America Back on Track

by Edward M. Kennedy

America Back on Track by Edward Kennedy

Oh, Ted, Ted, Ted… So many things to write about this book. First, for those of you OUT of the political know, Ted Kennedy died way back in 2009. Also, my political beliefs rarely line up with the late Mr. Kennedy, but I do like to keep informed about different ideas and the values behind them. I also got this book for free and I will read anything that comes into my hands for free. Full disclosure, I also have very little respect for the Kennedy clan in general, so this review is heavily tainted with eye-rolls every other paragraph.

Kennedy asserts that America has gone astray from the values that founded the country. If I had a dollar for any time a politician said that, I would have enough dollars to keep my book addiction sated—and I have quite the addiction. He says there are seven ‘challenges’ that the country faces, and surprise, surprise, Kennedy has just the right ideas to meet those challenges. Cue the National Anthem. Aside from organizational issues and citation issues (which are grievous!) the entire book is really another Bush-bashing. Kennedy claims OVER and OVER and OVER again that partisan politics are to blame for not being able to overcome these challenges that America faces but then spouts the most biased and unsubstantiated liberal rhetoric that I just had to smile to myself and say, “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

In light of what is happening currently with the Democratic party and particularly the Obama administration’s cover ups of Bengazi, the IRS scandal, spying here there and everywhere etc. There is a particularly interesting passage “The executive branch had increasingly asserted its right to act in secrecy and to ignore laws passed by Congress. The courts have not yet stepped up to the challenges posed by these unprecedented claims of presidential power, and the majority in Congress has chosen uncritical support for the president instead of meeting their constitutional duty to oversee and check executive power. The judicial branch has increasingly substituted its judgement for that of Congress on issues of national importance.” Oh, Ted, Ted, Ted. I wonder if you would be towing the party line if you were here today?

I could write a long, and eloquent (yes, eloquent) refutation of America Back on Track, but that is not the purpose of this review. I did not enjoy this book. I felt it was written by a career politician in the manner of career politicians, largely ignoring facts, pointing out problems, blaming the other team, and having no concrete plan of how to reverse problems. The arrogance that oozed out of every page was insulting as a reader and the name dropping was embarrassing. Yes, we know JFK was your brother. Congrats. I think some of my liberal friends that aren’t critical thinkers might like this book as a rah rah call-to-arms, but a majority of my liberal friends would not find it helpful or insightful. And my friends who aren’t liberal… well…

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Unfamiliar Fishes

by Sarah Vowell

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

This is another book I picked up for research for our family trip to Hawaii in 2016. I’m already a fan of Vowell, and at this point I’d already done a fair amount of research so I was excited to add Vowell’s perspective. I knew there were certain things I could count on in a Vowell history. 1- She was going to be cutting. 2- She was going to find the ridiculous. 3-She might eviscerate the colonists. I was right on all counts. Read More »

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by Jasper Fforde

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by Jasper Fforde

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by Alan Bradley

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by Hampton Sides

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by Katheryn Kimbrough

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by Katheryn Kimbrough

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by Katheryn Kimbrough

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by Katheryn Kimbrough

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by Saroo Brierly

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by Alwyn Hamilton

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by Rosalie Ham

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I saw a trailer for the movie version of this book a few years after the movie was in theaters. As usual, I thought, hmmm… looks like an okay movie, but I bet the book is better. Having never seen the film, I can’t promise I am correct, but the book was fine. It wasn’t wonderful, but entertaining enough. Read More »

Run Gently Out There: Trials, Trails, and Tribulations of Running Ultramarathons

by John Morelock

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by Sarah Vowell

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by Sue Grafton

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by Paula Hawkins

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by Thanhha Lai

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by Paul Collins

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by Hampton Sides

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by Jojo Moyes

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Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

by James L. Haley

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Way back in the early days of 2016, my husband and I decided that we would do something spectacular for his four week sabbatical rather than the yard work and errands that we’d initially talked about. Then randomly we decided we’d go to Hawaii, and we’d take the kids. I’ve never had a lot of interest in Hawaii, it seemed too touristy, too obvious, too not my kind of island, but once we decided we’d go (and take three kids aged five and under) for 2+ weeks in paradise, I threw myself into research mode. Read More »

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by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Kim Novak

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by Madeleine Brent

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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

by Jenny Lawson

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by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

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by Catherynne M. Valente

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by Donna Tartt

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by Daniel Stashower

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by Christopher Morley

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by Hampton Sides

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