'' Mr. President '' : George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office
Posted:  Jan. 1, 2014

'' Mr. President ''  by Harlow Giles Unger  Although the framers gave the president little authority, Washington knew whatever he did would set precedents for generations of his successors. To ensure their ability to defend the nation, he simply ignored the Constitution when he thought it necessary and reshaped the presidency into what James Madison called a "monarchical presidency." Modern scholars call it the "imperial presidency." A revealing look at the birth of American government, "Mr. President" describes George Washington's assumption of office in a time of continual crisis, as riots, rebellion, internecine warfare, and attacks by foreign enemies threatened to destroy the new nation.

Here is a history book that is a part of our history that most people forget about or really don’t know about. It is about George Washington becoming our first President. But it is really more than that. The war was over but four years later there was still problems, the treaty that was signed cannot be forced because there is no representation by us because we are not a nation. We are still just a group of colonies that can be taken advantage of. Groups of men started to get together and to discuss ways of becoming a central government. Ideas were voted some passed some failed and now you jump to the first election. 1989 George Washington is President and Adams is Vice President. Here in this book the author goes about how Washington took a job the President that had no responsibilities and turned it into the most powerful job in eight years and set the course for future Presidents. He also shows how by his leadership he was able to put the right people in the jobs they needed to be in and to turn away friends and family for the way it look towards him and them as well. That as much as he wanted to help the integrity of the country was more important than someone’s hurt feelings. The way he was able to carry these things out plus other matters was fantastic when you think about it for there was no white house. After the first year when congress was break he went on a tour of some of the smaller towns and stayed in the local tavern and someone’s home this made him more like the average person he did the same thing after his second year in the south. He did have his problems and his fights with people but he had a couple of his closest friends or what was like family to him. One was Alexander Hamilton who looked to George Washington as the father he never had. This of course upset Jefferson since he did not fight in the war and he felt that Hamilton could get away with things. This lead to a big fight in the second four year term where Washington asked Jefferson to resign. And Washington was able to handle this crisis as well. There is a lot of information in this book and for me you loves history it is great and especially about a time in our country that is long forgotten or seems that way. This also shows people the strength that Washington had a person and the integrity that he already felt the job should be held to. You also find some things out about Jefferson that I did not know about and that kind of knock him down a little since once he left office and started to cause problems, he must of forgot those words of power because he made the Louisiana Purchase without the approval of congress. Sorry I digressed for a moment this a fantastic book and a great read.


KING AND MAXWELL                            DAVID BALDACCI
Posted:  Jan. 1, 2014

King and Maxwell by David Baldacci  David Baldacci brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell-former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, featured in the hit TNT TV series King & Maxwell-in their most surprising, personal, and dangerous case ever . . .


It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father . . . after his supposed death.

Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target?

Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler--though they may pay for it with their lives.

This King and Maxwell, books is one of the better stories. There is action from the beginning of the book to the end. Of course they get themselves into trouble and with the help of some friends and their wits they get themselves out of trouble. They also manage to stumble upon an operation that they think is here in the U.S. but actually took place on the other side of the world. A very fascinating story with a lot or twists and turns. The banter between the two main characters has gotten better since the first few books and the stories are still up to date. I would like to say more about this book but I don’t want to give away the story, but it is a must read. I got this book from net galley.


Posted:  Jan. 1, 2014

Outsider Baseball by Scott Simkus  With new research and revelations that will surprise even the most ardent baseball history buffs, this engaging account tells the story of the mostly forgotten world of the mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts who made up the independent professional ball clubs. Combining meticulous research with modern analytics, the book provides a deeper understanding of how vast and eclectic the world of professional baseball was during the first half of the 20th century. It illuminates an alternate baseball universe where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls. Written in a gritty prose style, this entertaining book shares the stories of these unsung players and uses a critical lens to separate fact from fiction.

 There is a lot of information in this book and if you like baseball and the history of baseball you will really like this book in this book Outsider Baseball you find out about the teams and players who played a level below the major leagues for one reason or another. Some would get a try out with a big league team but if they did not produce in a given time they were gone. Some never even wanted to play for a major league team because they could make more money playing for their local team and a travel team. Some would play against big league players when they would do there barn storming tours. He also talks about the different leagues from the south, mid-west, pacific coast, and the ‘negro leagues’. He talks about different players some who were famous and some of the myths and some of the facts. He also compares players with a modern day system of stats which I thought was interesting. He spends a little time on a team called the “House of David”, which was a famous minor or barn storming team that a few big league players were on. They even had championship games in the mid-west that would bring out some of the best teams and some of though were biracial. I got this book from net galley.


