Tuesday, December 15, 2015

*Mail Call* December 7 - 11

Another week has passed and it was a pretty good week for book mail for me. I got seven paperbacks and one audiobook that I've won recently through Goodreads. I've started to notice that each week seems to have a theme to it. Sometimes it's almost all white spines, sometimes it's almost all short synopses. This weeks theme is politics. Four of the eight books I got in the mail this week are somewhat political in nature. Without further ado, here's this weeks books.

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline (Audiobook)

Photo Credit: Goodreads

The women of Rosato & Associates return, after the relaunch of the series that started with Accused. This second entry, Betrayed, stars Judy Carrier, who has had the starring role in only one previous Rosato book. When Betrayed opens, Judy Carrier finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her best friend, Mary DiNunzio, has just become partner and is about to become a bride, leaving Judy vaguely out of sorts. She's not jealous, but she's not happy either and she's wondering where her own career and love life are going. To make matters worse, she is rocked to her emotional foundations when she learns that her beloved Aunt Barb has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She races to her aunt's side, and so does Judy's mother, only to find that her aunt is dealing with the sudden death of a friend who had been helping her through chemo. The friend, Iris Juarez, was an undocumented worker at a local farm, but her death doesn't look natural at all, to Judy. Judy begins to investigate, following a path that leads her into an underground world far more dangerous than she ever imagined. Judy has to dig to uncover what happened to Iris, and at the same time unearth the secrets in her own family.


A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Where you come from isn’t who you are

Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need—and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.

While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl’s voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavyhanded. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.

Crisis Point by Senator Trent Lott and Senator Tom Daschle

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Tom Daschle and Trent Lott are two of the most prominent senators of recent time. Both served in their respective parties' leadership positions from the 1990s into the current century, and they have almost sixty years of service between them. Their congressional tenure saw the Reagan tax cuts, a deadlocked Senate, the Clinton impeachment, 9/11, and the Iraq War. Despite the tumultuous times, and despite their very real ideological differences, they have always maintained a positive working relationship, one almost unthinkable in today's hyper-partisan climate.

In their book, Daschle and Lott come together from opposite sides of the aisle to sound an alarm on the current polarization that has made governing all but impossible; never before has the people's faith in government been so dismally low. The senators itemize damaging forces--the permanent campaign, the unprecedented money, the 24/7 news cycle--and offer practical recommendations, pointing the way forward. Most crucially, they recall the American people, especially our leaders, to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, and to the necessity of debate but also the imperative of compromise--which will take leadership, vision, and courage to bring back.

Illustrated with personal stories from their own eminent careers and events cited from deeper in American history, Crisis Point is an invaluable work that comes at a critical juncture. It is a work of conscience, as well as duty, written with passion and eloquence by two men who have dedicated their lives to public service and share the conviction that all is far from lost.

The End of the World Delusion by Justin Deering

Photo Credit: Goodreads

People from many different corners of civilization seem to be saying the same thing: the end is near. In The End-of-the-World Delusion, author Justin Deering explores such scenarios, discussing why they are not likely to occur or have any visible impact on this planet within our lifetime.

Providing a thorough analysis, Deering chronicles the numerous instances of such predictions throughout history, examines frequent religious and cultural sources of these end-of-world claims, analyzes the sociological and psychological dynamics and dangers, and outlines other forms of end-times beliefs, ranging from religious to pop culture in nature. The End-of-the-World Delusion provides concrete information that helps evaluate these dubious assertions, relates how such beliefs have harmed individuals and society, and talks about why people are inclined to nurture such beliefs in the first place.

Setting the record straight by detailing the history of failed doomsdays, Deering shows that nothing can be gained by worrying about the end of time, and that we must learn a lesson from the past, live in the present, and plan for the future.

The Future We Want by Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara

Photo Credit: Goodreads

A stirring blueprint for American equality, from the "breakout stars" (The New York Times) of the young new left

Democrat, Republican -- the list of presidential candidates confirms that business is proceeding pretty much as usual. The Future We Wantproposes something different. In a sharp, rousing collective manifesto, ten young cultural and political critics dismantle the usual liberal solutions to America's ills and propose a pragmatic alternative.

