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Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House | Alyssa Mastromonaco
If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would look something like this. WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.
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keithmalek
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Mehso-so

This wasn't necessarily bad, but a similar book that is much, much better is Dan Pfeifer's "Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Trump, and Twitter."

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keithmalek
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19 likes1 comment
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keithmalek
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BornReadChicago
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Pickpick
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NatalieR
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Pickpick

Devoured this quick listen in one day. Alyssa shares her experience, and growing pains, of being a woman in a leadership role in politics. I appreciate her candor, humor, and advice. I always love some good Obama stories. 😊 #MountTBR #LitsyAtoZ #LetterW #ReadingUSA2019 #DC

Kaye Great job ! 4mo
Librarybelle Yay! 4mo
BiblioLitten The flowers are gorgeous 💜💙 4mo
NatalieR @BiblioLitten Thank you! 😊 4mo
119 likes4 comments
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JessFerg
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Well at least now I don't have to write a review. #whyareyourehasingthebookiamcurrentlyreadinginthebookimcurrentkyreading?

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BennettBookworm
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Pickpick

This book was really well done! I loved hearing the author‘s insider, West Wing-esque perspective on my favorite presidency. I‘ve never wanted to go into politics but I appreciated how much she focused on advice for women who strive for that. It made me cry because I miss Obama so much, so now I‘m not sure if I‘m emotionally ready to start Becoming 😭

Louise Becoming will patch you back together! It‘s forward-looking and inspiring. I did, however, have many moments of thinking, “Gosh, I miss those two. I miss having people in the White House who embrace that role with such intelligence, vision, and love.” 6mo
BennettBookworm @Louise thank you! I need that encouragement! And I completely agree 🙏🏻 6mo
BennettBookworm @LiteraryinLititz thank you for lending this book to me! 6mo
33 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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BookAddict4
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I'm loving Alyssa Mastromonaco so much.

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BookAddict4
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I need this woman to teach me her ways.

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EchoLogical
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This is so freaking timely. I moved in May, gave birth to my son in August and now that things have settled down, I miss working in my old library so much. It hurts to think about someone else doing the work that I loved so much but that's life, I guess.

TrishB Change always makes us grieve a bit for the past ❤️ it‘s ok to miss it! 10mo
AmyG Awww. Hugs. I miss NJ (moved to CO in July). I know how you feel. 10mo
EchoLogical Thanks ladies @AmyG @TrishB 10mo
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
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KellyHunsakerReads
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She is smart and funny. He is gentle but strong. It‘s a good #audiobook. #Politics #PoliticalMemoir

20 likes1 stack add
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Croissonter
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“That might be the difference between men and women: Women need to know they are right before they stand up. Men are OK objecting if they just think they might be right. I thought, but I didn‘t know”... I might be more man if this quote is anything to go by🤔

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Expandingbookshelf
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TBT to when you could still eat ice cream outside and read 💨🧤😡

9 likes1 stack add
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ElizabethAndino
Pickpick

Highly entertaining, and WOW, what a crazy job Mastromonaco had, though from the outside, looks like she pulled it off seamlessly.

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SW-T
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Mehso-so

Interesting to hear insights and tidbits about working for politicians and in the White House.

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LauraJ
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Mehso-so

I like Mastromonico, despite her awful taste in music. She narrates her own story well. The problem is that there‘s not much story. She spends a lot of time discussing her clothes and if you take away the famous names, her story isn‘t any more interesting than yours or mine.
For a young woman pondering her next move after school or career choice, this is a fun and useful book. For the rest of us, it‘s Mindy Kaling goes to The White House. #24in48

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LauraJ
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The only way to get in some reading for #24in48 today.

ReadingSusan Love this book. It was so funny! 13mo
LauraJ @ReadingSusan I really like Mastromonoco. 13mo
52 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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kstadt929
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That moment when you go to pick up 2 books that you put on hold, but you have an extra one waiting for you ❤️❤️❤️

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Lauram
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Mehso-so

I started this book yesterday, hoping to add another quick read to my monthly stats. It‘s an interesting look at the author‘s work in politics interspersed with career/life advice for readers. There are a lot of behind the scenes details and I think those details are what ultimately caused me to lose interest.

