Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
You Know When the Men are Gone, a collection of eight loosely connected stories, is centered on Fort Hood, Texas. The title of the first story and the collection refers to what is not heard through the thin walls of military housing: no boots stomping, no football games, no early morning doors slamming as they leave for drills. You know the men have deployed.
The women and the children wait, they cope in different ways. The men on deployment cope in their ways also; the homecoming can be bittersweet, challenging.
These are personal stories, not political. The tone is straightforward, the stories are compelling. They put a human face on the news stories.
You Know When the Men are Gone
Detroit is described as our country’s greatest urban failure from once being a capitalist dream town.
As several reviewers have written, Detroit City is the Place to Be, captures the beauty and nobility of the city as well as the hardship and chaos. It is part history and part biography of a city and its people; a commentary on postindustrial America with some limited optimism for the future. The author grew up in the city and weaves in some personal narrative as well.
This may sound familiar to those who grew up in Detroit or Michigan. For those of us who were not here during the glory days of Detroit, it helps understand how and why Detroit became “a once-great American metropolis gone to hell” as one reviewer wrote.
This book provides the framework for our state, even our nation, to grapple with the issues facing Detroit.
Detroit City is the Place to Be
On the day their divorce is to be finalized, Kelly returns to the small boutique hotel in New Orleans where she and her husband, Mike, fell in love and visited frequently.
The story follows their lives as it chronicles the complexities of their twenty year relationship and as Kelly faces a major decision and the impact of it for her daughter.
A Small Hotel is a passionate love story showing the consequences of miscommunication and insecurity written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Robert Olen Butler.
Good writing, a good story that can be read and appreciated on various levels.
A Small Hotel
What a fascinating look at the relationships between former presidents in The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.
Harry Truman first reached out to Herbert Hoover as they jokingly decided to form a “Presidents Club” to start the relationship between the current and former presidents.
Relationships and rivalries, some backstabbing and clashing egos are all described. However, all club members, no matter their political party, care deeply about the country and truly understand the challenges that go with the job.
The insights and stories are amazing in this well-written, most readable book.
The Presidents Club: inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity