TeaStitchRead

 

Participating in: 

Dewey 24-Hour Read-a-thon (April 6th) 

Bout of Books Cycle 25 (May 13th-19th)

 

 

 

Tea's BL Snakes and Ladders Tracker - Space 70

The Twentieth Century: A People's History - Howard Zinn 1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky

 

Space 1. Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman (429 pages) - Read 2/17/2019 - 2/22/2019.

 

Roll die and got 4.

 

Space 5 (Published in 2018). Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister, published in 2018 (284 pages). Read 2/22 - 2/24/2019.

 

Roll two dice and got 12.

 

Space 17.  The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder by Carolyn Murnick (245 pages). Read 2/24 - 2/28/2019.

 

Roll die and got 4.

 

Space 21. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah (listen to audiobook, GR has the hardcover version set at 288 pages). Read 2/26 - 2/27/2019.

 

Roll die and got 5.

 

Space 26. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta (288 pages). Read 3/1/2019.

 

Roll die and got 6.

 

Space 32. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A  Memoir by Carrie Brownstein. Read 3/2-3/4/2019.

 

Roll die and got 5.

 

Space 37. The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn (read by George Newbern). Read 3/3 - 3/6/2019.

 

Roll die and got 1.

 

Space 38. Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay. Read 3/7 - 3/8/2019.

 

Roll die and got 5.

 

Space 43. Character involved in the law. Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. Read 3/9 - 3/12/2019.

 

Roll dice and got 9.

 

Space 52. Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi. Read 3/18 - 3/22/2019.

 

Roll die and got 2.

 

Space 54. Prompt: is more than 400 pages long. Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell is 427 pages with an additional 35 pages of source notes. Read 3/23 - 3/28/2019.

 

Roll dice and got 7.

 

Space 61. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. Read 3/29 - 3/30/2019.

 

Roll die and got 6.

 

Space 67. The Twentieth Century by Howard Zinn. Read 4/1 - 4/14/2019.

 

Roll die and got 3.

 

Space 70. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. Read 4/14 - 

 

 

 

 

Friday Reads - April 12, 2018

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq - Thomas E. Ricks The Twentieth Century: A People's History - Howard Zinn The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah

It is the 8th day of Spring Break and I (and the kids) are still alive. Three more days...just three more days.

 

Anyway, I finished Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks. It was very good and critical look at OIF (of which I served in) but the book stopped around the end of 2005 while the war went on another three years and gave rise to ISIL/ISIS and the continuing mess that is the region, so it can't be read as a definitive source on the war. Recommend.

 

I am at the 70% mark in The Twentieth Century, reading one chapter a day (at 35-50 pages per chapter, it's A LOT). I should be done with it by the middle of next week. Since it is my Snakes and Ladders book choice, I hope to be done a bit sooner so that I can roll the die and move. But my focus for the weekend and next week is to get The Fever done and back to the library.

 

Two DNFs in One Week

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate - Naomi Klein Silent Spring - Rachel Carson, Linda Lear, Edward O. Wilson

So both books on the science reading list, which means I am seriously striking out with this list. Both were listened to on audiobook, and those narrators did nothing but add to the misery of listening to the writing of these books.

 

Naomi Klein can't write a damn narrative to save her life but she can nag and nag for up to 80+ minutes at a given time. There was some good info given in between the nag sessions, but the first chapter was over 80 minutes and was just the prologue. She is too damn long-winded and can't seem to end a point. And from what it sounded like when I listened to the narrator, Klein must use a WHOLE LOT of EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!

 

Rachel Carson's writing is way too flowery, so the science gets lost. There is little to no narrative, just scene after scene describing the landscape and then a dystopian nightmare of dead insects and birds due to chemical spraying. It was just repetitive. The narrator read the book as if she was reading a lullaby or cozy mystery, with little to no variation in her tone. It was a great way to fall asleep....but I don't need help falling asleep.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl - Carrie Brownstein

Date Published: October 27, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Date Read: March 2-4, 2019

 

Review:

Sleater-Kinney was a band formed during the mid to late Riot-Grrl era, but Brownstein gives an education on what was the grunge/Riot-Grrl era about and how it formed, plus her own childhood growing up and her love of music and of the women who brought the Seattle sound mainstream and yet stayed punk. I loved learning about the culture as she was learning about it.

