Always love reading Kelley Armstrong books. I also really enjoy how in all of her series she pulls in familiar characters from other series. This wasAlways love reading Kelley Armstrong books. I also really enjoy how in all of her series she pulls in familiar characters from other series. This was a good, quick read. I don't know why, but I was really pulling for Rafe so I was a little disappointed. I also really enjoyed the kids learning about the Cabals and trying to decide if anyone they had heard of was trustworthy. As a reader, I knew the people they were talking about and wanted to scream into the book that they could trust Lucas and Sean....more
I enjoy the twists and turns in Harlan Coben's books. This was a quick, enjoyable read. There were some turns that I found a little predictable and soI enjoy the twists and turns in Harlan Coben's books. This was a quick, enjoyable read. There were some turns that I found a little predictable and some I never saw coming. ...more
I was born a decade after the assassination of JFK, but have heard about the Kennedy's a lot. When I saw this book on The Daily Show, it immediately cI was born a decade after the assassination of JFK, but have heard about the Kennedy's a lot. When I saw this book on The Daily Show, it immediately caught my attention.
This book was a long, but interesting read. I found myself interested in parts of the biography that sounded boring and less interested in more interesting chapters.
The book begins with Joseph P. Kennedy's father's life. It was interesting to hear about the family's immigration from Ireland and start in Boston politics. Then it depicts the early life of Joseph Kennedy.
Kennedy was a genius in investing and making the most of every opportunity. There was a lot of emphasis on his business savvy-ness, Catholicism, personality and womanizing. I always find it interesting reading about the conflicting belief's of people versus their behavior. Although being a strict Catholic, JPK was rumored to have many affairs (like his son after him).
Most people have heard about the Kennedy's and Camelot. They were rich and led a jet set lifestyle. The family appears to have been close with good bonds, but had dysfunction as we all do. JPK and his wife, Rose, rarely vacationed together and didn't frequently live together. JPK was strongly involved in his children's lives (especially the boys), selecting their schools and caring for their health problems.
I did not know anything about JPK's political career. He worked with Roosevelt to help his elections and getting the Irish Catholic vote. He served on many committees and was rewarded by becoming an Ambassador to England in the late 1930s. JPK had strong opinions on a variety of topics and never shied from letting others know them. Pre-WWII, he vehemently backed Chamberlain and felt that Hitler could be negotiated with so there would be no war. He did not think it was advantageous for the US to get involved in the war. During this period, he was extremely negative and anxious about the future. JPK was also concerned with the "Jew factor." He felt rumors of abuse were greatly exaggerated and that Jewish individuals had too much control in politics in the US. I was really surprised at many of JPK's opinions and attitudes at the time, but I recognize that hindsight is 20/20.
JPK suffered a number of tragedies in relation to his children. His eldest daughter, Rosemary, was born with mental deficits. She was happy, but often behind developmentally. She started to do well at her new school when the family moved to England. She stayed behind with her father, when the left of the family left at the beginning of WWII. JPK agreed to have a frontal lobotomy performed on Rosemary to help with her mental deficits. Unfortunately, this led to Rosemary losing her ability of speech among other abilities.
JPK's eldest son died as a fighter pilot during WWII. He had been grooming this son for politics and was greatly affected by his death. Prior to this, he had not considered Jack for the numerous health problems he suffered as a child and adult. Not long after, his second daughter, Kick, died in a plane accident.
At this point in life, JPK became more concerned with working on his children's successes than his own. He lived in Boston, Palm Beach and France. He spent a lot of time on the phone or writing letters to help his children. He took a step back from the spotlight, when Jack entered politics. He wanted Jack to be seen as his own man. He still phoned and lit into anyone who he felt was steering Jack wrong, but he didn't want to be used by the press as a negative count against his son.
I did not realize how big an issue Jack's religion, Catholicism, was for his presidential election. It was interesting reading about this period. At the end of the election, JPK felt abandoned by the Catholic church he had always supported. The book briefly discusses JPK's affection for his many grandchildren and continued good relationship with his own children and their spouses. It does not give many details on JFK's presidency. In the third year of JFK's term, JPK suffered a stroke. He lost the ability to speak and it twisted many of his muscles on his left side. He was still respected by family and friends and talked to as before. They all reported that he could still communicate with his body and sounds. After his stroke, JPK and Rose spent more time together than in the other stages of their marriage.
