There are the classics, new books, interesting books, fun books. Take your pick. Even short books/novellas and audiobooks. I admit, though, that I am a bit “old fashioned” and enjoy a good paperback (literally, on paper), leafing through the pages and putting in a bookmark or paper with notes on it for my own information and edification.

So what have I read recently (including my own YA nonfiction book)? Here are some books to check out, (listen to) or buy:

Anne of Green Gables. Juvenile literature (ages 9-12, young adult). First published in 1908. L. M. Montgomery, author. This is a good preteen book about a spunky orphan, Anne Shirley, who gets a chance to be part of a home, run by middle-aged siblings and farmers, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Anne lives an adventurous,  somewhat normal life, but has to make a few hard choices in the end to help her family.

The Great Gatsby. Adult fiction. 218 pages. First published in 1925. F. Scott Fitzgerald, author. I was given the assignment to write about this classic and unique author in college — the bio on Mr. Fitzgerald is as interesting as his books, being an active member of the Twenties’ Jazz Age and the expatriates in France after WWI. He and his wife Zelda, who later wound up in a mental hospital, played pranks in hotels and enjoyed life on the French Riviera. His life inspired some of the “goings-on” in Gatsby, where Jay Gatsby lived the life of the decadent rich but pined for his lost love Daisy Buchanan, who comes back into his life when she is married and her husband is having an affair. I judge it written like a play, no words wasted, a classic in its look at the Twenties.

A Woman is No Man. Adult fiction. 368 pages. First published in 2019. Etaf Rum, author. This New York Times bestseller is by first-time author Etaf Rum, herself also of Arab background, like the Palestinian American Isra in the book. The book, perhaps a little long, is both informative and heartbreaking, about a woman trying to break free of her Muslim upbringing, a struggle to the very end. The book is quite worthy of discussion for first-generation American women or anyone feeling confined by culture in the midst of trying to be more a part of the American way of life.

FEAR: Trump in the White House. Adult nonfiction. 464 pages. First published Sept. 11, 2019. Bob Woodward, author. This nonfiction account of the first half of  Donald Trump’s unconventional presidency has what you would expect: unconventional, even dangerous decision-making behavior. A man who has not studied history or listened much to his advisors, Woodward shows staff dashing around to prevent Trump from making some really bad policy decisions. Trump actually had advisors speaking for and against the tariff war idea, and he listened to those agreeing with him. Some out and out quotes are quite entertaining. Mostly easy to read through. His conservative supporters should definitely read it! A reality-TV businessman should NOT be president!

Great American Women in Science and Environment. YA nonfiction also suitable for adults. 154 pages. First published in 2020. D. J. Mathews, author. Reader Diane Rosborough has commented it is “nicely put together. Very interesting. I learned facts I didn’t know. I gave it to my granddaughter, who’s eleven.” Retired educator Vicki Tolbert found it was a good example of “real life role models in the field of science.” The 14 chapters discuss the childhoods and mentors who helped these women become great in their fields, from astronaut Sally Ride, to cancer researcher Gertrude Elion, to tree sitter Julia “Butterfly” Hill, to others, including haircare products inventor C. J. Walker, a mini-series on her life recently shown on Netflix. There are not enough such books out there. Obtain at Barnes and Noble or Amazon or BookLocker.


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