Friday, April 21, 2017

My Rant-Our Government

I wasn't sure what to do about my blog. Because since the presidential election. I have been very upset, angry, etc. I wanted to add one other passion on my book blog, under rants. My rants about social justice, civil liberties, democracy, and the election. I never thought to put this on my blog until the other day. Thank goodness I had the blog designer add rant to my book blog. 

I am not going to go on and on about Trump and the election as the list can go pretty long. Instead I am not going backward, but forward to be optimistic that our situation will get better in government. 

Here I will be posting about social justice, feminism, our diversity in our country which makes our country special.

Thank you for stopping by.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bernie Sanders: Our Revolution

Our Revolution

By Bernie Sanders
My copy

”A great nation is judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has, or by the size of its military budget. It is not judged by the greed of its largest corporations. It is judged by how well it treats its weakest and most vulnerable citizens. A truly great nation is one that is filled with compassion and solidarity.”

I was impressed by the man before he was running as the democrat in the presidential race. I am more impressed by the man after I read his book. This man is who he says he is, for the" average Joe". He is how he appears. Humble, and talks to us, the people, not at us.

Bernie Sander's book, Our Revolution is what he started during the presidential race. He hopes that the book will empower young adults to become more involved and aware what is going on in the political process in government. 

The book is in two parts. He's biography, and his ideas and policy. One thing I did get was how wealth is influencing our constitution, and the political process. The wealthy buy our government officials.How much wealth is dividing our corporation to bigger, and bigger. Eating up the middle class. What's interesting is our media decides what is talked about and shown on TV. They are the big conglomerates. That is what makes the companies bigger. Owning 12 different television station influences what is exposed or not on CNN, CBS. 

The one thing Republicans don't like big government. Well if the government and companies did the right thing. The government wouldn't have to regulate companies for clean air, clean water, etc. 

The book is very easy to read. The author, Bernie Sanders is humble and down to earth. While you are reading you feel like you are having a conversation across the kitchen table drinking coffee. Each chapter discusses the change he wants to make in America. 

Defeating Oligarchy, Decline of the Middle Class, Ending a Rigged Economy, Heath Care for All, Higher Education Affordable, Climate Change, Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration Reform, Corporate Media.

I don't agree with everything he said. Some of the issues that Bernie brought up I would like to see change. I doubt change overnight. I am hopefully that some changes will be made.  You can't sit back and let the government take over. With out our say. Finally, one man reached out to us, the American people. 
He believes that it can happen at our local districts first- at the grassroots. This is where change will happen.

Have you noticed the old guard in Congress or the House of Representatives. Most of them are the old established order. It is time for change! That does include Senator Sanders. We need new blood in our government. Our constitution is in jeopardy. We need new blood to continue on our revolution.

President Trump running in the race opened my eyes. I didn't care about politics, or our government. I took it for granted that issues will stay constant. I always listened to others rather than opening my eyes.  Something does have to happen to change corporate America and the wealthy. We just have to look at 2020. 

Our Revolution is very easy to read. But, the book was getting a bit winded after awhile. I don't think he needed to be too descriptive. Over all I was glad I read, Our Revolution.

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The Cigar Factory: Book Club

The Cigar Factory
Michele Moore

When I first read the back cover of the book. It reminded me of the Triangle Factory Fire. It does have similarities. But, it does have much more. It is worth the read and won't disappoint.

If you like to read stories about social justice, black issues, and are a feminist. I think you would like this book.  With what going on in our country. It is worth the read. It reminds us how much has changed. Hopefully our country will go back to "normalcy".

White against Black. Working conditions of both classes in the Cigar Factory in Charleston,SC. When White and Black come together for the  common good. Equal pay for everyone. Better working conditions. Non-segregated bathrooms. Sexual harrassement by the upper management.  I can't say, I enjoyed. But my eyes opened by the oppression of black workers vs. white. What it was like working and living in the south. Working conditions in the south for  Black, vs. White workers.Living and working during the war, unions. Etc, etc, etc.

If you like books on social justice, historical fiction. I would recommend highly.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Rogue Lawyer

The Rogue Lawyer
By John Grisham

Doubleday Books
Review copy from Todd Dogherty

The Rogue Lawyer is not your typical John Grisham novel. The novel does grab you like all of his novels. But, doesn't grab you the same way he's other novels do. The novel opens up with the main character, Sebastian Rudd.  

