Monday, November 29, 2021

November Books

First I am happy to report I finally finished the Barack Obama book. 

This is what I wrote about this book when I was gave up on it in October: 

This is on my reading list as well, and I will get through it, but I had to put it down for now.  It is over 700 pages (and this is Volume 1 of 2!) and I could only get to page 161 and decided to return it to the library.  The book is good and I want to read it, but it's a little dry.  It basically just tells the story of Obama's campaign and then presidency and it's occasionally written like a speech where he gives examples about the single mother from South Side Chicago, or the second generation farmer in Iowa, and the public school teacher in California, you know what I mean?  He tries to relate everything back to the people of America (you can probably hear his voice saying these things).  So yeah, it's good, and will probably get more interesting after he becomes president (he's only just won the Democratic nomination by page 161) but it's not exactly a page turner, no offense Mr. President.

Then Dave's dad lent me his copy so I was able to pick it up again without worrying about returning it to the library.  Mostly the book tells about different crises that Obama dealt with during his first term - the economic crisis, healthcare reform, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the environment - and how he worked to make decisions, figure out how to balance the different issues, and about the politics that played into it as well.   It was sort of like a text book on recent history.  Every so often there would be a little nugget of something behind the scenes or a funny personality quirk about another world leader and those were the parts I loved the most.  I wanted to know more about conversations he had with people and interactions with staff and his family.  But it wasn't that sort of book.  The two parts that I did really find interesting was about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, more exciting than economic stimulus to me.  

The next book I read was The Lies that Bind Us by Emily Giffin.  I have read all of her other books and this one was exactly what I needed it to be.  I bought it at the airport when I went to Timmins and then read it when I was in my hotel room.  I finished it quickly and then gave it to a colleague to give to his wife.  

This book was about a woman who had just broken up with her boyfriend and then meets another guy out at a bar.  They have an instant connection and it takes us through their relationship, with various "lies" that are told (or truths omitted) along the way.  It took place around the time of 9/11 so that put an interesting spin on it as well and that's always a topic that interests me.  I would recommend this for a quick read. 

I was able to fit one more book in this month, a quick read by Jill Santopolo called Everything After.

I've read this author's other two books and liked them.  They are a bit heavier than a beach read but easy to digest.  I really don't feel like I can say too much about the plot without giving it away, so I will just say that I enjoyed that the main character was a psychologist because she could diagnose her own motivations and those of her husband.  She was also a musician and I was fascinated by the way the author described how music existed in her life as well as how she could just write a song like that!  It didn't turn out exactly the way I thought it would, but I was happy with it.  

I'm putting together my reading list for 2022 and I'll be sharing that next month.  Leave your suggestions if you have any.  My favourite books tend to focus on some tragedy and bonus points if they are Canadian. 

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