books · just thoughts · opinion · Tuesday

Tuesday, what I thought about the book…

The other day I was looking at the list of books that I read last year.  Some of them I wrote reviews but many I did not.  So I thought that today I would tell you what I thought about some of them.
 Not reviews just a word or two about why I did or did not like the book

These  were ok but just…they got a ** rating

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  1. The Lost Angel by Javier Sierra–the story was ok but it seemed to ramble on a bit.
  2. The Joy of Less by Francine Jay–I guess I would have liked it more if there was less of it.
  3. Peace Pilgrim In Her Own Words–this was collection her words put together by her friends–they repeated things a lot
  4. What Your Childhood Memories Say About You by Dr Kevin Leman–the title is about as long as the book–nothing really new in it except you learn about the good doctor and his  family 

These I thought were good…gave them ***

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  1. Touched by Angels by Debbie Macomber–I just like the way she writes simple and kinda sweet always with a happy ending you can see from chapter one.
  2. The Search Committee by Tim Owens–if you have ever been on a church committee for anything you will recognize the characters and appreciate the humor
  3. The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney–I gave this 3 stars but I don’t know why because I don’t remember a thing about it
  4. A Month At The Shore by Antoinette Stockenberry–I liked it but it is forgettable
  5. The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson–it was highly recommended  and it was pretty good–about prayer

This one was more than good ****

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  1. A Dark and Lonely Place by Edna Buchanan–two stories in one that weave together past and present–of all the books listed read this one

Ok, so that’s it.  I have some more to tell you about on another day.

 If you have read any of these let me know what you thought.

Black Cat · memoir · Monday · non-fiction · Uncategorized

Monday, not really a book review…

A Black Cat Book Review

copyright2012patriciatracy

Once Upon a Secret by Mimi Alford

In 1962 nineteen year old Marion “Mimi” Beardsley was a summer intern in the press office of the White House.  That summer the affair with President John F. Kennedy began; it ended in 1963 when he was assassinated.  This book is her memoir of those eighteen months and how they affected the rest of her life.

To say that what Alford has written disturbed me is an understatement.  My reactions while reading her story were many and varied and sometimes contradictory.  Shock, anger, sadness, amusement, disbelief, were some of my reactions and feelings about this affair.  When you read “affair” if you think of romance, candle-lit dinners, music, how the movies and novels usually portray affairs…think again.  This was a sexual affair and nothing more.

Alford describes the affair as “WAIT”.  She would be told where to be and there she would be, waiting, until JFK showed up.  She occasionally travelled with the White House entourage.  She would wait in hotel rooms until the President wanted her then she would be escorted to his room.  JFK was a very busy man.  He was the President, after all!  So she was available when he “wanted” her.

Although, many in the White House, staff, JFK’s valet, the residence cook, some of his friends, and the Secret Service, knew of the affair and often facilitated their meetings, Alford kept it secret.  She told the man she was engaged to the day of the assassination and later her sister and two friends but she told no one else.  These four people kept her secret safe.  It was not until 2003 with the publication of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963 by Robert Dallek that she spoke publicly about her affair with the President.

I cannot really objectively review this book and I am not going to try.  Alford seems to be honest in her telling of what happened.  She does not make excuses for herself and relates some of their encounters quite candidly.  Some would say she let herself be used and at first that is what I thought.  But with further reflection I realize that she was very young and naïve.  She had a sheltered and protected up-bringing and was inexperienced.  She was totally unprepared for some of the egos and self-entitlements in the powerful world of politics and politicians. 

Mimi Alford has moved on as they say; married, had children, divorced, remarried, has grandchildren, come to terms with the past, and written this book.  I can, almost, understand her as her nineteen year old self but I do not understand her as her seventy year old self.

I think what disturbs me the most is how Alford is still enamored of Kennedy and defends the man and his actions. The man treated her despicably!  As I said I  cannot review this book. I think what I have done is to try and give you my impression of the two people involved.