What Mackenzie is reading
If uncovering the truth is the greatest challenge of nonfiction writing, it is also the greatest reward.
This book should be mandatory reading. History, politics and the business of America. Brilliant reporting from an undercover cop at a prison coupled with history of our prison systems. I think this is one of the most important books I have read and it will only become more important as I continue to learn about the horrors of our convict system.
This memoir was heartfelt, interesting and felt like a new Anthony Bourdain memoir. Kwame grew up in America and Nigeria, eating a mixture of Africa, Indian and American cooking. His strength in the kitchen comes from his rich culture and experiences. In between the chapters, you can cook along with recipes of the food that changed him. The only issue? I want more!
Stephanie struggled as a single mother taking odd jobs and maid work to just get by. It is a story of resilience and love. A book for anyone that questions our welfare programs or those living paycheck to paycheck. A great book club pick!
This memoir is dark and honest. Jarrett is not only a talented artist, he is a brilliant writer that will make you care, cry and feel connected to someone you have never met. His life was filled with love from some and harm from others. Addiction and death were intertwined with his young life. Every adult and young adult should read this book.
Join the Hardcastle's for their party this year -- a party that will end in someone's death. For you, figure out who the murderer is to get out. A mix of Agatha Cristie and a murder mystery party. This twisted and intense book is nothing like you have read before. It is unexpected, smart and darn good. Perfect for any mystery reader on your list.
Ignore the cover and dive in! Ellis compares what was going on to write the constitution the way the founding fathers did and how it relates to today. It's a brilliant book and timely. Great for any history reader!
I could not get enough of this book and Jose's story. His path to the United States was covered in lies to him which disrupted his life at 16. Empowering over the impossible path to citizenship led him to become a Pulitzer Prize winning author. His story is his, however, it is also the story of million of undocumented people living in the United States. THIS is the book we should all be reading.
A crippling, heartbreaking, and traumatic read. A novel about broken lives and the decisions that lead the characters to those paths. After 9/11 the book answers that happened in a small town in Ohio. Read this unless you have to avoid trigger warnings, this book has every single one.
After reading "Dreamland" three years ago I have been waiting for more and "Dopesick" delivers more. Another look at the opioid crisis that brings you into the homes of grieving confused parents and alongside attorneys prosecuting big-pharma. This book weaves the answer to "what happened" to America in a heartbreaking and avoidable tale.
After hearing for too long that I needed to read this book, I am glad I finally made the time. A beautiful book that shows the strength of one person to overcome obstacles that many would crumble against.
I am so glad I was sent this book, it has opened my eyes to experiences that I am not familiar with -- adoption and child birth. Chung allows everyone to understand adoption and the struggle that comes after. What does family mean to you? Nicole answers that question with poise and understanding. A beautiful book for all readers.
Another WWII story that if you haven't read it, you have to go back! I promise you won't put this down. Read with blind trust in my opinion.
An incredibly entertaining memoir that I wish I had read when I was younger. It has helped me navigate my own writing and life.
This book is going to take me awhile (600 pages!). Broken into each American war, Beschloss shares who held the highest office in the land, how they got there, and what made them decide to sacrifice American lives. Each war influenced how the following wars were handled and led. Every decision matters and this book allows the reader to see how we got to where we are. It is also incredibly entertaining.
I truly had to stop after every few pages to re-read lines. Picoult throws the topic of race in America in your face and doesn't let you look away. This book deals with family, purpose, work and belonging. I want to give this to every person I know and sit down with them to talk about it. We need to talk about this book.
This non-stop thriller will have you guessing until the end. Five friends (with dark pasts) find themselves stuck in Neverworld-- reliving the same day that they all died. To get out of Neverworld they have to vote who lives. Before they do, they spend their endless days trying to figure out the real reason for the mysterious death of their friend. Buckle up, this book is awesome!
Read the surviving story of one of the last men captured, sold and transported to the United States. After surviving slavery and the Civil War, Cudjo learned what it meant to be a "free black man" under Jim Crow. A heartbreaking book that needs to be read by all citizens. Important and timely. Thank you Hurston.
This page-turning real-life thriller, will leave you still asking "how?" Carreyrou gives you every detail of the start-up's success and failures, however I could still not believe that this happened. Brilliant minds deceived in the world of health care by a 22 year old college dropout. I am still letting this soak in. It's a must read!
In Colorado Springs in the late 70s, Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in Colorado Springs saw an ad for the KKK. Answering that ad, began an undercover investigation of the KKK in Colorado and their alliance with the Grand Wizard David Duke. A captivating read. A story that everyone should read.
