Labor Day, My Father, and Unions

This week began with Labor Day which always puts my mind on my father. Dad earned the nickname “Brain” because, had he not been born into a poor family just at the edge of the Great Depression, his intelligence might have led to a very different life than the one he lived. He had to drop out of school after eighth grade to go to work in order to help support his mother and father. He found a job at the Easy Washer plant in Syracuse, NY. I know he worked there for at least 15 years, beginning when he was thirteen. Easy Washer made wringer washing machines. I also know that he worked there right through WWII, doing essential war work. 

After the war, my father’s plant was folded into General Electric. He had taught himself all about electrical circuits and even learned higher math skills, algebra and calculus, through home correspondence courses. For the rest of his life, until he retired, he worked in the TVR section of GE where assembly lines turned out the first televisions, whose guts consisted of an array of cathode tubes. Televisions were small and heavy and changed over time from black and white to color sets. He knew how each tube functioned in the TV and he purchased tubes which he kept in his basement workshop where he fixed our neighbors’ televisions and radios. 

General Electric had a very active union, AFL-CIO, and my father became a union steward. Management was never fond of unions. Unions turned workers into a powerful bargaining unit. Often unions fought to force management to stop encroaching on rights that workers had already won. It was common to force workers to work hours of overtime after a full shift by threatening to replace workers who said “no” to extra hours. Whenever a worker had a grievance, they could ask the union to put the power of numbers behind the rather puny efforts of one worker in order to right a wrong. Of course, sometimes unions overstepped also, and used their power to force the company to keep workers who were slackers, or who stirred up disagreements with fellow workers. Unions often stood up for workers in cases of discrimination, but not always as often as they should have. 

A pattern was set up in the minds of workers, that anyone hired into a factory like GE would work there for his or her entire life and would retire from there one day in their old age. There were no health care plans, no retirement plans, no unemployment insurance, no social security, but there supposedly was the sense that you had joined a family and if you ‘pulled your weight’ you would keep your job for a lifetime. Gradually the federal government began to offer programs to help workers with retirement and unemployment. 

My father and the union workers at GE went on strike many times to win higher wages as the American economy began to grow and inflation kicked in. Often, they were offered benefits in place of higher wages. Probably half of our family’s eight children had left home before the company offered health care and retirement savings programs. Workers did not get paid while they were out on strike, and some strikes were lengthy. The union gave striking families stipends which kept them from starvation but caused wage earners much anxiety about other costs like mortgage payments, clothing for their children for school, other school costs, and the costs of keeping a car on the road. Our family seemed to live in waves of feast and famine. 

Capitalism is an economic system which encourages private ownership of a business paired with the sale of items in a marketplace to consumers who keep the owner in business. Since businesses are run by people and people have flaws like greed, or a single-minded drive to succeed at the cost of employees, corporations are as corrupt as their owners. Businesses must please stockholders and boards of directors when they become large corporations. When money seems pinched or the market wobbly, workers without unions could face unreasonable work demands from these large corporation, where the work force was basically faceless to the owners. Unions filled an essential role.

But, a fact of our lives is that life moves on, sometimes at a fast pace, sometimes slowly. Promises made for a lifetime may not be kept if conditions change and the world after WWII saw many changes. In 1960 SONY introduced the first solid state television sets. These sets did not use tubes. The technology was new, and my father was unprepared for it. But he did not make televisions by that time. He worked in the “Master Oscillator” room checking instruments and keeping records. 

By the time he was thinking about retirement he still had four children at home who were in high school. He could not retire yet. GE encouraged him to leave by putting him back on the main assembly line. He was anxious all the time and the assembly line pressures disturbed his sleep at night. Soon television production was no longer profitable for GE in Syracuse, and the company decided to move their TV operations to another city. 

Southeast Asia was producing more and more televisions and they were less expensive for consumers to buy. The marketplace was changing, and unions were also caught off guard. They did not understand that they were competing against a foreign labor force that could be paid far less than American workers were being paid. Unions kept asking for higher wages. Corporations like to say that the unions pushed them to go overseas. However, corporations go where their bottom line is best served, where their profit margins are best, where consumers are hungry for the goods they produce. 