Posted:  Jan. 1, 2014

Last Chance Knit & Stitch by Hope Ramsay  Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yarn shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited-though well-intended-advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult-as well as tall, dark, and handsome.

Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father's estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town's charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space-and build a future together in Last Chance?

This is another Last Chance, story. This one is about Molly who works at the local garage and is wanting to open a car restoration business. Before she can get to that point she is called out to the out skirt of town for a tow and it takes her awhile to figure out that the person is Simon Wolfe, another one of her father’s former football players from there championship team. He is in town to settle his father’s estate and to leave as soon as possible. Neither one of toughs would happen he would be stuck in town. Meanwhile Molly mom left her a note to run the yarn store and take of the house while she is gone. She just ups and leaves which causes more problems for Molly than she can handle between the store, house, her car restoration, losing her job and her father and brother not helping she is going nuts. The one thing that does happen is she becomes friends with Simon and though her father does not like the idea she stills sees him. During this time Simon’s asst comes out from California to help out and that character is a hoot. He really adds to the story and makes for some funny story lines. I really liked this story and if you have read any of the other Last Chance books I think you will like this also. My only problem was I wanted Molly to be more assertive in telling her mom and dad that they were each other’s problems that she was not the one that caused her mother to go on her trip. Even wanted her to tell off her brother that was still at home. But she did realized that her mother did a lot for her as well and that she needed to grow up as well. This was a very good book .


Jan. 1, 2014

Johnny Cash by Robert Hilburn  The definitive biography of an American legend

In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical icon whose colorful career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable creative last hurrah, at age sixty-nine, that resulted in the brave, moving "Hurt" video. As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash well throughout his life: he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed Cash and his wife June Carter for the final time just months before their deaths in 2003. Hilburn's rich reporting shows the remarkable highs and deep lows that followed and haunted Cash in equal measure. A man of great faith and humbling addiction, Cash aimed for more than another hit on the jukebox; he wanted to use his music to lift people's spirits and help promote what he felt was the best of the American spirit.

Drawing upon his personal experience with Cash and a trove of never-before-seen material from the singer's inner circle, Hilburn creates an utterly compelling, deeply human portrait of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture - not only a towering figure in country music, but also a seminal influence in rock, whose personal life was far more troubled, and whose musical and lyrical artistry much more profound, than even his most devoted fans ever realized.

This new Johnny Cash book was interesting and full of a lot of information. The author refers to books by other people and interviews he made from the family, friends and other people that worked with him. Some of the information is common knowledge but most of it is new at least to me. The book for the most part was a lot like his life first part exciting full of life and information. The middle part was slow it dragged somewhat and took a little bit of time to get through it. The last part of the book was very interesting and like his career made for a fast read. That was when his career made a comeback. You get to see him as a much tormented person, from his childhood till he passed away. Seems from the time his older brother passed away. But he knew he wanted to be a singer and throughout his entire career he wanted to always sing or make a gospel record. Even his first meeting with Sam Phillips, his first song was a gospel song. Sam told him to come with something else, he needed something that would sell. It took him some time but came back with a song "Cry, Cry, Cry." After that it was “Folsom Prison Blues”. That was 1955, in 56, he came out with “I Walk The Line”. From there he was on his way. Like I said there is a lot of information actually too much to put into a review. I will say this he dealt with his addiction his entire adult life. He was constantly working on his faith, and for better or worse his just trying to overcome some of his demons to be a better person, like we are all trying to do. It was good to see his career come full circle and he did not turn down a chance to sing on a U-2 song which was his start of his last 4 albums with a young new producer who wanted to make Johnny Cash relevant again in the music industry, which he did. This is a fantastic book and is worth our time to read.

Dedicated to Curvy Women: Myself Image/Me?

In reading Alice Clayton’s book “The Redhead Plays Her Hand”, which I loved, by the way, there was this phrase I wrote down that just got to me.  Along with so many others but this is something I wanted to use here for our blog to open discussions up to men and women alike. So, here we go…

“Curvy women who want to live a healthier lifestyle, bolstered by the interest in their own struggle.  In an effort to shed light on the struggles women with self-image, confidence, their sexuality and everything else facing a modern woman.”