He represents the worst of the worst in his cases. The book is like short stories about each of the client's he represents. They only connect because they are Rudd's clients. Other than that the stories are not interconnected. They are interesting stories on how he deals with his clients. In the center of it all is how he tries to get along with his ex-wife, and his daughter in the custody fight.

 He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.

It wasn't a great read. It was a distraction with what life was dealing me during the week. 

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Book Review: Orphan #8

I am updating all my reviews. Some of the books I can't give you the details. What I remember is that a tragedy unfolds. The children are sent away to a Jewish foster home. They are separated which makes the story sad. At the same time the story seemed like a parallel to the holocaust. As experiments were done to the children in the foster home. When she grows up. She works a nurse. She is confronted with one of her patients. Her elderly patient is now in her care. She was a doctor. She did experiments on the children. She is reminded of the experiments when she is confronted. The entire theme to me was about can you forgive? Or do you do the deadly crime? Reminded me of Simon Wisenthal. When he was confronted with someone that assisted with the holocaust. You will just have to read the book to decide. It is full of historical truths of the foster home.

The author used some of her family background to write the story. I particularly didn't like the book. Because it was sad. I usually do like to read historical fiction but not this one. But, if you want to learn about the living conditions of the Jewish home than this book is for you. Thank goodness conditions in the Jewish home don't happen any longer.

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Marjorie Morningstar
By Herman Wouk

Our book club, chose to read Marjorie Morningstar for our February meeting. I was hesitant to read the book. Because it was such a long novel. We discussed how we were going to discuss a long book. But, we chose to read it in one month.

Some of the book club members have read the novel before, but years ago. Most of them read it in their teens in the 1950's.. So at that time most of the members thought the novel was relatable. But, now they have a different perspective.

Some of the members thought that Noel was a terrible perspective for a boyfriend for Marjorie. That Marjorie was a spoiled little rich girl. She was so rebellious. Did everything opposite what her parents expected.

The book takes place in the 1930's before the war. I couldn't believe the author was the same author that wrote the novel, War and Peace and other books. I never understood how he could write a romance novel. I couldn't relate to the book at all. I could not see this as timeless. Because I couldn't relate to the novel at all. Perhaps if I was a teen I could relate to it. Because a teenager I could see her being rebellious. Like any teenager. But, reading as an adult in mid life I couldn't relate. I thought she was reckless, and radical, having, and talking sex openly.

The writing is straight narrative. Now, many authors have different and varied writing styles, and have different types of skills to write a novel. For example, some authors, write using flashbacks, other write subjective, and objective writing. The modern writing styles grab you most of the time. They don't use long sentences like Mr. Wouk did.  The writing with Wouk were long and descriptive.

Also, I noticed the author using, " The Father", The Mother", as a authoritarian. Instead of using, mother, and father. I didn't like any of the characters, I think the only character I liked was the Uncle.
The only part of the novel I liked was the early part of the book. When they were at the Bar-Mitzvah, and at the camp. It reminded me of the stories of my Mom and Dad growing up. Also reminded me of Dirty Dancing.

I am glad we read the book because reading a book that was written year ago. To hear the perspective of the ladies that read it when they were younger. Was wonderful hearing their perspective of the novel. I struggled through it because it was a book club book. If I was reading it for my pleasure. I think I would have put it down.                                                                

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Book Review: The Making of Donald Trump

The Making of Donald Trump
By David Cay Johnston

I was never interested in Donald Trump. Living in the metro area of New York. I used to hear the gossip and troubles, and womanizing in the 80's in the news, and on TV, and newspapers. He's wife, and lovers. I thought he was disgusting. I didn't know the half of it. There is even more in the concise biography of Donald Trump.
I was disconnected because I didn't know anything about Trump being on TV, on the Apprentice.

 I never followed politic until this year. I was a republican until this year. When I turned to the democratic party. I didn't want Hilary Clinton, but I definately didn't want to see Donald Trump. I could see right through him. Where most of my other friends, and family didn't.

