Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Common Good; The Start of Nonfiction November; and Two Birthdays

 



Last week was actually (yes, even in the midst of all the storms around us) a lovely week. Fall is really just a prolonged summer here along the Gulf Coast of Texas, but we got a cool front and temperatures dropped into the 60s. Nice. Crisp. We turned off our air conditioner. For a bit.





You know that feeling we readers get sometimes when we read a book that's so wonderful you have to tell everyone you know about it? That's the way I felt in reading The Common Good by Robert B. Reich last week. 

I heard Robert B. Reich speak in Houston virtually a few months ago, and he wowed me with his knowledge about our American political system, his intelligence, and his ethics. I immediately set out to read something he's written, and I was happy to find this book at my local library.

Wow---everyone needs to read this book. Reich opens the book by relating how he heard President John F. Kennedy's famous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," when he was a teen. Reich is saddened by how much the overall attitude of our country has changed over the years since then to "What's in it for me?" He goes on to look at the idea of the common good and how that has developed through history, and then he examines the key events of the past that have torn the fabric of the common good from government as well as business. He concludes by proposing several ways (thank goodness!) we can all nurture the idea of the common good in America today.

An exceptional book that could change our country. I want to buy multiple copies and hand them out to everyone I know.

If you are feeling bleak about America, I urge you to read this book and act in ways that will work for the common good. I intend to try.








Nonfiction November officially begins on November 2, but I've already posted a list of my favorite nonfiction reads of the year. Now I'm gathering nonfiction reads for November. The stack I've accumulated is pictured above and listed below. 

Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West by H. W. Brands
Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris
Plotted: A Literary Atlas by Andrew Graff
Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day by Clemency Burton-Hill
You've Got to Read This Book! 55 People Tell the Story of the Book that Changed Their Life
The Guardians of Liberty: Freedom of the Press and the Nature of News
Half Empty by David Rakoff
Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred by Mark Nepo
Humans by Brandon Stanton
One More Warbler: A Life With Birds by Victor Emanuel


Anything look promising?





Good Thing #1: Last week was the birthday of my granddaughter, Annie. She's five. I painted her name on a toy box for her. 

Good Thing #2: We are leaving on a trip to Arizona late this week. We're planning to spend ten days hiking around Sedona. A little nervous about getting there, with two days of driving each way, but very excited about doing some traveling.

Good Thing #3: November 1st is my birthday. I've always loved celebrating my birthday on the day after Halloween; Halloween has always felt like everyone is throwing me a huge party. Plus it's cool to be born on All Saints' Day. 





I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

61 comments:

  1. Happy birthday to you and to Annie. What a cutie she is!

    That's an interesting stack of nonfiction books you are looking at for your November reads. Around here we are feeling bleak but cautiously optimistic about our country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to maintain that cautiously optimistic feeling, Dorothy.

      Delete
  2. Happy birthday! I’m a November baby too but not till the end of the month!

    As an outsider looking in to America I think I’d enjoy this book, I love visiting Florida and it’s sad to see how things are just now.

    Have a lovely time in Sedona, the one thing I’m always amazed about is when Americans will happily drive for hours and hours or days to get places! I think your roads are much more pleasant to drive than ours! I know my husband enjoys driving in Orlando as the roads are so much wider but also your cars are bigger!

    Little Annie is gorgeous and that toy box is brilliant!

    Have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We thought it might be more safe to drive than to fly. Generally we fly on long trips, unless we are planning to stop for rock digs or bookstores.

      Delete
  3. Happy birthday to you tomorrow. You've left out one of the ten book covers you pictured, listing only nine below. Ummm, it looks like Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. I like your list and may have to get some of them to read myself, along with The Common Good by Robert B. Reich. I follow him on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, catching that, Bonnie. I will correct it. I'd love to see what you think about Common Good.

      Delete
  4. I like Robert Reich but I've never heard him speak or read anything more than an op ed or print piece. This book sounds like something I would really appreciate. Thanks for the recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was a great speaker. It's wonderful for me to hear someone speaking about important things from a reasonably objective perspective.

