Madam Secretary

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Author: Madeleine Albright                                                  Publication Date: 2003, 2013

Political, personal and insightful are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading Former Secretary of States Madeleine Albright Memoir. The story of how a Czechoslovakian immigrant became the 64th and first women Secretary of States in the United States of America.

Madeleine Albright was a young, intelligent women full of ambition, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and her family fled to the United States for a safer and better life 1947. After attending Wellesley College,  Madeleine started her professional career in journalism by working at local newspapers. Her political career kicked off when she worked on The National Security Committee under the Former President Jimmy Carter Administration. She went on to work on several different campaigns such as: Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. Madeleine is most known for being The United States Ambassador to the United Nations and the 64th and first women Secretary of State both under Former President Bill Clinton.

This book covers several prominent events in not just The United States but around the world, particularly during her years as Ambassador and Secretary of State. Madeleine highlights several aspects of her personal life as well. Including her marriage, divorce, becoming a parent to her three daughters Anne, Alice and Katie and finding out about her family’s Jewish heritage. She points out the difficult parts of being a parent and juggling a stressful career. However, stressing trying to pave a pathway for females in Government.

Quote: “I had arrived in that harbor half a century before, an eleven-year old immigrant from Prague staring up at the Statue of Liberty. How astonishing that that girl was about to become the 64th Secretary of State and the highest-ranking women in U.S. History.”

This quote describes in a handful sentences how she hopes that her achievements will inspire young men and women that are in or that are coming into this country to shoot for stars and not let the hurtles get them down. I know that women like Madeleine Albright, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and several more female roles models in Government have inspired me to shoot for my dreams in making not just The United States but the world a better and safer place for all.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

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Author: Suzanne Collins Publishing Date: May 2020

War, Peace, and Music are the 3 words that come to mind after reading “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” written by Suzanne Collins. A story of a boy trying to figure out life after war and trying to find peace in the world of some much unknown.

Many of you have heard of and even read the Hunger Games trilogy. Well “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a prequel to that series. It goes back in time to the end of the Civil War between the Capital and Districts of Panem and follows the life of the future President Coriolanus Snow.

It opens up at the reaping of the 10th annual Hunger Games where for the first time ever a student mentor is assigned a tribute to guide them through the Games. Coriolanus Snow gets handed a girl from District 12 by the name of Lucy Gray. Lucy Gray may have made an impact at the reaping however, she is still a very unlikely candidate to win the games. On the other hand, they actual make an unbelievable pair both professionally and personally.

Music was used in this book as a way for Lucy Gray to communicate her feelings throughout the book. It was a sense of relief and warmth that was needed during such a difficult time.

I personally believe that this book has come out at just the right time. As world is battling it’s own war against the deathly disease Coronavirus. In addition to The United States in it’s own civil war between the Capital of Washington D.C. and the states in the case race and police brutality.

Throughout the book Coriolanus finds himself stuck between believing whether the Capital is right with creating the Hunger Games and his best friend Sejanus Plith who is against having young children fighting to their deaths. This is an issue that challenges Coriolanus’s moral and human beliefs. As it is also an issue of human decency. Just has the issue of Race and Police Brutality is.

Suzanne Collins does a fantastic job depicting a character caught in the cross roads and just wants the best for his family’s future. She doesn’t leave anything out and wraps up the story very nicely. It is certainly a book that Hunger Game fans have been anticipating and will not be disappointed.

What Happens in Paradise

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Drama, Love and Mystery are the 3 words that I think of after reading “What Happens in Paradise” written by Elin Hildebrand. A story of two families coming together after learning their loves ones are living a double life. A novel full of twists and turns at every corner and will have you at the edge of your seat.