 I saw him as reckless, and a dangerous man. he has no conscience, no heart, conflict of interest, what does a wealthy business man have to gain to become president? ,How does he understand the average person's problems? . He is up in Trump Tower. He is unaware of most of our daily financial problems. He has so many business interests all over the world. You are going to tell me he isn't looking out for himself? He definately is. He is going to benefit becoming president. Passing laws that benefit him and he's family. You tell me he is going to disassociate himself from his business. I can see him  at Thanksgiving dinner. He isn't going to ask his son," What's going on". He reacts before he thinks, He is so thin skin. He attacks people, etc, etc, and it keeps continuing each day. Our heads get dizzy with news or distractions It is so mind blowing.

So finally, I decided to give the benefit of the doubt to read this concise short book on Trump. I thought maybe it will give me a different aspect, WRONG!!
He's grandfather, father were pretty terrible people. Trump, and his siblings decided to sue one of his brothers. The family was contesting the suit. Saying one of the brother's didn't deserve being part of the will. So instead the family decided to stop their health insurance. Which involved the brother's baby son who was gravely ill. I told you Trump had no heart.

Donald Trump has unscrupulous business practices, reckless when dealing in business, He has no regard for others only what benefits himself. He has a lack of business ethics, and judgments in business.

Each of the chapters are made up of controversial items in his life. Whether it is unethical or criminal. The only problem is Trump seems to get away with it. He is able to find a loophole or pay someone off. It starts with him being a slum lord in the New York City projects, or taking from the government monies that he uses cheaper materials and then pockets the money. He doesn't pay people he owes for work that is done. He boasts that he just bought a million dollar project. Then reneges it, and then says the property is less. He then pays less in taxes, Trump University fiasco. Students paying large amount of money. He promises he is going to hand pick he's faculty. Which he doesn't. He then brands his property. He has someone else do the work. He proclaims he is a billionaire. But, reading it appears he doesn't. It is important to hide his so called wealth. Because banks will not simultaneously loan money to him if they realize he is not.

I realize this because, why would he not pay contractors and employees he owed money too. He also was bankrupt several times. Banks and lawyers saved his butt only because of the self interest of themselves. Realizing it was better that they give him more time to pay them back. He was involved with football leagues and tried to pull a fast one with them. He has never given to charities. If he has it is money he has given from the Trump Foundation to give back to the Trump Foundation. He knows the loopholes to get away from paying taxes for years, and the same with the Casino Commission. Ridiculous. He is basically cheating us, We the People. He is fine with cheating the government for years. Paying $0 in taxes. Piggybacking on others. How he can sleep at night. I wonder what he's children are like. I would think they would be embarrassed to know he's father did this. Or they are just like him.

 He also was involved with the mafia, gangsters,etc. He also was involved with using concrete instead steel regulations. Sounds to me like a Hoffa cover-up??! The whole book turned my stomach.And this is years ago before he was ever thinking about becoming president.  The book should have been required reading for any Trump supporter. Now, look what we got ourselves into America!

There is so much more than I discussed. The list goes on, and on... If you want to learn more, I suggest you pick up the book by Pulitzer prize winner, David Cay Johnston.

The Making of Donald Trump reads like a gotcha book. It grabs you from the first page. The book reads like a newspaper article. It is fast reading. Each chapter takes a piece of Donald Trump's controversial life. I don't know how this man can sleep at night. He evades paying taxes for years. He is proud of it. He even said at the debates, I'm smart.I got away not to have to pay taxes.

I am sharing my thoughts... The book doesn't cover anything about the presidential race, and when he becomes president. The one thing that bothered me is that he never apologized for his strategy for being divisive and dividing the country. I never heard him defend any of the minority groups. He finally says something a week ago. It's a bit too late. Then he's excuse when Israeli Prime Minister comes to Washington. A question is posed to him. He answers with the voting numbers again. Then brings up his daughter is Jewish. He's daughter is a convert. That doesn't mean he sees his daughter as Jewish. He used her marriage and her husband as a political ploy. Also when other presidents see a crisis the president steps up to the plate to decrease anxiety of the United States citizens. He doesn't.
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Club: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

I am posting A Man Called Ove a bit late. I read it about three weeks ago. So pardon if it is a bit sketchy. I will try my best to give you the highlights shared by my book club as well as my thoughts.