 

Brownstein did not seem to struggle much with her sexuality, just quietly acknowledging to herself that she was a lesbian and dated like a typical musician (ie, she dated a fellow S-K member and when it broke up it almost destroyed the band). She also showed real sense of growing up and growing older by the end of the book, yet still retaining a sense of Riot-Grrl self and focusing it on different artistic avenues (such as re-uniting with S-K and writing/acting on the tv show Portlandia). 

 

A fun read.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

Date Published: April 11, 2017

Format: Audiobook

Source: RB Digital (Library e-subscription service)

Date Read: March 6-10, 2019

 

Review:

I have started a habit of listening to audiobooks while doing chores or playing my video games to relieve myself of the guilt of doing those things rather than reading. So far, so good in my choices, and this audiobook (narrated by George Newbern, who should have gotten all the audiobook awards).

 

I knew of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple from various documentaries, but due to time length, those documentaries often started the story in California and ended in Guyana. This book goes back much further, to Jones' family before he came into this world. This provides so much context for what follows and you can see from the get-go that Jones was going to be trouble. By the end of the book, the author goes into some "what if" tangents, but those are rooted in the knowledge found in the book (so no conspiracy theories). This is for fans of religious cults and charismatic charlatans getting their butts kicked by karma.

 

I though Newbern did an outstanding job of narrating this book and would recommend this particular audiobook over others.

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Shelter in Place - Nora Roberts

Date Published: May 28, 2018

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Date Read: March 9-12, 2019

 

Review:

About the time I was ready to write this review, the terrorist shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand happened. That was not the time to review a book that starts with a mass shooting and the body count goes up from there. So here I am several weeks later writing the review.

 

This is the romantic suspense from Nora Roberts from last year; I would say this is more suspense than romantic suspense, as the relationship doesn't really get going until 80% into the book. The suspense was finding out when and how the killer and the investigator were finally going to meet in a long-awaited face off. That said, I think it was a wise choice to de-emphasize the romantic relationship and instead focus on the many other relationships that were impacted by the shooting. The half-baked killer was seriously straight out of Twitter troll casting, but I think that is what made her so realistic. 

 

 

 

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Roxane Gay

Date Published: May 1, 2018

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Date Read: March 7-8, 2019

 

Review:

I thought Roxane Gay did a great job putting this anthology together. Partly it was the variety (not every story involves a rape), partly was the lack of tangents which comes with talk about rape culture. She kept it to the voices of men and women who had a clear voice and point that came across in such short works. I would have liked a few more men and non-binary people voices though, as I found the last few stories just repeats of points made earlier in the book.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir - Padma Lakshmi

Date Published: March 8, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library 

Date Read: March 19-22, 2019

 

Review:

I needed some time to sit with this book before I wrote this review. I had higher than usual expectations for this book, as just from the title alone I felt this memoir was going to be deeper than a normal book by a celebrity with years left in the industries she is working in. Overall, it met those expectations and I would recommend this book to foodies/food lovers, home cooks, and those fans of Top Chef. However, I had one big issue with the book that made me rate it a little lower.

 

The good: her writing about how she has one foot in India and one foot in the US due to her upbringing, her cooking (OMG do not read this book when hungry and ensure your favorite Indian restaurant is ready to deliver your order), and her struggle with endometriosis and her passion for helping other women afflicted with the disorder (disease?). Seriously, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to eat your weight in Indian food - this is a really great look at the woman after the show wraps up for the season. Also she explores India in her writing to really show the many varieties of language, food, and lifestyles that Indians live rather than trying to be ALL INDIAN. She delves deep into her south Indian/Tamil experience and family history as well as how she is kinda a quasi-Hindu. Just very real woman that I would like to be friends with.

 

The big issue though was when she got pregnant and didn't know which of the two paramours was the daddy. She screwed the pooch with trying to find out who the baby daddy was and then screwed it further when she made the news to each of the guys. She had a hard pregnancy, but she also acted like she should of been the star in the center of the guys' universe and when the one guy (the daddy) didn't jump up to meet all her demands, she got hella pissy. She didn't really care about the daddy's feelings in all this, plus she wanted to keep her relationship with the other guy (older, richer).

 

Dewey Read-a-thon Master Post - Update #4

Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Corned Beef & Casualties - Lynn Cahoon Water in the Well - Zoey Summers Mother's Day Mayhem - Lynn Cahoon Pick Your Poison: Supernatural Witch Cozy Mystery - Zoey Summers

 

Update #4

Got half way through Saga volume 8 when the read-a-thon ended, but kept reading until the end of volume 9 - whoo boy that was a rough on my heart ending. I did meet my page goal and got caught up on two series I follow, so it was a good if half-assed participation on my part.

