Review: A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

A Higher Loyalty

I couldn’t wait to read the book written by the ex – FBI director, James Comey. His book, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership published by Flat Iron Books is not a literary masterpiece. Perhaps I assumed a seasoned lawyer would have a better flair for writing, but Mr. Comey’s writing style is more like a writing assignment for a college creative writing class. And he often repeats phrases like “fully armored black suburban.” I can only imagine his memos he wrote on his interactions with President Trump were written in this same way as though he were writing in a journal.

A Higher Loyalty

If the reader can get past his writing style, the book is worth the time and effort because the reader will undoubtedly learn interesting facts as I did on government protocol and certainly about the atmosphere inside the White House and the justice department. And if the reader only read or watched recent television interviews with Mr. Comey from his book tour, the reader would believe this book is all about President Trump. Mr. Comey lays out his case as though preparing for a trial on how he came to make decisions throughout his life and those in which may have ultimately led to his being fired as Director of the FBI.

James Comey – The bullied and the bully

Mr. Comey talks about his childhood and what led him to becoming a lawyer. I found myself weaving in and out of feeling sorry for him and being irritated at the same time about his portrayal of being bullied. But if the reader just sticks with him as he plods along they will soon find insightful nuggets into Mr. Comey’s personality, and as in the book’s title, his perspective on loyalty, truth, lies and leadership.

“I was never going to surrender to a group again simply because it was easy. And I was going to make sure my life had some meaning, because I’d already seen how fleeting life could be.” P.39

Leadership

Throughout the book Mr. Comey shares with the reader the people in his life who he saw as the leaders he would try to emulate and what he believes a leader should be. Other readers may come away from reading this book and surmise that Mr. Comey believes he is an example of a good leader. Again, I too felt this push-pull of my sympathies being played. He takes the reader through an exhausting ride both literally and figuratively on his way to becoming the FBI Director. Time and time again the reader will hear Mr. Comey remind those around him in Washington that the FBI must remain totally independent entity from the White House.

Truth and Lies

My hope, as I read A Higher Loyalty, is that the average American like myself would read Mr. Comey’s book. In laying out his case, particularly when it comes to the Trump and Clinton campaigns for the presidency, Mr. Comey provides non-classified details of the Clinton email and private server debacle and what would later would become known as the Russian investigation. It is fascinating to read the ex-FBI Director’s account of a no-win situation for the him and the justice department.

I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an Independent but no matter what side of the aisle you sit, I found reading about the demeanor of politicians and the names everyone will recognize an eye-opener. I was not surprised by some of the revelations and it may not have been necessary to detail people’s personal apparel and appearances or even that President Trump looked orange with white circles under eyes or even whether his hair is real, but take it for what Mr. Comey now admits as simply “an author trying to make the narrative interesting” as he has stated in interviews.

Mr. Comey’s description of his interactions with President Trump is the same behavior the American public has seen on television and in the President’s tweets on Twitter. By the end of the book, the reader will decide whether there was any justification in his firing as FBI director.

A Higher Loyalty

I found Mr. Comey to be honest, forthcoming about his own frailties and failings. (There are humorous parts in the book, but at times it feels like an inside joke and only he is on the inside.) He is a man committed to his values and I do believe him when he writes,

“The core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington – to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to remain optimistic.”

The second to last sentence may sound like a fired employee’s bitterness but after reading the book, the reader may believe differently. I still have many questions for Mr. Comey on truth, lies and leadership. I would love to have him and his wife, Patrice for dinner (although I would probably pee a little if he called to confirm). Perhaps I can even help recommend a few things for his next book and also persuade Patrice to write a book too.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction Politics & Social Sciences, Nonfiction
Politics & Social Sciences

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadershipwritten by James Comey earns a 4 hoot rating based on content and effort.

4 hoot rating

Happy Reading!

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The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Review: How to Get Sh*t Done by Erin Falconer

Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything So They Can Achieve Anything

How to Get Sh*t Done by first time author, Erin Falconer, who is the editor in chief and co-owner of Pick the Brain is out of the gate better than Sheryl Sandberg of Lean In fame, in my opinion.

Firstly, the author, Erin Falconer uses coarse language, as she does in the title of her book, How to Get Sh*t Done, published by North Star Way, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.  And she uses this type of language without out any remorse. Why is that a big deal to me? She’s real and it reflects how I sometimes to speak (and write). She brings a credibility to what she is writing than say the professional piety of Sheryl Sandberg. Don’t misunderstand me, I get the whole Sheryl Sandberg mantra, but Erin Falconer brings it to the everyday woman whatever age, stage, or job.

How to Get Shit done

Introduction – Who am I?

Although the author and I may not have had a similar up-bringing, we shared similar hopes of conquering our paths to realizing our dreams. Erin Falconer, throughout the book, does a masterful job of relaying her experiences as though they were the reader’s own.

