Binging on US politics: the good, the bad, and the sad

Why binge on books about US politics when you can just open up your Twitter feed and let the horror wash over you? Because throwing books across the room in frustration is more satisfying and considerably less expensive than throwing your phone.

I recently read What Happened, Unbelievable, and Al Franken: Giant of the Senate. I recommend them all, with reservations…

What Happened by HIllary Rodham Clinton on What's inside that nut?What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton is a well written, honest (as far as I can tell (!)), sometimes raw, but not too bitter account of the 2016 election. Hillary lays the blame where it deserves to be laid (Comey, what were you thinking??) but doesn’t wallow in puddles of self-pity or anger. She might get her feet wet occasionally, but definitely no wallowing. The book gives an excellent overview of Hillary’s campaign and the events leading up to the November 2016 schmozzle that was the US election.

Unbelievable by Katy Tur on What's inside that nut?Unbelievable by Katy Tur is exactly that. Tur is the NBC political correspondent who followed Trump’s presidential campaign from the very beginning. Warning: reading this book may induce feelings of anger, frustration, and hopelessness, but you should read it nonetheless, if only to see the Trump campaign laid out in all its this-can’t-be-happening-in-real-life absurdity. And apart from the utter craziness of Trump, the book is also a fascinating look at the chaotic lives of the correspondents on the campaign trail.

Al Franken Giant of the Senate by Al Franken on What's inside that nut?Finally, and this one is tricky, there is Al Franken Giant of the Senate by Al Franken. I picked this one up because I remember Al Franken from Saturday Night Live and I thought his book might be humorous. And it is, but it’s also an interesting account both of his very close, highly contested Senate race in 2008, and of the inner workings of the US Senate. I really liked this book. I really like(d) Al Franken… and then… Nooo. Not you too?? Seriously, Al? How can I recommend a book after the author has been called out for sexual harassment?

Screw it. (Obviously not literally. Keep your hands to yourself, Al.) No more books on politics for me. I’m crawling back into my safe cocoon constructed entirely of books about teenage angst and interplanetary warfare sprinkled with Dragon Tattooed violence and a smattering of romantic mystery. More on these to come.


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