Emotional Reading on a Monday

Some of the things I’m reading.The first one Sing,Unburied,Sing by Jesmyn Ward is making my heart bleed right now. It really is difficult to read about certain times in the history of our nation and this book is one of those. I have a feeling this one is going to be big!

Have yourself a Happy Little Monday!

xx Patricia   dec123

Madame President : The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene Cooper

Madame President

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper brings us the personal story of Sirleaf as well as the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. 

Born in Monrovia in 1938, the daughter of Sirleaf’s father was Gola and her mother had mixed Kru and German ancestry. She attended college at the College of West Africa until 1955. She was married at 17 and quickly had four boys. When her husband came to the United States to study, she came also. She obtained an associate’s degree from Madison,Wisconsin. For years she studied in the United States at the best universities.

This is her personal story and I am going to tell you it was difficult to read. We don’t hear these things on the news. In a world where women take being beaten and raped as just the way it is, Ellen had a vision and she set about learning as much as she could about Economics and obtaining relationships with people who could and did help her on her journey.. When she had the knowledge she needed she then returned to her country to try and repair the damage done by past administrations. She was appointed Minister of Finance and she was tossed in prisons and threatened. But she never backed down and all of those relationships she had formed in the world of finance and politics had served her very well when she made her own bid to lead her country.

By then there was a huge movement of women in the area and they were not going to be silent much longer. In 2006 she was elected President of Liberia. She is the first woman elected head of state in African history. She has held positions with the World Bank and many other organizations and met with Obama and Hillary Clinton, when begging for help with the Ebola crisis.

Through crisis after crisis, including the Ebola outbreak, she has been a remarkable role model, fighting for her country and her people. She along with Tawakkul Karman, and Leymah Gbowee was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

nobelpeaceprize

As I said, this was hard to read. It is always difficult to read about human atrocities performed on the very people their government is supposed to protect. When you are dependant on that government for even your food. Nepotism was just one of the problems that kept those in power in luxury while the rest of the people suffered.  Why would no one stand up to these men? Why was the U.S. giving money to people who were only using it to pad their own pockets?

I had a lot of questions after this book. Such as why aren’t we seeing this on our World News? Who oversees all the money we send to all of these countries and how do we hold them accountable?

Thank you so much Netgalley and Simon Schuster for this early copy of an important biography.  This books set for release on March 07, 2017

The Author:

Helene Cooper is a Liberian-born American journalist who is a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Previous to that, she was the diplomatic correspondent for the paper based in Washington, D.C.. She joined the Times in 2004 as assistant editorial page editor.
At The Wall Street Journal, Cooper wrote about trade, politics, race and foreign policy at the Washington and Atlanta bureaus from 1992 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999, she reported on the European Monetary Union from the London bureau. From 1999 to 2002, she was a reporter focusing on international economics; then assistant Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2004.

Strong Women The World Over

Reading this amazing look at the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Women never stop showing me how strong we are when we stand together against corruption in life. Who are the strong role models in your life? What are you willing to fight to the death for?

A lot of questions in this wonderful biography!

xxPatricia

 

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov *Release Day*

The Patriots

A novel that requires careful reading. The format of different points of view and times, from the 1930’s to 2008.

While Florence’s story is told in the third person, Julian narrates his own story. I personally would have rather had them both tell their own stories, but as a whole, it is a good look at a time in our history that a lot of people would rather not look at or admit to.

Florence is a very smart young lady and is disillusioned with the U.S. and ends up emigrating to the Soviet Union which is under Stalin’s rule. I think history is clear on his views on educated women and Florence finds out first hand.

Julian, finally gets out of the country and takes the opposite route of his mother and comes to the U.S.
While he lives and works in the U.S., he travels frequently to Russia, where his son is living.

When Julian finds out that the old KGB records are being released to the families of those persecuted or killed, he applies for the release of his mother’s records and tries to understand what was happening when he was a child and all he knew was that people were not nice to him and it had something to do with his Mother.

A brutal, but honest work of historical fiction, that rings very true and is on a topic that most people don’t even know about or understand.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House for the great read!

A Few of My Favorite January Releases!

Towhee Get Your Gun (A Bird Lover's Mystery #2) J.R. Ripley’s  second in the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series will be coming out on January 3, 2017. Amy is up to all kinds of shenanigans and sleuthing in this one and he so nicely gives us a good look at the next book in the series.
I Hate Everyone, Except You  Clinton’s book is so funny my ribs hurt from laughing!
Seriously! See!  Grab it on the 10th!!
clintonkelly
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine  Arden This beauty is out on the 10th of January also. I absolutely loved this book and will read it again! There is also a Giveaway on this book on Goodreads.
The Girl Before  This book comes out on the 24th of January. Talk about a psychological thriller. At the end I was still Whaaat???  This one is already being made into a movie, directed by Ron Howard.
The Patriots: A Novel by [Krasikov, Sana]  This beautiful multi-generational story of surviving the Soviet Union. This gem comes out on the 24th also. Very thought provoking book!
These are just a few that I enjoyed and I hope you will too!
Grab a book and start this new year right!   xxPP

White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by [Isenberg, Nancy]

In her groundbreaking  bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.

“When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today’s hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.

Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity.
 
We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.

This was a really good and a really hard book. Ms. Isenberg  does a great job of going through the different evolutions of the idea of “white trash”.

It’s an always evolving term as explained by Ms. Isenberg. She takes the reader through the present day, and links it back to the civil war and to the revolutionary war.

All the talk of that one percent has brought a lot of discussion on who they are and the dynamics behind them. We overlook the fact that privilege is deeply embedded in our culture. Racial injustice is a nasty blot on our history and maybe now we’ll take a hard look at class in America. We pride ourselves on being progressive and tolerant when in fact we are neither.

Please do not mistake this as a political book. This is a historical narrative at it’s best.

Highly recommend this book!

xxPP