Madam Secretary: A book that is more than 500 pages

It took a while to read it but I finished Madeleine Albright’s memoir 20 years, to the day, after Madeleine K. Albright was sworn in as the first female Secretary of State–what a day to finish this book! A great read for anyone interested in foreign affairs or #WomenWhoLead!

“Women have to be active listeners and interrupters – but when you interrupt, you have to know what you are talking about.”

“I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.”

What an accomplished life and this is a woman who was a two time refugee! She is my hero. It makes me want to name my daughter Madeleine.

 

Samantha, Daughter

14/20

 

In Cold Blood: A book by an author you never read before

(Facebook, 2015).

(Vogue, 2015).

I have wanted to hear Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote for a while. I even told my husband this. I didn’t expect him to do anything about it. More than that, I didn’t expect him to give me In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It wasn’t exactly what I expected for a Valentine’s Day gift on our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. But I’m glad I’ve finally got around to reading Capote. He’s a talented writer and this was a unique narrative. He’s not someone I associated with non-fiction but his insanely well-researched account of the murders of an entire family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959 was something. I’m still not quite sure what…

It was a tale of mystery without suspense. You know they all die and you know who did it almost immediately. I think that’s why the story didn’t grab me at first. By the midway point, I was engaged and wanted to see justice for the Clutter family.

(Guardian, 2009).
(Guardian, 2009).

I was assured that people in small towns should lock their doors, something I’ve always suspected. I also felt deeply haunted and disturbed. Capote creates a strong emotional reaction with no need to dust off the decades to feel the incident hit you like it just happened to someone you know, somewhere you felt safe. While it immortalizes the victims, I do worry it also gives the killers more notoriety than they deserve.

While I’m not sure this was the “literary peak” for Capote that it was claimed to be, it was good enough to make me want to read more from Capote. This original take on the crime genre shows an innovative and creative mind and I’m interested to see what else he wrote.

Samantha, Daughter

16/20