Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Audacity of Hope eBook edition

It is eerily fitting that the author of The Audacity of Hope was written by a man who had the audacity to run for President of the United States of America. One look at the portrait on the cover told you that his chance to be President was roughly equivalent to the proverbial snowball in hell.

And yet somehow we woke up this morning with "a skinny black kid with a funny name" as the next President of the USA. Unbelievable from where I sit!

It wasn't that long ago (70 years) that the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow a "colored" woman to give a concert in their hall. As a side note -- I always find this story the ultimate irony! Women who's ancestors fought and died for freedom actually denying Marian Anderson access to a building! But I digress.

I am old enough to remember Selma and Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act. I am old enough to have heard Martin Luther King voice his dream.

In those dark days it seemed an impossible dream! Just the idea that his "children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" was unfathomable. And yet this morning those children will wake up to a country where their Dad's dream has come true!

My Dad used to say that "we are saved by hope." As a teenager I thought it was perhaps the corniest thing I had ever hears. And yet this morning I can't help but think that he was on to something.

After all. what keeps us going in the face of incredible odds? It is sometimes simply the belief in a positive outcome; the feeling we can get what we want or that at the very least everything will turn out for the best.

Hope brings out the best in all of us. Hope is the sometimes the only thing that gets us out of bed in the morning. Hope is the bedrock of the American Dream. And at least for this moment in time, hope reigns in America.

If you haven't done so yet, do yourself a favor and read Barak Obama's message of hope:

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Senator Obama called “the audacity of hope.”

Now, in The Audacity of Hope, Senator Obama calls for a different brand of politics–a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces–from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media–that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this book is Senator Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats–from terrorism to pandemic–that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy–where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, members of the Senate, even the president, is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A senator and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Senator Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes–“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.” Tags: ebook,e-book,obama,hope,the audacity of hope,ebooks about people,new york times best sellers

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What America Is Coming To, And Where We Are Going


'America Unzipped:' by Brian Alexander. America has been conflicted about sexuality for a long while. Europeans for decades have been amused by how we can be sending titillating movies over there, but remain shy about, say, discussing condoms in school. Readers will be pleased to find lots of sex in Alexander's book, but not much of the "vanilla" kind. There is an appropriate tone of wide-eyed amusement throughout, and a thoughtful examination of America's current version of sexual paradox. You will find entertainment and satisfaction throughout the chapters of Alexander's recounting of a unique and amusing journey.

'Dreams From My Father' by Barack Obama. I was fascinated by this unusual story and carried along by the eloquence and insightfulness of the author. This made a great reference work for the subsequent book, Audacity of Hope. Barack Obama was of an interracial marriage. Most of us remember, until 1967, many children in interracial marriages, like those in gay households today, were deprived of equal rights under the laws. Yet, few recall that Albino Luciani (later to become John Paul I) led the same struggle in Italy. When Barack decided to include his black ancestors, it gave him a stronger sense of community and a wider connection to the global community of the world. Very interesting read. I liked it! Check below for the Coupon Code to receive a Discount on either of these two eBook Titles.

America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction (Mobipocket) eBook edition by Alexander, Brian
Welcome to the America we don’t usually talk about, a place where that nice couple down the street could be saddling up for “pony play,” making and selling their own porn DVDs, or hosting other couples for a little flogging.
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BARACK OBAMA graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, where he served as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He has worked as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and law professor.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Believe What You Want To Believe!


'Undecided Voter's Guide to the Next President' by Mark Halperin. I absolutely love politics and was so excited when I found this book. I have been an undecided voter the last few months. I am willing to vote in either party and was hoping this book would give me some clarity. It did!! The book does a great job giving you background information on the candidates, an explanation of their major beliefs, and a good description of what it would be like if they were President. This book helped me decide which party to vote for in the primary, and now I am deciding between two candidates. It is easy to read and makes you more excited about the election.

'Oil & The Glory' by Steve Levine. This book has it all. Mr. Levine reveals the intrigue,corruption and titanic egos of all the players- oil men and third world dictators alike. The best part is its all true and as current as today`s headlines. This eBook is very readable and interesting. Use the Coupon Code below to receive a Discount on either of these two eBook Titles.