If I woke up in year 3000, I would have thought this was a history book rather than a fiction book. A rough and gritty read that reflected the society we are heading towards. I flew through this novel and regretted everything that happened in it!
"Educated" is already on my re-read list. Tara draws too many conclusions to soak up her meaning on only one read. From a survivalist Morman family where abuse was overlooked, to IVY League colleges being renowned for her brain-- Tara proves that education can change yourself and your life. A powerful and moving book from the first to last page. For fans of Hillbily Elegy, this is a must!
This book moved to the top of my "favorite book" list. It is heartbreaking and loving all at the same time. This book taught me more about being a refugee and a product of a genocide than any other book I have read. Clemantine captures you immediately and never lets you go. As a young child in Rwanda when the genocide began, her and her sister traveled through six countries in seven years trying to stay alive. They settled in Chicago after living in the streets, in decrepit refugee camps and stranger's homes. Through abuse, neglect and near death experiences, she teaches you about mass killings and the affect on the people without losing the core of the story--hope. This book should be on everybody's shelf.
Do you need a follow up to "The Hate U Give"? This will be a wonderful extended reading for those needing more. Please authors and publishers, keep giving us more!! These stories need to be told, to affect change. A story of unjustified loss and unencumbered hope.
Because Cleantine Wamariya, author of "The Girl who Smiled Beads," mentioned "Night" so many times in her education of genocides, I made sure to read it next. Now I know why this has become required reading in high schools. It is the inside look of the terror in Nazi Germany and the evil behind the walls of concentration camps. Read it slowly to truly embrace every word Wiesel has written.
The oil industry in America-- where did it begin and how has it become what it is today? The Kings of Big Spring takes on that question by allowing the reader to see the chaos through a family's story. The book follows the Mealer family try to make it big in oil when boom towns were popping up everywhere. The American Oil story is a dark tale that reads like a thriller. A wonderful biography book intertwined with a history novel.
Imagine joining the Marine Corps at 18 and regretting your decision. What would you do, how would you continue? Don't worry, you don't have a choice, you have to continue! Matt Young's memoir brings you behind the curtain of being in the Marines. Training, deployment and dark personal moments, Young leaves nothing behind. A memoir that stays with you long after you are done.
The definition of "cannot put down." The story is frightening to compare to today and what could be, but relieving to know that this is just a work of fiction. The Civil War did not end as we know it, which left four states in 2017 as slave states. A bounty hunter for escaped Persons Bound to Labor helps a private sector send people back to the Hard Four. As a black man himself, Victor uncovers a story bigger than any he has worked on. Read on...
How have I never heard about this story? One of the most famous Civil Rights Photographers in MLK Jr's inner circle was an informant for the CIA. It only gets crazier from there. A wonderful book that combines the story of Ernest Withers and the history of the Civil Rights Era. Perrusquia helped uncover this story and his passion beams off every page.
Heartbreaking, beautiful and incredibly important.
Three of the top minds in injustice and inequality speaking about issues facing our nation. It would have been amazing to have seen these heroes in person but reading the transcript of the conversation was over the moon. It should be required reading for all citizens. Quick, interesting, topical and affirmative.
Not my normal read-- but I am so glad I tried this fun book. I have only watched one episode of The Bachelor but loved this book! It dives into why The Bachelor is so important in our pop culture and how it got to be so foundational in our television. Suzannah, is a fan, but doesn't hold back about the portrayal of woman and men in a dog-eat-dog dating competition. Funny and relevant!
Loved this book! It is riddled with puzzles and mysteries in every chapter. Eleven-year old Elizabeth is sent away to a grand hotel for the holidays. When she arrives she meets fascinating people and discovers a secret lying in the library. It is a quick paced, fun book that includes a wonderful friendship and family love.
Poet X was the break I needed from some heavy books I have been reading. Poet X is a beautiful story of a young woman trying to find her way in high school. Living with a religious mother, distant father and twin, she has struggled to come to grips with who she wants to be. Through poetry, she has a voice. The book is written in slam poetry and should be read with a pacing of a slam poet to get the full affect.
Do you believe in the death penalty? Do you believe in justified crime or murder? Ask yourself these questions before you open this book.
Yes this book is about a true visionary artist with incomparable talent. However, this is a memoir from jail with the side effects of art. Hear William's story in three compartments: his abusive childhood to his jail sentence, Orange County Jail, to death row at San Quentin.
It is a tough book to read-- but one that everyone needs to read. It opens your eyes to injustice within our jails, how a life can be ruined without proper representation, the death penalty and more. Be an informed citizen and voter-- read this book.
