for his ability to promote teamwork and for the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Even though Theodore Roosevelt was privately educated, privileged, and sheltered, he was extremely self disciplined, ambitious, and grew in his ability to work well with others. He is remembered for being a rancher who took risks to build courage, a “rough rider,” for his leadership to resolve the coal miner strike, and for The Square Deal.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, a late bloomer, exhibited warmth and charm and verbal skills, had an optimistic temperament, had a desire to please, was a quick decision maker and masterful problem solver, and demonstrated adaptability. He was known for his leadership during the Depression, his efforts in the banking crisis, Fireside Chats, and The New Deal. Eleanor Roosevelt was a great partner with FDR as she traveled the country taking the pulse of the people (FDR: “Don’t confuse what people in Washington are saying with what people in the country are feeling.”). Women in journalism owe Eleanor a nod of appreciation as she declared that only women journalists were allowed at her press conferences which sent newspapers across the nation scrambling to hire women journalists!
  • Lyndon Johnson, never satisfied and always pushing forward, was driven by the lure of power. It’s thought provoking to compare Lincoln, driven by affiliation and teamwork, and Johnson, driven by power and control. Johnson is known for the Great Society (legislation in Civil Rights, federal aid to education, Medicare, voting rights, etc.). His greatest failure was Viet Nam which laid the foundation for future mistrust of government that we experience today.

All four presidents felt called to public service, and each experienced personal and professional setbacks. While some people quit under these circumstances and others recover somewhat and plod along in life, still others adapt, change, and grow like our four presidents.

Recommended. Leadership in Turbulent Times is highly recommended for all citizens of the U.S. because understanding our history informs our present and affects our future. It is especially recommended for those who enjoy inspiring stories of resilient and determined individuals, for history buffs, and for readers who enjoy personality studies and case studies.

Rating. I can see this is really good, and I know that for others it might be a 5 star read. For a person like myself who didn’t major in history, it’s wonderfully readable, thoughtfully presented, and engaging.  I particularly appreciate that Goodwin includes reflective analysis as well as detailed historical facts. For readers like my husband who have read her other individual biographies of these presidents, some of the material in Leadership will be familiar and might seem repetitive. For me, it was informative and enjoyable, and it put random facts and acquired knowledge into a meaningful context.

My Rating: 4 Stars

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leadership in turbulent times

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Meet the Author, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN’s interest in leadership began more than half a century ago as a professor at Harvard. Her experiences working for LBJ in the White House and later assisting him on his memoirs led to her bestselling Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Goodwin earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, the New York Times bestselling chronicle of the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, the writer Richard N. Goodwin. More at http://www.doriskearnsgoodwin.com @DorisKGoodwin

See my review of Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin.



Let’s Discuss!

Have you read any work of Doris Kearn Goodwin? I’ve read Wait Till Next Year (her memoir) and my husband has read several of her works…. Team of Rivals is a favorite.

What non fiction have you read so far this year? I just finished In Pieces by Sally Field (memoir).



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Looking Ahead:

Look at all these books I’ve read that will be reviewed on the blog in the next few weeks! The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio, In Pieces by Sally Field, Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly, Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris, and Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (MG).



Links

The Secret Library Book Blog always has great weekly links! Please check out this reading resource!

I’ll be updating my Winter TBR as I read and review selections. So check back often!

SoCal residents: If you live in or near the Orange or Riverside Counties of Southern California, you might be interested in the Corona Library Author Brunch on April 13.

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In Movie News….

For Fredrik Backman fans, Britt-Marie Was Here will be a movie! (I also heard that a Beartown series is being produced for Europe HBO…so maybe soon in the US?)

Reese Witherspoon to produce “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

And….here’s the trailer for Where’d You Go Bernadette starring Cate Blanchette.

(You might consider adding these four books to your ‘want to read list’ in preparation!)



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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.