WHO CAN HOLD THE SEA by JAMES D.HORNFISCHER

THE U.S.NAVY IN THE COLD WAR 1945-1960

A close-up, action-filled narrative about the crucial role the U.S. Navy played in the early years of the Cold War, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fleet at Flood Tide

This remarkable work tells of the Navy in the Cold War. There is history, and adventure, on and under the water.

In 1945, at the end of WWII, the Navy is sending its soldiers home and decommissions most of its warships. And then, Stalin, a former ally, begins to make moves in Europe leading Churchill, worried about the Communists, to declare an iron curtain and the U.S. set out to establish military bases all over the world.

The Navy played a crucial role in that time of increasing tensions. Things were happening and they were at the forefront. The A-bomb tests, the science behind waging war and sonar, and the underwater battles with the submarine.

So much research went into this book. All of his books. He passed away writing this book. If you are interested in Naval History, this is the book for you!

NetGalley/ May 3rd, 2022 by Bantam

FREE by LAUREN KESSLER

5 percent of the millions of American men and women who go to prison eventually get out. What happens to them?

As I was reading this book, I was thinking we all need to read this! The author educates us on just how many people are being locked up for longer and longer periods of time for minor crimes. I think my favorite part was dealing with charging children as adults. I can’t even imagine being locked up at 14 with grown men. Thirty years later and the same child is released. But to do what? He has missed everything. No one will hire him or rent to him and the obstacles these people face are sometimes insurmountable.

Let’s not fool ourselves that prison is for rehabilitation. It is not. Although there are programs that help them to re-enter society, they are few and far between. There is no standard way to make sure they all get a fair shot.

Through intensive research and relationships within the prison environment, the author has told the stories of some of the hundreds of thousands of people being released into a world that is now foreign to them. Some are incarcerated as kids and now released into a place where they have no skills, no transportation, no way to fulfill the requirements of being let out with little to no resources.

Some of them can’t take the pressure of the outside and all of its temptations and continually cycle in and out of jail/prison. They may be free, but they really aren’t. We judge them we don’t give them second chances, we send kids to private prisons who make a lot of money from them and give them little in the way of skills they can use on the outside.

We want justice but we should also be teaching people an alternative to their former lifestyle. We should be getting them mental health treatment, but we aren’t. Out of sight is out of mind. And while they may have done the crime and the time, what do they do now?

This was heartbreaking but a much-needed look at the facts.

NetGalley/: April 19th, 2022 by Sourcebooks



In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet

In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial

There are so many books and movies out now that portray witches as evil, worshippers of Satan. I expected this book to compare how women were viewed then and now.

And the introduction did some of that. The rest was more of a personal rant about feminism.

We know any woman who was troublesome for a man could be killed as a witch. While the research was well-done, the book really missed the mark for me.

NetGalley/ March 8th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

AFTER the ROMANOVS by HELEN RAPPAPORT

 

After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War

After the Romanovs, the story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought freedom and refuge in the City of Light.

Ms. Rappaport has given us a well-researched story of Paris before and after the Russian Revolution and what led to the downfall of the Romanov dynasty.

Paris has always been a gathering place for culture. The food, the fashion, the ex-pats, including the Russian aristocracy. The Russians brought money and spent it almost obscenely. And those descriptions go a long way to explaining the Bolshevik’s rage and brutal acts. Those who escaped were those who had either thought ahead or the ones who ran with only what they could carry.

In Paris, these same former royals were doing menial labor along with their families. Paris welcomed everyone. Artists, writers, and even spies. Some did very well and some did very poorly.

The research in this book is spot on. I have always had a fascination with the Romanovs and this book went a long way in explaining the politics and the Romanovs.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ March 8th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

THE OTHER DR. GILMER by BENJAMIN GILMER

The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice

A rural physician learns that a former doctor at his clinic committed a shocking crime, leading him to uncover an undiagnosed mental health crisis in our broken prison system–a powerful true story expanding on one of the most popular This American Life episodes of all time.

This is a true-crime as well as a biography. Dr.Benjamin Gilmer became a doctor later in life than most. And he has accepted a job at a clinic in rural North Carolina. Cane Creek Clinic serves an area of the poorest of the poor. He also is replacing another doctor who just happens to have had the same surname. Only this Dr. Gilmer is in prison for murdering his own father.

Benjamin is somewhat obsessed with the story and how and why a doctor would suddenly do something so outside of his beliefs. Is he mentally ill? Was there past abuse? As he listens to the staff and patients tell him about the former doctor, Benjamin becomes convinced that Dr. Gilmer had been going through withdrawals from an anti-depressant. An SSRI. Dr. Gilmer himself had complained that his brain wasn’t working right, but still they sent him to prison.

Benjamin meets This American Life journalist Sarah Koenig and together they work relentlessly to get the man out of prison. But the prison system isn’t in the business of caring about your mental status. So they are just beating their heads against a wall of politics and ignorance. This country obviously needs reform in our mental health system and our prison system.

This was a story that I did know about. And I admire the good doctor for giving it his all for so long. One thing I did not understand was how he earned a living while doing all of this work. It didn’t seem as if he was at work a lot and his small family was barely hanging on financially. I wish that had been addressed.