There There, tackles the non-linearity of life, is a voice on intra-race harm, speaks about the fluidness of decisions and how culture never leaves-- rather how it is placed aside for day-to-day necessities. Nonetheless, at the core, this novel is a breathtaking, devastating and beautiful story of Native lives today. It is a story that will stay with you, inspire you and challenge you.
For anyone interested in the history of our food industr or health of our world's population-- stop what you are doing and read this book. It is a fascinating look at the history of sugar and how it is in the majority of the food we consume. Taubes examines how we got to where we are today and the affect on our bodies. Sugar does not create a positive future and has a blood past.
One of the most memorable and different books I have read in awhile. Fairy tales come to life in everyone's worst nightmare. It is a gripping novel that keeps you guessing until the end. For book lovers, fairy tale readers or anyone that wants to read something like they have never read before.
Loved this book! It was the Tri-Wizard Cup (from Harry Potter) on steroids with new and exciting characters. I was immediately thrown into this new world. Morrigan Crow was deemed a curse child and was set to die on her eleventh birthday... little does she know that a new adventure will be waiting instead.
Best Book of 2017! A well deserved title. From the rarely studied Boer War, follow a young woman and her family as they are taken to a British concentration camp. It is a story of struggle, perserverance, heart and family. As Karin likes to say, "it's Anne Frank in South Africa."
Hatchett in the Amazon! There was a plane crash that left four young people to survive to find a way back to their families. A great book for adventure readers and Lost or Castaway fans. I loved every chapter and already miss the characters.
There is a reason this book is in our Best Books of 2017 list: it is an addictive look into the lives of wolves that shaped Yellowstone park and how the government is involved in our park system. The book is for anyone who is interested in wolves, nature, national parks, hunting, gun rights and more. Highly recommended!
Loved this book! It was exciting, relevant and funny. There were just enough twists and turns to keep you going and not lose you in the world of virtual reality!
Wow. I didn't know what to expect starting this book and didn't know how to feel when I finished it. It was an epic tale of family, terriorism and race. How does your families past affect your decisions? What would you do to feel more of a connection with a deceased father?
Major themes of nationalism and terriorism are discussed in beautiful ways. The story will not let you go when you finish the last page.
What does it mean to seek justice over 50 years after the injustice happened? Does it serve the system, the people or the greater good? Through the trial of a former SS Guard at Auschwitz, you hear from the guard himself, survivors, off-spring of survivors and Holocaust deniers. The book was more than I would have ever hoped for. Hear why someone would become a Nazi, their thoughts over watching 300,000 Jews perish, and the stories of what happened to those within the barbed wire. See the parallels of how Germany presents it's past, compared to how America hides our past. This book will stay with me forever and hopefully with everyone that reads it.
An accessible book that allows young people to learn about boy soliders in the Middle East. The story is told with heartbreak and longing, but overall -- love. With a message that tells all readers, in the end we are all humans who want to love and be loved.
Everyone is affected by war differently-- mentally, emotionally and physically. Mental and emotional challenges range and are dibilitating to our soldiers. Follow each member of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they return to home. They were never instructed about returning home, only taught to fight. It is a look behind the curtain and should be required reading for all ages.
Every single man, woman, child and pet should read this book. It is filled with humor, adventure, mystery and inclusion of everything with a beating heart. The book made me laugh, cry and feel good about quirks and problems we all have. Read it, lets talk about it, and enjoy :)
War is everywhere and it is not stopping anytime soon. It's a new profitable industry instead of a necessary conclusion to conflict. Brooks walks you through the history to today about how we operate abroad and at home. It is interesting, captivating and utterly important.
Sometimes, I have to step away from non-fictions and read a middle grade book-- and this was a phenomenal choice. Neil Patrick Harris has created a world where anyone will feel wanted, needed and special. A great and quick read!
Do you want a taste of racial history without havingt o commit to time periods or movments? This the book for you. Inside the covers is a glimpse at the world that is all around us and how we got to this place. From slavery, to Jim Crow, to the war on drugs, to the housing crisis. The essays are written by those working for human rights, lawyers, policy members and other brilliant minds in the middle of the racial tension.
Mary Roach made war fun. She brings to light aspects of war that the ordinary citizen doesn't think about... but it is someone's job to do just that. From the material of uniforms to IED effects on tanks, how long a soldier should sleep a night, how birds take down planes and more. The book is comprised of interesting stories from the men and women behind lifesaving technology and innovation.