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crhealey
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Pickpick
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Blaire
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Pickpick

This book is aimed at 15-25 year old women and I could tell I was older than the target demographic. But as someone who loves politics it was fun to read about how she moved up from a Kerry campaign worker to Obama‘s deputy chief of staff at age 32. A mix of anecdotes and advice it provided a cool look inside working in the White House and the dedication it takes to achieve so much at a young age. A bit rushed feeling, but fun.

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Dolly
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Oh damn! I just deleted this audiobook by mistake! 😩I was halfway through and was enjoying it. It is a memoir, not totally about the Obama White House. I‘m pleasantly surprised at how no one here bad mouths the opposition. They treat everyone respectfully, and everyone works so hard to get it right. The title? The words Obama used when someone screwed up. I‘ll say it again; the respect and professionalism shown is missing today.

LiteraryinLititz I really liked this one. It made me miss Obama even more. 1y
LauraJ I hope you get to finish it. 1y
Dolly @lauraj thanks, I tried to grab it back and couldn't. There's now 11 people ahead of me. I may try to get the book thru inter library loan😏 1y
53 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Suet624
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Pickpick

This book was kind of a hodgepodge of memoir and advice column for younger women. Unless you are a devotee of the Obama staff you may become confused about who she‘s talking about throughout the book. But it didn‘t matter to me. I loved her Obama stories - I sure do miss that guy - and her wit. She had a very difficult job and I respect her for what she was able to accomplish.

AmyG Oh, I miss him too. 1y
ReadingSusan That book was so funny. 1y
Suet624 @AmyG 😩😩😩 1y
Suet624 @ReadingSusan I‘d love to hang out with her. 1y
66 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Suet624
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If you know anything about me, it‘s that I love Vermont and that I worked with Bernie Sanders for years. Mastromonaco was an intern in Bernie‘s office and everything she says here is true. Of note, she highlights the fact that staffers were more interested in helping constituents than moving up the ladder and, now that I think about it, that‘s no small thing. ❤️

Samplergal I met Bernie at Z‘s pizza at the corner of Rt 7 and 41 when he was running for state senate. Loved him and his ideas. Still do. Shame it didn‘t work. Our lives today would be so different. 1y
Suet624 @Samplergal I just noticed I never responded to your comment. You‘re so right. Our lives would be so different. Do you live in Vermont? 1y
Samplergal @Suet624 No. I‘m in SoFlo now. I only lived in Clarendon for three years. Loved it. 1y
57 likes3 comments
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BeckyMerilatt
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Pickpick

Hilarious and honest and better than any episode of the West Wing (and I effing LOVE that show). This book gave me serious Obama feels. The nostalgia!!

goodbyefrancie West Wing is the best! 1y
eraderneely Loved this ❤️ 1y
118 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Suet624
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Wait just a second. I‘ve never heard someone admit to the fact that they usually dislike someone before they like them! I‘ve always been embarrassed that I do this too. Once I like you, you‘re a friend for life but it takes me a bit of time to warm up. And sensitivity has a lot to do with that. This woman! She‘s short, she loves politics, and she‘s worked with Bernie Sanders so there‘s that too. Twinsies!

Ashley_Nicoletto I also usually feel this way. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 1y
Suet624 @Ashley_Nicoletto It‘s kind of embarrassing to admit. 😁 But there it is. 1y
AmyG Ha! Yeah, I warm up slowly, too. I always watch new people closely....to see who they really are. I find the Bernie thing pretty funny. 1y
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Suet624 @AmyG she was an intern in his Congressional office a few years before I became his assistant. I loved all the interns I worked with. Wish I had met her. 1y
AmyG Ahhhh...now I know why her name sounds familiar. 1y
minkyb ❣️ 1y
72 likes6 comments
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raelaschoenherr
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Pickpick

Funny, chatty, and highly entertaining, Mastromonaco gives readers a peek into what life as a White House staffer was actually like, and her unique perspective as a 30-something female in her position is what truly sets this approachable memoir apart. And lest any readers may be tempted to shy away from a political memoir, she manages to share her memories and inside look into D.C. in a way that people from any political affiliation can enjoy it.