Undecided Voter's Guide to the Next President, The eBook edition by Halperin, Mark
Who's ready for the oval office? They call it a horse race, and in this election the candidates got out of the gate early. But it's still hard to tell them apart and make a choice. Mark Halperin, veteran reporter and political anal
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OIL & THE GLORY eBook edition by Levine, Steve
Remote, forbidding, and volatile, the Caspian Sea long tantalized the world with its vast oil reserves. But outsiders, blocked by the closed Soviet system, couldn’t get to it. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and a wholesale rush into the region erupted. Along with oilmen, representatives of the world’s leading nations flocked to the Caspian for a share of the thirty billion barrels of proven oil reserves at stake, and a tense geopolitical struggle began. The main players were Moscow and Washington–the former seeking to retain control of its satellite states, and the latter intent on dislodging Russia to the benefit of the West.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Interesting, Interesting, Interesting...


'Testimony' by Nicolas Sarkozy. Testimony is an engaging read for anyone interested in French politics and social issues, and should be required reading for every candidate running for presidential office. Sarkozy demonstrates more faith in American society than most Americans do these days. "America's strength," he observes, "is that it was able . . . to identify its own weaknesses, and decide together as a society to remedy them, and then to take action without useless nostalgia about the past."
'Meant To Be' by Walter Anderson. I was watching the O'Reilly Show when he was interviewing Walter Anderson concerning his book "Meant to Be". Based on the few details he revealed, I knew it was a book I had to read. As soon as the show was over, I went to web site and bought the eBook. I was not disappointed. It is a very enjoyable read. I cannot wait for other members of my reading group to read it. Check below for the Coupon Code to receive a Discount on these two eBook Titles.

Testimony by Sarkozy, Nicolas
In an important book from the newly elected president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy sets forth his personal vision of France's role in world affairs and his plans for modernizing the country and equipping it for the twenty-first century.
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Meant To Be eBook edition by Anderson, Wal
Published to strong reviews and major media attention, this heartfelt and inspirational rags–to–riches memoir by the highly regarded CEO of Parade Publications tells the emotional story of how he came to terms with an identity
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Change. Are We Ready?


Change, are we ready? This is definitely a changing World as we know it. Hasn't that always been the case though? These two titles are very different but both talk about change in society, history, politics, families, religion, and the so called elite. I found that God and Hillary Clinton by Paul Kengor a good read. Despite my political views (which I won't go there!) I have a weakness when it comes to the Clinton's and wanting to know more. This book fulfilled my hunger. Again a very thoughtful perspective and well written book. Delux: How Luxury Lost It's Luster by Dana Thomas was a title I thought I would never read. This book was recommended to me by a friend so I took a chance. Boy I'm glad I did! The "Style and Cultural Reporter for Newsweek" Dana Thomas did a fantastic job on representing Change. A changing world and society. Very informative and accurate. This eBook will surprise you and leave you wanting more.

God and Hillary Clinton eBook edition by Kengor, Paul
For nearly three decades, political observers have sought to understand the complex relationship between Hillary Clinton's faith and her politics. Now, in this first spiritual biography of the former first lady, acclaimed historian Paul Kengor sets out to answer the elusive question: What does Hillary Clinton believe? Based on exhaustive research, God and Hillary Clinton tells the surprising story of Hillary's spiritual evolution, detailing how her lifelong religious beliefs have intertwined with her personal history to make her the politician that she is today. Born into a strict Methodist family and raised on a spiritual diet of private prayer and self-reliance, Hillary, at a young age, used the Methodist Church's emphasis on community service to catalyze her involvement in the changing world.
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Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Thomas, Dana
Dana Thomas, style and cultural reporter for Newsweek, brings a hard-hitting behind-the-scenes look at the world of "New Luxury" and how the massification of luxury goods has ensured that luxury isn't luxurious any longer There was a time when luxury was available to only the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. Luxury wasn't simply a product, it was a lifestyle, one that denoted a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today's luxury marketplace would be virtually unrecognizable to the old-world elite. Gone are the family-owned businesses dedicated to integrity and quality; the industry is now run by massive corporations focused only on growth, visibility, brand awareness, advertising, and, above all, profits. Handmade goods are practically extinct, and almost all manufacturing has been outsourced to large factories in places such as China, where your expensive brand-name handbag is being assembled right next to one from a mass-market label that will cost substantially less. Dana Thomas, a journalist who has covered style and the luxury business for The Washington Post, Newsweek,and The New York Times Magazine from Paris for the past fifteen years, digs down into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci, and Burberry don't want us to know. Traveling from the laboratories in Grasse, where Christian Dior and Prada perfumes are manufactured, to the crowded factories in China, where workers glue together "Made in Italy" bags by the thousands, Thomas explores the whole of today's high-end shopping experience to answer some pressing questions: What is the new definition of luxury when advertising for this upscale lifestyle is targeted mainly to the middle-class masses? What are we paying for when quality has given way to quantity, and luxury is no longer just for the upper-class elite? Thomas has travelled all over the world to interview corporate heads and factory workers, the old-money, old-luxury clients and the new luxury-obsessed middle-class consumer, and she paints a surprising picture of today's New Luxury. With Deluxe, she delivers a fast-paced, uncompromising look at the real world behind the glossy magazines and red carpet couture and asks: How did luxury lose its luster?
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Innocence Lost... Now What?


