I made a promise to read more, at least an hour a day. I was able to keep this promise most days, so it was not a complete failure. I always, with the exception of the weeks I was busy on the election, had a book on the coffee table that I had was in the process of reading.
The result of that promise was that I read 15 books, more than double the 7 books I read in 2018. I’ve written about some of the books I have read, and where I have, I’ll include the links for the complete review. In the order I read the books, here is is my 2019 in pages. Part I consists of books I read from January to June.
Takedown: The attempted political assassination of Patrick Brown by Patrick Brown (2018)
I knew the players; I saw it unfold on TV and in the news. It was a sad thing that happened to a man that likely would have become the premier of Ontario. There are many loose ends to this made in Ontario political thriller that have yet to be heard.
Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple (2017)
The most interesting political book I read all year and is a timely read considering how challenging being the Chief of Staff for Donald Trump could be. This book is about leadership, good leadership and bad leadership and how there should always be at least one person who is there to steer Presidents, Prime Ministers and Political leaders. Whipple profiles White House administrations going back to Gerald Ford. The gatekeepers is an intriguing read that puts a few of history’s most crucial moments in a new perspective for the reader. https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/the-gatekeepers
Shakey by Neil Young (2002)
I had a false start on reading this in 2018, I had to put it away a for a few months before I could start over and really enjoy this. Is there anything Neil can’t do? Reading this almost 20 year after it was published, everything he has accomplished was on his terms. I think about everything that was NOT in this book. I might have to find a recent memoir to catch up on Neil. https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/neil-and-randy-the-winnipeggers
How the Scots Invented Canada by Ken McGoogan (2010)
I borrowed this after seeing it in the office of a Senator. I’ll leave it at that, you can read the review here: https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/dont-tell-the-irish-the-scots-invented-canada
The Girl in the Spider Web by David Lagercrantz (2015)
This sat in my shelf for a couple of years before I opened it up, my inspiration as wo have read it before I watched not one, but two movies based on the book. The Swedish film version was heads better that the English version that featured Claire Hoy (The Crown) as Lisbeth. The book however was fabulous and generated much more page turning excitement than either of the movies did. Lagercrantz does the Stieg Larsson’s franchise well with this.
Open Look by Jay Triano (2018)
I was intrigued by One Look based solely on the success that the Toronto Raptors were having last season. Like any good sports book, it really isn’t about the sport. It’s about how a person gets into the sport and how the sport teaches how to overcome adversity, but it still has a lot about basketball in it. https://redheartbluesign.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/hoop-dreams-open-look-by-jay-triano
Tales beyond the Tap by Randy Bachman (2015)
I paired this book up with Neil Young’s Shakey in a post about the two famous Winnipeggers. There is a dogged determination in everything that Bachman has tackled and succeeded at. He should go down as one of Canada’s greatest musical mentors.
The Effective Citizen: How to make politicians work for you by Graham Steele (2017)
We became aware of this book in Halifax during the Conservative Party of Canada convention in 2018. I have written more about this book in a previous post, but the synopsis is this: If you want to get involved in the democratic process in Canada and any level of government you must be smart and methodical about it. This book is a lesson for politicians and their staff who disregard the voice of the voter AND it’s a “how to book” on working with local representatives, Ministers, Shadow Ministers and their staff. This book along with “Gatekeepers” were the most informative books I read in all pf 2018.
Independence Day by Ben Coes (2015)
Good fun paging turning fiction. It has spies, espionage, and lots of international deceitful action that gets fixed by the end of the book.
Part 2 will be posted next week, thanks for reading Part 1.
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