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

Don’t Tell A Soul by M. William Phelps

Don't Tell a Soul by [Phelps, M. William]

Cherry Walker was a devoted, trusting, uncommonly innocent young woman who loved caring for a neighbor’s little boy. But when she was asked to testify in court against his abusive mother, Cherry never got the chance. She couldn’t lie if her life depended on it—and it did. Cherry’s body was found on the side of a Texas road, after being doused with lighter fluid and set aflame.
 
Attractive, manipulative, and violent, mother of four Kim Cargill had a wealth of dirty secrets she’d do anything to keep hidden. This in-depth account by bestselling investigative journalist M. William Phelps takes you inside Cargill’s shocking trial—and into the mind of one of the most conniving female psychopaths in recent history—and on death row.

Mr. Phelps is the only true crime writer I will read. He is the expert. Somehow he gets inside of the murderous villain explaining how and sometimes why they do what they do, and he also brings the victim, the innocent ones to the forefront fo the story.

Kim Cargill is a narcissist, a psychopath, a sociopath and just a down right mean woman! A horrible mother, abusive to her children and her husbands. A bad egg!

Cherry Walker is the exact opposite. While she may have the mind of a child, she knows right from wrong and isn’t going to compromise herself for Kim. Unfortunately we know from the beginning of the book that Cherry was killed.

And in the end of  this book, that will be who and what you remember. Cherry Walker, who stood up to the hell that was Kim Cargill.

Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House for this book!

About The Author

Biography

Crime writer, serial killer expert and New York Times bestselling investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the author of 30 nonfiction books, THE DEAD SOUL, a thriller, and winner of the Excellence in Journalism Award (2013). He consulted on the first season of the Showtime series Dexter, has been profiled in Writer’s Digest, Connecticut Magazine, NY Daily News, NY Post, Newsday, Suspense Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. Winner of the New England Book Festival Award for I’ll Be Watching You and the Editor’s Choice Award from True Crime Book Reviews for Death Trap, Phelps has made over 200 television appearances, including CBS’s Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, The View, TLC, BIO Channel, and History Channel.

Phelps created, produced and starred in the hit Investigation Discovery series Dark Minds; and is one of the stars of ID’s Deadly Women. Radio America called him “the nation’s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer.” Touched by tragedy himself, due to the unsolved murder of his pregnant sister-in-law, Phelps is able to enter the hearts and minds of his subjects like no one else. He lives in a small Connecticut farming community and can be reached at his website, http://www.mwilliamphelps.com.

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.

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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.

At Balthazar by Reggie Nadelson

 

At Balthazar: The New York Brasserie at the Center of the World

Explore New York restaurant Balthazar and everything that makes it iconic in this brilliantly revealing book that celebrates the brasserie’s twentieth anniversary. Keith McNally, star restauranteur, gave author Reggie Nadelson unprecedented access to his legendary Soho brasserie, its staff, the archives, and the kitchens. Journalist Nadelson, who has covered restaurants and food for decades on both sides of the Atlantic, recounts the history of the French brasserie and how Keith McNally reinvented the concept for New York City.


At Balthazar is an irresistible, mouthwatering narrative, driven by the drama of a restaurant that serves half a million meals a year, employs over two hundred people, and has operated on a twenty-four hour cycle for twenty years. Upstairs and down, good times and bad, Nadelson explores the intricacies of the restaurant’s every aspect, interviewing the chef, waiters, bartenders, dishwashers—the human element of the beautifully oiled machine.

With evocative color photographs by Peter Nelson, sixteen new recipes from Balthazar Executive Chef Shane McBride and head bakers Paula Oland and Mark Tasker, At Balthazar voluptuously celebrates an amazing institution.

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Being familiar with Balthazar’s in NYC, I was happy to read this early copy of Mr. Nadelson’s look at the restaurant from the beginning and straight through to the kitchen, and everywhere in between.

All of the really great restaurants have great stories. Keith McNally has done an amazing job  of making this feel like a French experience. I loved listening to all the stories of the staff, their lives, the patrons and regulars who made a sort of home there.

And there are recipes! Yes, they are sharing some recipes! Just reading the menu makes me hungry! If you have been there or if you are a history or food lover, grab this book!

Thanks so much for this advance copy Netgalley and Gallery Books. Release Date is set for April 4, 2017.

Anxiety. The What If of Life.

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Hope, Courage and Strength. All of these are running through my mind this morning!

Yesterday afternoon the surgeon’s office called to let me know that I will be having my scar removal and corneal transplant on the 23rd of February. We went over all of the pre-op and post-op instructions and then I spoke with the anesthesiologist who gave me his instructions. No eating or drinking after midnight. Not a problem for me. No jewelry, no makeup and bring a shirt that buttons up the front. Not sure about that one.

So I was all at once anxious and glad I now had the date. Since I have promised myself I will not do any more research and look at pictures of eyeballs, I’m not sure how I feel now. Resigned I guess but I’m sure Anxiety will rear her ugly head as I get closer to the date.

Anxiety is that little devil on my shoulder that says ‘Hey, you should make sure your surgeon and all the other O.R. people aren’t on drugs or alcohol. What would happen if one of them had the shakes?’ That is what anxiety is. The What Ifs of Life. Anxiety is not logical, but it does have the power to bring you to your knees some days.

Happy Reading   xxPatricia

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

The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias

The Devil's Prayer

Explicit Content Warning: “The Devil’s Prayer” is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive.

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 
In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul.

As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors.

And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it.

Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction?
REVIEW:

This is a genre I am very familiar with. I can’t tell you how many books I have read this year about the Illuminate, the other secret societies and the Catholic Church. While some have been quite good, this book is beyond that. It is exceptionally well written, blending fact with fiction and with enough twists and turns to make it whiplash worthy!
When a nun commits suicide in front of thousands of people, Siobhan Russo recognizes the woman as her mother, who disappeared six years ago. At a memorial service for her mother, Siobhan is approached by an elderly priest. Father Jakub has something for Siobhan, her mother’s Bible. And then he is gone. As Siobhan begins to read, she finds the book is more of a confession, written for her and also a request to finish what her mother started.

As we bounce back and forth between centuries, we along with Siobhan hear fantastical stories of the Devil and of God. You can’t have one without the other. Did her mother kill herself? What happened in the past that drove her to make a deal with the Devil for Siobhan’s own soul?

This is a brutally raw and ugly look at history and what people have done in the name of religion and what continues to go on. How far would you go to exact revenge for unspeakable acts done to you or your loved ones? For Denise,she made a pact with the Devil. Wagering her own daughter’s soul. And with the Devil is anything really as it seems? What will this deal cost her in the end?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and actually spent 8 straight hours reading it and then looking up all of the historical places and people and events mentioned in it. Fascinating look at history and religion through the ages.

Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this. I’ll be keeping it.