Innocence is lost. We are beyond that now. Knowing where we, as a culture and as individuals, go from here is enormously complex. This week's features deal with youth, sexuality, race, and social injustice - they are sure to increase our understanding of these complex issues. Don't forget to check below for this week's discount code for special savings on these titles and more.

Restless Virgins eBook edition
by Jones, Abigail

An honest, intimate look at the lives of today's teens—told through the true experiences of friends at a New England prep school

Established in 1798, Milton Academy has a proud history of achievement. It has educated artists and CEOs; it has produced a long line of distinguished scholars and dignitaries; and it has shepherded students through the world of high-pressure academics for generations. Since its founding, the public face of Milton had always been one of integrity and pride . . . until a sex scandal rocked the campus and made headlines in the spring of 2005. The offense? Teenagers doing no more than what others had done before them—except this time they got caught.

Restless Virgins is the riveting real-life story of a group of seniors who were there as the "incident" (as it came to be called) unfolded: Whitney, the athletic and sensual beauty every girl wants to be; Annie, who craves acceptance but is torn between the desire for peer approval and musical success; Jillian, the smart one who is sick of high school drama and desperate to go to college; and Reed, a "hockey god" who has it all but whose charisma masks a secret insecurity.

From "friends with benefits" to STDs, today's teens face a wider array of social and sexual opportunities—and pressures—than ever before. Through its eye-opening yet sensitive depiction of a group of normal kids with normal struggles, Restless Virgins offers an important look at contemporary adolescence no teen, parent, or educator can afford to miss. And it is written by two recent Milton graduates who know this world—and these students—like no others.

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White Guilt eBook edition
by Steele, Shelby

In 1955 the killers of Emmett Till, a black Mississippi youth, were acquitted because they were white. Forty years later, despite the strong DNA evidence against him, accused murderer O. J. Simpson went free after his attorney portrayed him as a victim of racism. The age of white supremacy has given way to an age of white guilt—and neither has been good for African Americans.

Through articulate analysis and engrossing recollections, acclaimed race relations scholar Shelby Steele sounds a powerful call for a new culture of personal responsibility.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whether the Storm? Are we responsible?


As our world changes, there is so much focus on disaster... it seems to be everywhere. But in a culture dominated by the focus on human tradgedy, some great stories of human resiliance, compassion, reason, and growth emerge. We can learn what to do to prevent disaster, or when it is not preventable, how we can weather the storm.

Little Chapel on the River eBook edition
by Bounds, Gwendolyn

Forced from her downtown Manhattan apartment by the terrorist attack of September 11, journalist Wendy Bounds was delivered to Guinan's doorstep -- a legendary Irish drinking hole and country store nestled along the banks of the Hudson River in the small town of Garrison, New York -- by a friend.

Captivated by the bar's charismatic but ailing owner and his charming, motley clientele, Bounds uprooted herself permanently and moved to tiny Garrison, the picturesque river town they all call home. There she became one of the rare female regulars at the old pub and was quickly swept up into its rhythm, heartbeat, and grand history -- as related by Jim Guinan himself, the stubborn high priest of this little chapel. Surrounded by a crew of endearing, delightfully colorful characters who were now her neighbors and friends, she slowly finds her own way home.

Beautifully written, deeply personal, and brilliantly insightful, Little Chapel on the River is a love story about a place -- and the people who bring it to life.

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The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina--the Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist eBook edition
by van Heerden, Ivor
The ultimate inside story: how bureaucracy, politics, and a disregard of science combined to cripple--perhaps forever--a great American city As deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor van Heerden had for years been warning state and local officials about New Orleans's vulnerability to flooding. But like Cassandra's, his predictions were ignored--until Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. Suddenly, van Heerden found himself at the center of a media maelstrom. Stepping forward to challenge the official version of events, he revealed the truth about the city's shoddy levee construction. Now, in The Storm, van Heerden shares up-to-the-minute reporting from his investigations and connects the dots among the Army Corps of Engineers, the bureaucrats, the politicians, and the chain of events--both natural and human--that culminated in catastrophe. An epic of cutting- edge science and systemic bureaucratic failure, The Storm is the first book from a major player in the Katrina disaster and a riveting narrative that brings expertise, passion, and a human viewpoint to America's greatest natural disaster.
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