Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity By:Kerry Cohen

A friend recommended this book to me and at first I was a bit apprehensive about reading it.  It seemed like a "chick-book".  After reading a few chapters, I was surprised to see the other side of the spectrum of the teenage angst.  This books delved into the life of a young girl and how she deals with her parent's divorce and her mother's subsequent abandonment of her and her sister to pursue a career as a doctor.

The sisters eventually move in with the father that is more of a hangout buddy than a father.  He refuses to step up for his kids and smokes pot with them avoiding the hard decisions of a parent.  The youngest of the two sisters, Kerry, is in search of "love" at any cost.  She winds up living a promiscuous life style that eventually causes her to contract STDs and have unprotected sex with countless partners, some of which she had only met hours before.

The problem with the book and the story is that  in the end, you do not get a sense that she has ACTUALLY found love, happiness and stability.  The book also ends abruptly.  There is a long drawn out story of Kerry and her relationships and partners and then from one minute to the next, she is married and serious?

I truly hope she found peace in her life.  That is no way to live.  I hope she, if she decides to have kids, she is a much better parent than she was a daughter and what her parents were with her.  

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Hyperion; Reprint edition (June 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401309925

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott-Fitzgerarld

OK, this book has been on my "to read" list for quite a while.  I finally broke down and read it.  I must say, I was not expecting some of the gay/bi-sexual parts to it and not just the overt ones.  This is a short book, about 180 pages.   I will not review it much more that what I already did. 

Everyone should read it, although it has a sad ending. The book is definitely a classic.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Scribner; Reissue edition (September 30, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743273567
ISBN-13: 978-0743273565

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's so easy (and other lies) By Duff McKagan

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.  When I first started to read this book, I though, "Here we go, another book about partying like a "rock star", drugs, women, destruction" I was partially right.  However this book was gripping, insightful, motivational and truly inspiring.

How this man survived the 80's and is even alive today is beyond me.  McKagan takes you into the dark annals of his life story.  This man "partied like a rock star".  From his early days of his panic attacks to the heavy alcohol induced hospital stays, McKagan takes you step-by-step into his dark world and the life saving steps he had to take.

The chapter describing his first use of crack was so vivid, I thought myself to be the one using.  The first 9 chapters are a bit confusing because it jumps back and forth too much however after chapter 9, it really starts to focus on the GN'R days. 

The scary part about this book is how strangely close it resembles my life.  Obviously not in the the talent, success, or even the level addiction, but more in the steps he took and how they specifically mirrored my thoughts.  For instance, he talks about how he found reading.  He devoured everything he could find.  He wanted to read all of the books others had read when they were in high school and he was playing gigs hammered.  I too recently (a few years) found reading as an avenue of release and escape.

Mr. McKagan showed how resilience is sometimes more important and impressive than just stamina.  Even after getting clean, he tripped up but found the strength to immediately fix his errors and get back to normalcy.   He has written for Seattle news papers, Playboy, and, is a good father, husband, and still rocks with the best of them.

Truly a great book.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; First Printing edition (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 145160663X
ISBN-13: 978-1451606638 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Debt Bomb By: Senator Tom A. Coburn, M.D.

Normally, I try to stay away from books by sitting politicians as they usually are just full of self-righteous proclamations.  The one exception has been Ron Paul and now Tom Coburn, Senator of Oklahoma and his book.  Dr. Coburn is exceptionally in tune with the problems we face today.  He is non-partisan and holds nothing back.  He is critical of his own party as well as the other(s).  Dr. Coburn explains in horrifying detail the complacency of his fellow senators and congressmen while he served in the house.  This book proves most of the assertions of Washington D.C.

Although Dr. Coburn did not mention the "Federal" "Reserve" and its part in the the debt bomb, I truly feel that if we had more politicians such as Dr. Coburn, we would not be in the situation we are today.  Although I do not agree 100% with term limits as Thomas Jefferson was arguably a career politician and cannot imagine life without his hand being involved. 

Dr. Coburn has self-imposed term limits on his time in the House and in the Senate. He is on his way out and knows where the "bodies are buried".  He is of the opinion that the Left and the Right are aware of the problems and the solution but they lack the political courage to do something about.  All the while, the people of this country are believing the status quo is sustainable.  Entitlements need to cut as does our DOD budgets.  This is a fact.  The Left is fine with cutting DOD but does not want to touch entitlements, and the Right is the opposite.  It is imbecilic to believe that this country can sustain the entitlement programs today, let alone the ones that are planned.  Mr. Coburn is not as "radical" as I am, I understand.  His ideas are based on continuing to provide the entitlements to some degree while I am more on the side of doing away with most of them if not specifically stated in the Constitution.  I am for them if the Country decides they want to amend the Constitution.

The book is excellent as it dives into the mindset of these careerist politicians and what makes them tick.  Write a letter to your politicians and recommend them to read this book.  It was certainly beneficial to me.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159555467X
ISBN-13: 978-1595554673


Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows By:Gabor Boritt

This book was painful to get through.  The amount of worthless time consuming minutia regarding the speech was boring and not engaging at all.  It is obvious in the book the Mr. Boritt is a strong Lincoln supporter.  That bothered me throughout the book.  The book portrays the South as a bunch of bandits and makes it more than obvious that the North really hated the South. 

The premise that the Civil War was fought because of slavery is really disturbing to me as if it were the case, why not invade free the slaves and then allow the South to remain in their "Confederate States of America".  Why was the "Union" so important that the North did not allow them to remain separated?

Getting back to the book, it was extremely boring and there is not much to say other than there were many accounts as to what Lincoln said, when he said it, and who was listening.  The apotheosis of Lincoln is clear in this book and others from this period.  The book is not an easy read and I had to force myself to finish it.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743288211
ISBN-13: 978-0743288217

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Magnificent Catastrophe By. Edward J. Larson

This book details the struggles concerning the elections of 1800.  Ironically, I found many parallels with present day politics.  The "Federalist" who believed in big government and central power in a sort of monarchical government against  the 'republicans' or "anti-federalist" that where big supporters of the original intent of the Constitution, de-centralized government doing battle.  This fits the narrative we see today where the two factions are "Big Government" Republicans and Democrats and the smaller government "republicans" (emphasis on the lowercase 'r') which has members of more "traditional" Democrats and Republicans.  

The book covers the elections of 1800 where John Adams (2nd President) seek re-election.  However the current Vice President (Thomas Jefferson) also seeks his first win as POTUS.  The most interesting information in this book is how two men could have been allies and come together to create the Declaration of Independence yet be so diametrically different in their respective visions for the country.  Truth be told, I find it fascinating that so soon after winning are independence from the Crown, that John Adams would be the impetus for the Alien and Sedition acts. Ironically, the President and the House were protected from criticism, but the Vice President (Thomas Jefferson), was not protected.  

As you all know, Adams was unsuccessful in retaining a second term as President and was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson which served two terms as President.  After their rivalry, Jefferson and Adams remained in contact via mail and talked about religion, politics, to name a few.     

It is difficult to ascertain a particular agenda or ideology from the writer.  This is important to me as I like to form my own opinions.  With that said, the author did take certain liberties and stated "FACTS" that in my opinion where not exactly facts.  The one that comes to mind is, that of Jefferson being a deist. 

The book flows well and is engaging.  I could not put it down. Not necessarily a page turner, but if you enjoy history; more specifically political history, you will enjoy this book.  

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (September 18, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743293169
ISBN-13: 978-0743293167