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Update #3

Finished Water in the Well by Zoey Summers and then listened to two chapters of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson last night. Finished Pick Your Poison by Zoey Summers this morning while making breakfast for the kids. I'm so not meeting my time goal or pages goal this read-a-thon.

 

Going to knock out the Saga volumes, which should take me to the end of the read-a-thon, maybe I will also get the chance to get another chapter in The Twentieth Century done too. 

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Update #2

Read for 5 hours. Started and finished both Tourist Trap Mysteries novellas, finished a chapter in The Twentieth Century while waiting for the husband to leave work. and read to the kids for a half hour (Where the Wild Things Are and Ballerina Rosie). Saving the Sagas for tomorrow morning when I have some sleep in me and can really lose myself in the storyline. Going to knock out a couple of the Zoey Summers short stories before heading to sleep. Getting up extra early with the husband as he was called in to come to work tomorrow a hour earlier, so I figured I can get a few hours of reading in before my Wild Things wake up.

 

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Update #1

I'm not starting the read-a-thon until 4pm due to schedule conflicts. Here is my opening survey:

 

1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Brandon, Suffolk (UK)
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Saga Volume 9, just to know what everyone is talking about - although it may break my heart 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzerella cheese with balsamic vinegar
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Stayed out late last night to go see a comedy show at the enlistment club on base. Early morning today, so definitely caffeine is in order
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Nothing, I think I have these read-a-thons down to what I like to read and eat and how I go about participating

 

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Reading List:

1. Saga Volumes 4-9 by Brian K. Vaugn and Fiona Staples (volume 4 is a re-read to remind myself the story, then the rest is to get me current on the series)

2. The Maid's Quarters by Holly Bush (70 pages)

3. A New Life by Merry Farmer (92 pages)

4. Mail Order Cowboy by Maisey Yates (94 pages)

5. A Fresh Start in Holly Blue Bay by Cathy Blossom (94 pages)

6. Mail Order Majesty by Sara Jolene (92 pages)

7. Water in the Well (26 pages), In the Cards (31 pages), Pick Your Poison (36 pages), Founder's Night (29 pages), and Magic in the Swamp (34 pages) by Zoey Summers

8. Corned Beef and Casualties (Tourist Trap Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon (78 pages) - Done!

9. Mother's Day Mayhem (Tourist Trap Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon (65 pages) - Done!

 

Goals:

1. Post every three hours.

 

2. Read 750 pages.

              Stretch 1,000 pages

 

3. Read for 12 hours. 

 

 

April 2019 Reading List

Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War - Julie Summers The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah The Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Kama and His Nation - Susan  Williams Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage - Edith B. Gelles 1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis--Suez and the Brink of War - David A. Nichols The Twentieth Century: A People's History - Howard Zinn Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - Dan Fagin

I am a little over halfway up the Snakes and Ladders board, so hopefully I will be having my BL friends voting on my final book sometime this month. My NOOK and physical book shelves are gathering a lot of dust since I went on my library binge, so April will be mostly about my own copies (probably May's reading list too).

 

1. Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

2. The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,00 Years by Sonia Shah (Science Reading List)

 

3. Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and his Nation by Susan Williams (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

4. Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith B. Gelles (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

5. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World Mark Kurlansky (Nixon Reading List)

 

6. Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis/Suez and the Brink of War by David A. Nichols (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

7. The Twentieth Century by Howard Zinn (Physical Non-Fiction List)

 

8. Tom's River by Dan Fagin (Science Reading List)

 

Plus I have a separate list for the Dewey Read-a-thon (April 6, 2018).

Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell

Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics - Lawrence O'Donnell

Date Published: November 7, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Source: Base Library

Date Read: March 24-28, 2019

Nixon Reading List

 

Blurb

Long before Lawrence O'Donnell was the anchor of his own political talk show, he was the Harvard Law-trained political aide to Senator Patrick Moynihan, one of postwar America's wisest political minds. The 1968 election was O'Donnell's own political coming of age, and Playing With Fire represents his master class in American electioneering, as well as an extraordinary human drama that captures a system, and a country, coming apart at the seams in real time.