Once the USSR came apart in 1981 and businesses in China began to take off in the 1980’s, corporations rushed to fill a factory vacuum in countries that offered a seemingly endless supply of cheap labor. The unions may not have seen the handwriting on the wall, but the corporations did, and they leaped across oceans to seize the opportunities presented. American companies declared bankruptcy, leaving their employees without their pensions. Finally, the federal government had to step in and offer some recompense to workers left high and dry after years of labor. The labor market in America changed drastically causing the grievances that right-wing talk show hosts inflamed. 

Now we have people who must work two or three low-wage jobs and still cannot pay for all their needs. We have something called ‘gig workers’ whatever that is. We have more entrepreneurs which is not necessarily a bad thing, but our small businesses are less stable than those large corporations once were. And we have a pandemic which has led to interruptions in supply chains. The American economy seems poised to recover but is being held back by partisan fights over commonsense health initiatives.

As companies joined the Great Factory Migration, we saw a right-wing push to make unions obsolete by passing laws called ‘right to work’ laws, which is meant to put a positive spin on something that is not positive at all. Unions charged nonunion workers a fee although they were not members because it made the union more powerful and allowed the unions to win more battles with management. Workers resented these fees, but they also received the same hard-won benefits that union members received when the fight was over. Pressure from the right-wing to pass right-to-work laws included the use of strategies that escalated the anger already present in nonunion workers about having to help pay for union negotiations

Unions may seem like archaic vestiges of a former age right now, but I would not give up on all that employee empowerment so quickly. Workers still need to band together to keep from giving management free reign over its worst impulses. There are many rights that workers still need in America, rights that workers have in other nations. Workers still must choose between family and employers when emergencies arise. Workers must choose between childcare and work, and this often affects female workers most, although men actually have children too, and there are few if any choices offered for men who might choose to be a childcare provider.     

My dad was forced into early retirement when his skill set no longer matched what was needed in a company that he thought had become his other family. He was fortunate to work for a company that did not have to declare bankruptcy. GE was able to keep its retirement promises to senior employees. Watching his skills become obsolete was still hard on my father and the strategy of putting senior workers back on the main assembly line where they were often too slow to keep up left him feeling abused, angry, and incompetent. 

Spending a lifetime in the hire of a single corporation or employer is highly unlikely in today’s work climate. But I still pay my union dues, although I am retired. I hope that all union workers will keep paying dues to their unions if they can. We may need our unions again. Even Amazon employees are trying to unionize, so far without much success and some possible cheating on the part of management. Workers may all be replaced by robots, but it looks like that will not happen quite yet. People will still want to be productive and won’t want those Republicans to think of them as deadbeats. AI presents whole new challenges for workers. How soon this transition will happen no one knows. So, for now we need to keep our unions alive and oppose the passage of right-to-work laws. CEO’s don’t run the world, workers do.

March 2018 Book List

March 2018 Book List

 

This month we find a long list of topics covered by authors of newly released books. In this March 2018 book list there is sure to be something here for everyone: Physics, the 60’s, Virtual Reality, Romance, China, Paris, Food,  Sex Toys, Justice Marshall, Eisenhower, Hippies and Food, Kids these days, Kennedy women, Doctor books, Factories, Seppuku, Racism and much more including a perennial favorite, crime fiction. Happy reading. If we could only inject books directly into our brain – although, as with everything, there would be disadvantages I’m sure.

Amazon

Literature and Fiction

 

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

The Sparshot Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

Gun Love: A Novel by Jennifer Clement

The Italian Teacher: A Novel by Tom Rachman

The Adulterants by Joe Dunthome

Trenton Makes: A Novel by Tadzio Zoelb

Laura and Emma by Kate Greathead

Girls Burn Brighter: A Novel by Shobha Rao

Whiskey and Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Gods of Howl Mountain: A Novel by Taylor Brown

The Cloister: A Novel by James Carroll

 

Biographies and Memoirs

 

Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage by Brian Castner

Twentieth Century Boy: Notebooks of the Seventies by Duncan Hannah

Just the Funny Parts…and a Few Hard Facts about Sneaking into the Hollywood Boy’s Club by Nell Scovell

Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson

Patriot Number One American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Life, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride, Joe Biden