NetGalley/ March 1st, 2022 by Ballantine Books





THE BLACK AGENDA Edited by ANNA GIFTY OPOKU-AGYEMAN

The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System

The Black Agenda mobilizes top Black experts from across the country to share transformative perspectives on how to deploy anti-racist ideas and policies into everything from climate policy to criminal justice to healthcare. This book will challenge what you think is possible by igniting long-overdue conversations around how to enact lasting and meaningful change rooted in racial justice.” —Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning

The Black Agenda is the first book I have seen that uses essays by experts all over to give us a perspective on issues we may not be aware of and if we are aware and just want to know more and what to do to effect change, it’s perfect.

There are so many issues addressed here. From mental health to climate change. This subject of police brutality and a culture of racism in every aspect of society. The inequalities and injustices against people of color. Even the question of infant and mother health issues.

If there is to be any hope for America, it needs to begin with true equality for all people. This is truly one of the best books I have read this year.

NetGalley/February 1st, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

MAIDEN VOYAGES by SIAN EVANS

Maiden Voyages: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them

MAGNIFICENT OCEAN LINERS AND THE WOMEN WHO TRAVELED AND WORKED ABOARD THEM

Maiden Voyages explores how women’s lives were transformed by the Golden Age of ocean liner travel between Europe and North America.

Up until the twentieth century, travel across the Atlantic was done on great ocean liners. Like the Ritz Carlton of the sea. Amenities that bordered on excess. So many woman made that crossing for a better life. Some were traveling for work or pleasure and job opportunities.

All the famous names are here. Wallis Simpson, Josephine Baker. First class all the way. But the second and third class were less fancy. The stories of women who traveled the oceans and made a difference were my favorite. Doing a man’s work was new to both sexes and there was a lot of learning going on.

A lot of research went into this one. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

NetGalley/St. Martin’s

VALCOUR-The 1776 Campaign That Saved The Cause of Liberty by JACK KELLY

Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty

The wild and suspenseful story of one of the most crucial and least known campaigns of the Revolutionary War when America’s scrappy navy took on the full might of Britain’s sea power.

Valcour is about the people involved in the 1776 three-day battle of the fledgling American Colonies against the pesky Brits. In the summer of that year, word came that the British were coming from Canada.

The Americans had wanted to maintain their hold on the upper rivers and knew that to do so they would have to make a stand. And what a brave stand these soldiers who were really just volunteers, made. A stand that would change the course of history.

You will recognize the names. Washington, Schuyler, a General who would become Alexander Hamilton’s father-in-law by marrying Eliza. We also see a different side of Benedict Arnold. A bit rougher than some, but a brilliant strategist.

While Washington routed them in Trenton, Arnold sent the British Gates packing in a three-day battle on Lake Champlain and forced a retreat.

This is a well-researched book. I think we all are familiar with Benedict Arnold as a traitor, but he really is so much more. These men were young and untried but passionate about not being under the thumb of Britain. This was more than a history lesson. These were real people who overcame incredible odds to hold up our fledgling country against more powerful enemies and prevailed.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

NetGalley/ April 6th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

The Hospital (Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town) by Brian Alexander

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town by [Brian Alexander]

Bryan, Ohio is a small town with small town problems. Keeping the town afloat. Keeping the hospital open. Alexander takes us into small town hospitals and the quickly disappearing small town hospitals and medical care.

Phil Ennen, CEO of the hospital is fighting what looks like a losing battle. They are losing money and the big guys are waiting around the corner to grab up another local hospital.

You find out a lot of things you may have never thought about if you didn’t grow up in a small town. I don’t think I have ever given it a thought since I’ve always lived in the city. On a road trip this past year we took the back roads to explore Oklahoma and it was then that I saw entire towns dying when the hospitals go down. Miles and miles from any form of emergency care or just continued care. It was shocking how the towns were just empty.

We see real people in real life or death situations and the consequences from lack of dependable medical care. We have one such town right now trying not to close its doors or give in to a buy out. With a lot of small towns still recovering from the 2008 recession, money is not exactly flowing in. People can’t afford to drive 2 hours in an emergency and they can’t afford healthcare.

With the Medical and Hospital Industry puts money over care, we all suffer. Look at the situation we are in now. Covid. Rural hospitals aren’t able to care for the people in their small community. Even big cities are ill equipped to fight this one. Why? This gave me a new insight into the issues we all will face.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press March 09, 2021

VERITAS: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife by Ariel Sabar

 

Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife

 

The gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that engulfed Harvard.

Dr. Karen King, a well-respected professor at Harvard Divinity, announced to the attendees of a scholars conference, steps from the Vatican.

Someone had given her a scrap of an ancient papyrus where Jesus calls Mary Magdalene his wife.  As you can imagine, this was huge. I know I followed this in the news because I had an interest in the Gnostic Gospels and what was and wasn’t true. I never saw Mary of Magdala as a prostitute and I never found any corroboration of that.

Imagine if all these years later we find out Jesus had a wife. What? What a shakeup that would be for the Catholic Church especially. If he was married, why celibacy in the priesthood? Why no women in positions of power? There was a powerful uproar and King’s reputation suffered. Was this piece a forgery and if so was King in on it?

Amid all of these questions, journalist Ariel Sabar started digging into the story. Where did the fragment come from? With impeccable research and detective skills, he brings us the story of King and the man who may or may not be a forger.

This was a brilliant look at the rivalries in academia. The hopes of King that there was an alternative to the bible out there that was more inclusive to women. I’ll leave you to enjoy the mystery.

I am still mulling over questions this book brought up. And I’m sure I will be for a long time.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 11th, 2020 by Doubleday Books