Musings From A Bookmammal

WWW Wednesday–9/3/14


Click to play along!

To participate in this weekly meme hosted by MizB, simply answer the following questions:


21481542I’m always ready for another book about US Presidents and their families, so I was glad to finally get my hands on The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler.  It’s about the Secret Service—mainly during the last fifty years or so—and how they go about protecting the Presidents, First Ladies, and their children. I’ve read some previous books by Kessler and they tend to be a bit “gossipy”—and this book was no exception. However, I will say that the author is an equal-opportunity teller of tales—he had as many stories to tell about Republican Presidents as he did about the Democrats! And I did learn some things about the training that Secret Service agents go through and how the personalities and preferences of the various presidents affect their protection. All in all, this was a pretty quick, entertaining, and informative read.

17571291I was initially interested in the novel What We’ve Lost Is Nothing by Rachel Louise Snyder because the setting is local to me—it takes place in the very real Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. The entire plot unfolds over just 48 hours on a single street where a series of burglaries takes place. As the people affected by these crimes try to come to grips with what has happened to them, they also must confront their own hidden prejudices and assumptions about their neighbors. Although I thought that the author got borderline “preachy” at times in trying to make her points about diversity and race relations, on the whole I thought this was a very good novel—and I think it would make an excellent book club selection.


17830123It seems as though everybody is talking about Matthew Thomas’ new novel We Are Not Ourselves, so I was excited to pick it up from the library this weekend. It’s a 600+ page Irish-American family saga taking place over several decades–beginning with post-WWII New York City. I’m only a few dozen pages in, but I’m pretty invested in the characters already. I’m hoping to be able to spend some quality time with this book over the next few days!


As usual, I have absolutely no idea—but I’m sure I’ll find something!

How about you? Have you read any of these? What are you reading this week? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

17 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday–9/3/14

  1. We Are Not Ourselves sounds intriguing. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Matthew Thomas’ seems really interesting indeed. I can’t wait for your review for this one. Thanks for sharing!

  3. They look like great books! I have the Thomas book in my queue already but I’ll add We Are Not Ourselves…

  4. Sounds good! I’ll add We Are Not Ourselves to my list. Here’s my list for this week

  5. Can’t wait to hear what you think of We Are Not Ourselves!

  6. Those all sound interesting! Here’s my three W’s:

  7. We Are Not Ourselves looks really good, I look forward to your review! Here’s my link for the week

  8. I have heard good things about We Are Not Ourselves. I hope that you enjoy it!

  9. Some of these are new to me. I would love to read The First Family Detail. I’ve also been hoping to read We Are Not Ourselves. Hope you enjoy your books.

    If you have time, I would love a visit at

  10. I like the sound of What We’ve Lost is Nothing, an interesting starting point for a novel although I’m slightly cautious as I don’t like preachy books but you say the author stayed the right side of the line… Here is my WWW

    • It was really only a very few parts where I thought it got a little heavy-handed with the “message”–but the book overall is worth the read. This was also a book that I can totally visualize as a good movie adaptation.

  11. I haven’t heard of your books but they do sound good to me…..happy reading! 🙂
    Here is mine –

  12. I read much of the Kessler book with interest and was surprised when I found a campaign event I worked as a volunteer — John Kerry, Union Station, Chicago, 2004. Fascinating stuff, very sobering.

  13. I read First Family Detail over my vacation – I agree that it was gossipy, but that’s what’s fun about it! I had read his previous book, In the President’s Secret Service, so this one did feel a little warmed over. But, I think I would have liked it a lot better had I not already read his other one. I also just read We Are Not Ourselves…it took me awhile to get into it, but I ended up loving it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s