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful time of year to hike around Sedona - I'm envious! I just turned on my furnace for the first time this morning, and know it will be hard to make myself get out hiking when the weather gets cooler and cooler -- and I have so many good books to read in couch-potato fashion!

    Thanks again for the good tips. You reminded me that I want to read Greek to Me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy birthday!! I hope you have a lovely day. Annie is darling and I'll bet she loved her personalized toy box. Very pretty!

    I'm glad you are getting some cooler weather. Until we moved to the Oregon coast, we always had A/C. Now our furnace runs almost every day! Crazy!

    I follow Reich on Twitter and am glad to see that you are recommending his book. I've added it to my list, as well as Dan Rather's new one, What Unites Us, which I hear is also very good.

    Your nonfiction choices look great. I'm curious about Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and One More Warbler.

    Have a great time in Sedona! I've only been once (on our two-month road trip to Texas a couple of years ago) and when we arrived, it was raining. :( We had only planned to spend a day seeing some of the sights, so it was a bit of a disappointment. We'll go again, though! We love that whole area and want to go back to Flagstaff, as well. I'm looking forward to seeing all of your hiking pics! Safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I raised two sons, so Annie is delightful in her ways.

      Delete
  7. Happy birthday, and nice non-fiction list. I'm planning on working my way through the beginning and end of my TBR, which are mainly made up of non-fiction anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I will see you around during Nonfiction November.

      Delete
  8. I love the ANNIE box. So pretty. Thank you for the recommendation to read the Reich book. It is on my list but I doubt I'll get to it until after the election. I am so tense. Tuesday cannot get here soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your granddaughter is precious and, wow, super impressed with your artistic side Deb---lovely gift.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy Birthday to you and Annie! Annie is adorable! The Common Good sounds like a book I need to be reading.

    Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you will be able to find it and read it. It's a quick read.

      Delete
  11. Happy birthday to both of you! Annie is so cute! Her toy box is lovely.

    I'll look out for The Common Good. It does sound like something all Americans need to read.

    I haven't read any of your choices for Nonfiction November but I hope you enjoy them!

    Have a wonderful, safe trip to Arizona! We visited the Grand Canyon (along with Zion and Bryce) in mid-October of 2013. The weather was perfect and we practically had the trails to ourselves. I hope that's the case for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope our weather will be similar to your experience. And I hope there aren't lots of others on the trails.

      Delete
  12. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a nice one with good news on Tuesday :-) Robert Reich's book sounds like a good antidote for what ails this country. Driving for two days to Arizona doesn't sound so fun; I'd mostly worry about where to pee along the way! But, 10 days walking and hiking in the quiet sounds lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am hopeful for Tuesday. In a perfect world, it would be a clear landslide. His book is fabulous. And I'm a little nervous about the long drive, but my sister loves driving, fortunately, and is always able to find a good, safe place to stop.

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the book review- I plant to look into it.
    Here in Philadelphia, we went from the 60's to a dip to the 30's-- talk about crisp!! Today we will be back into the high 50's so not too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Deb 🥳🎈
    My post for NonFicNov went up today. I’m only familiar with Plotted on your list but I hope you enjoy the others.
    I hope the Common Good wins out during this election,
    Wishing you a great reading week, and have a wonderful (and safe) trip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to head over to your blog to see your post for Nonfiction November, I think.

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday!
    I passed on The Common Good to my husband.
    We're anxiously watching your election from up here in Canada.
    I sure do miss travelling, we have spent a lot of time in Sedona, a lovely place. Enjoy your hiking but stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy Birthday, Deb! And the pic of your granddaughter with her toybox is adorable. Aren't you clever?? I have the artistic ability of a doorknob... I hope you have a wonderful trip and that your reads in the coming week are fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm also participating in Nonfiction November. There are so many good nonfiction books out there. Not only do they educate and inform us but they can empower us. I'll have to check out your list of favorite nonfiction books. I hope you have a great trip. I love hiking!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy birthday to you and to Annie! I thought my firstborn would arrive around Halloween, as my "due date" was November 2, but he held out for November 17 (in 1966).