What would finance look like without Wall Street? Or the workplace with responsibility shared by the entire workforce? From a campaign to limit work hours, to a program for full employment, to proposals for a new feminism, The Future We Want has the courage to think of alternatives that are both utopian and possible.

Brilliantly clear and provocative, The Future We Want -- edited by Jacobin magazine founder Bhaskar Sunkara and the Nation's Sarah Leonard -- harnesses the energy and creativity of an angry generation and announces the arrival of a new political left that not only protests but plans.

Anna & Elizabeth by Sophie Cook

Photo Credit: Goodreads


Set against the background of Hungary's rich peasant culture and rigid class divisions, spanning the years from 1880 to 1944, Anna & Elizabeth tells the story of two very different women and their unlikely friendship --- Anna, a Baptist woman from the countryside, and Elizabeth, her one-time Jewish employer. The story shows how their bond develops and survives, despite war, revolution, and the ravages of time. Inspired by the author's grandmother and the friend who tried to protect her during the Holocaust, this novel explores the strengths, joys, and sorrows of personal and family relationships.

Friends in High Places by Webb Hubbell

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In 1997 Webb Hubbell’s autobiography, Friends in High Places, was published. His current publisher, Beaufort Books, recognized its importance to the political discussion going on right now and has decided to make sure it is available to a much broader audience by way of e-books and paperback. It offers a different picture of Hillary Clinton than is being offered by the media these days.

Before the nation came to know them as the President and First Lady, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham were close friends of Webb Hubbell’s. Hubbell offers insight into how he and the Clintons climbed the political ranks from Arkansas to the White House.

Included in this book are intricate tales of Hubbell’s support of Bill Clinton in his tensest moments; his friendship with Hillary Rodham Clinton; the tragic death of Vince Foster; details of involvement in Whitewater; an inside look at the Justice Department and partnership with Janet Reno; and insights into famous personalities such as Mac McLarty, Bernie Nussbaum, Bruce Lindsey, Mickey Kantor, and George Stephanopoulos.

Hubbell’s story is told from the perspective of one who personally knows the President and First Lady. Their friendship began when Hubbell and Hilary Rodham Clinton were partners at Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm; and when Bill Clinton worked as Governor of Arkansas, Hubbell served with him as Mayor of Little Rock, and later as chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Hubbell joined the Clintons in the White House as associate attorney general, the third highest ranking member of the Justice Department. His political career ended, however, with the Whitewater scandal and incarceration in federal prison. Hubbell comments on his resignation and prison sentence, and reflects on his old friends whom have since isolated him from the White House.

The journey is Webb Hubbell’s, yet his recounting resonates with the humanity in us all: the love he shares with his wife and family, the grief over losing friends to death or circumstances, and humility when faced with calamity. In the end Hubbell faces the truth with a steadfastness seldom seen in Washington.

This new edition includes a new introduction and epilogue.

Run by Glenn Haggerty

Photo Credit: Goodreads

At thirteen, a boy can run from lots of things, but he can’t always hide . . .

Awkward newbie, Tyler Higgins, has to navigate the middle school friendship jungle. But how can he focus on friends when a mysterious plumber casing the neighborhood threatens his life? 

While chasing the cool kids through the woods, He tumbles into a ruined house where a shadowy creeper emerges from the basement. Tyler escapes, but for how long? The gigantic ninja-like goon sniffs him out and threatens to carve him up—along with his family. 

Tyler finally connects with a rich kid, but a showdown brews. The plumber has a secret and lots of stolen cash—and Tyler’s friend is locked in on the plumber’s hideout. Now Tyler must risk his life or lose his new friend—permanently. 

So there you have it. All the books I got in the mail last week. Of these books, I'm most interested in reading Run and Crisis Point. Which of these books are you most interested in reading my review on? - Katie 

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