WWW Wednesday November 4th

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to take a look at what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I’m planning on reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I love reading about Presidents. I love it so much that I actually have a Christmas tree themed “Presidents” with all the White House Historical Association Ornaments they put out every year (they date back to the Reagan presidency). I may put that tree up this year since it’s an election year and this year’s ornament features John F. Kennedy.

So you could imagine, when author Jonathan Alter contacted me and asked if I’d like to review His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life, I was thrilled. While Carter himself has written many books, there hasn’t really been a full-length biography of the Nobel Prize-winning former President. So far the book is interesting, but to be honest, I can’t stand the cover art. That doesn’t scream “presidential biography” to me. I’m not sure what it is supposed to accomplish.

And since I’ve already mentioned JFK, I should mention that I’m listening to the audiobook of The Editor: a Novel of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Steven Rowley. I got it a few weeks ago when it was on sale, and so far, it’s funny and poignant.

From the Publisher: After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page…

What did you recently finish reading?

I’d read so much buzz about The Inheritance Games that I picked it up from the library. And as much praise as it’s getting, I have to measure my review, which is coming in the next few weeks. Why? It ends on a cliffhanger, something I absolutely hate. I had no idea this was the start of a series, and feel a serious letdown when that happens. So I have to think about it a little more to decide how I liked the book before I got to the ending.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive

I also finished The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek. It was a quick and easy read with lots of pictures and enjoyable, too. Review to come in the next few weeks.

Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers.

For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. “I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” he writes in The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve got an ARC from NetGalley I’ve been dying to get to: Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year. It will be the perfect trip down memory lane as I was 11 that year and it was all about Nancy Drew and music and MTV for me then.

The definitive account of pop music in the mid-eighties, from Prince and Madonna to the underground hip-hop, indie rock, and club scenes
Everybody knows the hits of 1984 – pop music’s greatest year. From “Thriller” to “Purple Rain,” “Hello” to “Against All Odds,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It” to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” these iconic songs continue to dominate advertising, karaoke nights, and the soundtracks for film classics (Boogie Nights) and TV hits (Stranger Things). But the story of that thrilling, turbulent time, an era when Top 40 radio was both the leading edge of popular culture and a moral battleground, has never been told with the full detail it deserves – until now. Can’t Slow Down is the definitive portrait of the exploding world of mid-eighties pop and the time it defined, from Cold War anxiety to the home-computer revolution. Big acts like Michael Jackson (Thriller), Prince (Purple Rain), Madonna (Like a Virgin), Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), and George Michael (Wham!’s Make It Big) rubbed shoulders with the stars of the fermenting scenes of hip-hop, indie rock, and club music.
Rigorously researched, mapping the entire terrain of American pop, with crucial side trips to the UK and Jamaica, from the biz to the stars to the upstarts and beyond, Can’t Slow Down is a vivid journey to the very moment when pop was remaking itself, and the culture at large – one hit at a time.

I’m also on to volume #16 in the Nancy Drew Mystery series, The Clue of the Tapping Heels, both the Original Text (Amazon) (AbeBooks) and Revised Text (Amazon) (AbeBooks)

Oh, and just as I was writing this, I was informed that I won a Goodreads giveaway for Spellbreaker, which was an Amazon First Reads book last month that I didn’t choose. So I’ll have to get started on that, too.

So, what are you reading? Drop your link or tell me in the comments section. Happy reading!

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5 comments

  1. I hated that Inheritance Games ended in a cliff hanger too but the book is lots of fun otherwise. I have very strong opinions about books ending in cliff hangers which I usually mention but don’t go into the full on lecture I want to do. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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