THE HELLFIRE CLUB by JAKE TAPPER

The Hellfire Club

The debut political thriller from Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and the New York Times bestselling author of The Outpost — 1950’s D.C. intrigue about a secret society and a young Congressman in its grip

Charlie Marder is an unlikely Congressman. Thrust into office by his family ties after his predecessor died mysteriously, Charlie is struggling to navigate the dangerous waters of 1950s Washington, DC, alongside his young wife Margaret, a zoologist with ambitions of her own. Amid the swirl of glamorous and powerful political leaders and deal makers, a mysterious fatal car accident thrusts Charlie and Margaret into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history. When Charlie discovers a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of governance, he has to fight not only for his principles and his newfound political career…but for his life.

I enjoy listening and reading Jake Tapper, the journalist. I was excited to see this book.

I know it is set in the 1950’s but Charlie is not a stupid man. He knows right from wrong, he served our country in the military. He has principles. Oops, not a good thing to have as a politician.

You don’t even need to  have average intelligence to know that Washington is one big game of who you  know, who you owe, and who owes you. Trust no one and keep your mouth shut.  I can’t believe with his famous father Charlie didn’t grasp that quickly. If you didn’t figure out what was going on by Chapter 2, after the car crash, well keep those rosy glasses on.

Other than a lot of political name dropping and the mix of fact and fiction, there wasn’t a lot of meat to this book. The characters were vague and some a bit over the top. All in all I was bored.

But I sure hope Mr. Tapper keeps up the journalistic career!

NetGalley/April 24th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company

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What’s Everyone Reading This Week?

The First Family: A Novel by [Palmer, Michael, Palmer, Daniel] “The First Family is adrenaline-fueled entertainment that twists, turns, surprises and satisfies!” -John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author

Baby Teeth: A Novel by [Stage, Zoje] “Unnerving and unputdownable, Baby Teeth will get under your skin and keep you trapped in its chilling grip until the shocking conclusion.” —New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline.

After Anna by [Scottoline, Lisa] “Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

The Recipe Box: A Novel by [Shipman, Viola] In The Recipe Box, bestselling beloved author Viola Shipman spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

What is everyone reading this week? I am finishing up The Recipe Box and as always it is a charmer!  We are in Day 5 of The Plague here at the Pirate Nation. Never in my life have I had to put new batteries in my thermometer! Good news  is I have books!

xx Patricia

Release Day for The Slave-Traders Letter Book! by Jim Jordan ( University of Georgia Press) Congratulations!

In 1858 Savannah businessman Charles Lamar, in violation of U.S. law, organized the shipment of hundreds of Africans on the luxury yacht Wanderer to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The four hundred survivors of the Middle Passage were sold into bondage. This was the first successful documented slave landing in the United States in about four decades and shocked a nation already on the path to civil war.

In 1886 the North American Review published excerpts from thirty of Lamar’s letters from the 1850s, reportedly taken from his letter book, which describe his criminal activities. However, the authenticity of the letters was in doubt until very recently. In 2009, researcher Jim Jordan found a cache of private papers belonging to Charles Lamar’s father, stored for decades in an attic in New Jersey. Among the documents was Charles Lamar’s letter book, confirming him as the author.

This book has two parts. The first recounts the flamboyant and reckless life of Lamar himself, including Lamar’s involvement in southern secession, the slave trade, and a plot to overthrow the government of Cuba. A portrait emerges at odds with Lamar’s previous image as a savvy entrepreneur and principled rebel. Instead, we see a man who was often broke and whose volatility sabotaged him at every turn. His involvement in the slave trade was driven more by financial desperation than southern defiance. The second part presents the “Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book.” Together with annotations, these seventy long-lost letters shed light on the lead-up to the Civil War from the remarkable perspective of a troubled, and troubling, figure.

As a history buff and researcher, this title appealed to me right away. I am from the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area and my family has been there since before we were a country.

Lamar is a reckless and troubled man. Having his livelihood pretty much handed to him by his father, he proceeds to run every business he touches into the ground.

The book give the reader quite a bit of information that even I haven’t seen before. These letters are a valuable piece of history not only for Georgia but for the entire country. I would hope that this information would be widely spread in our schools.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone searching for answers about our beginnings and what almost tore our country apart.

The Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book by Jim Jordan ( University of Georgia Press)

n 1858 Savannah businessman Charles Lamar, in violation of U.S. law, organized the shipment of hundreds of Africans on the luxury yacht Wanderer to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The four hundred survivors of the Middle Passage were sold into bondage. This was the first successful documented slave landing in the United States in about four decades and shocked a nation already on the path to civil war.