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Intro), Patton Oswalt (Afterword

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950’s by William I. Hitchcock

A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle by Randy Roberts, Johnny Smith

 

Mysteries and Thrillers

 

Crimson Lake: A Novel by Candice Fox

The Flight Attendant: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano, John Brownjohn

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

High White Sun by J. Todd Scott

Bone Music (The Burning Girl Series) by Christopher Rice

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George

Chicago: A Novel by David Mamet

The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon

Green Sun by Kent Anderson

 

Nonfiction

 

What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics by Adam Becker

To the Edges of the Earth: 1909: the Race for Three Poles and the Climax of the Age of Exploration by Edward J. Larsen

The Last Wild Man of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure by Carl Hoffman

Walking the Americas: !800 Miles, Eight Countries and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Columbia by Levison Wood

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan H Walsh

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport

Atom Land: A Guided Tour through the Strange (and Impossibly Small) World of Particle Physics by Jon Butterworth

The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Saw Tooth Pack by Jim Dutcher, Jamie Dutcher

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

The Coincidence Makers: A Novel by Yoav Blum

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Wonder Engine: Clocktaur War Book 2 by T. Kingfisher

Children of Blood and Bones (Legacy of Orïsha) by Tomi Adeyemi

The Warrior Within by Angus McIntyre

Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon

High Voltage (Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega) by Patricia Briggs

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

Lake Silence (The World of the Others) by Anne Bishop

 

New York Times Book Review

Feb. 4th

Fiction

 

In Every Moment We Are Alive by Tom Malmquist

Munich by Robert Harris

The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce

Little Reunions by Eileen Chang

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

 

Crime Novels

 

The Gatekeeper by Charles Todd

The Wanted by Robert Crais

Mephisto Waltz by Frank Tallis

The Undertaker’s Daughter by Sara Blaedel

 

Nonfiction

 

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How it Works, and What it Can Do by Jeremy Bailenson

The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

The Road to Sleeping Dragon by Michael Meyer

Nine Continents by Xiaolu Guo

To Fight Against This Age by Rob Riemen

The Saboteur by Paul Kix

L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz

A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food by David Downie

Eating Eternity: Food, Art, and Literature in France by John Baxter

 

Feb. 11th (for Valentine’s Day)

Fiction

 

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Endless Summer by Madame Nielsen

Some Hell by Patrick Nathan

Straying by Molly McCloskey

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

The Art of Vanishing by Laura Smith

My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari

Our Lady of the Prairie by Thisbe Nissen

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

 

Romances

 

Devil in Tartan by Julia London

One and Only by Jenny Holiday

Promise Not to Tell by Judith Krentz

Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

 

Nonfiction

 

The Kiss by Brian Turner

Getting Off by Erica Garza

Buzz: The Stimulating History of the Sex Toy By Hallie Lieberman

Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure by Lynn Comella

 

Feb. 18th

Fiction

 

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith

Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Black and White by Junichiro Tanizaki

 

Crime Fiction

 

Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch

The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce

 

Nonfiction

 

Directorate S by Steve Loll

Hippie Food by Jonathan Kauffman

Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millenials by Malcolm Harris

The Selfie Generation: How Our Self Images are Changing Our Nation’s Privacy, Sex, Consent, and Culture by Alicia Eles

iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebelious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood by Jean M. Twenge

The Ukranian Night by Marci Shore

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, intro by Gillian Flynn, afterword by Patton Oswalt

 

Feb. 25th

Nonfiction

 

Time Pieces by John Banville

Feel Free by Zadie Smith

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Up, Up, Down, Down by Cheston Knapp

Smoketown by Mark Whitaker

Jackie, Janet, and Lee by J. Randy Taraborrelli

The New Negro by Jeffrey C.Stewart

The Real Life of the Parthenon by Patricia Vigderman

 

Fiction

 

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Oprah’s Book Club Pick)

The Boat People by Sharon Bala

A Beautiful Woman by Juliàn López

A Girl in Exile by Ishmail Kadare

 

Domestic Thrillers

 

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Girl Unknown by Karen Perry

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

 

Mar. 2nd

 

Nonfiction

 

