Books I Never Talked About
Book Review,  Reading

Books I Never Talked About

by Barack Obama, Evie Dunmore, Jasmine Guillory, Shanna Swendson
Published by Audible Originals, Random House Audio

I’m going to post some quick reviews of a few books that I finished up right at the end of the year and never got around to reviewing.

Books I Never Talked AboutA Promised Land by Barack Obama
on November 17, 2020
Pages: 30
Published by Random House Audio

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making - from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency - a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Obama takes listeners on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings listeners inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about US strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.
A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective - the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change”, and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.
This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.


This was an amazing audiobook. It kept me laughing. Presidents are (supposed to be) so calm and rational when they speak. He lets loose here. He’s telling people off and naming names. My favorite part is during the discussion of DeepWater Horizon, the oil rig that leaked in the Gulf of Mexico. The man actually says, “What do they expect me to do? Put on my f#@king AquaMan outfit and go down there with a wrench?” I cackled. Then a few minutes later he goes on a beautiful rant about everything wrong with the U.S. political system. I’ve made so many people listen to that section. Everyone just nods. He isn’t telling lies.

This book only covers part of his first term. I can’t wait for him to write more.

Books I Never Talked AboutParty of Two (The Wedding Date, #5) by Jasmine Guillory
on June 23, 2020
Pages: 320

A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking.
Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe's mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can't resist--it is chocolate cake, after all.
Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble--not just some privileged white politician she assumed him to be. Because of Max's high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?


This was such a nice romance novel. A lawyer meets a man in a hotel bar and doesn’t realize that he is a senator. He likes that she seems to like him without knowing who he is. But does she really want to deal with all the pressure of a relationship with a politician?

What I loved about this book is that the relationship was very warm and supportive. They talked about things like grown ups even when it was hard for them.

Books I Never Talked AboutMake Mine Magic by Shanna Swendson
on January 9, 2020
Pages: 8
Published by Audible Originals

Jilted at the altar, small-town librarian Claire is forced to go on her romantic honeymoon in New York City alone. After enduring one too many meals for two as one, Claire invites a seemingly harmless little old lady to join her for afternoon tea at the Plaza. Unbeknownst to Claire, said little old lady is actually a grand wizard, who bestows Claire with a magical amulet that makes her the sitting queen of the magical community. Claire is swept into the gilded world of New York City wizards - and a bitter power struggle for the throne. With the help of a cursed former prince, Claire must untangle this web of deception and find the magical community's rightful leader before her "honeymoon" is over.


This author is an autobuy for me so I was excited to see that she had an Audible Original story. This was a cute story of a woman from Texas who is thrown into the New York City magical community against her will. She is a librarian and she uses her research skills at a magical library to help figure out what to do!

Books I Never Talked AboutBringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1) by Evie Dunmore
on September 3, 2019
Pages: 356

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels in which a fiercely independent vicar's daughter takes on a powerful duke in a love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women's suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke....


I read this book and the next one in the series back to back. I love it when I find a new historical romance author to follow. These books are smart and fun. That’s the best combination. It isn’t just another bewitching debutante out to catch a man.

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