Now that I've finished reading a biography of every American President in chronological order from Washington to Reagan, I've received two common questions:
After the first presidents, I really love Ulysses S. Grant. Everything about him. His wholesome beginnings, what a fearless, admired general he was, and the fact that he wasn't a true politician. I don't think he ever became a true politician, despite holding the highest title. It's unfortunate that corruption marred his later years in office, but I believe that came from his cabinet members working around him and some naivety from not being so personally immersed in political ways and means.
Teddy Roosevelt - obvious choice! His life is so incredibly fascinating. I have to admit, when I was nearly done with his 700+ page biography, I realized it was the first of a three-volume set. I did not make myself read the other two, but I certainly will at some point because they were very well-written, and as stated, he was such an incredible character.
The one that surprised me the most was Truman. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would, and I finished it admiring him far more than I ever thought I would, Honestly, I didn't know too much about him before reading, so learning so much was perhaps part of the pull, but he won me over.
Why did I do this? I thought of the idea way back during the 2016 election and started in January 2017. With all the political turmoil and non-stop bipartisan spats, I wanted a good, true way to understand the American political system. Not just to understand what it means to be Republican and what means to be Democratic, but how the parties formed, what their beliefs are based in, how they have evolved and how they shape the US today. It also gave me a great understanding of our national history overall and why decisions that effected the world at large were made.
Now that I'm done with the Presidents, I can read whatever I want! Some great books have come out the past few years and I've been dying to dive back into some fiction. Here's a look at my stack, not including Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Where the Crawdads Sing was excellent, but not my favorite of all time, like so many have said. Kate Morton's (my favorite author's) most recent book absolutely gutted me! I had to wait a whole day before I could pick up another book, and I was still hesitant then because I knew nothing would compare! If you're a fan of historical fiction and hate not knowing answers and go crazy to want to find out what really happened, read Kate Morton. I love every one of her books so, so much. I read Anita Shreve's The Stars Are Fire today in one day, and am really sad I won't be reading anymore of her work since she unfortunately died of cancer a few years ago. I started back on fiction on April 12, so have read seven books in the past three weeks.
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." --Anatole France