LiteraryinLititz I read this last year and really enjoyed it! Plus it made me miss Obama even more. 1y
raelaschoenherr @LiteraryinLititz It was so entertaining and such a quick listen/read. I like the show Veep, so it was fun to hear a real perspective on things :) 1y
37 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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DebinHawaii
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Pickpick

I finally finished! Not the best book I've read lately-it jumps around in time & there are so many people & their nicknames to keep track of, but it was entertaining & being both an Obama fan & a bit of a "behind the scenes at the White House junkie" (West Wing I miss you!) I really enjoyed the glimpses into the author's world. I'm not the demographic for the career advice she adds, so that part didn't resonate with me as much as the inside look.

tracyrowanreads I was just telling The Housemate about this book last night because Rachel Maddow was talking about Mastromonaco. I enjoyed the heck out of it. 1y
Lmstraubie I did this one on audio. It was definitely interesting to get that behind the scenes look. 1y
Bookwormjillk West Wing was the best, sigh 1y
93 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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DebinHawaii
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I was 30-ish minutes early for an appointment this morning so I stopped in Barnes & Noble to grab a copy of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner for my food & movie blogging event. I had time leftover for a soy latte & apple tart--and a few pages of this book.

rubyslippersreads What is that Oz-related card? 👠 2y
DebinHawaii @rubyslippersreads It's a small handle bag from B & N with my DVD purchase inside. One side is Wizard of Oz & the other is an excerpt from Romeo & Juliet. (edited) 2y
rubyslippersreads I guess I'll have to go shopping at Barnes & Noble soon. 😄 2y
DebinHawaii @rubyslippersreads 😆👍It is pretty cute. 2y
113 likes4 comments
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Bookish_B
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Mehso-so

This book was ok. The stories are quick and feel very condensed. Although it's explained why she does it, the stories are not chronological and I felt that impeded the flow. The book is meant to inspire young twenty-something women not to be afraid to go into politics, and I think for that, it does its job. I'd feel comfortable getting it my for my nieces when they are old enough 😊

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DebinHawaii
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#FierceFeb #DearMrPresident 📃Dear Mr. President, Please come back! 😢🙏🏻❤️I know that the song (written for Bush) fits other Presidents better, but after reading about Trump & his campaign in 'Unbelievable' by Katy Tur, I long even more for President Obama & so I started this one. Snuck in a little reading over lunch earlier--leftover Potato-Leek Soup with Fried Capers from Sunday. 🍲📚❤️

ReadingSusan I liked this book. It was so funny. 2y
Cinfhen 👍🏻 2y
ValerieAndBooks I made your fried capers last night! Yum!! It reminded me slightly of popcorn. 2y
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DebinHawaii @ReadingSusan I am liking it so far--it is funny and interesting. 👍📚 2y
GlassAsDiamonds 😂😂😂 it must be leftovers day, this is was our dinner as well ! Still fantastic. 😊 2y
DebinHawaii @ValerieAndBooks Popcorn is a good way to describe them. 👍 I am finding I am putting them on lots of different things. 😋😆 2y
DebinHawaii @GlassAsDiamonds Hah! I have one final serving that will be either dinner or lunch today. 🍲👍😋 2y
108 likes1 stack add7 comments
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thelizflynn
Mehso-so

This was a nice, quick audiobook that has some sound career advice and interesting peeks into (stressfully) working in the White House. The whole time I kept thinking “she‘s trying so hard to be like Mindy Kaling,” only to have her reveal that Kaling‘s first book is one of her faves. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Libby1 I agree! 2y
8 likes1 comment
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Eva2
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Mehso-so

I found parts of this book quite interesting but the book itself doesn't flow very well. The author at one point outlines why the book isn't written chronologically but what she was aiming to do didn't really work. I kept get lost about which campaign and which part of her career things occurred. Overall not a bad read. Obama comes across in the book as a strong decent leader and human being. No surprise there.

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Chrissyreadit
Pickpick

This was not the best book ever written. At times it was even a little annoying. But it was worth every second of time to get a better understanding of the workings at the White House. My respect for Barack Obama is even greater. Overall I do recommend it.

55 likes1 stack add
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Libby1
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Who would DOOOO such a thing? 😩

(The Drunk Austen Facebook page strikes again.)

