In this standalone short story by N.K. Jemisin, New York City is about to go through a few changes. This is the prequel to the City we Became.

Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World by H.R. McMaster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strategic narcissism is the phrase McMaster uses to describe the US foreign policy in the world. Whether you agree with his assessment or not he does give an often tedious but very well researched background on the role of foreign policy over several presidential administrations not just the current one. It is well worth reading to get a better idea of the philosophies and views of some of the hotspots in the world and how the US could relate better.

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Recent Reads

I have been engaged in reading books from cross the board the last six weeks. The top three deal with the serious issue of racism and its history. Ta-Nehisi’s book Between the World and Me is a letter to his son of what to expect as he grows up. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi deal with racism and its history. A history that is hard to read and unforgivable that it was going on right in front of us. Isabel Wilkerson puts a different spin on the subject in Caste and suggests that America has a caste system not unlike India. All three books are very informative and thought provoking.

On to some lighter reads. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin is a weird, fantastical and wonderful book. It is fantasy and includes Avatars with some magical powers. Throughout the book I kept thinking — Where did the ideas for this novel come from. Jemisin has an amazing imagination and ties the story together well. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Mary Kay Andrew’s book Beachtown was given to me by my sister in-law and does not disappoint. Written a few years ago it is the story of a movie location scout’s search for a perfect small town in Florida. What follows is the perfect beach read complete with romance. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary I thought was going to be a rom-com. While there are definitely some tender and light moments the bigger issue to tackle is emotional abuse. Tiffy is kicked out of her apartment by her emotionally abusive boyfriend and shares a flat with a roommate she never sees. She begins to move on with her life when her ex-boyfriend is back leaving her in turmoil. O’Leary does an excellent job showing the impact that emotional abuse has on one’s self esteem.  Loved this book.