Normally I'm not a fan of short biographies, as for too many of them concision of the subject's life comes at the cost of in-depth insight. There are some books, however, which are the exception to this, and Julian Jackson's biography of Charles de Gaulle is one of them. A big reason for this is his prioritization of what matters; the majority of the book focuses on de Gaulle's political career, in particular his eleven years as president of France. Yet Jackson doesn't ignore de Gaulle's early life, as he summarizes it in a way that highlights his development as a leader, such as his inter-war writings and his relationship with Philippe Pétain. While this necessarily means that subjects such as his personal life get short shrift, the result is a book that is a superb introduction for anyone seeking an introduction to the French leader and his legacy.
I love a good romantic comedy and I had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat for me. I didn't find Samantha at all likable. She has loads of Catholic guilt, but that doesn't prevent her from sleeping with someone else while she's still married, or from sleeping with a married man. Cheating in fiction doesn't offend me, it is fiction, after all, but the actions just don't work with her guilt. Between the bed hopping, drinking, and inability to control her gag reflex, she's also indecisive and seems to always be looking for something or someone better. The only person I had any empathy for in this story was Sheldon, Samantha's hapless husband. I get that he was out of touch with the marriage, but he did at least explain himself. The author falls back on slapstick and repetition a lot more than I cared for and in my opinion, vomiting just isn't funny past a certain age. There are also a lot of time jumps, making the story choppy. From reading the blurb, I felt like the story had great potential, but everything considered, it wasn't for me and I don't think I'll be reading future books from this author.