Best Books of 2021

  1. The Four Winds: Kristen Hannah has done it again. Her Cinderella-esque tale of a woman who resecues herself from a live of drugery, poverty, and low self esteem is one to be read again and again.
  2. Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People: Ben M. Freeman‘s treatise on Jews, and Jewish history is a must read for anyone who for once and for all wants to defeat antisemitism and all forms of hate.
  3. Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol: Mallory O’Meara‘s non fiction book explores how inspite of a certain image, women have been creating and drinking all forms of alcohol for centuries.
  4. I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trumps Catastrophic Final Year: The subject of you know who will be on the lips of writers and political historians for years to come. Authors Carol Leonning and Philip Rucker examine how the former President believed that he did not need help in running the country.
  5. Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood: Writer and podcaster Mark Oppenheimer tells the story of how a single neighborhood was affected by the murders of eleven Jewish residents in 2018.
  6. Peril: Bob Woodward and Robert Costa take a deep dive into how close the American democracy got close to destruction.
  7. The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh: This JAFF by Molly Greeley gives the spotlight to Anne de Bourgh, a minor Pride and Prejudice character who has yet to be fully seen or appreciated.
  8. Three Ordinary Girls: The Remarkable of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Become Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assasins-and WWII Heroes: This fascinating and powerful tale of three young ladies who led an underground war against the Nazis during World War II.
  9. Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers: Written by the Bonnet at Dawn podcast hosts, this book examines the life and works of the women writers we have loved and respected for generations.
  10. The Matzah Ball: A Novel: Jean Meltzer’s Chanukah themed rom-com about two people who are secretly in love, but cannot speak the words due to the current and past trauma.

Here’s to the books we loved in 2021 and the books we will love in 2022.

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Peril Book Review

Up until the beginning of this year, the transition from one Presidential administration to another was a process that few outside of Washington D.C. ever thought about. That changed with the 2020 Presidential election.

Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, was published in September. Told in a spellbinding and sometimes downright scary manner, the authors detail how close this nation came to nearly abandoning our democratic ideals. Basing their narrative on interviews, transcripts, and other documents, they take us on a roller coaster ride that is solely based on you know who’s want to stay in power, regardless of the response from the voting public. It also details how unnecessarily difficult a task President Biden has ahead of him. If nothing else, this book is a warning that unless we do something ASAP, the United States of America as we know it to be maybe one day be consigned to the history books.

This book should be read by every American, regardless of where they are on the political scale. The belief that our political system is secure has been shaken to its core. We have two choices at this point in time. We can either sit back and do nothing. The other option (which in my mind is the only option) is to stand up, vote, and fight for everything we hold near and dear.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Best Books of 2020

  1. Hearts, Strings, and other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins: This modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1814 novel Mansfield Park is one of the best professionally published fanfictions I’ve read in a long time.
  2. Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump: You Know Who’s only niece, Mary Trump tells her uncle’s story as only a close family member can.
  3. Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, by Evan Osnos: This biography tells the President-elect’s story from a human perspective, giving the reader an insight that the news headlines cannot.
  4. Bronte’s Mistress, by Finola Austin: Austin delves into the myth of the affair between Branwell Bronte and Lydia Robinson, his older and married employer. Giving voice to Branwell, his youngest sister Anne and Mrs. Robinson specifically, she introduces the reader to the woman behind the rumor.
  5. Rage, by Bob Woodward: Legendary journalist Bob Woodward takes the reader into the current Presidential administration and the chaos created by you know who.
  6. The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron: Cameron’s book follows the story of Stefania Podgorska, a Polish-Catholic teenage girl who saved thirteen Jews during World War II.
  7. Jagged Little Pill: The reader is taken into the world of the hit musical, Jagged Little Pill: The Musical.
  8. Pretending: A Novel, by Holly Bourne: April believes that she is damaged goods, romantically speaking. When she creates an alter ego named Gretel, the results are surprising.
  9. A Star is Bored: A Novel, by Byron Lane: Lane, a former assistant to the late actress and writer Carrie Fisher, spins his time working for her into a hilarious and entertaining novel.
  10. Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda, by Jean Guerrero: This insightful and frankly scary book tells the story of Presidential aide Stephen Miller.

Rage Book Review

Journalism at its core, is supposed to be non-partisan and non-political. But sometimes, those who work in that industry have no choice but to be partisan and political. Especially when the future is at stake.

The new book by respected journalist Bob Woodward, Rage, was released back in the fall. The follow up to his 2019 book, Fear: Trump in the White House, the reader is taken into a world and a presidency that few have ever seen. Using 17 on the record interviews as the back bone of the narrative, the man he portrays on the page is arrogant, in denial, and believes that he knows it all.

Reading this book, I thought I had a good idea of the man whom we unfortunately refer to as President. I could feel a chill down my back as I delved into the story. Between his inability to stop the destruction that Covid-19 is wreaking on us and the delusional idea that he will have another 4 years in office, it was as if I was reading a fictional political thriller.

The one thing I was struck by is that not everyone who works or worked in the administration is either related to him or got the job by becoming a brownnoser. There were and still are many who genuinely believe in the work they are doing because they understand the importance of this country and the constitution.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Could You Know Who be Charged With Reckless Homicide?

The legal definition of reckless homicide is as follows:

A crime in which the perpetrator was aware that their act (or failure to act when there is a legal duty to act) creates significant risk of death or grievous bodily harm in the victim, but ignores the risk and continues to act (or fail to act), and a human death results.

For months, we have all known how dangerous and life-threatening Covid-19 is. The more than 200,00 American who have died from the virus is a testament to itself. When you know who was taken to the hospital last weekend after he tested positive, there many of us who did the “told you so” dance.

If there was any glimmer of hope that he had learned form the experience, it soon became obvious that hope with him is a mirage. The number of White House staffers getting sick grows longer every day. Adding to the list of the infected or possibly infected is not just those who work for you know who. He was the guest of honor at a fundraiser in New Jersey just days before he went to the hospital.

The question is, can he be charged with reckless homicide?

As far as we know, no one who has been or might be infected with Covid-19 from either the White House or the fundraiser has died. But the fact that he told Bob Woodward back in February that he knew and did nothing is in my mind enough information to charge him.

The question of if and when this comes to pass is unknown at this point. But given the evidence, as we know it to be today, I believe that there is a good chance he would be found guilty.

Fear: Trump in the White House Book Review

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward knows a thing or two about corruption in politics and corrupt politicians.

His new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, is an intimate, first hand account of what it was like to work under you know who during his first year as President. Utilizing interviews, personal sources, notes, documents and other materials, Mr. Woodward draws a picture of a President who is a political neophyte, prone to adult tantrums and unwilling to listen to those around him who have experience.

This book is nothing short of memorizing. It is also, from my perspective, a little terrifying that the man who current bears the label of President Of The United States has an ego the size of Texas, the temperament/emotional maturity of a fifth grade schoolyard bully and the inability to understand when to follow the advise of those who understand the game of politics.

I absolutely recommend it.

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