Best Quote and Answer!

Freud once asked, “What do women want?” (The author’s reply)

Good. Fucking. Question.

And that is how Chapter 1 starts. And that is when I knew I had to sit up straight and listen because I have asked that same question of myself a million times. “What do I want?”

It is also the reason why I believe this is a book not only for women but men too. Men, if you want to get in touch with your feminine side and maybe pick up a few tips for yourself too, read this book (and gift it to the women in your life as well).

The Power of POP

The author begins describing her method of carving out a productive life that allows for meaningful happiness and a real sense of satisfaction. She reminds us of the role of women and our innate need to make everyone happy except ourselves. She explains her three tenets of the POP Effect, Personality, Opportunity and Productivity by sharing how these principles became evident in her own life. Readers will see themselves in her experiences.

POP Truths

All her Pop Truths are on target. Here are some that stood out for me personally:

POP Truth: Language shapes us. Start saying NO. Stop saying, I’m sorry. (And one I have always tried my best to do) Release the crippling noose of should.

POP Truth: You Can’t Control Time, Only Priorities.

POP Truth: You’re supposed to enjoy the ride.

One of the most important Pop Truths (for me)

Less is a lot more. The importance of choosing three key goals. And my key goals that I have been trying to reach is peace and happiness in mind, body, and spirit. When I read that POP Truth, I felt this was the book I should have (damn it, there’s that word) written but didn’t. And I am so glad I didn’t even try because Erin wrote it with more clarity, intelligence and wit. She gave me more things to think about and tools to utilize in my own journey to getting shit done. She made me realize while I thought I was getting shit done, I wasn’t even close to it.

“Who you are dictates how you spend your time”

“Nothing’s going to come to you by sitting around and waiting for it.” ~ Zoe Kazan

Don’t skip over Chapters 1 though 6 to get to Chapter 7: How to Use Your Time Much Better Than You Are Right Now because you will not appreciate its’ content. There is much to pay attention to in chapter 7.

I give the same advice for Chapter 8 with her discussion on mentors and especially cleaning house of toxic people. She not only shares with the reader who we must have or not have in our inner circle but how to attract or dump them. (Don’t just tell me what or who but tell me how…. I like that!)

After you have read the entire book

Go back and bookmark Chapter 9: How to Create Your Own Personalized POP Plan! This chapter summarizes each chapter before it so the reader can go back to highlight, underline, and make notes to creating a personal POP Plan. I appreciate how this chapter is written and its helpful way in giving the the reader  a road map to returning to those important POP Truths.

One last hoot on this book

This book will remain in my personal library. In fact, I will be gifting this book to several people I know. Even though the target audience of this book is women, I believe women of all ages and men will find value in reading it.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Self-Help, Business & Money

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, How to Get Sh*t Done, written by Erin Falconer has earned an enthusiastic 5-Hoot Rating!

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

 

Happy Reading!

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The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Book Review: The Guise of Another, by Allen Eskens

The Guise of Another is the second novel by Allen Eskens. I am just going to come right out of the gate to announce that I hope this novel is obtained for the action thriller movie. Just make sure that Matt Damon is not chosen to play Detective Alexander Rupert.

The Guise of AnotherIf you read, The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens (if you haven’t you should – see my review The Life We Bury), police detective, Max Rupert is the older broker of detective, Alexander Rupert. The story as in the previous novel is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Little brother, Alex is trying to salvage his police career on the suspicion of police corruption while seeing the opportunity to rehabilitate his reputation in solving a case of identity theft.

Crime Mystery ripe for a movie thriller

The story is perfect for an action thriller movie with all the elements of a crime mystery involving big business, international intrigue, betrayal, soured marriage, and murder. This novel is a one-sitting read with short chapters that keep you wanting more and more right up to the ending. It is everything a reader wants in a crime mystery – it is chilling, filled with suspense, and loaded with surprises.

Besides Drago Basta a fascinating character, I found the women characters to be almost as villainous as Drago in their own right.

Favorite sentences can turn into favorite movie lines

My favorite sentence in the book is, “It fascinated Drago the way that people could believe the unbelievable. He had entered her home, pointed a gun at her face, tied up in a chair, and now straddled her lap. Yet she had stopped screaming because she believed him when he said he wouldn’t hurt her.”

And another sentence, “People about to die will bargain away the world for one more breath of life. They will lie and cheat and betray their own mothers in order to live.”

Questions begging to be asked

What is the chance of not being killed if she follows his demands?

Would I lie, cheat and betray even my own mother in order to live?

A must-read book!

Allen Eskens second novel, The Guise of Another cements Allen Eskens as one of my new favorite authors. Will his third book, The Heavens May Fall make this a lasting feeling?
The Blogging Owl gives, The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens a definite 5-Hoot Rating.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

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