As pie in the sky as it sounds, one of the greatest aspects of America is that who one is at birth does not define what they may or may not accomplish during their lifetimes.
Valerie Jarrett, who worked under President Obama as a senior adviser is living proof of that concept.
In her new auto-biography, Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, Ms. Jarrett tells the story of her life.
Born in 1956 to African-American parents, she spent her early years in Iran because her father was unable to find a job as a doctor in the United States. After the family re-settled in Chicago, Ms. Jarrett came of age during the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s. In the early 1990’s, she interviewed a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson who was then engaged to the future 44th President of the United States. That interview was the start of a personal and professional relationship that has led her straight to the White House and to become of the most prominent African-Americans in the country.
As auto-biographies go, this book is pretty good. Ms. Jarrett tells her story in a way that it readable, enjoyable and uplifting without being too bogged down with the facts.
I recommend it.
I’ve read quite a few books in 2018. Below is the list of the best books of 2018, at least from my perspective.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama: Mrs Obama’s autobiography is insightful, down to earth and one of the best autobiographies that I have read in a long time.
- House of Gold by Natasha Solomons: House of Gold was described by another reviewer as a Jewish version of Downton Abbey. I couldn’t think of another description if I made it up myself.
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi: A modern-day Pride and Prejudice set in New York City, this Jane Austen adaptation feels old and new at the same time.
- We Are Going to Be Lucky A World War II Love Story in Letters by Elizabeth L. Fox: The story of a marriage during World War II told in a series of letter that will make you believe in love.
- My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher: When Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds departed this world two years ago, no one knew them better than their brother and son. The book is a love letter to them by one of the people who knew and loved them best.
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: A young girl growing up in the wilds of Alaska learns some hard truths about life, love and marriage.
- American Tantrum: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives by Anthony Atamanuik and Neil Casey: Based on the character created by Anthony Atamanuik on The President Show, it is a what if story in regards to the fictional Presidential library of you know who.
- Not Out Kind: A Novel by Kitty Zeldis: Just after the end of World War II, two women from vastly different worlds meet in New York City and forever change each other’s lives in the process.
- Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux: 150 years after the publication of Little Women, the book still resonates with readers across the globe and across the cultural landscape.
- The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict: Behind every genius is a supportive and loving spouse. But what happens when the spouse is denied her own genius because she is a woman?
That’s my list, what are your favorite books of 2018?
Filed under Book Review, Books, Downton Abbey, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Movies, New York City, Politics, Pride and Prejudice, Star Wars, Television
When we admire someone, we forget that they are fellow human beings who go through the same ups and downs that we all do.
When Michelle Obama became America’s FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States) in 2009, she was more than the first African-American First Lady. She was intelligent, educated, warm, loving and a devoted wife and mother.
Her autobiography, Becoming, was published recently.
Born in Chicago in 1964, Mrs. Obama came from a normal working class family. She met her future husband (and future POTUS or President Of The United States) Barack Obama when he was hired to be summer associate at the law firm where she worked at the time; she was assigned to him as his mentor. They married in 1992 and have two daughters. As the future POTUS and FLOTUS, Barack and Michelle did their best to balance their marriage, parenting their children and work. Then politics came calling and their status as an average middle class family in America forever changed.
I absolutely loved this book. I felt like I was having a one on one conversation with her. The book is personal, deep and makes the reader feel like they have a connection to her. Unlike other autobiographies where the writer is full of it and bragging, Mrs. Obama is humble and open.
I absolutely recommend it.
A first date can be awkward, to say the least. The romantic equivalent of a job interview, it can be a little nerve-wracking and maybe depending the daters, life changing.
The recent release, Southside With You, is the fictionalized account of the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama (nee Robinson). Set in the summer of 1989, Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) is a summer associate at a law firm in Chicago. His adviser at the firm is Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter), a second year associate. She agrees to go out with him, but it is not a date. They are supposed to go to a community event. What is planned to be only a few hours becomes a day that will be eventful for both Barack and Michelle.
Movies about budding romances and first dates are common. What makes this film uncommon is that not only is based on a true story where the main players are still around, but it integrates politics into a narrative that has the standard plot points without the usual mush that is often contained in romantic comedies or dramas.
I recommend it.
Southside With You is presently in theaters.