THE SHIP of DREAMS: The Sinking of THE TITANIC and the end of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell

The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era

Gareth Russell has done his research. Uncovering previously unpublished sources and including photographs. Russell tells the story not just of the sinking of the Titanic, but of six well-known and well-heeled passengers and the role they played in history.
He is a gifted writer and puts the event in context with what was going on in the world. Especially the Americans and the British. With the Edwardian Era ending, war on the horizon and changes in the social norms, technology, politics, Irish Home Rule, the class system, this was a major time of change for the world.
We follow the stories of six of those passengers on the Titanic and how their lives changed.  The description of the sinking, minute by minute, the different ways Americans and the British handled the tragedy. Not everyone was chivalrous or brave. And for some that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
For me personally, this was the best book I have read on the subject. And that was because it was so well researched and written. Myths were shown for what they were. Facts and journals told stories never heard before. The pictures were priceless in creating an image in your head of who these people were and how they behaved.
I would have no problem recommending this book as a definitive look at this point in our history.
Extremely Well Done!
NetGalley/ November 19th, 2019 by Atria Books

BROKE: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises by Jodie Adams Kirschner

Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises

The author has taken a hard look at the state of affairs in Detroit. Through the voices of seven people whose lives have been changed forever by the mismanagement of the city and its eventual bankruptcy.

I visited Detroit regularly during the late ’80s and through the ’90s. It was a huge, sprawling place and going downtown was heartbreaking. To see block after block of neglected and abandoned homes and businesses.

There is enough blame to go around in this look at how cities are not getting the support they need to provide the services people need to survive and thrive. Everything is broken. The real estate market, the banks, the inept leadership, the lack of state and federal support.

About 40 percent of the city lives below the poverty level. Where is the investment in creating new jobs? How do these opportunists get by with paying $1000 for a foreclosed home and turning around and charging 3 times that in rent? The entire thing is falling apart and who is going to bail them out?

Detroit isn’t the only city in trouble. We just rarely hear anything about the others. The research in this book is very well done!

I appreciate the author bringing this into the light. And I hope people read this and stand up and do the right thing by their fellow human beings.

Highly Recommended Reading!

NetGalley/  November 19th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

EDISON by EDMUND MORRIS

Edison by [Morris, Edmund]

From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.

Edmund Morris is the author of the three Theodore Roosevelt biographies as well as the really good Ronald Reagan one. I am very sad to say he passed away just this past May.

Thomas Edison was a driven man. He was constantly inventing and patenting new ideas or as he would say, he brought them out in the open, they were always there. He had a new invention about every 11 days, with over 1,000 in his lifetime.

Best known for bringing us into the light, he was a man with a singular need to invent, to experiment, to push the boundaries of what was known. He was a man who needed little sleep or food and expected those around him to work the same punishing hours as he did.  He did not suffer fools lightly and like a lot of geniuses who are laser-focused on what they see as their calling, his family life suffered.

We see the husband, the father, the friend. A man who was headstrong. He started 250 businesses, so you can imagine he might have been a distant father. He made no secret that he thought his children were lacking in every way.

I have read many biographies of Edison, most of which centered on his works and patents. I don’t think he was a deliberately cold man, he was a man possessed with a need to create, to push boundaries and with that type of mind, relationships and family take a back seat.

The research that went into this work is astounding. This is a book I will have and re-read for a long time.

NetGalley/Random House (October 22, 2019)

 

 

OUR BETTER ANGELS by JONATHAN RECKFORD

Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World

With a moving forward by President Jimmy Carter, this is the story of how Habitat for Humanity began. Telling inspiring stories of the many people impacted by the program who then go on to live the seven virtues which Reckford puts forward, one at a time.

Beginning with the easiest virtue, kindness. Sometimes we don’t see the ‘reward’ of a kind act. Because the reward is a kind act. Kindness can be a chain reaction that leads to Community, Empowerment, Joy, Respect, Generosity, and Service. It’s rather inspiring to read the stories of people whose lives were touched by a kind act, which empowered them to act and pass it forward and succeed.

President Carter has set the bar for humanitarian works. In his 90’s he is still building, spreading kindness and being of service to people here and abroad. Giving people hope and setting an example.

He has always been a special man. My father campaigned for him and he was the first President I voted for. Fellow Georgian. His family has always been dedicated to service. I really loved Reckford’s own story and the people he interacted with. What an inspiration they all were. My husband and I have worked on a few homes for Habitat and it was the most rewarding thing we have ever done.

I hope with this book everyone will find common ground and agree on what path we need to be following. Now I’m grabbing a hammer and helping my neighbor repair her fence. What are you going to do?

NetGalley/ October 8th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Essentials

TRUTH WORTH TELLING by SCOTT PELLEY

Truth Worth Telling

An inspiring memoir from the front lines of history by award-winning 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.

Don’t ask the meaning of life. Life is asking, what’s the meaning of you?

Journalist, Scott Pelley, is someone I have always respected. And counted on to give us the news and the story behind the news. The Truth.
Scott gives us true accounts of people changed forever by the events like The World Trade Center bombing, 9/11, fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq.
I found his telling of his own and others experiences on 9/11 to be difficult to read. The book is raw and unforgettable. Pelley has a writing style that is equal to his reporting style and that made this both a heartbreaking read and a profound one.
Free Speech and what it means for the people. Why it is the most important thing at all times and especially at this moment in history. A Free Press is part of the checks and balances that we must have in a democracy.
For readers who believe values matter and truth is worth telling, Pelley writes, “I have written this book for you.”  Scott Pelley
NetGalley/ Harlequin Hanover May 21, 2019

ASSAD OR WE BURN THE COUNTRY by SAM DAGHER

Assad, or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria

From a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist specializing in the Middle East, this groundbreaking account of the Syrian Civil War reveals the never-before-published true story of a 21st-century humanitarian disaster.

Finally a real account of what is going on in Syria! And from a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who specializes in the Middle East. A never before heard boots on the ground look at the Syrian Civil War that is killing the country.

In 2011, President Bashar al-Assad, decided to address the Arab Spring-type protests in Syria with crushing violence on his own people. There would be no uprising here. Instead, there would be a long war that so far has killed almost 500,000 and as citizens flee, terrorist groups came in and suddenly we had an enormous refugee issue. His response went against the advice of his friend Manaf Tlass, commander of the army. 

Dagher uses his own observations and experiences in Damascus and has interviewed many on both sides of this war. Including Tlass. Everything he says rings true. The campaign waged by Basheer has turned the country and the entire region into chaos.

This book could not be more timely. Dagher has shown us what evil looks like and how easily it can be ignored by the world. There is so much false information out there and this book clears it all up very nicely.

Keep bringing us the truth and great journalism!

NetGalley/ May 28th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company