What I’m Reading and Recommendations

So, I was at a loss of what to blog about and really just wanted to spend my evening reading and with a glass or two of wine. And that is where I got my blog topic. I’ll tell you about what I’m reading! I’m thinking that I will do posts like this every now and then. Now, because I’m a little bit of a weird and definitely a nerd, I’m actually currently reading two books right now: “Hamilton” by Ron Chernow (the book inspired the musical) and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.

Some people find it odd that I read two books at once, but “Hamilton” is really long. “You Are a Badass” is self-help and more of an uplifting book, whereas “Hamilton” is a very detailed piece of American history. I have always been a reader. Seriously, ever since I learned to read, I’ve been reading some book. I was the kid with the book light on car rides so I could read on the way home. The Kindle is one of the best inventions in my mind because I can keep a library in my purse. As much as I am a writer, I am a reader. Hell, I have a tattoo of a book turning into birds to represent my love and reading, writing, and creativity.

My reading and writing tattoo

I read all genres, but lately I have been on an American history kick which, along with the popularity of the musical of the same name, led me to Hamilton. My company was also founded by Alexander Hamilton which is pretty cool. I’d like to recommend a couple other U.S. history books:

“The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Anderson Bowser: This is an excellent look at how the White House operates, the loyalty and hard work by the staff, and gives insight and perspective to many First Families in a very unique way. The White House is expected to run as efficiently as possible, and its operations were fascinating to read about. Bowser also has many first-hand accounts from employees who share anecdotes that only they would have about the First Families. Definitely a must read if you are interested in the families that lived there.

“The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity” by Nancy Gibbs: This book was absolutely fascinating. It discusses the relationships between the current president and past presidents, starting with Truman and Hoover. Truman had reached out to Hoover when he was thrust into the presidency as Hoover was the only living former president, and an unlikely friendship and presidential tradition was born. The only people who can relate to what the current president is going through are the previous presidents, and so after their terms, they pledge themselves to their services of the current president. An example of this would be former presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton – former political rivals – working together at the request of President George W. Bush after the Haiti earthquake. It was extremely interesting and eye opening to see how former presidents can continue to serve after their term.

“Decision Points” by George W. Bush: The 43rd president’s memoir shows some of the most significant moments in modern American history, most importantly the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and including the controversy of the 2000 presidential election, Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis of 2008, and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. His point of view of these American moments in history is unique to only him. The book (481 pages and very detailed) also covers his life before the presidency and moral issues had in office, such as stem cell research. Regardless of your personal thoughts, this book is a must-read for American history buffs as it is a memoir of vital events that have shaped our country. I thought it was well-written and informative; I couldn’t put it down. Unsurprisingly, the novel gives a different side of Bush for readers to consider. It is the only presidential memoir that I have read, but it is one of my favorite books.

And now, a brief synopsis of what I’m currently reading…

“Hamilton” is the biography of Alexander Hamilton. Excluding being a Founding Father of the nation, Alexander Hamilton is possibly best known for his death in an ill-fated duel against Aaron Burr. However, his life was much more complicated than that. A brilliant mind, he was born out of wedlock, orphaned by his mother while being abandoned by his father. Noted for his talents, eventually he was taken in by a wealthy merchant family and made his way to America for schooling. He ended up serving in the Revolutionary War under George Washington as a senior aide and eventually became the first Secretary of Treasury, wrote anonymous, controversial letters to newspapers as part of political battles, formed the first national bank and the Bank of New York (Now known as BNY Mellon), and founded the Federalist Party. All of this while married and fathering eight children. This book is extremely detailed and almost dry at times, but Hamilton’s achievements are astonishing. It is taking me much longer to read than what it normally would due to the amount of detail, but it is very attention grabbing and I have learned much about early American history.

“You are a Badass” is followed by “how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” This is my first self-help book, and I am really enjoying the message and learning from it. There is one thing I don’t like about it, and that would be the writing style. I feel like it is me being a writer snob, but some of it is just too informal and conversational for me. However, I feel like that is a fine line from being overbearing to almost conversational, and I’d rather take this than it reading more like a textbook. The examples given in the book are excellent. Those have been really eye opening, and I have been able to apply in my everyday life. I feel like I have been able to take much more from this book more than I ever anticipated. Additionally, the overall message of “love yourself’ is something we all can do a little bit more often! Not to sound corny, but it has truly changed my perspective on life and just over halfway through.

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!


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