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  • Kate DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

    Kate DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    This children's book is so much more than a child's story; from the moment when grandmother Pellegrina fixes her sharp black eyes at the rabbit and says, "I'm very disappointed in you, Edward", the story demands an examination of the reader's motives along with the scouring of Edward's selfish and vain behavior. I finished the book and sat back with a beautiful ache, knowing I had read something that was meant to be savoured, and would resonate far longer than perhaps I am comfortable with. Is that not the mark of a true story?

  • Charles Frazier: Thirteen Moons: A Novel

    Charles Frazier: Thirteen Moons: A Novel
    I had a really hard time getting into this one, but the writing was very well done. I did not find the characters sympathetic, but perhaps that's because I've read a lot of harsh stuff recently and was not moved by the plight of the idiots here. Kind of frustrating for me, I must say.

  • David Baldacci: The Camel Club

    David Baldacci: The Camel Club
    On a recommendation from a coworker, I'm trying out David Baldacci. This book falls squarely into the political thriller/mystery genre, but I really enjoyed the Bourne Identity, so I think I will be happy with this too. The writing is not bad, and the characters are already memorable - these are not just your token CIA agents and a few political advisors.

  • Jeannette Walls: The Glass Castle: A Memoir

    Jeannette Walls: The Glass Castle: A Memoir
    I've only begun reading this, but it comes highly recommended. The story centers on the family of an alcoholic father and neglectful mother, as the author attempts to describe her childhood in all its glory and pain. I recognize some of the wild creativity and exploration.

  • Diane Ackerman: The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

    Diane Ackerman: The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
    Riveting story about the Resistance in Poland, told through the life of Antonina, the wife of the zookeeper in Warsaw. Both the third-person discussions and the first-person narratives were informative and creatively done - I walked away realizing I had known very little about the Polish role in fighting Nazi Germany, and I now feel compelled to learn more. A very good read.

  • Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants: A Novel

    Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants: A Novel
    Way too much fun, with a twist at the end that will throw you completely off guard. It was lovely, but too graphic for kids.

  • Chris Crutcher: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

    Chris Crutcher: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

  • David McCullough: John Adams

    David McCullough: John Adams

  • Jeremy Byman: Madame Secretary: The Story of Madeleine Albright (Notable Americans)

    Jeremy Byman: Madame Secretary: The Story of Madeleine Albright (Notable Americans)

  • Thomas Merton: The Seven Storey Mountain
    Loves France. Interesting spiritual metaphors, a bit heavy-handed metaphysically. Not sure what I'll think about it when I finish.

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Comments

TF6S

Jayne,

You bring up an interesting point. Actually, I'm a huge proponent in the value of personal integrity when evaluating a candidate for higher office. Sadly, there is so little integrity out there, it is hard to find cases like the one that you described above.

For example, I am a huge fan of Harry Truman even though his socialist economic views stand in stark contrast to mine. But, to this day, I do not think there is anyone who has sat in the Oval Office other than Ike (probably my favorite) who even touched his personal integrity. I'm a fan of the current President and Reagan in this regard, however I think the era that Truman grew up in gave him a little more grit than our generation's Presidents (Truman didn't even graduate from college!).

I think the pinnicle of Truman's Presidency came when he fired Douglas MacArthur. Think about it--he fired a 5-Star General who was one of the most popular Americans in our history. Truman's popularity after that incident dropped below 30%. He didn't care, there was no way a General who was two big for his britches was going to disregard a direct order from the Commander in Chief.

Tough cookie that one was.

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