Tamra Weird - seems like they are in time-out for some transgression. 2y
ReadingSusan That is ridiculous! And ugly. 2y
Bookworm83 😳😳😳😳 2y
See All 15 Comments
batsy I just saw something about this being the new minimalist style 🙈 2y
buecherwurm Maybe she just owns books such as Fifty Shades of Grey and is too ashamed to show them🙈 2y
vivastory This makes my brain (& heart) hurt 2y
julesG @buecherwurm my thoughts, precisely 2y
Tamra @buecherwurm 😂😂👍🏾 2y
VanChocStrawberry It looks so sloppy!!! 2y
laurenbescoby Yeah...and then spend half an hour of potential reading time just trying to find the one you want...😬 this is silly. 2y
Bradleygirl LOL Books As Pretentious Decor #aintnobodygottimeforthat 2y
kamoorephoto 😹😹😹😹 2y
LeahBergen 😂😂😂 2y
Libby1 @Tamra - naughty, naughty books! 😂 2y
81 likes15 comments
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Eva2
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While everyone else is reading 'Fire and Fury' at the moment, I thought I would start to read this instead.

6 likes2 stack adds
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Libby1
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Reason Number 15,379 why I miss Obama:

Speaking of federal response to disaster relief:

“I want to make sure we‘re sending enough feminine products to the Gulf Coast. I‘ve heard they really need that. Diapers and feminine products - that‘s what people need.”

bookloo 😢 I just found out one of Obama‘s favorite books last year was The Power. Now this. 😭😭 2y
EchoLogical Don't make me cry! 😩 2y
See All 9 Comments
EchoLogical @bookloo I saw that too! Did you see his favorite songs? 2y
bookloo @EchoLogical No! Just his books! Were they surprising as well? 😮 2y
EchoLogical They were. He had Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Camilla Cabelo and a bunch of other artists listed. 😂 2y
Nonaroo I miss him! 2y
Suet624 ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1y
86 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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Libby1
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Mehso-so

I‘m a bit disappointed with this one.

Yes, there were some amusing anecdotes and a glimpse into the character of American politics, but sometimes I found it flippant and flighty.

I‘m not a prude, but swearing that much just shows a lack of creativity.

I DID really enjoy the author‘s focus on helpful character traits like self-awareness, independence, humility and kindness.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Itchyfeetreader I found this interesting but just a bit confused overall. 2y
jbhops Oh no! I was hoping for so much more! Sounds like this one will be a library book for me... 2y
78 likes3 comments
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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

Oh how I miss Obama.... listened to this on #audio and enjoyed her experiences working in politics.

17 likes2 stack adds
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DebinHawaii
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Excuse the lighting--it was 0-dark-thirty when I got to the coffeeshop this morning. I have a plan to do my email, a blog post, finish up some minor busy work & some catch-up reviews on Goodreads, then run by the grocery store since I'm already parked at the center & get out--or bail early if the holiday madness gets too much.😬#worktheplan👍Starting the morning with a sun-dried tomato bagel with lox & a cinnamon-honey soy latte. #alohafriday🌺🎄

RealLifeReading Happy Friday! 2y
98 likes1 comment
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GlassAsDiamonds
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Me: you know what will make me feel less cranky? I‘ll organize the books I bought on my trip home and put them all away.
Also me: This is Hell, who thought putting books away was a good idea????

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DebinHawaii
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I needed a change of pace from the WWII historical fiction I was #audiosouping to so I switched to a little of this book (liking it so far) while I ate today's soup for a late lunch/early dinner. It's my recipe for a vegan Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Soup with homemade Tempeh Bacon Crumbles. My crumbles need a bit more crispness in texture, but their flavor & the soup were spot-on. Recipes are on the blog for #soupersundays Link below. 📚🍲❤️

Dolly Thanks for the recipe! This book is on my TBR. Are there lots of fun and interesting details about the Obama White House? (edited) 2y
Kendra.Diane Uh yum!!!! 2y
See All 14 Comments
Kristy_K That looks so good! What brand vegan cheese do you use? 2y
DebinHawaii @Dolly You are welcome! And yes! I am only a few chapters in but it seems like there will be lots of those details. 👍📚 2y
DebinHawaii @Kristy_K I used nutritional yeast in the soup itself and Daiya for the topping. 🧀👍 2y
Kristy_K @DebinHawaii Thank you! 2y
StephBengtson I made a vegan Broccoli cheese soup today. I have to try your recipe! 😋 2y
jfalkens Thanks for the recipe 😊 it looks yummy 😋😋 2y
Cinfhen 😋😋😋 2y
AceOnRoam Looks delicious, I think I'll make soup today too while audiobooking! Thanks for the inspiration. 2y
TricksyTails This looks so yummy! 😋 2y
TrishB Lovely 😊 2y
CoffeeCatsBooks Oh my gosh, that looks so good!! 2y
114 likes1 stack add14 comments
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Listy
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Pickpick

