By Chris Whipple
For fans of Leo McGarry of "The West Wing" or maybe more recently Doug Stamper of "House of Cards," this book explains the role of Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. The author, journalist Chris Whipple, was able to get 18 living chiefs together to be interviewed about their job and their particular troubles navigating the politics of their time and the Presidential figure they served.
This book is a thorough look behind the scenes and offers some insight on how critical decisions were made by presidents going back to Nixon. Gain more understanding of politics and who influences the President by reading this book.
By Harlan Coben
This book was so good, I was sorry to have to put it down to sleep and eat. Fast paced action, lots of twists and turns. Unexpected but great ending. Passing my book on. Recommend it to read. Taking out more by this author!
~ Karen S.
Why I chose this book:
I enjoy reading memoirs of contemporary figures. They are personal histories that help me better understand how other people think and view the world. When I saw this among Harcourt Houghton Mifflin's Spring offerings, I requested a review copy, which was provided.
Gabourey Sidibe, the star of the film Precious, relates her struggles and triumphs from childhood and young adulthood.
From a young age, Gaborey struggled with healthy eating; she struggled through obesity and an eating disorder. She also struggled with her parents' divorce (when her Senegalese father engaged in his cultural norm of polygamy), financial hardship, and bullying. Hand in hand with those issues, she suffered from depression, to the point that it became necessary to drop out of college. After improving her mental health, she was unable to re-enroll in college due to financial constraints and then struggled to find work due to her lack of a college education. She ended up working as a phone sex "talker" and helped to support her family. Through a series of fortuitous events, she arrived at an audition for the film Precious and became the actor she is today.
This Is Just My Face was eye-opening. I didn't know anything about Gabourey before reading this book. The synopsis of the book stated that it was about the star from Precious; I had seen the film, I like memoirs, and I especially like reading about inspirational or strong women, so my attention was caught, but that was all I knew going in. I couldn't have told you who Gabourey was a month ago. Now I think I know her as well as she is comfortable being known by the public, though her writing style is such that I felt like I was having a long conversation with a best friend. And she is funny! That was really my biggest impression of her, aside from her being an inspirational example, that is. She tackles serious topics, shedding light on how she has dealt with unhealthy relationships, what has precipitated her forgiveness, and about maintaining her mental health. Her strength and perseverance are heartening, and reading about her responses to different struggles has validated my own responses to similar issues, such as forgiveness and (unrelated) bullying. I devoured this book and have been recommending it to everyone I can. I am a new fan of Gabourey Sidibe after reading this
~ Victoria D.