Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House
August 25th, 2018 by diane92345

Who can forget the #1 villain in three seasons of the Apprentice? Omarosa really spills the t in Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.

After a year serving in Trump’s White House, Omarosa is unceremoniously fired by Chief of Staff Kelly. Trump appears to know nothing about it. Trump’s family attempts to coerce Omarosa into not speaking out by offering her an equivalent annual salary of $150,000 for working on Trump’s reelection campaign. But they don’t know Omarosa!

Since Omarosa seemed anything but stupid in her Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice appearances, it seems rather disingenuous of her to say she never noticed Trump’s racism or sexism. Her later assertation that she and Trump were using each other seems more accurate.

Some of the information here is shocking even to those inured by the unconventional Trump presidency. Drivers passing me on the freeway while I was listening to this book are excused from wondering about the crazy woman alternately laughing hysterically and screaming in astonishment at her car stereo.

I attempted to read the previous Trump tell all, The Fire and the Fury, earlier this year but it was a snoozefest. Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House is anything but. I listened to it at 1.5 speed because I just couldn’t wait for the next episode. Omarosa throws most of Trump’s family and close aides under the bus. Then backs up and runs over them again in true Suge Knight style. Here are just a few samples. Was there a missionary position component to Trump’s official spiritual advisor’s ministry with him? Is Kellyanne really not as dumb as she acts? Is Betsy Devos’ nickname Ditsy accurate because she is dumber than she acts (though that appears to be a pretty low bar)? Is Trump sliding into dementia? Does he go into day-long “nuclear” rages at perceived and actual slights?  Are his early morning tweets just as much a surprise to his staff? Is Melania a great mother just waiting for the presidency to end to get a divorce? Is she using her clothing and body language to send a not-very-subtle signal to the Donald? All this and more are in Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House. Is it all true?  Who knows, but I can guarantee that it is immensely entertaining! It is highly recommended for everyone who has wondered what life is, or could be, like in the Trump White House. 5 stars!

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Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius
July 19th, 2018 by diane92345

Multiple Eisner award winner Shannon Wheeler is not afraid to skewer everyone’s sacred goats from Trump to confederate flags in Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius.

Do Latin pigs speak Pig Latin? Would statues of bestiality be less controversial than confederate generals? How do angels describe their halos to get them back from Heaven’s Lost and Found Department?

Definitely not for children, Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius is consistently and irreverently funny. Some are one-page political cartoons. Others are multi-page short stories—some fiction and some seemingly true personal experiences of the author. About a third of the book is in color.

The book is dedicated to men with small packages and the author’s father. If that seems weird, this may not be the comic for you. It is funny and a good short read. 3 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Image Comics, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.

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Future of Terrorism
July 4th, 2018 by diane92345

The Future of Terrorism includes a well-researched and comprehensive history of terrorism from antiquity through 2017. Its section on terrorism’s future is more divisive based as it is on the current political climate in the United States.

The book has three parts: terrorism in history, modern terrorism and the future of terrorism. It is interesting to learn that terrorism has been around forever.

“Terrorism is not only a product of bad governance but also a manifestation of youthful idealism.”

Obviously, both bad goverance and youthful idealism are not a new phenomenon.

Why is terrorism’s history relevant? Because the Islamic State (aka ISIS) is a “hodgepodge of the best approaches from the history of terrorism.” Modern digital life has changed the way terrorist organizations recruit (through the web) and frighten the populace (YouTube beheadings). However, the goals and results remain the same then and now—overthrow and recreate a society more fair (at least to the groups to which the terrorists belong).

The Future of Terrorism is recommended to any reader interested in how insurrection has changed society from the French and Russian Revolutions to the modern middle east. However, Trump supporters will not appreciate the linking of him to alt-right terrorism and conspiracy theories even as left-leaning readers will be saying “duh” to something so obvious.

The book uses statistics to prove that the threat of terrorism is less than the threat of gun violence—at least in the United States. However, the preeminent threat is the overreaction to terrorism that threatens our nation’s freedoms and our mandate to accept the tired, hungry and huddled masses yearning to be free.

While the writing style of the Future of Terrorism is academic (think of a 1950s college history textbook), the information is valuable. 3 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

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