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Blog: Staff Picks

staff picks

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

BlogMeachamAlthough Meacham tackled many Presidential subjects in his previous award-winning books, in Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, the author breaks new ground -- not only because his subject is still alive, but also because of some of the controversial analyses presented within the book’s 600 pages.

However, even though Destiny and Power was written by an author in close communication with the subject, the book doesn’t shy away from showing the truth.  What is offered is an extremely fair, in-depth portrait of our 41st president’s life and times.  Rather than merely rehashing history, the book takes the reader along for the ride, giving a very vivid and extremely detailed account of George Bush’s life from his birth to his final interviews with Meacham this past September.

While this book has been much commented on due to Bush’s controversial comments in the latter pages about about his son’s administration, the rest reads like a true portrait of the man, rather than a mouthpiece for his ideas. 

Destiny and Power not will only appeal to the demographic that agrees ideologically with Bush, but also to anyone interested in learning about George Bush the man and the times he inhabited.

Andrew's Picks  American Presidents

12/31/15
 

Fishbowl: A Novel

Fishbowl: A NovelFishbowl is a whimsical tale about the intertwining lives of the occupants of a high rise in a large metropolitan city. What makes the story unique is that it is told by a goldfish named Ian who just happens to be plunging to his death from the twenty-seventh floor balcony.  Ian glimpses these lives as he falls past their windows.

The motley cast of characters includes the lonely building superintendent whose long hours and years of service go unrecognized by the tenants; a pregnant woman about to give birth; a construction worker with a secret life; a traumatized boy who believes he can time travel; a two-timing graduate assistant who learns, too late, that lying and love are incompatible; and an agoraphobic woman with an unlikely career.

In addition to these quirky people, the building itself is an amazing character. As the author states in the beginning of the novel:

The building fulfills an Arcensian mission of carrying everything mentioned thus far, housing the spirit and chaos of life and those beings in which they reside, through the floods and to safety every time the water recedes.

Sara's Picks  Romance  Contemporary

12/28/15
 

Lady Bird and Lyndon : the hidden story of a marriage that made a president

ladybirdandlyndon

While countless books have been written on both Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson individually, very little has been published about their relationship with one another and how it shaped American history. 

However, in her new book, Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President, Betty Boyd Caroli seeks to do just that, showing how Lady Bird’s charm and intelligence helped smooth over Lyndon’s rough edges, further his career in Washington, and even carve out one of the most substantial records ever for a sitting First Lady.

This book covers the time period from Lyndon’s birth in 1908 to Lady Bird’s death in 2007.  Caroli, who is the author of The Roosevelt Women and other biographical works on First Ladies, explores not only Lady Bird’s role in her husband’s career (she was instrumental in creating the environment in which he needed to thrive) but also her own personal achievements. Those accomplishments are remarkable on their own; Lady Bird oversaw massive land beautification projects and was also instrumental in the passing of conservation legislation. At the same time, she ran a multimillion dollar media empire that she created from a single unproductive Austin radio station that she purchased in 1943.

scarafile  lyndon johnson  lady bird  biography  adult

12/09/15
 

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