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Eat the Apple by Matt Young

Political Tribes by Amy Chua

It’s Better Than It Looks by Gregg Easterbrook

The Rub of Time by Martin Amis

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland

Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta

In Shock: My Journey From Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope by Rana Awdish

The Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem by Elisha Waldman

Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir by Irvin D Yalom

 

Fiction

 

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

The Invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard

Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby

Daphne by Will Boast

 

Crime Fiction

 

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

The Plea by Steve Cavanagh

The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent

 

Publisher’s Weekly

Feb 16th

 

Napa at Last Light: America’s Eden in an Age of Calamity by James Conaway

I’ll Stay by Karen Day

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

Without Precedent: Chief Justice Marshall and His Times by Joel Richard Paul

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

 

Feb 26th

 

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

A Good Day for Seppuku by Kate Braverman

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman

Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind by Michael Massing

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Silver Girl: A Novel by Leslie Pietrzyk

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler

Eat the Apple: A Memoir by Matt Young

 

Mar 2nd

 

The Poet X: A Novel by Elizabeth Acevebo

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Census: A Novel by Jesse Ball

A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

The Family Medici: The Hidden History of the Medici Dynasty by Mary Hollingsworth

Speak No Evil: A Novel by Uzodinma Iweala

The Infernal Library: On Dictators, The Books they Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy by Daniel Kalder

The Sandman: A Joona Linna Novel by Lars Kepler

The Escape Artist: A Thriller by Brad Meltzer

3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay Z and Hip Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise by Zack O’Malley

Woman’s Hour: The Last Furious Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss

God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Laurence Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2018 Book List

Here’s my February 2018 Book List. You can get a quick summary of any of the books on the list by looking the book up on Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble, or at your library, except for books to be published in the future. Both Publishers Weekly and New York Times Book Review give critiques of the books they list and have “buy this book” buttons.

 

Publisher’s Weekly

 

Jan. 8

The Immortalists: A Novel by Chloe Benjamin

Green: A Novel by Sam Graham-Felsen

Gnomen: A Novel Nick Harkaway

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind by Michael Massing (NF)

Red Sky at Noon: A Novel by Simon Sebag Montefiore

A State of Freedom: A Novel by Neel Mukherjee

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (YA)

When Montezuma Met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History by Matthew Restall (NF)

Walking the Bones: A Ryan DeMarco Mystery by Randall Silvis

The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith

1917: War, Peace, and Revolution by David Stevenson

 

Jan. 22

 

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi (Syria, YA)

Peach: A Novel by Emma Glass

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann (NF)

The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah Vaughan

 

Jan. 29

 

Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom by Keisha N Blain (NF)

This is What Happened (Novel) by Mick Herron

Tempest: Old West Book 3 by Beverly Jenkins (Romance)

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jenkins (NF)

The Invention of Ana: A Novel by Mikkel Rosengaard

The Book of the Dead by Muriel Rukeyser (Poems)

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C Stewart (Bio)

A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis (NF)

 

Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018 (Pub. Between Feb. and April)

 

Fiction

 

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Circe by Madeline Miller

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

 

Mystery, Thriller, Crime

 

Green Sun by Kent Anderson

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

 

Science Fiction

 

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (YA)

The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg

Space Opera by Catherynne M Valente

Witchmark by CL Polk

 

Memoirs

 

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

Brave by Rose McGowan

Eat the Apple by Matt Young

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

 

Literary Essays (Criticism)/ Biography

 

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee

Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean

 

History

 

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King

God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom by Keisha N. Blain

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss

 

Political/Current Events

 

China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle by Dinny McMahon

Fascism: A Warning by Madeline Albright

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua

 

New York Times Book Review

 

Jan. 7th

 

Crime

 

Robicheaux by James Lee Burke

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey

The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin

 

Fiction

 

Three Floors Up by Eshkol Neva (Israeli)

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Marcón

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst

 

Continental Fiction

 

How to Behave in a Crowd by Camille Bordas

Yiza by Michael Köhlmeier, Trans by Ruth Martin

Lea by Pascal Mercier, Trans by Shaun Whiteside

Uncertain Glory by Joan Sales, Trans by Peter Bush

 

