what are some favorite books to add to a reading list

When you travel a lot, you tend to read a lot. You also develop certain favorites that you could easily read again. While I consume all types of books and love to educate myself about current events and history, it’s a must that they not all be serious. I sometimes, well often, just want the silly and a good laugh! So, here are a few of the books I’ve been reading lately with more to come…

The News Sorority

This book by Sheila Weller is a look into the lives of journalists Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Christiane Amanpour. You learn how they got their start and what it took to break into the men’s club of the newsroom…and it’s not always pretty. But it’s a fascinating look at how they persevered and made history along the way. I loved that it’s not just about the journalistic side, but also shows us their lives outside the newsroom and how they combined the two.

There are also interviews with a lot of people who worked with and for them. While this makes it a bit gossipy, which many readers may love, it mostly highlights their ambition, thick skin, sacrifices, grit, and determination they had in order to become who they are and who we admire. Yes, these women had egos, but wow, there is no comparison to those of their male counterparts. And how they had to manage these fragile egos certainly makes for a great read. While I sometimes cringed at what they did to get where they are, I am very grateful to them for paving the way. This is really a great read.

Life

The Rolling Stones are one of my favorite rock and roll groups of all times, so this book by Keith Richards was just fun for me. You assume that they have led a “hard” life, especially given Richard’s reputation and after reading this, you would assume correctly. But I love this quote from Richards…“I can’t untie the threads of how much I played up to the part that was written for me,” he says. “I mean the skull ring and the broken tooth and the kohl. Is it half and half? I think in a way your persona, your image, as it used to be known, is like a ball and chain. People think I’m still a goddamn junkie. It’s 30 years since I gave up the dope! Image is like a long shadow. Even when the sun goes down, you can see it.”

I think why I loved the book so much is that it goes way beyond a tell all of the life of the Stones. It also gives you an insight into their childhoods; the history of this era of rock and roll; what went into the making of the music that will last forever; and the relationships that existed between so many of these groups including the Beatles. While Richards may have gotten caught up in the fame and era of rock and roll, it all still was just about the music for him. “I used up my nine lives long ago, but here I am. I’m still playing and I’m still rocking and still rolling. And I survived to tell this tale”.

Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave

This book is just great fun and made me happy and laugh. If you do not know its author, Jill Kargman, of Odd Mom Out fame on Bravo, you really should educate yourself. She is a married mom of three from a wealthy family in NYC. Her book is a collection of her musings on life, death, and what happens in between. Several favorites include how she copes with coming from a death obsessed family who she compares to the Addams Family and why you should never take your children to Disney (Misney) World. You should find yourself both inspired and entertained.

I also love that the title came about when she and her daughter were at a cemetery talking about why people put flowers on graves. Her daughter thought it was sad and said, “When you die, I am going to sprinkle glitter on your grave, because you’re fabulous and glitter is really hard to clean up”.

what are favorite books like sprinkle glitter on my grave

Fascism: A Warning

I have always admired Madeline Albright, the first female Secretary of State, and was fortunate enough to actually have dinner with her and be introduced, “Sherry, come meet Madeline.” We also saw her and Wendy Sherman in a talk at the 92 Street Y in New York. Drawing on her own experience as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat, Fascism really scared me, because I know how relevant it is in the world today.

Just look at what is going on in many countries around the world besides the usual suspects like Russia and Syria. Countries such as Poland, Hungary, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela and even the U.S. are struggling to maintain their democracies. She shows that not only has fascism endured, but it currently presents the biggest threat to peace and justice in the world since World War II.

The United States, which has consistently championed a free world, is now led by a president who scorns many of our democratic institutions, throwing praise on dictators, while belittling our fellow democratic societies. His belief in isolationism and protectionism is hindering our ability to lead, help solve international crises, maintain alliances within the West, and will embolden antidemocratic forces.

Despite all this, Albright is hopeful that democracy’s problems can be overcome, IF we recognize history’s lessons, never take it for granted, and our political parties work together again to solve our country’s problems. This call to arms teaches us the lessons we must take to heart if we are to avoid repeating tragic errors of the past. “The temptation is powerful to close our eyes and wait for the worst to pass, but history tells us that for freedom to survive, it must be defended, and that if lies are to stop, they must be exposed.” Not light reading, but so very important for all us to heed.

Dear Madame President

I will be the first to admit I was so disappointed…okay, it went beyond that, when a woman did not become president in both 2008 and 2016. I was so heartbroken and angry as I had been waiting for that moment my whole life. When I saw Jennifer Palmieri’s book, it went on my must read list. She was after all Hilary Clinton’s campaign communications’ director and has had a long career in Democratic politics. So, I was sure she felt the same as me. The book is essentially an open letter to the women who will be president one day.

Palmieri believes that Trump’s election served as a catalyst to mobilize American women.”I think what his victory did for a lot of women, instead of crushing their souls or making them feel disempowered, we felt empowered that this was proof that the old ways don’t work any more. And that we are going to chart our own path.”

Jennifer wisely didn’t focus on the what ifs of the Clinton campaign, but instead shares positive, forward-thinking, inspirational, and practical advice on taking control of one’s life and reimagining women in leadership roles and not just politics. “I want every girl, young woman, older woman who picks that book up to read it as if, ‘That could be me. I could be that”.

and don’t waste your time…

I’ve Been Thinking by Marie Shriver…It really bothers me to have to say this. I was so looking forward to the book and I admire Maria Shriver so much. That said, I was so disappointed and actually quit reading about half way through. I would have stopped sooner, but I kept hoping my attitude would change. It just seemed trite to me with no new revelations about life, like set aside time each day to think and reflect…Lovingkindness should be the leading edge of the way we connect with each other…And don’t be afraid to ask for help.  It seemed like I had read it all before, so felt a little cheated.