Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In Becoming, Michelle Obama tells her story. She talks about growing up poor in Southside Chicago. She talks about the love of her family, the value they placed on hard work and education. She discusses her career, the right path she started on and the twists and turns it took. She talks about meeting Barack, their early marriage, and how they function as a couple. Of course, she eventually gets around to the presidential campaign and their time in the White House, but she (mostly) stays with her point of view, her difficulties, and her initiatives. She also touches on her difficulties with putting her career on hold to support her husband's career and how unfair things could feel. She talks about the difficulties of raising two girls, the tightrope of keeping them safe but allowing them to have "normal" childhoods and teen years, of appreciating the luxuries they have but still being grounded in "regular" life. Michelle Obama is...
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Accessory to War by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang

Accessory to War by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang

My non-fiction reading really has little rhyme or reason to it. I pick up books that grab my attention or that I've seen other people love. I have to admit I don't really have a huge interest in space exploration or military history, but Neil deGrasse Tyson is a big name and I've seen a show or two on tv and at a planetarium that he's hosted, which is why I picked up Accessory to War. At times Accessory to War is just fascinating. For me, that was mostly when it was discussing the history of astrophysics and how its beginnings affected armies and explorers and merchants. I also found the parts about how current countries approach space interesting. It's well-written. It doesn't talk down to those of us who don't know much, but it also wasn't over my head. It was conversational and easy to follow. Unfortunately, there were other parts that were dry and boring. Lists of treaties...
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Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids was my "scary" read for October and I have to say I loved it. In full disclosure, we are huge fans of Scooby-Doo; we own all the original episodes on DVD and some of the newer ones; we read tons of the paperback kids books when Amber was younger. Also, Amber and I have read a fair amount of Lovecraft and we play at least two Lovecraft themed board games occasionally; she even did a report in school on him. So, I feel like I am this book's target audience. I have not read any of Edith Blyton's Famous Five stories, but I feel like I should. This book is fabulous on its own, but it's also a kind of tribute and it knows it, if that makes sense. It doesn't take itself too seriously. Yes, it's fan fic, but the best kind. You can read the blurb. The Blyton Summer Detective Club "solved" their last mystery back in 1977,...
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Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett

I did not like Bangkok Tattoo as much as the first in the series, Bangkok 8. Sonchai is the same- a loner Buddhist cop who tends toward philosophical ruminations, but now he's also part owner of a brothel, along with his boss and his mom. The atmosphere's the same- the seedy side of an exotic city, but we do have the addition of Muslims and the mob. And Sonchai has a new partner, a transgender young man who wants to be a dancer of some kind. The plot was interesting, if a bit meandering. The killed man was CIA, and of course the case is not as clear-cut as it might first appear. There's also drugs involved. To be honest, I finished listening to this a week or so ago and don't remember how exactly the drugs and the serial killer tied together. I think they were two separate plot lines pulled together by the corrupt superior and the good-hearted prostitute. What I do...
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Bangkok 8 by John Burdett

Bangkok 8 has been on my to-read list for a while, and I finally got around to picking up the audio from the library. Let's be honest, it was an obvious choice for me. It's a mystery in an exotic locale and the detective has a philosophical streak. The murder itself was unique - the snakes in a locked car- and although it's a shame that Sonchai's partner was killed too, it was the only reason the crime was actually investigated thoroughly. The cops in Bangkok are mostly corrupt and add in that the US government would really rather at least one of the suspects not be looked at too closely, they likely would have let it drop. Sonchai can't though and his search for the truth leads us across the city and has us meet drug dealers, prostitutes, and business owners from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of vices and interests. Sonchai is a complicated man. He's the son of a prostitute and American...
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The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Is The Pursuit good? Probably not - but it's entertaining and action-packed and funny. It's got sex (off-screen) and explosions and life-threatening situations. You know the good guys, presuming you consider Nick Fox a good guy, and the bad guys are going to lose. It's a perfect quick summer read. The Pursuit is the 5th in the series and I've read them in order, which I honestly think is best. Yes, they probably work as stand-alones, but this one picks up right where #4 left off and you get to see how Nick and Kate's relationship develops. Also, most of the secondary good guy characters appear in each of them, and I do love Kate's dad. He is awesome. If you read the blurb you have a bit of an idea on the plot and it's so short I don't want to give away any spoilers. A few things I did enjoy - underground Paris, the melodramatic patriotism, and the lack of high...
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