Nonfiction

 

The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization by Martin Puchner

The Social Life of Books: Reading Together in the Eighteenth Century Home by Abigail Williams

Texas Blood by Roger D. Hodges

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler

Seduced by Mrs. Robinson by Beverly Gray

Playing with Fire by Lawrence O’Donnell

Enemies and Neighbors by Ian Black

Anesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole Adams

Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesia by Henry Jay Przybylo

The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway by Doug Most

Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The Side of Brightness by Colum McCann

 

Jan. 14th

 

Fiction

 

The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar

The World Goes On by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Trans by John Batki, Ottilie Nulzet, and George Szirtes

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

 

Nonfiction

 

Craeft by Alexander Langlands

The Road Not Taken by Max Boot

The Bughouse by Daniel Swift

Supernormal by Meg Jay

Late Essays by J M Coetzee

The Thin Light of Freedom by Edward L. Ayers

Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife by Pamela Bannos

Renoir: An Intimate Biography by Barbara Ehrlich White

A Generous Vision: The Creative Life of Elaine de Kooning by Cathy Curtis

 

Jan. 21st

 

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen

King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich

Winter by Ali Smith

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien

State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee

 

Crime

 

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry

Lullaby Road by James Anderson

A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

 

Books in Translation

 

The Temptation to Be Happy by Lorenzo Marone, Trans by Shaun Whiteside

The Time of Mute Swans by Ece Temelkuran, Trans by Kenneth Dakan

Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki, Trans by Polly Barton

Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa, Trans by Nicky Harman

 

Nonfiction

 

Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Trans by Ingvild Burkey

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

The Years by Annie Ernaux, Trans by Alison L Strayer

Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies by Ann Hulbert

 

Jan 28th

 

Fiction

 

The Nothing by Hanif Kureishi

Red Clocks by Naomi Alderonan (What if abortion were illegal again)

Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia

The Mannequin Makers by Craig Cliff

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

London and the South-East by David Szalay

The Years, Months, Days: Two Novellas by Yan Lianke

 

Nonfiction

 

Trumpocracy by David Frum

The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe

Show Medicine by Victoria Sweet

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

The Last Man Who Knew Everything by David N Schwartz (Enrico Fermi)

The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds by Bernd Brunner

Birding without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World by Noah Strycker

 

Bipolar Disorder

 

Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love by Zack McDermott

The Glass Eye: A Memoir by Jeannie Venasco

Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind by Jaime Lowe

 

Amazon

 

Literature and Fiction

 

The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez

A Long Way From Home: A Novel by Peter Carey

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

Asymmetry: A Novel by Lisa Halliday

In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist, Henning Koch

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Chicago: A Novel by David Mamet

An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones

The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah

Still Me: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

White Houses: A Novel by Amy Bloom

 

Mystery and Thrillers

 

Force of Nature: A Novel by Jane Harper

The Deceivers (A John Wells Novel) by Alex Berenson

A Dangerous Crossing: A Novel by Ausma Zehanet Khan

The Plea: A Novel by Steve Cavanagh

Girl Unknown: A Novel by Karen Perry

The Kremlin’s Candidate: A Novel by Jason Matthews

The Woman in the Water: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Mystery Series by Charles Finch

Kill the Angel: A Novel (Caselli and Torre Series) by Sandrone Dazieri

The Gate Keeper: An Inspector Rutledge Mystery) by Charles Todd

Look For Me (D.D. Warren by Lisa Gardner

 

Biographies and Memoirs

 

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú

The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream by Bryan Mealer

Limits of the Known by David Roberts

Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wacks, Aziz Ansari

Brave by Rose McGowan

I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays by Tim Kreider

Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall by Joel Richard Paul

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

 

Nonfiction

 

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth by Michio Kaku

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species by Sang-Hee, Shin Young Yoon

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boy’s Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington, Intro by John Grisham

Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet by Yasha Levine

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Hassim Taleb

The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream by Bryan Mealer

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

 

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

The Philosopher’s Flight: A Novel by Tom Miller

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Your One and Only (There is Nothing More Human Than Love) by Adrianne Finlay

