The Many Lives of Mama Love
By Lara Love Hardin
Lara is going to jail. It was always a possibility in the back of her mind as she furtively swiped credit cards from unsuspecting neighbors and cars in the school parking lot. As an attractive mother of four, Lara appears to be a typical soccer mom. The truth is Lara and her husband, DJ, spend every waking moment securing cash to purchase heroin and shoot up. They are addicts, barely functioning. Growing up in an unloving home, Lara dreamed of becoming a writer and mother. Now she is going to jail with 32 felony counts, and so is DJ. Her youngest son is hysterical as police drag Lara away. Determined to survive and keep her kids, Lara must first figure out the complicated hierarchy in prison. Surprisingly, Lara learns about herself through these women who have been abused and bullied their entire lives. They crave to be heard, and she becomes a good listener. Upon release, Lara must create a new life for herself and her children. She must face life without the drugs that nearly destroyed her. This smart, sensitive, beautifully-written memoir is an honest retelling of a life worth living.
By Michael Lewis
Sam Bankman-Fried is 31 and has been convicted of seven criminal counts for defrauding his customers. He awaits sentencing. Bankman-Fried grew up in California, his parents law professors at Stanford. From a young age it was clear he thought differently from other children and didn’t have any friends. While attending math camp, he finally met others he felt a kinship with. After a degree in physics from MIT, Bankman-Fried used his extraordinary math and thinking skills to obtain a job with a high-caliber private equity firm in New York. It did not take long for him to learn about cryptocurrency and realize he could easily perform similar trading skills in this new realm. He built a world shared with only a few key people where they created software that bought and sold cryptocurrency faster than any human trader could imagine. With small profits per trade, the volume was so enormous that they were soon making millions, then billions. Alameda and FTX, his two trading companies, grew to unimaginable proportions for a group of “kids” with little experience and scary accounting practices. There is no doubt Bankman-Fried is brilliant and this trial will go down in history.
By Walter Isaacson
At 52, Elon Musk has accomplished things most people deemed impossible. Following a rough childhood in South Africa, Elon moved to Canada with his mother, brother and sister. After college, he and his brother began work on what would become their first startup. With a background in physics and computer science, it became quickly apparent he needed to run his own company. Musk’s strong personality and unstoppable drive were a gift and a curse. He was difficult to work for, but most employees would rather be stimulated by his enlightenment than bored working for someone else. After making his mark with PayPal, he transferred his boundless energy to creating Tesla, leading to batteries and AI, Space X, The Boring Company and X. While Musk surrounds himself with teams of scientists and engineers, there is no doubt he is the driving force. Musk struggles with some social awkwardness and is often misunderstood. His unfortunate relationship with his abusive father left painful marks. Musk’s lofty goals are not dollar-driven, but he possesses an unyielding determination to do what he believes will save humanity. Expertly written, this is a lengthy biography, but the chapters are well-structured and manageable. I devoured every word.
A documentary detailing the very real and deadly consequences of food illnesses and contaminants found in what we eat every day. Originally based on a book, “Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food” can be seen on Netflix.