Nothing went to script. LBJ was confident he'd dispatch with Nixon, the GOP frontrunner; Johnson's greatest fear and real nemesis was RFK. But Kennedy and his team, despite their loathing of the president, weren't prepared to challenge their own party's incumbent. Then, out of nowhere, Eugene McCarthy shocked everyone with his disloyalty and threw his hat in the ring. A revolution seemed to be taking place, and LBJ, humiliated and bitter, began to look mortal. Then RFK leapt in, and all hell broke loose. Two assassinations and a week of bloody riots in Chicago around the Democratic Convention later, and the old Democratic Party was a smoldering ruin, and, in the last triumph of old machine politics, Hubert Humphrey stood alone in the wreckage.

Suddenly Nixon was the frontrunner, having masterfully maintained a smooth facade behind which he feverishly held his party's right and left wings in the fold through a succession of ruthless maneuvers to see off George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, and the great outside threat to his new Southern Strategy, the arch-segregationist George Wallace. But then, amazingly, Humphrey began to close, and so, in late October, Nixon pulled off one of the greatest dirty tricks in American political history, an act that may well meet the statutory definition of treason. The tone was set for Watergate and all else that was to follow, all the way through to today.
 

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Review

 

History buffs and political junkies are going to love this book. It is incredibly thorough and yet the narrative story telling makes it a page turner. O'Donnell does add his own life into the mix in the prologue and in the epilologue; other than that it is just JFK, LBJ, Gene McCarthy, Dr. King Jr, Bobby Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Nixon, Regan, Rockfeller and the machinations, maneuvers, and outright deception that turns off so many people from politics. O'Donnell ensures minor characters are given page space as well (such as General Electric's role in the rise of Regan and the anti-war groups fronted by Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, and John Kerry). O'Donnell digs deep, going back sometimes to 1948 to provide context on why and how the major players got to 1968 believing, saying, and doing what they did. 

 

This is an honest, and at times frank, look at the politicians and politicking of the 1960s - nobody looks good (yes, even sainted Bobby Kennedy) except for Dr. King coming out of this book. So much of the crap we deal with today in US politics comes from this election and the fall out. Roger Ailes meets Nixon and careers are made (unfortunately). The Democrats failed to learn any lesson from this election, which shows in the results of the 1968 and 1972 election. Republicans were spinning their wheels likewise until Nixon decided to mount a comeback and worked with old and new operatives in a completely unethical game plan that won him the presidency. 

 

Problem is that is so thorough, so nuts and bolts and deep dive, I don't think casual readers will like or finish the book. When I say O'Donnell gets into the weeds for background context, he goes down to the root of those weeds. No stone is overturned; you just have to read and understand your way through it back to the "exciting" parts. And while O'Donnell does write deeply about Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin resolution and the Tet Offensive), a reader should have a little background knowledge of how the US got into the war in the first place before diving into this book.

 

Overall, I loved every minute reading this book.

 

If you want to learn more about Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale and the other protestors put on trial for what happened at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, listen to Season 6 of Wondery's Legal Wars (hosted by actor and Harvard Law graduate Hill Harper) podcast.

March 2019 Reading Wrap Up

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child - Abigail Pesta, Sandra Uwiringiyimana The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics - Lawrence O'Donnell Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl - Carrie Brownstein Shelter in Place - Nora Roberts Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir - Padma Lakshmi Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Roxane Gay Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay Connections in Death - J.D. Robb

Got through all but one of my library borrows. Also got through another too busy month. Really hoping April is more relaxed schedule wise. A big thank you to OB and MR for Snakes and Ladders, which has motivated me to read (or listen to an audiobook) so I can move up the board.

 

Read:

1. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta  5 stars

2. Hunger Makes Me a  Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein 4 stars

3. Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay 3.5 stars

4. The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn/narrated by George Newbern 5 stars

5. Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts 4 stars

6. Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi 4 stars

7. Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell 5 stars

8. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay 2.5 stars

 

DNF:

1. Connections in Death (In Death #48) by JD Robb

 

1st Quarter Stats (Jan-Mar):

Total Books Read: 30 (12 fiction, 18 non-fiction)

Total Books DNF: 5 (not included in the percentages below)

Total Pages Read: 6,353

Avg Monthly Pages Read: 2,118

Diverse Authors: 8 Authors of Color (26.67%), 3 LGBT+ (10%)

Female Authors: 22 (73%)

Male Authors: 8 (27%)

Volunteered 10 hours in January, 8.25 hours in February, and 13.5 hours in March in my base's library

 

BL/GR Reading Goal: 31/75 (40% completed)

 

Friday Reads - March 29, 2019

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate - Naomi Klein

This is the first weekend in the last two months I don't have anything scheduled. So a reading binge in very much overdue. Yesterday, I started The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah for my science reading list. I plan to finish that one and at least start on Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay, clearing up the last of my library loans. I have This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein on audio to listen while writing the nine book reviews left standing. I don't know why, but I am still not at all interested in reading fiction. 