Once you read her book you will fully understand the context of this statement so I don’t want to give it away.  Yet, it is something as a woman I have struggled with my whole life.  My weight, the funny thing is that now due to the fact that two years ago I found out I had stage one thyroid cancer (two years clean) I weigh less than I did in 6th grade all the way until my first miscarriage at 19.  Then in one year through depression, I gained 107 pounds.  I struggled with self-image problems for sure but didn’t want to face that I was depressed.  My sexuality suffered as did my poor husband but he stuck it out with me.  We adopted three children and after several years I had weight loss surgery the funny thing is I only lost the original 107 lbs.  My body had always been comfortable at that original weight and believe me I was grateful to see that weight again.  My self-image returned as well as my sexuality, boy was my husband happy, LOL!  Then after 21 ½ years of marriage, I was blessed after being told I could never get pregnant again, with a birth child, my now 13-year-old.  Now the funny thing is when I got pregnant I started losing weight and they started getting worried but the baby was fine.  I did end up gaining 66 lbs. during the pregnancy 9 lbs. 6 oz. was a baby the rest was water which I lost within a week of leaving the hospital plus a little more than I started with because of breastfeeding.  After I stopped breastfeeding I put on 30 lbs. of the original 107 lbs. until I found out I had cancer.  Now I lost that 30 plus 30 more but my head does not always see that.  For the most part, I don’t even think about my weight until I get sized up by other women who I know are making judgments about me.  Or at least that is what my head is saying.  I don’t even see myself as attractive until my husband tells me that the guy I was talking to was flirting with me, I say no he wasn’t, he says yes he was I watched him looking at you then as you got close you being you just started talking and being friendly.  I feel so weird when that happens like I should not have let it happen but on the other hand, it's nice too & I wouldn't be me if I didn't talk and open with all people.  How crazy weird is that, what’s weirder is that my husband and even my daughter has told me.  Freaky!  I was never that girl others were that girl.  I married my high-school sweetheart so that seems so strange to me, but nice.  But then again they may just be thinking when I walk away she's a b----!  Yet, I don’t know that is just where my head goes.  I have always done my hair and make-up not for anyone else but myself to make myself feel good.  My mom is always saying I don’t know why you always have to put on all that stuff and can’t just run out without it.  For me I like to look in the mirror and feel prepared & pretty to myself, it’s the cosmetologist in me the one thing I had control of I guess.  I wanted my girls to know that no matter what, that they are beautiful.  However, they are.  Weight wise thin or not.  As long as they are eating healthy and are in at least one sport or dance. And no matter if their hair is done, undone, make-up, no make-up, matching or un-matching clothes, which kills me (but I've learned to pick my battles)  but after 4 kids it's easier now with the 4th.  That they are loved no matter what.

The long and the short of it is that women as a whole need to be kinder to one another so that we can pass it on to our girls that we are here to support each other.  Media is a huge factor on our self-esteem and how our teens and even younger think they should look and be, that is one scary thought.

What are your thoughts of your self-image or what your children may be going through or someone you love?

Image result for marilyn monroe body


Family of Readers and Authors,

     We would like to take the time to thank all of our wonderfully devoted readers who keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We would also like to thank all the authors that we have been blessed to have interviews with and have become a part of 1 Rad Reader Reviews Family.

     We are hoping to take the blog in a couple of new directions in 2014.  Our daughter being a brand new 13 year old keeps balking that with all her school work, sitting down to write a review is not appealing.  Not to mention she says that all her friends that although they may be interested in the books she is reading would not take the time to read the reviews.  Which we get it, that instant gratification and a whole lot of school work.  We told her that during the school year her idea flies for now but summer it may change.  So, in 2014 it looks like my daughter Dez will be doing her reviews via “YouTube”.  From there we will just add the link to our blog.  We will want your feedback so please let us know.

     Also, we would like to have a more interactive blog site where we can get you all more involved with discussions on books that we have read and what you thought after you have read them, or a topic of the day, genres, or what authors you would like to see us try to get for interviews, etc…

     Once again Thank You from the bottom of our hearts for following us.  Please tell your friends about us and also we are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, & Instagram (still learning this one.)  Thank goodness for my teen or I would be up a creek.

God’s many blessings to each and every one of you in 2014,

Char, Pat & Dez

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