Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Reading

Well, I may still be unemployed -- but at least I have been catching up on my want to actually read books! Even better, some of the books contribute to potential careers I'm studying up for.

Complete Book #1 of Summer: Decision Points, by George W. Bush. The memoirs of our immediate past President were at least slightly interesting, and offered a different view of his thought process than I'd ever really been exposed to. He did focus a lot on the decisions that developed him into the person he was, he candidly spoke of his battle with alcoholism, his military service which was a contested point in the 2004 election, and various other "how he came to that conclusion" on policies like embrionic stem cell research. Not particularly ground breaking though, at least I didn't feel like I came away learning "WOW! I NEVER KNEW THAT!" stuff.

Complete Book #2 of Summer: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Published in 2003, this basically told the story of Hillary's childhood soon followed by the real story behind many of the Clinton scandals they faced in the early 1990s, the ones that most people generally agree weren't true. Still not a whole lot of groundbreaking stuff here, but I personally found it interesting. I remember hearing back in the 2000s that she probably used a ghost writer for part of it: one of my favorite games I played during this book was identifying the "SAT word" that cropped up every 5 minutes, like clockwork. She would use a word that NO ONE uses in conversation that just sounded odd where it was used, and forced me to go to to even know what the word meant (even though I could figure it out pretty easily from context clues.) This was the perfect lead up, actually, to the Bill Clinton Presidential Library trip.

In-Progress Book: Memo to the President-Elect, by Madeline Albright. Published 2008. The beauty of this, and the previous two books, is that they are double-y valuable for my History-teaching hopes and State Department dreams, in interviews for both these are valuable books with useful information and anecdotes. (Madeline Albright being Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, and the first Woman Secretary of State.) This book is going slower than Bush and Hillary's though, it's basically what a retired Secretary of State wishes every President knew before taking office. It's targeted at Hillary, John McCain, and/or Barack Obama -- because it was written when we didn't know which would be President. I like Madeline Albright, I remember her promoting this book on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and her personality and writing are both surprisingly entertaining for someone of her advanced years. I am also constantly reminded of a clip from Gilmore Girls she randomly appeared in. (Arg, I can't embed the video...)

In-Progress Book: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, by Tucker Max. Published c. 2006, I have seen this book on bookstore shelves COUNTLESS times in the last couple years, and I always consider reading it, but I want to find it from the library. Well, I can never find it at the library - so yesterday I considered buying it with my leftover Student Teaching giftcard, instead decided to download the eBook from the Stow Library. So now I'm like a third of the way through it, and it's pretty funny actually, definitely a mature read - it's basically Barney Stinson's autobiography. Told through his blogposts; the writing style is unconventional, he uses a lot of sentence fragments because that is how someone would really recant a story. I think that would be less annoying if I had a normal eBook reader, because my computer screws up the spacing sometimes and throws the page number in at random places making me reanalyze a sentence once a page.

And I considered starting A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain. But then I set that down, that's a bit of a mission to tackle, so I think I'll finish these two books first.

Quote of the Day: "Hold on now dude - fate may fuck with you, but I fuck with fate right back." - Tucker Max, p. 39. A way of life I can relate to, if in different ways.

Song of the Day: "Wish You the Worst" by Katy Perry. I kinda like this early Katy Perry song, definitely a "revenge"-y song that feels good to listen to when you're angry at someone. Not that I'm angry at anyone today, I'm actually pretty happy with life overall. =)

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