Book Review: First Mothers the Women Who Shaped the Presidents

This title was chosen ahead of time for me, by me, on my annual reading list.  I deemed it appropriate for May, because of Mother's Day.  What better inspiration for a mother than to read about other mother's whose sons reached the highest office in our country?

First Mothers was written by Bonnie Angelo, a reporter with Time, who had covered stories at the White House through eight administrations.  She uses this knowledge as well as interviews with past presidents and their families to write this impressive biography.

Mothers

First Mothers is a wonderful biography full of wisdom, quotes and history made by the work of these mothers.  This book sheds new light on the line: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."  The chapters are dedicated to the mothers of Presidents: FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. 

What I found fascinating is that not one of the eleven mothers sought to have her son become president; many had no political aspirations for their family.
The common thread of each mother whether born wealthy or dirt poor, was that her son be a good man- strong in character and to be able to do what needs to be done. 
It was interesting that each son that would become president, held a special place in his mothers heart, not quite a favorite, but for lack o f a better word, a favorite none the less. Each mother would champion her son; always believing the best in him and encouraging him to do his best. The binding tie was that each mother who would have a president son, had an especially close relationship with her father.  She would hold him in high esteem and find her strength in this relationship that would then influence her and her sons futures. 

First Mothers is a book that sheds new light on powerful men who changed and made history.  A book that will charm and inspire you.

Book Review: Finding Fraser

I discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon last summer and read all eight of these heart pounding, tear inducing, fabulous novels over the course of a few months. 
If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so….life will never be the same once you are introduced to Jamie Fraser; the tall, redhaired hero of this series.  Jamie is also referred to as The King of Men.  ( once you read it, it will all become clear!)

Today's book review is a fictional account of a woman who goes to Scotland to find her own Jamie Fraser! 

Findingfraser

In Finding Fraser, Emma Sheridan, who is about to turn thirty, decides she has had enough of bad relationships and mediocre existence. She sells everything she owns -including her hair straightener, starts a travel blog and books a flight to Scotland. There, she plans to retrace the steps of Claire, the Outlander heroine and find true love along the way. 

Of course the path of true love never runs smooth. Obstacles and mishaps find Emma and while searching for true love, she just may find the missing part of herself. 

This book is a treat for an Outlander fan.  The chance encounter Emma has with Herself ( the honorary title for the authoress of Outlander)  is especially noteworthy. 
The locations I had come to love are revisited in modern times and still have a charm to them. I have been wondering if travel agencies book these kind of tours maybe lead by a man in a kilt?!

 Finding Fraser is a fast paced, enjoyable read; perfect for the weekend!

 

Options for Misfit Books

In this previous post I shared my tried and true method to spring clean bookshelves. By the end of the cleaning spree there should be a pile of books that either you will not read again or that you have never read.

Here are a few ideas of what you can do with these unwanted books.

WhattodoBooks

Option 1: Turn them into Cash

This option works well if you have a recent mega hit or a classic series that is in superb condition. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but if your stack of books are mostly run of the mill paperbacks, they more than likely will not bring in many dollars.

Turn them into cash by listing them on Ebay.  Sometimes I only make a dollar or five, but any money is better than none!

If Ebay is not your thing, you could take a box of unwanted books to a local used bookstore. This method has a faster turn around time than listing your books online. How much you make will be determined by individual bookstores and what books you have taken in.  I have walked in with a huge box and made twenty dollars. Again, I believe any money is better than none!

What to do with

Option 2: Give them away

Maybe going through the chore of listing books, mailing books or hauling them into a bookstore doesn't fit with how quickly you want these books gone. 
May I then suggest you give them away? 

In our area we have Goodwill stores. At Goodwill centers you can donate just about anything and it is tax deductible, if you list it all out. As an added bonus, these centers keep jobs in your local community.  Check around to see if one is near you.

My personal favorite place to donate books is the library. Again, this is a tax write off, if you list them out and get it signed. Plus, you are supporting the love of reading for others! 
My local library has a book sale corner in the library.  Every time I go in I have to check out to see if I can grab a new to me book for only a dollar! They also host a huge used book sale twice a year- guess where they get the books to do this?!
Yep- donations! 
Check and see if your local library could use your unwanted books.

Now the choice is yours- turn your unwanted books into cash or into a good deed by donating them.  Either way your bookshelves are looking good!