Check It Out Category: Picks by Donna S

Staff Pick: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Picture of DonnaThe successful HGTV show, Fixer Upper, stars the upbeat couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Magnolia Story is about their interesting lives and a lot of ups and downs with running their decorating, retail and real estate businesses. In their own words, they have learned that with change comes opportunities and contentment in the journey. Hope you enjoy.

Staff Pick: 100 Recipes- The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials

Picture of DonnaThe 2015 edition cookbook 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials was compiled by the American Test Kitchen and features numerous colored illustrations. It has complete, easy to follow recipes and hints for basic to complex techniques. It is full of ways to make my favorites and inspire me to try new meals.


Staff Picks: Duets II by Tony Bennett

Picture of DonnaListen to the sound recording Duets II by Tony Bennett for an auditory treat. This talented artist has joined with 17 popular vocalists and musicians for a wonderful album. Hear Norah Jones, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Willie Nelson and several others. Try Duets, also, by Tony Bennett for more great listening pleasure.

Staff Pick- The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Donna of Fiction/AV/Teen suggests The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Cover of The ResidenceKate Andersen Brower’s history and human interest book is about several first families and the staff that cared for them. President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the first to live in the White House in 1800 starting with only four staff members. Now there are 96 full-time, 250 part-time residence staff, plus 2 dozen from the National Parks Services to care for the grounds. The staff is very protective of the families but did share special memories of the good and sad times, considerate or demanding First Ladies, rude or polite Presidents, formal or more casual entertaining and the general working of the House.



For more stories from inside the White House, try…

The Butler book coverThe Butler: A Witness to History by Wil Haygood

This is a true story of a White House butler who served 8 Presidents. It was made into a movie too!



First Families book coverFirst Families: The Impact of the White House on their Lives by Bonnie Angelo

This book gives anecdotes about the Presidents, spouses, children and the White House.



To Serve the President book coverTo Serve the President: Continuity and Innovation of the White House Staff by Bradley H. Patterson

Examining the  total size and cost of the contemporary White House team, Patterson also looks into what people do



Inside the White House book coverInside the White House: Stories From the World’s Most Famous Residence by Noel Grove

National Geographic and the White House Historical Association presents never before published stories and photographs of the house.



Inside the White House America’s most famous house Book coverInside the White House: America’s Most Famous House

This documentary has a tour of the private quarter with interviews with the White House staff, and a behind-the-scenes look at a state dinner preparations.

Staff Pick: Greatest Hits Collection by Brooks and Dunn

Picture of DonnaKix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn started out as vocalists/songwriters and joined together1990-2010. Their twenty-year career as Brooks and Dunn produced numerous award-winning country music albums. In 2015, the duo reunited for a series of concerts with Reba McEntire. For a toe-tapping honky-tonk album with easy to understand lyrics, try their Greatest Hits Collection.

Staff Pick: 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

Picture of DonnaYou don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican to enjoy 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush. This glimpse into a son’s love and admiration for his father shows a remarkable man who served in WWII, founded an oil company, and was a Congressman, United Nations Representative, Vice President, CIA Director and the 41st President of the USA.