We left the Steel and Small family after they found out they are now connected after their loves one are dead from a terrible plane crash. Now we join them back in Saint John’s while they get to the bottom of what truthfully  took on the plane on the first of the year. What will happen the Steel family after making their decision to come back to the island. Will there be a chance for Ayer to have a relationship with the boys? Which Steele brother will she choose? Will a brother/sister relationship blossom between Mia and the boys? And let’s not forget Huck and Irene. What will be revealed when Ayer comes across journals from Rose’s past?

“What Happens In Paradise” will continue to pull at your heartstrings and mess with your emotions in every way. It is an epic beach read for the summer. A novel of love stories mixed with mystery. That will not disappoint!

Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashians

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Family, Love and Fame are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian.” A story of how one women born and raised in San Diego California came to be one of the worlds famous momager.

This book takes you through Kris Jenner’s life from growing up in a loving household, to finding love with a well-respected lawyer at a young age and starting a family. Kris Jenner is candid about her feelings in her first marriage. Which ultimately led to divorce. To finding love again with an Olympic legion and completing her family. She really opens up and goes into great detail about the hurt caused and love and faith that helped her family get through the toughest of times. From the trial of the century to the decision of starting a reality television show and the stardom that followed and everything in between.

To be honest I thought I knew everything about Kris Jenner. I mean her life is on camera. However, I learned about her childhood and the mother-daughter relationship she had her mom that inspired her to have the same relationship with her own children. By reading this book, I have developed a newfound respected for Kris Jenner. A women who devotes her life to loving and supporting her children in the best way she knows how.

Winter in Paradise

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Heartbreak, Love and Mystery are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Winter In Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand. A story of how a hopeful new Year towards into a heartbreaking mystery.

Irene Steele thought she had a good life. Yes, she just got a demotion at work, but she had a great marriage and two great independent grown sons. When on News Years Day she receives a call from an unknown number saying there had been an accident and her husband of 35 years was dead! What was more shocking it happened off the island of Saint Johns. What was Russell Steele doing in Saint Johns?

The story brings you on the journey as a family goes in search of the truth behind the crash and death of their beloved Husband and father. What the family finds out is both heartbreaking and full of mystery? What was Russell Steele hiding? What did he actually do for work? And will his family ever be able to forgive him? This book is full of twists and turns on every page.

Elin Hilderbrand does a great job portraying a romance mystery novel with real-life emotions. This book will leave the reader wanting more and continuing on with the series.

The Friend

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Loss, Grief, and Friendship are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “The Friend” Sigrid Nunez. A story of losing a best friend and developing an unexpected friendship in the aftermath.

This story follows a middle-aged women as she grieves the loss of her best friend. When she is unexpectedly given her best friends dog to look after. A friendship forms between her and the dog as she tries to comprehend what the dog needs to feel comfortable and what he thinks of his life without his owner. Even though she is not the most dog friendly person. She understands that by doing this, she is fulfilling one last wish of a friend.

This story was a big hard to follow in terms of who is talking and who they are talking too. I was expecting more of an emotional journey, but it fell flat for me.  However, it was a sweet story of how a dogs and human can grief together after experiencing an overwhelming loss.

Children of Blood and Bone

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Good versus evil, Love verses hate are the themes of The Children of Blood and Bone. A magical thriller full of desire of hope, love and revenge. A book that will have you at the edge of your seat the entire ride.

This story follows a young villager Zelie and her older brother and a princess as they set out to bring magic back to their home and take back their precious land. After their ruthless leader had taken away so many years ago. Along the way they are faced with many obstacles. Obstacles that lead to flashbacks and history lessons from their ancestors the gods. As the king’s sons tries to prevent them from fulfilling their mission and prevent the magic from making a return. Even as the Prince himself hides a deadly secret. Will they gather everything needed for their mission to be successful? What will happen when they come face to face with their enemy? What will the future hold for their beloved home?Tomi Adeyemi does not disappoint! Between the battles of bloodshed, the bonds of family and the unexpected bonds that are formed along the way. This thriller is one action backed magical journey, that will leave you wanting more!