I’m no longer viscerally upset about the 2016 election because I’m a pragmatist – the kind of person who tries to take stock of changed circumstances as soon as possible and adjust their strategy to start again. Of course I’m saddened on a daily basis by some of the actions of the current administration (aren’t we all, or most of us at least), but I’ve let go of the frustration over Hillary’s loss. I think she’d agree that it’s a waste of time at this point. She seems like a pragmatist too and what’s done is done.
However, there’s always room to learn from past events, and I’ve been drawn to books about the election to try to dissect the mechanics of what caused Clinton’s loss. As soon as I heard her memoir on the election was coming out in September, I knew I wanted to read it right away. I didn’t know exactly what to expect having read most of her past memoirs (book list here). They are chock-full of information and expertly written but polished and restrained, very much written by a woman with an eye to a continued future in politics. I though that in What Happened she might let loose a little more, but I was so in love with how out there she is in this memoir that I can’t even fully convey it. I felt that in What Happened, I met the Hillary Clinton we all could glimpse behind the necessary political facade – or at least those of us who cared to look accurately.
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We’re all struggling with the negative political news these days, and I really wanted to read Alyssa Mastromonaco’s Who Though This Was A Good Idea? as a political palate cleanser. I wanted it to transport me back to the wonderful years of the Obama White House, when things happened in an organized fashion (largely thanks to Mastromonaco herself), and the POTUS was a steadfast and comforting figure.
I loved learning more about Mastromonaco’s role both during Obama’s campaign and in the White House. As some one who is obsessed with organizing, it was pretty dreamy to hear about the work of someone who was responsible for figuring out the logistics of a jam-packed schedule like that of the President. Mastromonaco is also truly an inspiring figure for women thanks to her incredibly significant accomplishments in a male-dominated field at a very early age.
I struggled with the memoir’s structure and tone, however. It left me wishing that Mastromonaco had either employed a more experienced ghostwriter in helping her craft it, or that she had stuck to the political memoir aspect of it and dropped the self help portions. I recently found out that the book has been optioned by Mindy Kaling’s production company to be turned into a film, and I can see how Mastromonaco’s life would translate into a very compelling feature. While we wait for the screen adaptation, read my review of Mastromonaco’s memoir below.
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Since there are so many great Summer book lists out there that focus on new releases in the fiction sphere, I thought that I would choose to center this new release post on nonfiction releases only. They’re definitely treated a bit as the ugly stepchild of the book blogging world sometimes, but since they’re my favorite (give me all the memoirs, historical tomes and weird books about scientific phenomena) I’m here to give them some love.
It’ll be hard (or impossible) for me to read all of the 15 books listed below, but I’m definitely planning to get my hands on Into The Gray Zone by Adrian Owen, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein, Unbelievable by Katy Tur, and The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore by Jared Yates Sexton. For the other ones, wish me luck! It’ll be hard to resist picking up Bugged and The Last Castle as well.
If you’re looking for some perfect book lists of fiction picks for the summer, here are links from two of my favorite book blogs that you can consult:
Modern Mrs Darcy’s Summer 2017 Reading Guide
Sarah’s Bookshelves Summer 2017 Reading Guide
For all of the great new nonfiction though, keep reading!
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