Saturday, August 16, 2008

Home...but not for long

Returned today after a week with my family at a rented cottage in the lakes region of the state. Not much to do up there but read, watch movies, play music, swim, and make occasional excursions to other towns around the area for shopping and such. It's a restful time if we manage not to kill each other. Now that we're back, I am going into high gear for a few days before departing for another year at AU. Trying to see a handful of people, pack, and run numerous errands, all in about four days. Not going to be easy...but hopefully it'll all work.
Here's the books I've completed this summer. Not expecting to complete any more, in all likelihood, before I go back to school...too bad. With any luck, I'll have some time to write reviews of some of these on here. I think they are all worth reading.
  1. God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis

  2. What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles

  3. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller

  4. Stiff by Mary Roach

  5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

  6. The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill

  7. Against the Tide by Sen. Lincoln Chafee

  8. The Summons by John Grisham

  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

  10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

  11. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

  12. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

  13. The King of Torts by John Grisham

  14. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

  15. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

  16. Big Russ & Me by Tim Russert

  17. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

  18. When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

  19. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

  20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

  21. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

  22. The U.S. of Eh? How Canada Secretly Controls the United States and Why That's OK by Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen

  23. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

  24. Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: A Biography by Judith and Neil Morgan

  25. All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President by James Carvill and Mary Matalin

  26. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Home, Work, and School by John Medina

  27. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

  28. Statecraft and How to Restore America's Standing in the World by Dennis Ross

  29. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

  30. What Happened by Scott McClellan

  31. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

  32. A Time to Kill by John Grisham

For those interested in international relations, particularly with an eye to the current situation in Georgia (which is very serious and warrants close watch, particularly if it heralds a return to Russia's imperialistic past philosophies), I will say that I very highly recommend former Ambassador Dennis Ross's book Statecraft. All would-be diplomats should make this book a top priority on their reading list. And for those interested in an inside look at the Bush administration, look no farther than former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's book, which came out earlier this summer, called What Happened. It details the Bush administration from the 2000 campaign to McClellan's departure in 2006. Many important topics are covered, but of particular focus in this book is the circumstances surrounding the Valerie Plame case, which McClellan was deeply involved in, in that he was the one forced to lie (unknowingly) to the press and the public about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby's involvement. I'll do a more in-depth review later, but I highly recommend both of those books to individuals interested in current political affairs, domestic and international.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

VP Pros and Cons

For the Democrats and Republicans, from, a pros and cons list of some of the likely vice presidential choices: Who Gets Second Billing on the Presidential Ballot?