5 Things I Learned About Donald Trump From The Making Of Donald Trump By David Cay Johnston

The Making Of Donald Trump Book Review

In the past I’ve been relatively uninterested in politics. I have very liberal social views and pretty middle of the road economic views, but I haven’t felt the need to be very politically active. This probably has something to do with the fact that I’m an Italian citizen living in the U.S.  I can’t vote in America, and the Italian political system is quite honestly so messed up that it feels that no level of political action is going to truly change it.

This election has roused me from my torpor however, due to a single extremely controversial candidate – Donald Trump. I can’t stand by and avoid expressing my opinion when someone who is actually being considered as a potential leader of the country I live in is spewing bigoted, hateful, and just plain uninformed vitriol.

I realized that I didn’t know many details of Donald Trump’s life and rise to ‘business success’, aside from generalities like the fact that he owned hotels and what I gleaned from watching The Apprentice for a few seasons. I wasn’t looking for a book to change my already very negative opinion of him – I’ve heard enough of his ideas from him in first person that the damage is done. I just wanted further details of his business and personal practices throughout his life, and I have to be honest that I expected to find more confirmation of his lack of integrity and character.

My Ranking Of Jane Austen’s Novels – Author Spotlight

My Ranking Of Jane Austen's Novels - Author Spotlight

Jane Austen is definitely one of my Top 10 favorite authors – though she may not be as highbrow as Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. I’ve read each of the 6 novels she completed in her adult years, and like most people, I have my favorites.

The ultra-famous Pride and Prejudice doesn’t appear until the third spot in my ranking, and my #1 favorite Jane Austen novel is actually the lesser known Northanger Abbey. I thought sharing my ranking of her novels might spur some readers of her most popular titles to explore her less-famous works as well.

Once I finished writing this post I realized that the novels are ranked in chronological order based on when Jane Austen originally wrote them. Even Northanger Abbey, which was published in 1817 after her death, was actually written first in 1788 to 1799! There must be something to this that is influencing my preferences – I clearly appreciated Austen’s style more in her earlier works than in her more mature later novels. Very interesting.

What is your favorite Jane Austen novel? Let me know in the comments!

The Sinking Of The Titanic And Other Fateful Voyages – Book List

Fateful Voyages Book List

Epic voyages make for great nonfiction fodder, and I’m a sucker for a story about enterprising adventurers setting sail on the ocean blue, or people finding themselves transported from one place to another as part of the larger current of history.

Whether retelling of icy, doomed trips to the poles, treks across countries or endless deserts, and famously fateful maiden voyages, these books will transport readers along with their protagonists away from the everyday comfort of everyday life into an uncharted and uncertain future at the edge of human experience.

Make sure to pack your knapsack and kiss your loved ones goodbye for a few hours as you immerse yourself in their world.

Links I Loved This Week




  • I have been hearing about the new novel Mischling by Affinity Konar all over the place, and this NY Times review by Michiko Kakutani made me even more intrigued. It’s the story of two sisters growing up subject to the horrifying experiments of the infamous Dr. Mengele in Auschwitz. Should be a very moving read.

Book-Themed Accessories For Cozy Fall Reading


What are your go to accessories for cozy fall reading? I always like to have a mug of something hot to sip on, fluffy socks, a scented candle lit to set the mood and a warm blanket to snuggle under.

Here are some book-themed accessories to get you in the mood for some serious rainy afternoons and overcast weekends in with a good book.

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis Book Review – 1000 Novels Series


The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis

by Giorgio Bassani

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis Book Review


Amazon Paperback
Amazon Hardcover

Plot Summary:

In this coming of age novel set against the increasing discrimination suffered by Jewish people in Italy leading up to World War II, an unnamed narrator describes his memories growing up in Ferrara as a young Jewish man. He is linked to the Finzi-Contini family and their children Alberto and Micol by their shared Jewish heritage, seeing them at the synagogue and building a relationship with them through the years by visiting the Finzi-Contini mansion gardens for tennis matches and long walks with Micol. As his emotional attachment to Micol grows, the narrator realizes that the difference in their upbringing is a much deeper divide than he anticipated.

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