 

Next week is devoted to finishing anything and everything so I have a clean slate for next weekend's Dewey read-a-thon. 

 

2019 Reading Goals #1 - Deep Dive into Watergate - Progress Report #1

1968: The Year That Rocked the World - Mark Kurlansky Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics - Lawrence O'Donnell Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America - Rick Perlstein All the President's Men - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward The Last of the President's Men - Bob Woodward The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It - John W. Dean The Making of the President 1972 - Theodore H. White Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon - Theodore H. White The Nixon Tapes - Douglas Brinkley, Luke Nichter Shadow - Bob Woodward

So far, I have read two books off the list: Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell. I got lucky and found in really good condition a copy of All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in the free book swap area of my library. 

 

Next up is getting to 1968 by Mark Kurlansky and The Making of a President 1972 by Theodore White. This will set me up to reading about Watergate during the summer and giving me time to tackle Shadow from September to December.

 

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Inspired by the podcasts Slow Burn (season one) from Slate and Bagman by Rachel Maddow, I decided to do a deep dive into the Nixon administration, specifically Watergate.  I already read the Nixon/Ford section of Clint Hill's Five Presidents just to get my feet wet. I may not get to all of these, but I hope to read enough to have a good grasp on what happened.

 

My Nixon Reading List:

 

1. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky

2. Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O'Donnell (Read March 2019)

3. The Making of a President 1972 by Theodore White

4. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

5. All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

6. Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward (Read January 2019)

7. The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It by John Dean

8. Breach of Faith: The Fall of Nixon by Theodore White

9. Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate  by Bob Woodward

10. The Nixon Tapes 1971-1972 by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter 

2019 Reading Goals: Non-Fiction Science Reading List - Progress Report #1

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World - Laura Spinney The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II (Young Readers Edition) - Liza Mundy Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet - Claire L. Evans Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt Upstream: Selected Essays - Mary Oliver Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - Dan Fagin Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond - Sonia Shah The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

After three busy months, a check in on my progress with this reading project:

 

Read:

1. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (Flat Book Society pick)

2. Pandemic by Sonia Shah (substitute for a DNF)

 

DNF:

1. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

2. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

 

Currently reading The Fever by Sonia Shah (about malaria). Up next is Tom's River by Dan Fagin.

 

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In addition to the twelve books listed in this post, I hope to read a few of the Flat Book Society picks.

 

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

3. Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney

4. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

5. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

6. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

8. Code Girls by Liz Mundy

9. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

10. Broad Band by Claire L. Evans

11. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

12. Tom's River by Dan Fagin

Quotes from Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics - Lawrence O'Donnell

"Richard Nixon was in a makeup chair when he met Roger Ailes." (pg. 1). Ailes haunts from the grave yet again. This is the first sentence in the book.

 

"Governor Rockfeller had challenged Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1960. He was a billionaire by inheritance, the richest man ever to run for president. He had a messy divorce in 1962 after rather publicly carrying on an affair with a married woman whom he married in 1963. Three years later, in his successful reelection campaign, Governor Rockfeller greatly expanded the Republican definition of an acceptable marital history. Donald Trump should leave a thank-you note at Nelson Rockfeller's grave in Sleepy Hollow, New York, for paving the way in Republican presidential politics for the rich men of Fifth Avenue with complicated marital histories." (pg. 9) This is why I call bullshit on the Moral Majority crap.

 

"I was in high school in 1968 and I never heard my brothers and their college-age friends talk about career planning. They only talked about how to deal with the draft and Vietnam. There was no long-term planning, no career hopes and dreams. Life was a short-term game for many young men in 1968. It was as if they were prisoners who would only begin to think about life on the outside when they got outside. Their prison was in their pocket, the draft registration card that controlled their lives and block their hopes and dreams." (p. 11). This is why I don't believe in bringing back the draft. Then again, I have only served in the all-volunteer military, but I still think the choice should be up to the individual and not mandated.

 

 

Currently reading

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky
Progress: 97/460pages