I must say that I am even more in respect of Mr. Trudeau after reading his autobiography. The first half of the book is about his family, childhood and how all of that shaped him into the man that he is. He speaks of his mother and her struggle with bi-polar disease, how she has become a spokesperson for it and his immense respect and love for her. His father, former PM of Canada and strict in many ways, but also a very loving father. He took time every day to spend quality time with his children. And raised them to never believe themselves ,to be better than others, with some very interesting examples. He speaks of the loss of his brother and the crushing impact it had on the family. He speaks of his wife, Sofie, how they had known each other through his brother, the depth of the love and respect he holds for her and the family they have made.
The respect he shows for all people shows as a part of his core makeup as is evidenced by his words. His belief in women’s rights, the rights of immigrants, the rights of the poor and displaced. The theme that is repeated throughout the book is, We are stronger not in spite of, but because of our diversity. We, as Americans, can learn much from his lessons.
I have probably somewhat unfairly given it only four stars because I was far less enraptured with the second half of the book as he spoke at much length about his rise through the political system. Though I realize its importance, I found it rather tedious at many points. I did appreciate the things he had to say about equality and a more equal distribution of wealth, which most economists state as a necessity for a healthy economy and society. And though the US holds the gauntlet on the extremes on this, it has become an issue in many, if not most countries. He also spoke much about the inclusion of all people in Canada and how they came close to becoming two Canadas and the steps taken that prevented that. He ends the book with an absolutely beautiful First Nation’s poem.
Its worth reading to learn more about this amazing man and its also full of pictures of him! 🙂
The Mermaid’s Singing by Val McDermid
This was just a nice taste of twisted! You have a serial killer who is fascinated with ancient torture methods, is a skilled handyman and makes his own rack and other devices after seeing them in a museum and finding a picture book. You just have to love picture books, don’t you? They can show you so much. Add to that, he keeps a recorded diary of his work and its outcome. And to add just another taste of twisted to it, he video tapes them and feeds them into a virtual game computer to be relived over and over.
Tony Hill is a psychologist that has been hired to try and create a profile of this killer. A minor problem is that he finds the killer fascinating. He’s actually a bit turned on by him. And in his off hours, he is stalked by a phone sex worker, Angelica. She is annoying and pushy, until she starts to do it for him. Or is it the cocktail of the killer with her that is the right mix?
I am beyond impressed with this woman’s ability to write the mind of a psychopath. Admittedly, this was an audiobook. And admittedly, the man who did the voice of the killer was excellent. But, I believe I would have stayed up nights to finish it had I had it in print form. Twisted minds like Val’s are a rare commodity. I will be reading more of her stuff!
Blind Curves: A Woman, a Motorcycle, and a Journey to Reinvent Herself by Linda Crill
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I was looking for awakenings, insights, and interesting stories on the journey. However, the author was fixated through the entire book on her motorcycle, learning to ride it, maneuver it, etc. And though I can understand how that needed to be a part of the book, she rarely deviated from it. She made the entire Pacific Northwest route where she gave only a couple of pages to the surroundings. Overall, I found the book tedious lacking in atmosphere and engaging storytelling. The author is used to giving talks and speeches before crowds for work she does. And maybe that is where the problem is. She writes like someone standing before a crowd trying to do an infomercial. I actually found myself skimming through areas of the book so that I could reach the end, hoping that she would something of real interest. Ah well, maybe the next book.