Get Your Read On . . . For 2016

Happy New Year!

I don’t suppose this qualifies as a typical blog post. But, since it’s a new year, and since I have never considered myself typical (neither good or bad, just my reality); I have decided to stay true to form with a posting of favorite reads for 2016. By the way, these reads can be found at my favorite “hang out” spot, The Café in Barnes and Noble at MacArthur Center Mall in Norfolk, Virginia. Before you get upset . . . this is not an advertisement — just reality. Anyway, here goes.

Note: While these reads are not in order of preference, I tried to categorize them by subject.


Economics 101: From Consumer Behavior to Competitive Markets, Everything You Need to know About Economics by Alfred Mills. (Adams Media)

Just in case you somehow whimped out of taking an economics course, this book is ideal for assisting you in making the correlation between economics and politics. In my favorite chapter — “Capitalism Versus Socialism,” Adam Smith and Karl Marx intellectually duke it out.

Deficits, Debt and the Entitlement Crisis: Going for Broke by Michael Tanner. (Cato Institute)

Who listens to parents? LOL. Seriously, this book makes me wish I had adhered to my father’s advice to minor in economics. At least, this analysis provides the bridge between political decision-making and economic realities. Even if you question some of the conclusions, the analysis of the nation’s financial trouble spots is worth the read.

Historical Biography

Son of Virginia: A Life in America’s Political Arena L. Douglas Wilder by Former Governor: L. Douglas Wilder. (Robinson and Littlefield)

What political junkie could resist exploring the political career of a former governor? This fascinating book provides both a progressive journey into Virginia’s political climate and of the political gamesmanship of the state’s first African-American governor. I have it down for a second read.

Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America by Wil Haygood. (Alfred A. Knopf)

This book definitely took me “back in the day,” when the lawyer and political activist, Thurgood Marshall came to Virginia. His visit elevated my own interests in politics to another level — law. Believe me, even if you have no interest in legal studies, this book will definitely embolden you.

Political Analysis

Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post 9/11 Presidency by Charlie Savage. (Little, Brown and Company)

Placing us inside the Obama administration’s development and implementation of national security policy, the author provides an examination of the contemporary political and legal climates as well. While on the surface, 698 pages seems a lot; once you get into it, you will definitely be addicted. At the least, your understanding of the intricacies of policy development will be enhanced.


The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities by: Supreme Court Justice William Bryer. (Alfred A. Knopf)

If you ever doubted the nexus between the United States and the international community, this analysis eliminates all doubt. In fact, the title says it all.

Just the tip of the ice berg . . . so see you next time.

PS — For inspiration, please check out:

A Weekly Encounter: Fifty-Two Meditations of Hope by: Dr. Erwin K. Thomas.

Dr. Thomas’ meditations are not only uplifting; but, if you are part of the Norfolk State University family, these meditations will fill you with pride. Since Dr. Thomas (now retired) is one of our own, this work is definitely motivational.

Like what you read? Give Professor Carol Pretlow a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.