I didn't know what I was getting into-- especially looking at a book that was 400 pages long. How could this armed robbery fill 400 pages? When I finished it, I needed more. The book is about more than the crime on the cover. It worked through the army Ranger training, the military and the control over their members, psychology experiments, mental illness, family drama and more. It wasn't like any other book I have ever read. To be honest, I still don't know what to think! It's a book that will inspire additional readings on war, military, and pschological experiements. Read it and then lets discuss.
Wow. I wish I never had to read a story like this, that would mean that this story didn't exist. However, Ms. Pat's story exists and is a glimpse into how one poor black family in Atlanta lived. Hunger, child abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, the crack epidemic, eviction and cockroaches all play a part inside these pages.What also is intertwined is humor and an endless search for love. It was a hard story to read, yet, a very important one. Trigger warnings galor.
What Alyssa has accomplished in government is a phenomenal story for any young woman. She teaches us through humor and civility that there is no where in governement or business that a female cannot go. For her entire career, she fought against the "man's world," to be the President's right-hand-woman. In any career there are bumps in the road, her bumps just effected Presidental races and Presidental decisions. A brilliant and funny woman to look up to. The only problem is, I want more!!
What an exciting, true to Agatha Christie, book. When a train becomes stopped in the snow, a man is found dead in his locked compartment. As the riders are questioned, the truth in revealed with more twists than you are ready for. A fun, quick read!
Goodness, what a fun novel! It was my first Agatha Christie novel and I am now in love! The game of clue brought to life. A murder after a dinner party! *gasp* It's a wonderful puzzle piece that keeps you hooked, making you forget about your responsibilites-- or that might have just been me!
What a wonderful time piece novel. The writing will take you away and creates a beautiful and tragic world.
Well, it is exactly what you would expect-- an untangling of stress, anger and unfortunate circumstances of poverty and housing. It is told through different personal stories rather than journalistic fact. It is heart breaking, inspiring and eye-opening.
When you think of a book about the history of humankind, your first thought isn't "wow I could curl up with this book." However Sapiens will change your mind. It is a quick and detailed tale of our beginnings. Not only is it fastinating, it is a book that will make you stop a stranger on the street and yell facts at them. Read it. Just read it.
It definitely is a book that you want to sit down and dive into the characters. It takes awhile for all of the plots to overlap but when they do-- buckle up!
Read this book-- do not read it in three days like I did. If you have ever read John Grisham, this is for you. You'll just have to remind yourself that this is a true story. Real people in real Russian jails and real business men being hunted by Putin and his army of Oligarchs. Buckle up.
Whether you are religious, spiritual or non-of-the-above, Letters to a Young Muslim with welcome you into a religious world developed by peace. This book opens understanding and empathy. Today and into the future this book will continue to develop it's necessary role on the shelves.
Make sure you don't have plans when you start this books-- it will suck you in. A true story of a civilation found in the Honduras mountains. If you enjoy history, adventure, anthropology, archeology, country politics or cultures-- this is for you. Brilliant, true and unforgettable.
A must for any Jared Diamond fan!
You don't need to know who this talented comedian is to appreciate his book. The host of the Daily Show (I miss you John Stewart!) was born in apartheid South Africa to a white man and black woman-- an illegal act. Through his stories of his childhood you are introduced to the history of apartheid and how it effected the citizens. A brilliant read and a spark to learn more.
I have read other war and veteran books but I have never read one that shook me to my core like this one did. Daniel breaks down the difference between PTSD and moral injury, and how we aren't combating moral injury. This isn’t a psychologist analyzing our military, it is a journalist who has been on the front-line, writing about those he served with and lost.
Look behind the curtain on Mexico’s most dangerous cartel and the child assassins that “keep the peace.” Dan’s experience with investigative journalism makes this non-fiction read like a thriller. I couldn’t get enough, until I had to step back and realize that the kids you were following couldn’t have a legal drink in America
Where does racism stem? How does racism grow? Well, you can read all about the small town in Georgia that perfected racial cleansing in a form that would last a century. It is a heartbreaking, but informative tale. One that teaches us; how to act, how to speak to one-another and how to grow as a community.
It was a killing that hadn’t been seen in over 50 years—but showed the country that the Klan was still in large. It was a courtroom battle that brought down the largest hate-organization of white supremacy the nation has ever seen. A must read for any history reader.
This book has effected me more than any other race book I have read. It is now being used in HS's and Colleges across the country to discuss jail, race, and our class system. It should be mandatory for all citizens.
How did we get here today? After slavery was abolished, our society never eased the gap of equality for the black community. Alexander explains how our systems are an infinite loop to keep a class system prevalent in the United States. From facts to personal stories, look behind the curtain and become aware of what is happening around us.