WW Recommends Books & Other Things

In this feature of the Washington Watch, WW will primarily recommend books you may find interesting but may also now and then mention a TV program or other things. I welcome your suggestions and your input. What have you been reading or watching that you think WW readers might like?

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir
November 1, 2022
by Matthew Perry (Author)

The BELOVED STAR OF FRIENDS takes us behind the scenes of the hit sitcom and his struggles with addiction in this “CANDID, DARKLY FUNNY…POIGNANT” memoir (The New York Times)

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK by Time, Associated Press, Goodreads, USA Today, and more!

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

So begins the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, taking us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell―and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it―Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is an unforgettable memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening―as well as a hand extended to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly honest, moving, and uproariously funny, this is the book fans have been waiting for.

Arc of Power: Inside Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership, 2005–2010
September 27, 2022
by John A. Lawrence (Author)

Drawing from his thousands of pages of notes written while serving as Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, John Lawrence has written a narrative documenting his insider perspective from 2005 to 2010. These momentous years included furious political and legislative battles over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the economic recession, the 2008 presidential election, the productive first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, as well as many key legislative products, such as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street reform.

Lawrence’s unique observations provide an unparalleled look at the interpersonal relationships of major political leaders and institutions and give readers a first-hand perspective of this significant period in political history. Utilizing more than 9,000 pages of transcribed notes from hundreds of conversations between top congressional and administration officials, readers can enter the room and experience the discussions of the key participants in real time.

Arc of Power provides a valuable account of the strategies, machinations, and challenges of congressional leaders as they gain, exercise, and lose power. Utilizing the voices of the men and women involved in the often—but not always—partisan clashes, this book examines the role of personalities, factions, parties, and political institutions in the formulation of national policy on key issues. Lawrence artfully demonstrates the challenges presented by intraparty factional disagreements when writing complex legislation and illustrates the institutional tensions between the House and Senate, and Congress and the White House, when the government is unified under one party or divided.

Lawrence offers valuable insights into the differing and often conflicting role played by the House and Senate given their design and composition and shows how even a House led by powerful individuals is frequently undercut by the Senate, and how that weakness especially impacts the political power of minority populations.

Eyes That Speak: One Woman News Photographer’s Journey with History Makers
By Christy Bowe (Author)

Not many people can say their career has placed them center stage at as many historical happenings as Christy Bowe can. Bowe has photographed four presidents throughout their administrations, has captured the horrors of 9/11, and photographed three historical impeachments as well. Today, she is founder of ImageCatcher News Services, and her work can be found in prominent publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

Now she aims her lens at the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden. After being kicked out of Catholic school as a child, Bowe found her passion in capturing human moments in the biggest events. As EYES THAT SPEAK shares snapshots of significant moments in Bowe’s career, she recounts the hardships and lessons that came from each, and their influence on her style and her photography.

Her passion and warmth come through as she narrates the interactions and personal experiences that have altered her as a human and shaped her philosophy as a photographer.

Christy Bowe is a passionate, determined photojournalist who never lost the fire that got her kicked out of Catholic school. EYES THAT SPEAK is a loving retelling of not just her experience as a photojournalist but of the kindness and compassion rampant in even the most competitive and high staked working environment. Her book is a reminder that humans are kinder than we know.