When you first pick up the novel. You fear the novel is going in one direction. Surprised to say it goes differently. Each chapter is named with a cute picture of a tool.  The novel is a wonderful read. It is a breath of fresh air. Each chapters are short. The direction the novel takes when he is an "old man", to when he was young.  The way the author does flashback is very different than other books I have read. Perhaps because the author is Swedish, rather than from the U.S.

I loved reading, A Man Called Ove. The novel opens when he is much older. Then goes back to when he was growing up.  As I was reading the book I thought he was much older than 59. I expected him to be much older perhaps in his 70's.

Ove wants to end his life. He thinks there is nothing to look forward to in life after his wife died.  Each time he tries something, or someone interferes with him committing suicide.  In comes his foreign neighbors that rams his mailbox. Once this happens nothing is the same again.  Situation after situation prevent him from ending his life. Ove is rigid. He can't think anything outside of the box. He follows the rules. He can get very angry when other people don't think like he does. He face looks mad.

He has lived in the small community for years in Sweden. He seems not to like his community, or the people in it. Always fighting with someone. But, then it seems after awhile the community comes to love, and adore him. But, also Ove comes to mellow with his neighbors, and love them. The community seems to embrace Ove, and watch out for him.

After his wife passes away. For years he lives alone, and lonely. Then a cat appears at his door step. He hates that cat. Til he finally takes the cat in and falls for the cat. This is just one of the situations. There is more to the story about the cat. But, I don't want to spoil it.

Ove, is so rigid, the story is so funny. He lost his friendship with a friend over  a car! Ove only likes the Saab. Then his friend buys a Toyota. Their friendship is lost because of a car!! There is some serious parts. Especially when he's friend becomes ill. In Sweden, the country can take a citizen and put him away in a nursing home. Ove tries to help him avoid this happening.

This is definately a feel-good, uplifting book that you can't forget about Ove.  I don't want to go in the specifics that will make you laugh, cry, smile, etc. Rather, just letting you know( my readers), that it is worth the read.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Settle For More, and More: Book Review

Settle for More
Megyn Kelly

My own copy

I didn't have any idea who Megyn Kelly is until the presidential campaign of 2016. She is a woman not to be wrestled with. She is feisty, hard nosed, and very competitive. This is how you see her on Fox News on the Kelly Files.

The memoir, Settle for More gives you a bit more depth of her growing up. It gives you intimate details of her life story. I don't know if I would share some of the very intimate feelings she shares. Some of the book comes off as a "self help", and a bit preachy. The reason I purchased the book was because of the presidential campaign. I was curious. There is not much about it only about a chapter or two.

I am really not sure why she wrote the memoir she is still young( 45 years old). She still has a lot more to say I am sure as her years continue. I don't usually read memoirs so that may be my issue. Usually author's of memoirs have contributed something. Megyn Kelly has not given anything back to society. I am not talking about financial. There isn't any causes that talks about or believes in.

There are a few topics that I would have thought she would have gotten into more detail. She says she doesn't like excuses. Everything with her has been hard work. She says she isn't  a "feminist". But, she is strong willed, and hard nails attitude.

I think most people thought the book would be about the controversy about President-Elect Trump and how she handled the controversy. If you think that is what the book is. I wouldn't suggest you purchase it. There is only a couple chapters at the end and the first chapter about the issue. She does discuss it but not in length. She also discusses the sexual harassment issue with the big honcho, Roger Ailes.

I was very disappointed that she didn't do anything about it. She decided not to pursue it because it would jeopardize her job at Fox News. She only came forward when she learned a couple other employees came forward. I was disappointed that she didn't defend her colleague, Gretchen Carlson. She preaches to the choir that this shouldn't happen at any workplace in her book. But, then stands down. Writing about it and acting upon it are two different things. Writing about it is not going to change anything. Acting upon it does. She claims because she was a "newbie" on the job is why she didn't come forward. Yes, I have no right to criticize unless I am in her shoes. But still.....

There were some good points in the book about school bullying that she experienced in 7th grade that affected later on in life. She later didn't realize she was protecting herself by not giving into her emotions. Later on she learned with the help of a counselor how to open up to her colleagues and associates and effectively make friends. It is OK to be vulnerable. Changing jobs in midstream of your life. Having a high powered job and juggle marriage with children.

