EGYPT’S GOLDEN COUPLE by JOHN DARNELL and COLLEEN DARNELL

WHEN AKHENATEN AND NEFERTITI WERE GODS ON EARTH

In fourth grade, I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was obsessed by Egyptian history and culture. I wish this book would have been around then.

Exploring these two powerful rulers and all they accomplished was a pleasure. The research that went into this is astounding. There is so much mythology and misinformation out there about this time in our history. This cleared up a lot of things for me.

If you are at all a history buff, this is a book you should read. I loved reading it.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press November 01, 2022

MORGENTHAU: Power, Privilege, and the Rise of an American Dynasty by Andrew Meier

A monumental portrait of four generations of the Morgenthau family–a dynasty of power brokers whose outsized influence helped shaped New York City and the American Century.

The Morgenthaus came to the United States in 1866 from Germany. And immediately began to make their fortune. Losing everything they had only to rise to the top once again.

In this book, Meier accesses archives not previously seen in public. We learn how they gained enormous wealth and influence. They advised presidents and were vocal about the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust.

Lazarus is where we begin. He came to New York dreaming of building a bigger fortune than the one he lost in Germany. Sadly, that was not to be. But then came Henry, who became wealthy as a real estate mogul.

His son became FDR’s longest-serving aide. They built a dynasty in New York and the author has given us an unprecedented look at this powerful family.

What an interesting read this was. So many people are behind the scenes, pulling strings. But good people as well.

NetGalley/October 11, 2022, RHPG





Wild: The Life of Peter Beard by Graham Boynton

The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, adventurer, lover

Graham Boynton’s Wild is the definitive biography of photographer Peter Beard, a larger-than-life icon who pushed the boundaries of art and scandalized international high society with his high-profile affairs.

What an interesting life this man had. Descended from old money. His great-grandfather, James Hill founded the Great Northern Railway and used his fortune on the arts. All of his children were exposed to the arts and had their own collections, so it was no surprise that Peter continued that.

He did everything to excess. Women, drugs, adventures in Africa. Even his death was noteworthy. He left his home in Montauk and was never seen alive again. Weeks later his body would be found in the forest. He had suffered from dementia.

He really had a wonderful talent and his work can be found in collections around the globe. The author was a friend for over 30 years and that adds so much to this interesting man’s life story.

NetGalley/October 11, 2022, St. Martin’s Press

Listening Well by Heather Morris

Listening Well: Bringing Stories of Hope to Life

Bringing Stories of Hope to Life

Heather Morris is one of my favorite authors. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and Cilka’s Journey show what a great storyteller she is and also what a great story listener she is. And that is what this book is about. Listening. “Stories are what connect us and remind us that hope is always possible.”—Heather Morris  I love that.

In this work, she shares her talent as a listener. Something she used when first meeting Lale Sokolov, the tattooist at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was the subject of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey.

She shares her own story and how she honed her listening skills and gives us good advice on improving our own. A skill that will benefit all of our relationships. Personal and work. Listening is an active thing. You can tell when someone is listening to you and engaged and when they are not. Long after we are all gone there will be stories. Because someone listened and shared.

Always a pleasure.

NetGalley/August 2nd, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press



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