Into the Fire by Elizabeth Moon

Fire and Bone by Rachael A Marks (the occult)

Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira

 

 

 

 

 

January 2018 Book List

January 2018 Book List

 

Amazon

 

Literature and Fiction

 

Red Clocks: A Novel by Leni Zumas

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

Green: A Novel by Sam Graham-Felsen

The Boat People: A Novel by Sharon Baia

Heart Spring Mountain: A Novel by Robin MacArthur

Oliver Loving: A Novel by Stefan Merrill Block

The Music Shop: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

A State of Freedom: A Novel by Neel Mukherjee

This Could Hurt: A Novel by Jillian Medoff

 

Biographies and Memoirs

 

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD by Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis

Here’s the Real Magic: A Magical Search for Wonder in the Modern World by Nate Staneforth

Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Brave by Rose McGowan

The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta by Kushanava Choudhury

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, ashe bendele

The Wizard and the Prophet, Two Remarkable Scientists and their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles L. Mann

Furnishing Eternity: A Father, A Son, a Coffin and a Measure of Life by David Giffels

The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz

 

Mysteries and Thrillers

 

The Wife: A Novel of Psychological Suspense by Alifair Burke

Robicheaux: A Novel by James Lee Burke

The Woman in the Window: A Novel by A. J. Finn

Gnomon: A Novel by Nick Harkaway

The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry

Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah Vaughan

Need to Know: A Novel by Karen Cleveland

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Munich by Robert Harris

The Chalk Man: A Novel by C. J. Tudor

The Wife Between Us: A Novel by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

 

Nonfiction

 

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hansen

The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam by Max Boot

When: The Scientific Study of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles L. Mann

The Deepest Will: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris, MD

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan

Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land by Scott Freeman, Susan Leopold Freeman

Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children by Sara Zaske

Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life and the Next War on Violence by Patrick Sharkey

The New York Times Book Review (Abbreviated Lists at Christmas Time because Special Seasonal Books are Reviewed, which I won’t list here)

 

December 17th

 

Nonfiction

 

Cartoon Country by Collen Murphy

Vacationland by John Hodgeman

The Gifted Generation by Daniel Goldfield

A Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary, translated by John Markham

The Kites by Romain Gary

The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 by Tina Brown

Bloodlines by Melissa del Boque

The Trade by Jere Van Dyk

 

Fiction

 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Timeless by Armand Baltazar

 

December 24th

 

Nonfiction

 

God: A Human History by Reza Aslan

What the Qur’an Meant by Garry Wills

Belonging: 1492-1900 by Simon Schama

The Book of Separation by Tora Mirvis

The Great Shift by James L Kugel

The Exodus by Richard Elliott Friedman

The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah by Adam Valen Levinson

Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel

Bethlehem, Tracing the Life of a Storied Little Town by Nicholas Blincoe

Heaven on Earth by Michael Shermer

Finding Oneself in a Coffin by David Giffels

 

Fiction

 

Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally

By the Book by Francis Ford Coppola

 

Found object

 

Harriet Tubman’s hymnal

 

December 31st

 

Nonfiction

 

Windfall by Meghan O’Sullivan

Megafire by Michael Kodas

Firestorm by Edward Struzik

The Great Quake by Henry Fountain

Quakeland by Kathryn Miles

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen

Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Megrich

Understanding the Mammoth: A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science by John McKay

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

The Doomsday Machine by Daniel Ellsberg

Inheritance of the Earth by Chris Thomas

 

My New Book is Now Available on Amazon

My new book is more a pamphlet than a book. It is quite short, almost in the style of those Federalist Papers that have had such great publicity lately in the Broadway show Hamilton. It is a bit pricey also because I wanted to have it printed in color. My book shows how the Republicans have been quietly attempting to rewrite huge sections of the US Constitution by stripping away the body of laws, amendments and traditions that have been added to it over the past two centuries plus.

You can find my book by following this link:

https://www.amazon.com/US-Republican-Constitution-Nonfiction-Constitutional/dp/0692793208/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477183247&sr=1-3&keywords=The+US+Republican+Constitution

Title: The US Republican Constitution

Subtitle: A Nonfiction Constitutional Thriller

my-book-4-big

 

my-book-5-big-back