    I love the sound of The Common Good, and still get goosebumps when I think about JFK and his speech about what we can do for our country. If only!

    I am anxious and hopeful about the coming week, and longing for peace to come out of the chaos.

    I have been enjoying more nonfiction this year, and joined Shelleyrae's Nonfiction Challenge at the beginning of the year. I should add some books to the Nonfiction November posts.

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second your longing for peace. You should definitely join in for Nonfiction November.

      Delete
  19. The Common Good.. I'm sold. I'm with you - anything that can change the morale of people and also make us more appreciative, helpful, kind, and less mean, narcissistic, unfriendly is exactly what we need!

    Happy birthday to Annie! Hope she had a very good one! I cannot wait to check out everyone's posts on Nonfiction November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am looking forward to The Common Good author's new book, too.

      Delete
    2. I missed that today is your birthday - happy birthday!! Hope it was a fabulous one. :)

      Delete
  20. happy birthday to you both and i hope you have a great trip. just take the stay safe precautions and i think you can have a wonderful time. common good sounds like a book that fits the times for sure. i was heavily influenced by john f kennedy when i was a teenager and your are right....ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country...
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have loved to have had a president during Covid who was inspirational like JFK or Churchill.

      Delete
  21. Happy birthday. Hope this year brings the best ever to you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy birthday! Enjoy your day! I also wish Annie a happy birtday! She looks cute and your gift looks amazing! I wish I could paint like that.

    Have a wonderful time on your trip!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'll have to check out The Common Good. I read Reich's The Resurgent Liberal, back when the resurging liberal was [Bill] Clinton. I thought it was quite good but I haven't followed up on him lately.

    Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reich is quite objective, and moves across party lines to call out those who are not doing the right thing.

      Delete
  24. Happy Birthday - I hope you have a wonderful day! And I hope Annie had a fun day, too. The toy box is beautiful. I read your review of The Common Good earlier this week on goodreads and immediately added it to my tbr list. Enjoy your trip!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy birthday to you! And totally covet your painting skills - that toy box looks so beautiful..
    Now I need to add The Common Good to my TBR.. I have Guardians of Liberty on hold at the library.
    Plotted as well as You've Got to Read this Book both sound like the ones I will add to my TBR as well! Have a great trip

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've definitely been feeling bleak about America---guess I need to read that book!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ok, that Reich book sounds wonderful! Very timely as we head into what's sure to be a chaotic election. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Happy belated birthday! Your hikes around Sedona will be fabulous. And your granddaughter looks like she had a great bday too. The Dreams of El Dorado book looks good to me ... and I plan to see if it's at the library. I like histories of the West. Did you read Mary Norris's first book Between You & Me ? It's also very enjoyable. Enjoy your trip!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love that toy box! Wow. Seeing as I'm a professional editor, you can imagine that I'm a fan of Mary Norris!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy birthday!!! Mine is the 16th. :)

    Your vacation sounds wonderful! Enjoy. :) It will be fabulous. And you did a great job with your granddaughter's toy box. Happy Birthday to Annie as well! She is adorable. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Happy birthday! I hope you have a great trip to Arizona. Nonfiction always looks good to me when other people talk about it but I never seem to pick up the nonfiction books on my shelves when looking for something to read. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  32. The book about the Common Good sounds really helpful and its not only America who would find it worthwhile methinks. We all need to be doing it. Hope you had a great birthday on the 1st.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy belated birthday! And hope your trip to AZ is a good one- sounds like fun. :)

    Sounds like you had a nice break from the hot weather too.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, what a beautiful toybox (and a beautiful granddaughter :)! I used to paint furniture years ago, I need to draw/paint some more. I hope you're having a great week and fingers crossed !

    ReplyDelete

Please share your thoughts.