In 1886 the North American Review published excerpts from thirty of Lamar’s letters from the 1850s, reportedly taken from his letter book, which describe his criminal activities. However, the authenticity of the letters was in doubt until very recently. In 2009, researcher Jim Jordan found a cache of private papers belonging to Charles Lamar’s father, stored for decades in an attic in New Jersey. Among the documents was Charles Lamar’s letter book, confirming him as the author.

This book has two parts. The first recounts the flamboyant and reckless life of Lamar himself, including Lamar’s involvement in southern secession, the slave trade, and a plot to overthrow the government of Cuba. A portrait emerges at odds with Lamar’s previous image as a savvy entrepreneur and principled rebel. Instead, we see a man who was often broke and whose volatility sabotaged him at every turn. His involvement in the slave trade was driven more by financial desperation than southern defiance. The second part presents the “Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book.” Together with annotations, these seventy long-lost letters shed light on the lead-up to the Civil War from the remarkable perspective of a troubled, and troubling, figure.

As a history buff and researcher, this title appealed to me right away. I am from the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area and my family has been there since before we were a country.

Lamar is a reckless and troubled man. Having his livelihood pretty much handed to him by his father, he proceeds to run every business he touches into the ground.

The book give the reader quite a bit of information that even I haven’t seen before. These letters are a valuable piece of history not only for Georgia but for the entire country. I would hope that this information would be widely spread in our schools.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone searching for answers about our beginnings and what almost tore our country apart.

Netgalley/University of Georgia Press  January Release.

Courage, Dear Heart…C.S.Lewis

This seemed appropriate today. Actually a lot of days. I know that right now there are a lot of courageous people out there. The ones that rush into danger instead of away from it.

Those people we all take for granted. Firemen, Policemen, EMTs, and all of the people who aren’t first responders but just jump into the mix and do the right thing. While people are hurting, dying, hungry and homeless due to Mother Nature’s events or home-grown crazy folks taking their pain out on the world.

It’s easy to be outraged, and we are. But what are we going to do about it? That is the question. I was taught that Charity begins at home. Much like Peace. But the people we hired to run our government seem to have forgotten that. Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands. These are American people. Maybe we can not forget them by the next news cycle. Maybe our reporters can actually go see what’s going on and show us.

After Katrina it felt like the entire world forgot Mississippi. There were no roads, no bridges, no anything but heat and hunger. We have to do better by our fellow human beings. I don’t care if you are living in a trailer with a confederate flag sucking down a PBR and wearing a MAGA hat, or If you are giving it your all in the Peace Corp. we are all human beings and the only time you need to be looking down on someone is to compliment them on their shoes.

So now I’ll climb off my soapbox and do my own part. Will you do yours?

xx Patricia

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY TA-NEHISI COATES

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

This was a difficult book to review. It was also difficult to read and to know that what I was reading was truth. If you don’t know it as truth, you need to go way back and look at how we became America and who the people were that made up the rules that some people, based on their sex or skin color, were considered less than.

I’ve studied slavery and the Civil War for a long time. I worked with the Middle Passage Museum and met John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, and many other leaders of the rights movement and survivors of the what is still a racist South and North. Some people are just more blatant about it.

I along with a lot of other people expected Obama to stand up for race inequalities. But as it turned out he wasn’t going to rock the boat either way.

This journalist does. Here you get the unvarnished truth about all sides. In my humble opinion this should be a must read for all high school students. Especially places like Mississippi which in some towns have only in recent years, or make that year, have been forced to stop segregating blacks to the other side of the track schools.

There is no such thing as white supremacy. There are just insecure people who need to have someone to be better than so they aren’t the ones on the bottom.

Thank you for this book Netgalley and Random House! Due to release October 3, 2017

DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE RADICAL RIGHTS STEALTH PLAN FOR AMERICA BY NANCY MacLean

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy.

Without Buchanan’s ideas and Koch’s money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

This book came out this summer and it was to mixed reviews and comments. As always there were the trolls coming for anyone political but also some learned scholars.

I appreciated the history of the book. The author is an excellent writer. How did we get to where we are today? How is it that corporations have rights? What did our founding fathers really intend for our nation to become?

Not for everyone but if you are a politics or history lover, you may want to give it a read!

xx Patricia