This was a WONDERFUL book. She‘s honest about her screw ups & successes, & especially how HARD this kind of job is. She ends with a story about a beloved cat that had me crying. The story really shows how supportive the people working in the Obama administration were and what a class act we had as president. This is narrated by the author & she does a really good job.

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DebinHawaii
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Trying something new for my coffeeshop breakfast--the "Flalavo"--a flatbread wrap of avocado, spinach, tomatoes, beet hummus, red onion & capers. It won't replace avocado toast as my favorite, but it was really yummy. Started this one before switching off to work projects & to listen to an audiobook while I do some invoicing. I'm happy it's Friday.?

2BR02B Yummm. This sounds fantastic. 😍 2y
2BR02B Sounds/looks, I should say. 2y
slategreyskies Beet hummus? I‘m intrigued!! 2y
See All 11 Comments
MicheleinPhilly @slategreyskies I‘ve had beet hummus from Trader Joe‘s. It‘s so good! 2y
slategreyskies @MicheleinPhilly I‘m gonna have to look for a recipe!! 😋 2y
AmyG That looks delicious. 2y
DebinHawaii @2BR02B @AmyG It really is delicious. The caper-about-beet hummus combo is 👍👍😋 @slategreyskies @MicheleinPhilly They use a local brand here. I love beet hummus but for some reason (probably messing with beets!) I never make my own. There are lots of recipes online though. It's too bad the glorious pink color doesn't show in the photo.😆 2y
Reviewsbylola Looks delish!! 2y
SandyW Yum 2y
KOTK Just woken and about to walk dog but now I am hungry looking at that. We might have to call at deli! 2y
DebinHawaii @Reviewsbylola @SandyW So good! 😋👍 @KOTK Hah! Sorry! 😆But you should get a reward for walking the dog! 2y
95 likes11 comments
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Augustdana
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“ I heard we lost Shroomie today. There are a lot of sad faces up here on Air Force One right now. You should know - I‘m pretty sure we saw his spirit up here over Denali.” - shit I love these little anecdotes, I love Obama. These more than made up for the humblebrags throughout the book. Also I kinda teared up when I read this

erinreads I cried during the entire section on her cat dying. 😿😿😿 2y
Augustdana @erinreads me too!!! 2y
6 likes2 comments
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Augustdana
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“And that‘s how this story starts. With the humble goal of seeming competent and not too annoying”. - didn‘t want to get out of bed yet so I started this, it‘s pretty sharp so far! Not sure if it‘s gonna be heavy on the advice, I‘m not going into politics but it‘s nice to reminisce about a time where everyday wasn‘t bat shit crazy.

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almalania
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You should always be prepared to defend your choices, whether just to yourself (sometimes this is the hardest) or to your coworkers, your friends, or your family. The quickest way for people to lose confidence in your ability to ever make a decision is for you to pass the buck, shrug your shoulders, or otherwise wuss out. Learning how to become a decision maker, and how you ultimately justify your choices, can define who you are.

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Julsmarshall
Pickpick

Wonderful! Funny, thoughtful and with some great workplace and leadership insights. I loved it on audio too 😄

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Julsmarshall
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New #commutebook ! Enjoying it so far, love getting a behind the scenes perk at Obama‘s White House. Ahh, Obama‘s White House . . . Gonna need a minute. 😢

Bklover I think this book might just make me cry! 2y
Bookish_B I got this for my birthday last month. Hope to get to it soon! 2y
Tera66 This has been on the top of my list for awhile! 2y
53 likes1 stack add3 comments
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eraderneely
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Current #readathon situation - reading at my favorite cafe for a change of scenery. I read the first chapter of two books and decided on this because it was lighter and my brain needed a break.