Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Chernow magically transcribed Hamilton’s life, and it reads more like a story than a biography. The book is exciting and inspiring, and I would dare to say that it helps improve your emotional intelligence in leadership if you consider yourself a leader. The author managed to write about every character so personally, that you will feel like you know them all and want to travel back in time to meet them.
Chernow is sometimes biased when it comes to his subject matter, bringing up Hamilton’s many flaws, but when you think of him as a human being, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he indeed had his issues, despite being highly positioned.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
The amazing thing about Ruth Bader Ginsberg is that she changed the lives of American women. She became a lawyer when women were not accepted into the legal profession. Most of the current laws were biased against women and people of color, and the brave Ruth was battling for gender and racial equality.
“Men and women are persons of equal dignity and they should count as equally before the law.”
She once said that she saw herself as a kindergarten teacher in those years because she thought the judges didn’t see the discrimination for what it was.
The author spends quite some time talking about Ruth’s wardrobe, workouts, etc., so be prepared for all of it.
You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe
When you think of a biography, you think about a serious book talking about serious people in a serious way. This one is the opposite of all that. It is fun, entertaining, witty, and most importantly, factual.
Coe is a fascinating, award winning author and historian, excelling in her work. In this book, you learn all about the myths and truths about George Washington, starting with his wooden teeth (spoiler alert—he did not have them) and his illnesses while being a young boy growing up with his single mother. You’ll also learn about his hobbies and likes and dislikes. Coe made a point to tell what the previous biographies got wrong.
A lot of people think Coe is telling an incorrect story and don’t like the way she explained the facts.
All the King\’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
This book is all about how actions have consequences. Although the novel is about political corruption, it covers much more ground. The author won a Pulitzer Prize for this book, as well as an award for poetry. The way it is written, it sounds like a song that you just want to put on repeat.
Robert Penn Warren wrote this book in poetry, and if you’re not a fan of poetry, you will be disappointed.
Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics by Anonymous
I enjoyed reading this book. I loved the way the characters are described. It makes you feel like you know them personally. What I especially enjoyed was the dialogue—although full of dummy colloquial expressions, the natural sound was key for me. At times, I felt like I was reading about Bill Clinton and his successful run in 1991.
Some people really didn’t like the fact that the story and the main characters resembleBill and Hilary Clinton.
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
This book is such an amusing and fast read. It’s all about choices, relationships, and responsibility—which is what we all need more of during these hard times. Zevin’s writing is witty and lovely. I can’t compare it to Notorious RBG, but it does have some similarities as the story comes down to empowering women.
Male characters are pretty much cliched and displayed in the worst way with all of the flaws and bad qualities—infidelity, aggression, insincerity, and selfishness.
Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza
This book is an amazing read by Jo Piazza—an author I really love. It’s yet another story about empowering women and the discrimination and unequality they face daily. This book is a story of humanity’s place in gender discrimination and political wars.
I didn’t really like the ending. Also, some people might not like the way the main character transforms into another person by the end of the book.
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
This was a quick and enjoyable read. The book, while shocking at times, was illuminating and funny. All of the characters are described very intelligently with every characteristic any human has—flawed, smart, motivated, driven, and egotistical. This is a perfect book to read during active political campaigns.
The beginning of the book is amazing, but toward the end, the author rushes. It made me feel like I wanted more after it was done. So if you don’t mind being rushed, this one is definitely for you.
Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson
Although there are many books about these two great men, there aren’t many books that refer to their relationship. I knew about both of them, but it is only when I read this book that I learned more lesser known details.
It was a fairly short read but a very interesting and intriguing one. I enjoyed every page.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
This is another incredible book about feminism and women empowerment. Wolitzer’s writing is witty and knowledgeable. This is a novel about power, influence, ego, and loyalty. Sisterhood is an important part of the writer’s story. It can take you back in time, but at times, you find yourself right here and now. The characters are perfect in the most fascinating way, and I enjoyed every step of the main character's journey.
Some might argue that the plot could have been more interesting. While I wouldn’t call it boring, there are nuances of too much description. Editing it down wouldn’t hurt for sure.
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Nothing beats a good old book to set the right mood for an upcoming holiday—in this case, Presidents’ Day. Especially during the wintertime, sitting by the fire or window wrapped up in your cozy, favorite blanket with a hot beverage in one hand and a book in the other is the best way to spend an afternoon. Also, there are many benefits of reading like improved memory, mental clarity, and more!
Presidents’ Day has never had a better meaning to it than now. As we prepare to get to know our new president a little bit better, here are some of the books I recommend reading to set the right expectations for the next four years.
In need of a good read this Presidents’ Day? Try out any of the books above to broaden your perspective on American history, politics, social issues, and more!