JPK was napping at the time of his son's assassination. The family and staff did not tell him the news until the next day. He was devastated and watched the proceedings on tv. Due to his condition, he was unable to attend the funeral. Family and friends reported he lost most of his vigor after JFK's death. When Bobby was shot, Rose and JPK did not find out until late that evening and Rose broke the news to her husband.
JPK died not long after Bobby. He had lived to see Jack, Bobby, and Teddy succeed in politics. Eunice took an interest in running the family foundation and it focused on the care of children with mental retardation. He also saw his children married and have children. Sadly, he also outlived 4 of his 9 children.
Interesting biography on an interesting man.
"I do not think it is the spread of Communism that is dangerous.... People are not embracing Communism as Communism, but they are discontented, insecure and unsettled and they embrace anything that looks like it might be better than what they have to endure.... It is very easy for anybody who has a job and is getting along all right to cry for democracy...but if you cannot feed your children and you do not know where the next meal is coming from, nobody knows what kind of freak you will follow." J.P.K
In the booming 1920s, Joseph P. Kennedy had made his money investing in stocks; in the 1930s, he made more by selling them short; in the 1940s and early 1950s, he invested in real estate and oil, and the money kept rolling in. Like every good businessman, he looked at the tax implications before investing in anything. He never paid a penny more than he had to or a penny less than he was required to.
Kennedy also commented on the incident, which he declared had brought the family "a lot of very bad publicity, not as bad as if somebody got drunk in a night club, but it shows a disregard for money on the part of people who are supposed to have it which irritates the masses beyond belief and it creates a very bad impression." He suggested that Eunice, Pat, and Jean "put all the important jewelry you all have in a safety deposit box and let it stay there...and just wear ordinary stuff around to the parties you attend. It may be sad but it's essential." He wanted them as well to "stop traveling by air planes, and by trains, particularly air planes, unless the trip is essential. This commuting back and forth besides being expensive becomes a matter of danger. I think you all should just get used to settling down in one spot and not rush away weekends to a different place from where you are located. Let's forget that for a while."
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway
I vividly remember watching the coverage of the Columb"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway
I vividly remember watching the coverage of the Columbine school shooting tragedy when it occurred. It affected me greatly and I spent many hours glued to CNN horrified. I thought that I knew a lot about the events; however, this book made me aware of many things that were misrepresented in the media at the time.
This book was a difficult read. The book goes back and forth reviewing the lead up to the shootings from the evidence left behind by Harris and Klebold to the aftermath via evidence and survivor's stories. The hardest part to read was the re-creation of the events of April 20, 1999.
Everyone wants to know why. This led to a lot of stories that the media latched onto that were untrue, such as: bullying, video games, movies, the trench coat mafia, targeting the jocks (etc.). Eric Harris was a "budding psychopath" aka a "fledgling psychopath" aka a psychopath. He was hoping to create an event that would top the body count of the Oklahoma City bombing and affect the "audience" forever. Klebold was portrayed in the book as a depressed, suicidal follower. He did appear to give several people opportunities to stop this event by dropping clues to teachers and friends. Additionally, years after the event paperwork was revealed that described numerous complaints about Harris creating bombs and threatening the Brown family. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there will never be a reason to satisfy the answer why.
The book reports some of the survivors and families of the 13 before and after the event. It also documents information about the Klebolds. The Harris' have never publicly spoke to reporters or investigators. Thus, some of the information reported may be skewed to the people who allowed Cullen to interview them or published books.
Watching the initial coverage (and some anniversary coverage), I remember hearing a lot from Craig Scott (his sister died in the shooting and he was in the library with others who died) and from Isiah Schoel's Dad. Neither figured prominently in the book, so I am assuming they did not embrace the media as much in the future.
The media's role in the aftermath is largely documented in this book. It is one of the more fascinating aspects of the book. It demonstrates how the media unintentionally shaped some of the survivors stories in the aftermath. Eyewitness testimony is already not very reliable. With the media running with stories and accounts they put together, this led to people adding elements to their stories that were not in initial interviews. I think this is an example of the harmful effects of the immediate, competitive, instantaneous news coverage that has evolved in the world.
Overall, this was a good read. Be prepared to go slow because some of the sections of the book are really hard to read (and relive)....more
I would actually give this book 3.5 stars. I found it really slow in the beginning. There was a lot of background about Sirens and the back stories abI would actually give this book 3.5 stars. I found it really slow in the beginning. There was a lot of background about Sirens and the back stories about the sisters. It was an interesting interpretation of the Siren myth. It was a more human personification of the Sirens which I previously thought of as beautiful amoral death-bringers. Once I got to the middle of the story, I was so engrossed I had to finish. ...more