Review of "Got What It Takes?," three books about the wealthy, recommendations from readers.
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Like mother, like daughter. In Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age, Amanda Mackenzie Stuart tells how Alva married into the Vanderbilt fortune and later urged daughter Consuelo to marry for a title. Both women, however, moved on to happy second marriages and philanthropic works.Skip to next paragraph
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– Marjorie Kehe
So you wanna be president?
Under the heading of "Books for Future Presidents," the University of California, Berkeley, recommends that its incoming freshman read:
The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
Rose, by Li-Young Lee
A Moral Sense, by James Q. Wilson
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
Manufacturing Consent, by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
Antigone, by Sophocles
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff
The Coming Plague, by Laurie Garrett
Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer
American Slavery, American Freedom, by Edmund Sears Morgan
Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands, by Terri Morrison, Wayne A. Conaway, and George A. Borden
Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas is a fascinating piece of Amercana by an exceptional author. Joshua Lomask, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Stephen Levine's A Year To Live tells of his experience of living for a year as if it was his last. He shares practical ideas, meditations, etc., in compassionate and forgiving ways. Louise Cox, Windsor Locks, Conn.
Lee Iacocca's new book Where Have All The Leaders Gone? should be required reading for every presidential candidate and everyone who votes. Martha Doss, Lexington, Va.
I just finished Helen Barolini's A Circular Journey, essays which take the reader from her home in Syracuse (on a street named after Henry James's grandfather) through her marriage with the Italian poet Antonio Barolini and their lives in Italy and the United States, and on into her career as a novelist, poet, and essayist. Fred Misurella, Stroudsburg, PA
For a great "at the site of action" war story, choose any of David Robbins' s books. I just finished Last Citadel, which deals with German Tiger tanks and the Cossack war front in World War II. Robbins has a great command of description, and he truly researches his history. Marilyn Kortum, Arlington Tex.
The Why Café by John Sterlecky asks the following three questions: Why are you here? Do you fear death? Are you fulfilled? The main character in the story is lost when he happens upon The Why Café, where he explores the value of his daily life and how he might change his perspective to make each day a fulfilling experience. Susan Cross, Oviedo, Fla.
What are you reading? Write and tell us at Marjorie Kehe.