Hard Choices

Hard ChoicesHard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading Madeline Albright’s book about being Secretary of State last year, I became fascinated with how foreign policy is conducted by the United States. Albright is the better writer, but both books are well worth reading. I think I’ll read Condoleezza Rice’s book next to cover all the female Secretaries of State before moving on to the men.

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The Centrist Manifesto

The Centrist ManifestoThe Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you feel like our current two party system is too partisan and no longer getting reasonable legislation accomplished, then this book is for you. Charles Wheelan lays out a sensible plan for a third party that would hold the middle ground and bring reasoned governance back to the United States. This is not a plan for a fringe party, but a plan for a party for the way most Americans think and his primary focus is the senate, where gerrymandering and primaries have less influence because the entire state votes. This is a short, concise, and sensible book. If you’re tired of the status quo, read it.

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Doctor Strange, Vol 1: The Way of the Weird

Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the WeirdDoctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t know a lot about Doctor Strange when I read the Marvel Masterworks about him earlier this year, and it didn’t impress me. To be fair I decided to give this updated version a try. I’m glad I did. The writing was excellent and the art was great. I enjoyed it enough that I’m probably going to read the follow up book.

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The Princess Diarist

The Princess DiaristThe Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Carrie Fisher is one of my favorite writers. I really enjoyed this book, especially the beginning which is written in the voice I’m accustomed to her writing in. It was a little more difficult reading the actual diary entries, not because they weren’t well written, they were, but they were also so tragic. It’s heart wrenching in the way that only a young woman in a bad relationship can be. This is a good read but I prefer her other memoirs and fiction. On the other hand, if you want to know about her and Harrison during the filming of Star Wars: A New Hope, this is your book.

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The Danish Girl

The Danish GirlThe Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully written book about the marriage of one of the first people to have sexual affirmation surgery. While I appreciate atmosphere and good writing, it did take an awfully long time for the story to feel like it got going, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. I also didn’t realize it was very loosely based on a true story. I don’t generally read novels based on true stories. Normally I would just get the biography, so that was troubling to find out at the end. Anyway, it’s worth a read, but not if you’re looking for the facts of Lili Elbe’s life or if you’re looking for a quick read.

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Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a TimeTurn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Mark Adams adventures in Peru as he followed in the footsteps of Yale professor Hiram Bingham who brought pictures of many of Peru’s ancient Inca sites to the western world, some for the first time. Mark’s intrepid guide, Jon, is a living breathing Crocodile Dundee and just as charming. I listened to the book through Audible and found Andrew Garman’s performance to be perfect for the material. I’m not sure I would have given the written material five stars, it probably would have only gotten four from me, but Garman really brings it alive. If you like travel writing and get a chance to listen to this, I highly recommend it.

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