The juicy part was yet to come about her exposure to Trump after the debate. She was threatened not by Presidential candidate Trump but by his followers and executives that worked for him. She does talk about leading up to the time Mr. Trump decided to run he was calling her and praising her. It leads to believe as well as her that he had intentions of running for president. He was lining up his eggs in a row to call in favors from the media, and elsewhere.

Which shes does say that Trump was trying to buy gifts for the newscasters of the big brass of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS. She doesn't state if anyone did. But, she does believe that there was a possibility that the news stations may have been manipulated not to be fair, being easier on Mr. Trump. Also that Mr. Ailes and Mr Trump ran in the same circles that Mr. Ailes could have shown favoritism to Mr. Trump in his favor. Or just got more news coverage than the other candidates.

It is also suggested that she may have been poisoned the day of the Republican Primary Debates on her way to work by the taxi driver. He insisted that after he drops her off. He will bring her a cup of Starbuck's Coffee. After putting in her book. On interviews she has recanted the statement. They why is it in the book or even suggested?!!

Ms. Kelly is hard as nails and did come straight to the point asking Mr. Trump about his degrading comments about women.  On August 6th 2015 at the first primary republican debates.

Kelly: "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs,' and 'disgusting animals.' Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?"
Trump: "What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry, I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treatedme. But I wouldn't do that to you."
Apparently, the questions were leaked out to Mr. Trump ahead of time.

After reading the book I did more research on my own about Megyn Kelly. No one should be sexual harassed in the work place. But, it sends a mixed message what I found Howard Stern's program with Megyn Kelly exchanges lude remarks on his program. It is OK to be yourself on a show to market yourself. But, not to the point of it is disgusting, It is sending the double standard.
Is she marketing her self as a "sex symbol", or hard as nails reporter? I was shocked. Playing along to publicize herself.

Yes, she should be proud of where she is but don't glout. The book seemed to me almost like a self-help. Preachy telling the reader how to improve. There were parts of the book that made it sound like she was better than other.

I haven't read a memoir in a long time. It gave me insight to the corporate world, and broadcasting. I did find that interesting.  working in a man's world must be tough. She worked hard to get where she is. Her looks and her sexual appeal helped her along as well. Settle for More did hold my interest. The best part was during the presidential race. Here is an article here

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

2 AM at the Cat's Pajamas

2 A. M. at the Cat's Pajamas
By Marie Helene Bertino

I had picked 2 am at the Cat's Pajama's for our book club. I was surprised what the book was actually about. I had thought it took place during the prohibition of the 1920's. What a shock that was. It started talking about a cell phone. That was such a disappointment. I expected the book to be quite different. Well, I kept on reading expecting it to get better. Unfortunately, it didn't. I liked the premise of the story about a little girl. But, then there were many more different characters that didn't jive with the story. The interconnecting characters just didn't connect well.

The story is about Madeline a young little girl. Her mother passed away. Her father was going through a lot of torture after loosing his wife. He couldn't relate to his daughter. He's daughter was getting in trouble in school for different things. The last straw was lice in her hair. The principle kicked her out of school.  Then the community became involved with Madeline since the father was so devastated about his wife's death. Which has already been quite awhile. We meet the owner of the Cat's Pajamas. The club is in trouble for violations. It will soon be closed up. Then one of Madeline's teacher. Has her own man trouble.

I had trouble with the father. I had no compassion for him. You pull yourself up and do it for your child. He had no sense to get over it. It was quite stupid in my eyes. Your children come first.

The end of the story is when Madeline sings at the club. That is when all three characters connect to each other. I am sorry it didn't do anything for me. The writing was too simplistic, and childish. The book each chapter went with the hour of the day and the character. I did like how the author changed the time. If only I liked the story.  I was  disappointed. I expected it to be different. More about the father-daughter relationship.

Oh, well you can't have everything. Hoping the next book for book club will be better. It is actually my fault. I picked it. Just like every book. Or book club selection. You are not always going to like it.
The most hated books are going to be the ones that are great for discussion. Most everyone  didn't like this book either. Not many read the book.

 Our next book club is a latke party for December. We are reading" A Man Called Ove". I have heard a lot about this one. They actually adapted it to a movie in Sweden.

My Review:
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